first published on October 16, 2018 by Josh
A common theme in videos taken from the body worn camera systems of law enforcement officers is arm chair quarterbacking. It is easy to look at body worn camera footage after an event has already occurred and come up with over a dozen different options that were available to the officer that were not taken at the time of the incident. Upon further review, these varying options can range from dozens to hundreds of ways that situation could have been handled differently, but the one thing that never is taken into count during these armchair quarterback sessions is the individual’s thought process and mindset at the time of the incident.
Officers who are recording are living in a 3-D environment. There are aspects happening outside of the range of the body worn camera’s field of view that must be considered, but are often left out to the wayside. These “armchair quarterbacks” who often jump in to make nonsensical arguments about how the officer should have responded are often living in a two dimensional image of the situation that they have reviewed several times without any physical or emotional stress to cloud their judgement. Expecting officers to react in a certain way based off of the narrow field of vision offered from a body worn camera system without the physical and mental stressors of an actual altercation is naive at the very least.
In the video you are about to watch. Members of the Los Angeles Police Department react to a 911 call where a son is in the center of a violent rampage inside of his own home. Armed at first with a knife like object, and already having stabbed his sister’s boyfriend in the face, the violent son is a threat to his family members, and the law enforcement officers who have arrived on the scene to make an arrest for the violent crime.
When the officers enter the home, they confront the man with a less-lethal load from a 12 gauge shotgun. All this does is further enrage the violent offender, and push him over the edge towards his father with the knife. In a flash, the officer who was maintaining the lethal option decides to stop the threat before he is able to stab another innocent person or turn on of the officers who are in tight confines with the attacker.
Armchair Quarterbacks who view this footage would say that the officer who opened fire was incorrect in his assessment, and for using lethal force in this situation. The angle of the camera makes it look like the use of lethal force was unsafe due to the civilians in the backdrop of the target. These “Experts” would also state that a round could have passed through the suspect into the civilians behind turning this already terrible situation into one of pure tragedy. Those same experts would be wrong however, as they are only seeing the situation from the singular and narrow point of view from the body worn camera’s location on the officer’s kit.
The following shoot was deemed justified in the court of law.