Wow, what a thread! A lot has been said about this so I'll try and keep it short. SWAT teams are in place as an insurance policy that you never want to cash in. However, there are times that these specialized teams are needed. Such as High Risk incidents. This is done to preserve life not take it. Now each department may have it's own criteria for what is a "High Risk Incident (HRI)" but overall, dealing with felons who are reportedly armed classifies as HRI for a lot of departments. It would be nice to have more lattitude in some of these situations but the wonderful ACLU has taken that discretion away from police otherwise "police would be discriminating against others".
When an officer enters a situation, they are faced with a lot of options and try to do their best so that everyone goes home at the end of the shift and hopefully the bad guy goes to jail.
YES, it is a shame that the bad guy was shot, that he was unarmed and subsequently died from his wounds. However, don't forget about the officer who has to live with this incident knowing that a subject provoked the officer into using deadly force when it might not have been necessary. I use the term "necessarry" because the U.S. Supreme Court has said that officers will not be judged with "20/20 hindsight" but rather what was known to the officer at the time and was the force used "objectively reasonable". No where does the law state that officers have to be right, they only have to be reasonable in their actions. And believing that th suspect was assaulting the officers was apparently reasonable.
Will the city end up paying money...you bet! That is the nature of today's litigous society. Was the officer reasonably in fear of his life or the life of others? The courts apparently have said "yes".
Citizens may not like the outcome but remember that officer's have rights too and that includes the right to go home at the end of his shift
Psalms 144:1 "Blessed be the Lord my rock, he who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle..."