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Business / Philosophy of Photography Taking pics is one thing, but understanding why we take them, what they mean, what they are best used for, how they effect our reality -- all of these and more are important issues of the Philosophy of Photography. One of the best authors on the subject is Susan Sontag in her book "On Photography."

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Ohio Cop Shoots Photog, mistaking Camera for Gun
Old 09-05-2017   #1
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Ohio Cop Shoots Photog, mistaking Camera for Gun

How could this happen?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ffic-stop.html

trigger happy?
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Old 09-05-2017   #2
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Yep, read it this morning. Was a little confused how a camera/tripod could be misinterpreted as a gun. Cant think of an explanation...
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Old 09-05-2017   #3
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WOW.

Very happy the deputy was not a better shot.

Just WOW.

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Old 09-05-2017   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finguanzo View Post
Yep, read it this morning. Was a little confused how a camera/tripod could be misinterpreted as a gun. Cant think of an explanation...
Some years ago (and I think I reported this here) I was walking downtown, having just parked, and carrying a monopod to where I intended to shoot.

I noticed a squad car approaching me the better part of a block away. I didn't really think of it when they were that far away, but I noticed they slowed down as they approached me and appeared to be stopping. The officer in the passenger side seat was clearly watching me. The car then sped up and went on its way.

It occurred to me that the monopod could have looked like a rifle, and they were probably checking me out and, of course on a closer look, realized that it was not a weapon.
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Old 09-05-2017   #5
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It turns out that the policeman knew the photographer well, and knew that he was a photographer. (Very small town.) I'm going to be extra careful with my tripod from now on.
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Old 09-05-2017   #6
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Originally Posted by finguanzo View Post
Yep, read it this morning. Was a little confused how a camera/tripod could be misinterpreted as a gun. Cant think of an explanation...
There are some very expensive/fancy shot guns that look very much like a tripod these days. One barrel, two tubes that hold shells. They hold a large number of shells and each being 12 gauge pack a bit of a punch.

We ask so much of our LEOs these days and don't give them a lot to work with or ability to make mistakes.

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Old 09-05-2017   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBingham2 View Post
There are some very expensive/fancy shot guns that look very much like a tripod these days. One barrel, two tubes that hold shells. They hold a large number of shells and each being 12 gauge pack a bit of a punch.

We ask so much of our LEOs these days and don't give them a lot to work with or ability to make mistakes.

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Oh, I don't know, it seems they have a huge capacity for making mistakes sometimes, just like we all do. The vast majority of us are held accountable for our mistakes- LEOs, not so much.
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Old 09-05-2017   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBingham2 View Post
We ask so much of our LEOs these days and don't give them a lot to work with or ability to make mistakes.

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Agreed. Unfortunately their mistakes can be life threatening.
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Old 09-05-2017   #9
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I just can't imagine going to work (as a cop) in such utter fear for my life that I have to shoot an innocent person just because they are holding an object.

And this isn't the first time it's happened. eg. Australian woman shot dead because she was holding a mobile phone...
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Old 09-05-2017   #10
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/ZENIT-12S-Ph...cAAOSwnHZYRQrP

If this link is not allowed please remove.

I had this set up 20 years back and even then felt a bit self conscious even though I knew it was a camera. Based on a 3 leg tripod this would involve a total call out in today's society.

Nowadays I'm seriously concerned about the direction and lack of knowledge people have of what general items really are.

A Pentax spot meter, a concerned citizen and a "000", "911", "999" call and a photographer's day could be drastically changed.
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Old 09-05-2017   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finguanzo View Post
Agreed. Unfortunately their mistakes can be life threatening.
IMHO, that's the root cause to the problem For a variety of reasons outside of their control they are often place without sufficiently effective tools and little or no support for alternative decisions within their chain of command they make the hard decision to employ deadly force.

Please don't get me wrong, there are LEOs who have done the wrong thing for all the wrong reasons and often they are absolved of their wrong doing because "they were fearful for their lives". It's the magic get out of jail free phrase they all know.

The fault is ours (at least here in the US), we look to spend less and less money on training of LEOs. Many localities manage by law-suit avoidance rather than what is right.

On two separate occasions over the past six years our LEOs took the lives of two people that I wonder if better training and alternatives to a Tazer and a 40 Caliber Glock might have allowed them to try before taking a life.

Many jobs hold life and death in their hands. LEO is one of the few where the wrong decision can kill you.

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Old 09-05-2017   #12
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Old 09-05-2017   #13
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......Nowadays I'm seriously concerned about the direction and lack of knowledge people have of what general items really are.

A Pentax spot meter, a concerned citizen and a "000", "911", "999" call and a photographer's day could be drastically changed.
Fear is a very highly motivating emotion. It's easy to create in people and hard to address (provide sufficient facts to disprove and remove).

