Spartan Ink

Law Enforcement (Part 2)

Annett Tamayo, Staff Writer

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Protests are arising due to the over-use of lethal force that has and is still being used by Law Enforcement.

Jesus Delgado-Duarte:

On March 6th at approximately 10:35 p.m., San Francisco officers were responding to a call in the Mission District, that led a man to be shot at 25 times by ten officers. His name was Jesus Delgado. Delgado was 19 years old and he was hiding in the trunk of a Honda Civic after officers arrived at the scene. Officers were responding to an armed robbery. According to the officer’s body cams: when they arrived at the scene, they gave commands to the suspect both in English and in Spanish. They were asking him to “get out of the trunk”. Delgado failed to cooperate. An officer then fired a beanbag round at Jesus Delgado. Due to this Delgado soon fired a gun from inside the trunk. That is when officers fired their weapons 99 times, killing him with 25 bullets.

Public Response:

In San Francisco, many residents watched the video that the body cams recorded. The upset crowd began shouting “Murderers!” In SpanishDelgado-Duarte’s death is currently being investigated by several different agencies separately, including the Police Department’s homicide detail, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Police Accountability, and the SFPD Internal Affairs Division.

What does law enforcement think?:

Jim Dudley, who spent 30 years in the San Francisco Police Department and is now a teacher for criminal justice at SF state said he believes that the use of force was justified. According to him, “That’s what officers are trained to do”. They are trained to “ stop the threat,” Dudley said. “Not to shoot to kill, but to stop the threat, and at what point do you delay and pause for a reaction to see if you did stop the threat?”

As a citizen, it is really hard for me to hear these stories of police officers using excessive lethal force. Honestly, it kind of scares me. I really do think that certain police officers take advantage of the amount of power that they are given, and that is not right.

In respect to what Dudley said; I personally can’t find an explanation that justifies the fact that a person got 99 shots fired at him by police officers. Sure, Delgado did shoot at them once or twice but how does 1 or 2 shots turn into 99? Dudley said that the officer’s actions are “justifiable” but I can’t find a way to justify such a thing. To me this type of behavior is extreme. I understand that officers have seconds to respond to a threat, and I understand that they fear for their lives when a suspect has a weapon, but if police officers undergo the academy training should they not be capable of targeting an armed suspect and “Stopping the threat” without an excessive use of force?

Training:

When I asked an officer about the quality of training officers receive at the academy, the answer was  “Oh yeah, the police academy has really good and hard training, they Mentally and physically make you go through a lot” Mentally meaning that you need to very knowledgeable about the laws because everything you do has a reaction. According to their training, officers use deadly force when they are being targeted with deadly force. Officer’s go back to their “training” to determine if force is needed. Police officers tend to rely a lot on commands. If the suspect does not follow directions, officers become more cautious. The basis that influences the actions an officer will take are commands. According to the officer I interviewed “we have arrested people with guns without fatalities because they followed commands”

Law Enforcement is meant to keep the public safe. However, many feel unsafe with them around due to the tragic current events. If Law Enforcement had as great of training that they pose to have, I wonder if these type of situations would be as common as they are today. What saddens me is that many officers get away with excessively or unjustly killing someone because they use their job as a defense mechanism.

Communities will still remain angry and in awe until something is done about the excessive use of force that is being used by police officers.

“Police officers are human, but you can’t have officers acting too similar to suspects they’re apprehending”

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Law Enforcement (Part 2)