I saw a video released by Bearing Arms this morning that is purported to show a justified shooting. I would like to suggest that you look at the video with some questions in mind before you watch.

Police shot and killed a homeless man for camping. The Albuquerque Police Department says the shooting/killing was justified. I say the video clearly shows that it was not proper to use lethal force and I hope it is presented to a grand jury for bringing charges.

A flash bang grenade was used on the homeless man, and in the video you can see it go off very close to the man’s feet. The purpose of a flash bang is to deaden the hearing of the individual it’s used against, and to temporarily blind them so that police can make an assault while a man is dazed and confused. If it’s used in an enclosed space, it also has a concussion effect. Wikipedia states that the M-84 Stun Grenade gives off 170-180 decibels of noise and over a million candlepower of light within 5 feet of the device. Exposed individuals experience disorientation, confusion and loss of coordination and balance. There is risk of lethal injury, but these grenades are considered to be less than lethal force.

The article also states that the man was shot with a beanbag round and Tased. The Taser is designed to cause loss of large muscle control. The bean bag round is designed to be non-lethal but to also cause loss of muscle control by causing a spasm or other reaction to render an individual temporarily immobile.

A baby tends to fall on its butt, but by the time you are full-grown, a fall from even that height can cause serious injuries; thus, instinct is to try to get your hands and arms under you to cushion the fall.

So, let me see if I can understand the situation. A flash bang was used to deafen the homeless man so that he couldn’t hear officer commands, and it temporarily blinded him, rendering the police commands unintelligible to him. He was Tased, which in the videos I’ve seen cause a loss of muscle control sufficient to cause a man to fall, and hit with a bean bag round also causing muscle spasms (also enough to cause a person to fall). Then, the individual tried to get his hands under him to cushion the fall he was experiencing due to his loss of major muscle control, or maybe his muscle twitches just cause him to fall that way.

There is barely a pause between the 1st round fired (presumably the bean bag round, as it was stated that the non-lethal weapons were all used first) and the next 6 shots in quick succession.

In the video presented, in my opinion, no police officer was close enough to the homeless man to be attacked by him with the knife he was holding. So, a homeless man who should be expected to fall because he had been flash banged, Tased and hit with a bean bag round was shot because he was falling away from the officers. Does this sound like a justifiable use of force to you?

And people wonder why the police are to be feared as least as much as they are respected.

Mike Martin
Daily Lobo reader