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Old July 9, 2014, 09:44 PM   #151
Tom Servo
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When you read stuff like this it makes questions about whether or not the militarization of police is a good thing, kind of silly.
Actually, that situation doesn't really have anything to do with the "militarization" of police. Lopez pointed a weapon that looked like an AK-47 at the officer and refused orders to put it down. The officer responded with a pistol.
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Old July 9, 2014, 09:54 PM   #152
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Lopez pointed a weapon that looked like an AK-47 at the officer and refused orders to put it down. The officer responded with a pistol.
I missed the part that said he pointed it at the officer. That would change things a bit, but not enough to warrant those kinds of comments.

I think it has everything to do with the militarization of police. We are talking more about police attitude towards the public than we are equipment or training. If the police really feel that way about the people they are "protecting", how much worse would it be if they were given the idea that they are a military type force?
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Old July 9, 2014, 10:07 PM   #153
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I read the article again and the way I read it, the kid was walking down the street, the officer saw him, pulled over and shot him. The trainee never fired a shot so that person obviously never felt threatened.

I don't believe it to be a crime to OC a pellet gun in any state. Obviously not a good idea given the attitude of the local PD, but at the end of the day the kid is gone and it looks as if the PD may not be held accountable.
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Old July 10, 2014, 06:54 AM   #154
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Ruger: "I don't believe it to be a crime to OC a pellet gun in any state."

Don't carry one in NJ. And I would think twice before carrying one in CA, NY, MD & DC.
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Old July 10, 2014, 09:48 AM   #155
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I read those comments and am not seeing what Ruger480 is talking about. Most of the comments appear to be of the "Gosh, that was an avoidable tragedy, why'd that kid's parents let him wander around in public with a pellet gun that looks exactly like a Kalashnikov?"

If by "prevailing attitude among LEOs" he means the general concurrence in the comments that "We should shoot people who point replica rifles at us," I am not sure why that's unreasonable.

Whether or not Lopez was pointing, in the process of pointing, or making a motion that one could reasonably believe was consistent with pointing the pellet gun at Gelhaus is a question of fact, not a question of opinion.

Personally I can think of at least one scenario where both Lopez's family and Gelhaus are both correct, but which still would have resulted in Lopez's being shot.

Suppose the following:

Lopez is walking down the street carrying his pellet gun, minding his own business.

Gelhaus sees Lopez, reports to his dispatcher that he is investigating a suspicious person, squawks his siren, and is stepping out of his car when Lopez, unaware of his surroundings and surprised by the sudden noise, turns toward Gelhaus's squad car, pellet gun in hand.

Gelhaus sees the muzzle of Lopez's pellet gun swinging toward him, believes he is about to come under fire, and shoots Lopez. His trainee does not fire, either because he does not see the threat or because he is still seated in the car and cannot draw as rapidly as Gelhaus, who has already exited the vehicle. By the time the trainee is out of the car, Lopez is already down on the ground, having been shot eight times.

I think when things like this happen, a lot of people seem unable to recognize that sometimes Tragic Things Happen despite a lack of nefarious intent by anyone involved. The need to Blame Someone so overwhelms rational thought that we conclude Someone Must Pay before having all the facts before us.

Last edited by Madcap_Magician; July 10, 2014 at 10:00 AM.
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Old July 10, 2014, 11:59 AM   #156
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If the officer in this incident is, whom I believe he is, this discussion is going to be biased here on TFL.
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Old July 10, 2014, 12:08 PM   #157
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Militarization of the police,,,
It's a BAD thing! VERY BAD THING. What could go wrong?
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Old July 10, 2014, 02:27 PM   #158
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This is off the rails now - so closed.
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