Letter: Cams, phones shine new light on police shootings

On the news this morning was another officer-involved shooting. This particular one left no doubts. The story was told by the body cam the officer was wearing. The parents were quickly brought to the front, and spoke of forgiveness. Anything to keep people from trashing their city.

I vaguely remember when everyone respected the police. They were heroes without ANY faults. If a policeman said something "happened," his version was never questioned.

Police were the word of God, and no one questioned their behavior. The blue code of silence was recognized in all police departments. Do not get me wrong here, as I have several family members who are policemen/women, as well as a brother who is a retired probation officer.

The violence that is happening now is really nothing new. The only real difference is that people are listening to citizens who are often the victims. Cell phones and body cams are telling the real story.

I am a little confused as to the rules. It used to be, "The officer was in fear of his/her life and was left with no alternatives."

When that does not fit it changes to "He/her failed to follow my commands, so I was left with no choice."

I was told by a policeman many years ago, "Even the police cannot use more force than is necessary to overcome the aggressor." I took that to mean that if an unarmed person was coming at them, they could use a Tazer or rubber bullet or some such thing to stop them.

If they came at them with a rolled-up newspaper, shooting them was not an option!

Being a policeman, you would be in fear of your life most of the time. You were hired to protect citizens from the bad guys.

The "He tried to run me over, so I had to shoot him" (seven times) is yet another good one. When someone is trying to flee the scene and you stand in front of the car, you have a fair chance that they may indeed run you over! This most often happens when the driver has an old warrant and just wants to get away.

Tickets are not normally capital offenses. Do we really need to kill people over them?

I have to wonder how some of these trigger-happy people ever pass the psych exam to get on the departments in the first place. If you are in such fear with each and every contact with the public, perhaps you should look for a more appropriate line of work.

Linda Varon