Thursday, May 19, 2005

Awards: MVP-Most Valuable Policeman, SPA-Stupid Parent Award

This story makes me shake my head for a few reasons:
Cops Stop High school at Risk

If you read the article a few things come to mind:
-The police did everything they could to stop this car.
-The Car was putting the students, themselves, and the police in danger.
-Police can never assume that a car willing to run over a bike, speed through a lot of teenagers, and resist arrest is just "annoyed with the police."

Even the passenger of the vehicle that hit a police bike, dragged it 40 feet, and sped down a lot full of pedestrians in reverse said: "I guess he [policeman] thought his life was in danger."

Open containers of alcohol were found in the car.

Here is the most puzzling part of the story:
Sophomore Lauren Manix, however, said she felt like she was in danger because her car was parked on the opposite side of the Mazda when police opened fire. The 16-year-old said she was in her car, ducking for cover, when the shot was fired.

Henley, 16, said she had to dodge the speeding car, yet she questioned the officer's decision to fire in the bustling parking lot.

"I definitely don't think it was necessary to shoot at the car when there were that many students around," she said.

Tanya Patterson, a parent, said she couldn't believe there was gunfire on the campus.

"That's why I moved up here, because I want to keep my kids away from this," she said after picking up her son, freshman Ryan Patterson.

She wondered why officers would put students in jeopardy trying to catch a parking lot speeder.

"Somebody innocent could have been hurt, because bullets don't have names," she said.

Review-Journal staff writer Lisa Kim Bach contributed to this report.

The student that had to dodge the car thought it was a bad idea to shoot.
-You're right, the officers should have used other tactics, maybe a U.N. tactic would work. The officers could have sent a "sterner" warning to the driver. That same student didn't think the officer should have shot with that many students around. I guess that means if the car was speeding around an empty lot, only then would it be ok to fire.

The Mrs. Patterson lady though, she kills me:
"Somebody innocent could have been hurt, because bullets don't have names."
She is right, but speeding cars in reverse, driven by drunken teenagers that 'don't like the police' do, and they would never strike students. (Except for those that had to "dodge the car."

My analysis below.

Obviously the cops acted correctly here. The car was putting many people in danger. Yes, bullets can go stray and it is a DANGEROUS thing to put people in the crossfire, but at the academy the worst scenarios are those which you have to pull your weapon in a crowded area.

One shot was fired at the car, not 10 with lots of missing, and stray bullets, but one shot. It hit the door, and it made its point.

The car stopped, all the students were safe, and the officers were safe. I find it hard to believe that there weren't students in the lot that believe the police acted properly. I would have been grateful that there were some officers willing to do the right thing and end that horribly scary situation quickly and efficiently.

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