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Old 09-05-2017   #14
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I'm concerned about the "No Warning" before he shot at the photographer...at the very least warn the guy before firing at him...and then there's the knowing each other part...
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Old 09-05-2017   #15
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i find myself in the "don't give a cop the slightest reason to shoot you" camp. a potentially awesome picture is not worth losing your life. be smart.
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Old 09-05-2017   #16
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Growing up in the USA during 60's we were warned in school these things happened in the USSR and Red China.
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Old 09-05-2017   #17
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Law Enforcement officers are trained, but for really small towns the training, the pay and the job interviews are sorely lacking. My family are in law enforcement at the federal level and I interface with the local city police, sheriff and Highway Patrol. In my county they are top notch.

Unfortunately shooting a white male gets little media attention. many LEO officers are poorly trained. If a Black person gets shot it's national news for a month. White or other minorities are not news.

Police officers in this case are just either poorly trained or do not have the mental capacity for the job. Unfortunately if it isn't considered poor training then it must be racism.
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Old 09-05-2017   #18
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Thank goodness we don't have to worry about this in the UK. The police couldn't shoot us even if they wanted to.
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Old 09-05-2017   #19
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Bloody hell the cops are jumpy in the US at the moment. I also haven't heard anything recently about the Australian woman who got shot by an officer from a car recently ... in her pajamas and carrying a mobile phone!
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Old 09-05-2017   #20
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Thank goodness we don't have to worry about this in the UK. The police couldn't shoot us even if they wanted to.
It happened a good few years ago now .
I man got shot for carrying a table leg which was mistaken for a gun.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Harry_Stanley

There`s also a list at the end of that article.
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Old 09-06-2017   #21
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Law Enforcement officers are trained, but for really small towns the training, the pay and the job interviews are sorely lacking. My family are in law enforcement at the federal level and I interface with the local city police, sheriff and Highway Patrol. In my county they are top notch.

Unfortunately shooting a white male gets little media attention. many LEO officers are poorly trained. If a Black person gets shot it's national news for a month. White or other minorities are not news.

Police officers in this case are just either poorly trained or do not have the mental capacity for the job. Unfortunately if it isn't considered poor training then it must be racism.
I'm in a big city where our past mayor proclaimed that anyone getting into the Police Academy will pass and become an officer. This has caused many older cops to retire early. They don't want to partner with these new cops, they are afraid of them. One Sargent told me that the new Psych. Exam would allow people who wouldn't qualify as security guards to become city cops now. She sold her home and moved her family out of the city.
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Old 09-06-2017   #22
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poor training, over-militarized, lack of desire to "serve and protect", us versus them mentality, hyped and inaccurate messages that crime is worse than it is, pandering law makers.

it's a tough job, and probably one quarter of the people doing it are unqualified, regardless of their training.
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Old 09-06-2017   #23
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I worked in emergency response services for years and knew a great many police officers. Thank goodness the great majority were level headed men and women who were not subject to nervous jitters and unnecessary fright.

Unfortunately recruiting now days has been more difficult and the quality of law enforcement personnel is not as high as it once was. Some are scared to death to do their job. On the other side of the spectrum you have a power hungry elite who believe they can do no wrong once they put on a badge. These officers can't do the job right because they have the wrong temperament.

Police are a necessary evil within society, but that does not mean we have to overlook the potentially serious problems involved in allowing a small group of armed men and women to control other's actions. Power corrupts and that affects police forces very quickly if not properly controlled. Instead the police must be very closely supervised and they should clearly understand that their role is to serve and protect the people who pay their salaries, not beat and shoot them.

The idea that law enforcement officers have a tough job so should be given the benefit of the doubt is pure BS. For me the minute they pull their weapon they better be able to justify why they decided that was needed, especially so if they fire that weapon. Of course it doesn't have to be a gun. A club can also be a terrible weapon as well. This response is critical if we are to learn how to avoid the issue in the future.

Funny thing about training, most police officers seem to be able to remember their training on how to use a pistol or a baton. They are very eager to attend practice sessions in the use of these weapons. Unfortunately it is the training on how to defuse potentially dangerous situations that they seem to forget. And trying to get them into role playing training on applying these techniques, or getting them to actually participate in class, is very difficult. If you don't believe this is true, spend a little time auditing this training. Auditing these classes is almost always allowed, but very, very few people ever do it. Of course doing so can be a real eye opener, and may alter your opinion of some of the people who are allowed to be police officers in your own community.

A police state should be feared. When police use their power outside of their mandate, and the people overseeing them fail to stop that abuse of power, then you have a police state. That is what is happening in some parts of the US and it takes strong men and women to put an end to it. Not people who feel sorry for the "tough" job the police officer is faced with. Unfortunately in some communities it is going to take a very long time for people to trust those people who are there to "protect" them.
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Last edited by Pioneer : 09-06-2017 at 10:05. Reason: I cannot seem to edit my typos until after I have posted...
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Old 09-06-2017   #24
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...Deputy Jake Shaw should be fired.

