Patterico's Pontifications

9/21/2009

L.A. Times Apparently Concerned by the Number of Seemingly Justified Officer-Involved Shootings

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 6:41 am

The L.A. Times reports: L.A. County deputies kill three armed suspects. A deck headline emphasizes the number of shootings this year, and the sheriff’s recent call to investigate officer-involved shootings:

The weekend incidents bring the total number of deputy-involved fatal shootings this year to 13 and come within days of Sheriff Baca’s call to quickly investigate such shootings.

The lede sentence also emphasizes how many officer-involved shootings the department has had this year:

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed three armed suspects in separate incidents over the weekend, bringing the total number of fatal deputy-involved shootings so far this year to 13.

And emphasizes high in the story:

The recent spate of shootings comes less than a week after Sheriff Lee Baca called for an expedited investigation into a deputy’s fatal shooting of an unarmed man in Athens on Sept. 14. Baca said later that he would convene a panel of experts to examine deputy-involved shootings.

Department officials said the panel would study whether deputies need additional training.

Here’s the thing, though: in each of the shootings, the suspect was armed:

A deputy was injured during a gun battle in one of the three shootings, and suspects’ firearms were recovered after each incident, said Steve Whitmore, a department spokesman.

Now, I’ll give the paper credit for this: the article does not bury that fact. That paragraph is the second paragraph of the article, and I’m pleased to see that.

But my question remains: if each of these shootings was justified (as it appears from the limited evidence we know so far), why does the story place these shootings in the context of another shooting that may not have been justified?

If editors think there is a Larger Truth to be gleaned from what does appear to be a high number of shootings, let them seek it. But the correct question to ask may not be:

why are sheriff’s deputies shooting so many people?

but rather:

why are so many people pointing guns at and/or shooting at sheriff’s deputies?

I wonder what would happen if they put that question to patrol officers on the street. Consider it a suggestion from Patterico’s Assignment Desk.

19 Comments

  1. Department officials said the panel would study whether deputies need additional training.

    Thirteen fatalities of armed men firing at them. I’d say their training has proven been to be quite adequate to this point. But more range time should always be on the table should the armed attacks become more frequent and/or include more advanced weaponry.

    Comment by political agnostic (7afa7b) — 9/21/2009 @ 8:31 am

  2. But the correct question to ask may not be:
    why are sheriff’s deputies shooting so many people?

    but rather:

    why are so many people pointing guns at and/or shooting at sheriff’s deputies?

    Indeed.

    Comment by MD in Philly (d4f9fa) — 9/21/2009 @ 8:35 am

  3. This is like the Register being “concerned” that only Hispanic juvenile murder defendants were prosecuted as adults. Sounds bad, huh? Until you read the DOJ stats, which reveal that all 18 suspects charged with murder countywide were committed by Hispanics.

    Comment by Patricia (c95a48) — 9/21/2009 @ 8:35 am

  4. “.. a Larger Truth…”

    The larger truth that the LAT does not wish to address is that more and more thugs feel that a shoot-out with the police is something that they should engage in, instead of an activity that they need to avoid.

    Additional range time for the police would be advantageous for the taxpayers if it diminishes the number of court cases, and increases the work-load at the Morgue.

    Comment by AD - RtR/OS! (8c7b14) — 9/21/2009 @ 9:22 am

  5. It is apparent that the deputies need more training in duck-n-cover so that they can survive and arrest the criminals peaceably after the crims run out of ammo.

    Comment by tnac (f9e092) — 9/21/2009 @ 12:18 pm

  6. tnac must be out of his mind. If someone decides to take on the police with a gun he should be put down with extreme predjudice. Next time the officer might not get the chance.

    Comment by Bart998 (e9a2e5) — 9/21/2009 @ 12:25 pm

  7. Buncha bootlickin’ authoritarians if I have ever seen them …

    Comment by JD (9019c8) — 9/21/2009 @ 12:28 pm

  8. I’m thinkin’ and hopin’ tnac was being tongue-in-cheek on #6.

    Comment by MD in Philly (d4f9fa) — 9/21/2009 @ 12:43 pm

  9. more and more thugs feel that a shoot-out with the police is something that they should engage in, instead of an activity that they need to avoid.

    If that trend is starting to show up in southern California, then the dynamics of Mexico — in which shoot-outs with both cops and the Mexican military have become a way of life — are beginning to percolate northward.

    Comment by Mark (411533) — 9/21/2009 @ 12:50 pm

  10. Welcome to TJ’s largest colonnia.

    Comment by AD - RtR/OS! (8c7b14) — 9/21/2009 @ 1:40 pm

  11. #6,you need to get your snark meter fixed.

    Comment by tnac (f9e092) — 9/21/2009 @ 4:05 pm

  12. This is only the 13 who got caught. Millions of Americans look at the crimes committed by politicians from the white house down and say , what the he**, want something take it and if anyone gets in the way whack them. How’s that O’Dumbo peace and love working out for you? Da** that GWB for setting up a system (fought against by President O’Dumbo) that caught the current Islamic terrorists who intended to kill a few thousand in NYC, again.

    Comment by Scrapiron (4e0dda) — 9/21/2009 @ 4:19 pm

  13. Looking up a word in the dictionary! If that’s not acting white, I don’t know what is.

    Comment by nk (df76d4) — 9/21/2009 @ 4:37 pm

  14. Wrong thread. Sorry.

    Comment by nk (df76d4) — 9/21/2009 @ 4:37 pm

  15. Someone really needs to tell the police that the guns they carry are 43 times more likely to be used against them or their partners than against a bad guy.

    Comment by Xrlq (62cad4) — 9/21/2009 @ 7:27 pm

  16. If someone decides to take on the police with a gun he should be put down with extreme predjudice. Next time the officer might not get the chance.

    That would save court costs.

    Too bad that sex-offending nithing Phillip Garrido did not do this.

    Comment by Michael Ejercito (833607) — 9/21/2009 @ 7:48 pm

  17. Consider it a suggestion from Patterico’s Assignment Desk.

    I’m on it, but it might take me a day or two.

    Comment by Jack Dunphy (38fbdf) — 9/21/2009 @ 8:47 pm

  18. whaaat? couldn’t the cops just pre-emptively tase the bad actor before it came to gunplay? surely *some* of the baddies must have been 6-year-old children, or soccer moms, or little old grannies, or legless guys in a wheelchair. you know: what LEO’s call “prime taser bait”. LA sheriffs gettin’ soft. next thing you know, they’ll raid a house and not shoot the dog! or the mother holding the infant!

    the only way we can properly ensure the safety of our brave security forces is if they just kill everyone on the scene. it’s a small price to pay for officer safety, i think you’ll agree.

    Comment by nom de guerre (34d953) — 9/21/2009 @ 11:32 pm

  19. “why are so many people pointing guns at and/or shooting at sheriff’s deputies?”

    A very good question, and you would think, the proper question to be asking. When I was younger I thought everyone understood the ethical bankrupcy behind the “in your face” and “stand up to the man” sort of social interaction that the hippies loved so well. Apparently, a significant number of children have been taught by hippies that it is a good idea to point weapons at our countries law enforcement officers. The hippie radicals that teach our children should be ashamed. they arn’t of course, but they should be.

    Comment by tyree (60c95a) — 9/22/2009 @ 12:24 am

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