Thursday's Bee headline and story "Deputy shot boy before partner left car" described the shooting death of a 13-year-old child in Santa Rosa. The boy carrying a pellet gun was killed by a deputy who is a gun expert, served in the military and is an authority on police training.
How could this happen? This officer has years of experience and expertise in weapons and yet couldn't identify a pellet gun? This officer shot the child eight times before his partner could get out of the car, yet doesn't remember if he had time to identify himself as a police officer?
So why do we hire ex-military who have been trained to kill and ask questions later for a job that must ask questions before killing?
When you are a soldier, your enemy is all around you and you must automatically react just to stay alive. A police officer must be able to distinguish the difference between a life-threatening situation and a distressed civilian. Automatic reactions cannot rule as the vast majority of the people around the officer are not a threat. Military training for war is in direct conflict with police training to protect and serve a civilian populace. We must change our priorities.
Catherine Steele Smith