Contrary to his statement, he was not doing his job. Not unless the Miami Valley Police Dept considers shooting bystanders to be part of the job that they want their police officers to do.

How do you actually rationalize shooting a bystander with a camera??? And which boss is going to let you get away with rationalizing it???

Furthermore, everyone who knows this guy should run the minute they seem him with a gun. I for one do not want him to be anywhere near me while carrying a gun. He is a menace to those around him whether he consciously considers himself to be one or not.
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Old 09-06-2017   #25
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I find it all quite baffling.

Here in the United States, last week a cop in Ohio sees someone with something that the cop thinks might be a gun, and shoots the person. Yet a few weeks ago in Charlottesville, cops saw many people with very real assault rifles, menacing other people, and did nothing.

I don't get it.

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Old 09-06-2017   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
I find it all quite baffling.

Here in the United States, last week a cop in Ohio sees someone with something that the cop thinks might be a gun, and shoots the person. Yet a few weeks ago in Charlottesville, cops saw many people with very real assault rifles, menacing other people, and did nothing.

I don't get it.

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A police officer firing a shot during the demonstrations in South Carolina would certainly have created a blood bath that someone would have had to answer for. Nobody wants that so the people in charge in South Carolina kept their people under very strict control.

As stupid as the situation in Ohio was, it did not even come close to the potential for violence in South Carolina.

I think that the police in Charlottsville did a great job. Some of the idiots who were brandishing their rifles in the crowd can be tracked down, charged and arrested after the excitement has passed. If in fact they really did anything wrong. It is not against the law for me to carry my rifle in public where I live, even in the middle of a protest, so the police would need to prove I was doing something illegal first. It might not be really intelligent since accidents can happen, but carrying the rifle is not a crime.

Now if you use that rifle to threaten someone else then you would have al problem. But they still have to prove it in court. Right or wrong that might not be too easy to do in South Carolina right now.
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Old 09-06-2017   #27
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i find myself in the "don't give a cop the slightest reason to shoot you" camp. a potentially awesome picture is not worth losing your life. be smart.
Really? I suppose some of us should just whitewash our skin and start wearing swastikas or either never go to places like minnesota or texas.. "don't give a cop the slightest reason to shoot you" what a thing to say.
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Old 09-06-2017   #28
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A police officer firing a shot during the demonstrations in South Carolina would certainly have created a blood bath that someone would have had to answer for. Nobody wants that so the people in charge in South Carolina kept their people under very strict control.

As stupid as the situation in Ohio was, it did not even come close to the potential for violence in South Carolina.

I think that the police in Charlottsville did a great job. Some of the idiots who were brandishing their rifles in the crowd can be tracked down, charged and arrested after the excitement has passed. If in fact they really did anything wrong. It is not against the law for me to carry my rifle in public where I live, even in the middle of a protest, so the police would need to prove I was doing something illegal first. It might not be really intelligent since accidents can happen, but carrying the rifle is not a crime.

Now if you use that rifle to threaten someone else then you would have al problem. But they still have to prove it in court. Right or wrong that might not be too easy to do in South Carolina right now.
Well, Charlottesville is in Virginia, so I'm not sure you're talking about the same situation I am. Not sure what happened in South Carolina. But even in states with open carry, you cannot menace someone with your firearm. There are multiple cases of menacing that happened in Charlottesville, many caught on camera. Yet the police did nothing.

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Old 09-06-2017   #29
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With guns so prevalent in the U.S., police probably assume everyone they encounter can endanger them and they aren't taking any chances - guilty until proven innocent?
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Old 09-06-2017   #30
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i find myself in the "don't give a cop the slightest reason to shoot you" camp. a potentially awesome picture is not worth losing your life. be smart.
Does not work. Never leave your house (and make sure someone else answers the door for you) may work.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ...gs_and_manhunt

In the Dorner manhunt, the cops gunned at two Hispanic ladies delivering newspapers, and a white surfer dood driving his pick up down the freeway. In broad daylight.

The only way something will change is if the cops are made liable. Right now tax payers are liable. They shoot someone, taxpayers pay the settlement. Not the cops. Not the police force. But us.
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Perhaps the cop misunderstood this thread?
Old 09-06-2017   #31
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Perhaps the cop misunderstood this thread?

https://rangefinderforum.com/forums/...threadid=74117
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Old 09-06-2017   #32
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With guns so prevalent in the U.S., police probably assume everyone they encounter can endanger them and they aren't taking any chances - guilty until proven innocent?
If a U.S. citizen were to do the exact thing the police officer in Ohio did - shoot first, ask questions later - and had shot a guy with a camera and a tripod, the citizen would be arrested, crucified in court and spend decades in prison.

