…and your little dog too

As a teenager I took a summer course called “Criminal Justice Systems.”

I learned some obsolete lessons, like how to inspect the filament of a light bulb to see if it was lit when the car crashed.

I learned some timeless lessons, like don’t shoot into a moving car.

As an adult I learned to recognize a pattern in news stories. When police want to shoot somebody they step in front of a moving car, gun drawn, and blast away in “self-defense.”

A typical story is last week in southern California. “Fearing for his life” the officer shot at a car that wouldn’t have hit him.

We know it wouldn’t have hit him because he didn’t kill the driver. He killed a passenger and a dog. The car stopped because the driver hit a roadblock.

If he had killed the driver, the car still would have kept rolling in whatever direction it was going. It wasn’t going to slam on the brakes on its own. In a few years, maybe, but for now pedestrians still have to jump out of the way.

Shooting into a car in these circumstances isn’t a legitimate use of force. A freeway sniper with a rifle might do the job, but not a street cop with a handgun. This is how police execute people. This time they executed the wrong person.

This may be an urban tradition. When I learned not to shoot into cars I was in the mostly-rural Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Here in Massachusetts I read about police shooting drivers in the back of the head.

Defensively.

The opinions expressed in belong to the author and do not necessarily represent those of the National Motorists Association or the NMA Foundation. This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal advice. No representations are made regarding the accuracy of this post or the included links.

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