On Friday Chicago Police Department officials proposed limiting when officers can use lethal force against suspects, asking officers to focus instead on ways to “de-escalate” the situation.
These proposals came two days after a female officer was beaten to the point of hospitalization, yet refused to use her gun against the suspect for fear of public backlash against her family and the Chicago PD. According to ABC 7, Chicago PD superintendent Eddie Johnson said,“ She thought she was going to die. She knew that she should shoot this guy, but she chose not to, because she didn’t want her family or the department to have to go through the scrutiny the next day on national news.”
Now the Chicago PD is pushing to make the use of guns even less frequent. The New York Times quoted Johnson saying, “The business of being able to de-escalate situations, I think, is paramount to what we’re going to do.”
Dean Angelo Sr. is president of the union that represents Chicago officers and he does not like the proposals. He fears they will hinder officers’ use of lethal force in time of need and lead to more instances of officer injury and death. The overwhelming trepidation that prevented the female officer from using lethal force Wednesday is a good example.
Angelo stressed that officers are not getting the gratitude they should be getting for the work they already do to save lives, and he appeared to indicate that he hopes officers continue to take whatever actions necessary to save their own lives when push comes to shove. He said:
At the end of the day, when an officer is confronted in that alley or an officer is confronted in a life-or-death situation, they are going to do what they is necessary to go home. If they getting written up for it, so be it. My concern is that these guys and girls go home to their families.
A report from a task force assembled by Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) is a driving force behind the proposed limits on use-of-force. The task force concluded their report by writing, “C.P.D.’s own data gives validity to the widely held belief the police have not regard for the sanctity of life when it come to people of color.” It follows that part of the new proposal is a requirement that officers “consider a suspect’s race” before drawing their guns.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.