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Tuesday, November 28

More Questions Than Answers in Queens Shooting of Groom and Friends

In this article, Police Questioned After N.Y. Shootings, we learn that
None of the five unidentified officers had ever fired their 16-shot semiautomatic pistols on patrol before that morning, officials said. The undercover officer fired first, squeezing off 11 rounds; another, a 12-year-veteran, fired 31 times, meaning he paused to reload.

Officials said all the officers would have received training to combat against "contagious or sympathetic fire" -- when police become disoriented by the sound of friendly fire and blast away at a phantom threat.

"We stress when officers go to the range that they fire no more than three rounds and then assess what the situation is," Kelly said.

The 37,000-officer New York Police Department, the nation's largest, trains its members on "how to defend themselves and not use excessive force," Bloomberg said Monday. "What exactly happened here, we do not know."
Sharpton wasn't buying that "excuse", but in yesterday's paper it was revealed that "Multiple shots fired are common"
To the average person, 50 may seem like an excessive number of bullets fired by police officers.

Yet several criminologists said basic police training and the dynamics of shooting confrontations can often lead to high numbers of bullets fired and that little can be done to avoid such outcomes.

You often hear people say, 'Why couldn't they just shoot him in the leg, or why couldn't they just shoot the air out of his tire? Well, the police are not trained to do that," said Tom Nolan, a professor of criminal justice at Boston University...

The general rule in police training is that officers can use deadly force when they perceive "imminent death or bodily harm" to themselves or others.
...
"They receive training that really tells them not to shoot, except in dire circumstances," O'Donnell said. "What is less easy to teach is that once a decision is made to shoot, how and when they should stop."
There is a lot for me to learn about all this. My opinion on the whole matter is still reserved pending further investigation. One thing is for sure, NYC's Mayor Mike Bloomberg is no Rudy Guiliani.
Bloomberg believes 'excessive force' was used in deadly shooting
Of the victims, Bloomberg said Monday: "There is no evidence that they were doing anything wrong," referring to everything leading up to the moment they struck an officer with their car.

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