Since we supposedly have the principle of equal treatment under the law here in the U.S., why does this police officer not face the same treatment that a non-police officer citizen would face?

Where is the equal treatment under the law in the Ohio shooting??
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Old 09-06-2017   #33
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i find myself in the "don't give a cop the slightest reason to shoot you" camp. a potentially awesome picture is not worth losing your life. be smart.
Yes, the photographer in question certainly had it coming - how dare he walk down the sidewalk with a camera and a tripod, for God's sake??

He should do what I did: I sold my cameras, lenses and tripod then donated the proceeds to the police officer's benevolent association. Nowadays I hide under my bed reading photography magazines, fantasizing about taking pictures. It's the only way to truly be safe from being shot by a scared and negligent police officer.
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Old 09-06-2017   #34
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...Deputy Jake Shaw should be fired.

Contrary to his statement, he was not doing his job. Not unless the Miami Valley Police Dept considers shooting bystanders to be part of the job that they want their police officers to do.
+1 and what you said in the previous post



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How do you actually rationalize shooting a bystander with a camera??? And which boss is going to let you get away with rationalizing it???
...
It's the "Stand Your Ground" mentality that has created the fear-driven response of pull-the-glock. Shoot first, ask questions later and remember, you were afraid for your life when you pulled the trigger.

The power-hungry have always seem to become or want to become LEOs. They used to wash out, it seems not so much these days. Our State Troupers here are down over 100 folks for field duty. Many of the inside people who were there for the benefits are leaving (the protection via the union was stripped away last legislative session). They can get more money and much better benefits elsewhere.

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Old 09-06-2017   #35
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If a U.S. citizen were to do the exact thing the police officer in Ohio did - shoot first, ask questions later - and had shot a guy with a camera and a tripod, the citizen would be arrested, crucified in court and spend decades in prison.

Since we supposedly have the principle of equal treatment under the law here in the U.S., why does this police officer not face the same treatment that a non-police officer citizen would face?

Where is the equal treatment under the law in the Ohio shooting??
There is some accountability for the individual police officer if it can be proven that he or she stepped WAY outside their rights and duties.

Unfortunately in most circumstances, the District Attorney who would prosecute that officer is unwilling to move forward lest the remaining police officers make his job miserable beyond belief. It takes a massive amount of external political pressure to bring some of these police to justice. Of course, good men sometimes get caught in these dragnets as well since political pressure of this type may not be able to really differentiate between the good and the bad.

The "Blue Wall" is so named for a good reason. No active police officer wants to be the one who offers evidence or testimony that puts a fellow officer behind bars.

It is also for this reason that corruption can run rampant within police departments for so long without being stopped. Good men will remain silent because they are afraid of what can be done to them as well. Things as simple as failing to back up a fellow officer who is under threat can make their jobs almost impossible to do.

To say nothing of the power of the police unions in certain metropolitan areas.
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Old 09-06-2017   #36
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Well, Charlottesville is in Virginia, so I'm not sure you're talking about the same situation I am. Not sure what happened in South Carolina...
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Sorry Tiim. South Carolina was certainly an error. Thanks for correcting that.
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Old 09-06-2017   #37
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Does not work. Never leave your house (and make sure someone else answers the door for you) may work.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ...gs_and_manhunt

In the Dorner manhunt, the cops gunned at two Hispanic ladies delivering newspapers, and a white surfer dood driving his pick up down the freeway. In broad daylight.

The only way something will change is if the cops are made liable. Right now tax payers are liable. They shoot someone, taxpayers pay the settlement. Not the cops. Not the police force. But us.
+1 on this. Make them liable
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Old 09-06-2017   #38
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Poor training is not an excuse,

Do we let poorly trained architects design public buildings... (I'm sure there are a few instances)

Do we let poorly trained hi-low operators on OSHA jobs? Never.
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Old 09-06-2017   #39
peterm1
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Would it be in bad taste to suggest that this thread could be subsumed by another thread appearing on this forum - "Shooting the shooter"? Probably it would. Sorry I have a sick sense of humor.

Seriously I hope he is OK.

While this incident does seem to say something about poor police training perhaps it also says something about the state of affairs in the USA where after years of "Black Lives Matter" (some members of which advocated murdering police officers) and even more years of terrorism it is to be expected that police officers (who don't forget are also human) might be on edge and in fear of their own lives. This in no way condones what he did but I also have at least some sympathy for that guy too - whose live is now also altered unchangeably. We should remember it was a tragic mistake not a premeditated act.
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Old 09-06-2017   #40
pepeguitarra
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I have to be extra careful

I am now using a Pentax Spot meter and my Rolleicord is on a gun. So, it looks like I carry one gun in each hand. Another reason: I am not a light skin person.

My Pentax Spot Meter - A wonderful tool by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr
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