In response to the killing of five police officers and wounding of seven more, David O. Brown, Chief of Police of Dallas, Texas became the first city or state official to order a remote controlled execution of a suspected killer with whom hours of negotiation had not resulted in surrender.
The decision of David O. Brown, the local city police chief, to remotely assassinate the cornered suspect rather than make an attempt to incapacitate him is a stark continuation of what appears to be a U.S. military and police tactic of kill rather than capture. Brown has 30 years of law enforcement experience with training at many police schools including the National Counter-Terrorism Seminar in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Due to the past 15 years of U.S. ground and drone wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya and Somalia, many veterans of the U.S. military and CIA paramilitary are on local, state and federal police forces. These officers have served under wartime rules of engagement which should be much different from civilian law enforcement.
However, with the militarization of U.S. police forces, it appears that the Dallas police chief used the military tactic of assassination by a remote controlled weapon system to protect the lives of the police and sacrifice the rights of an accused to trial.
No doubt the Police Chief will argue that he could have ordered snipers shoot to kill the suspect -- the method of death didn't matter when the decision to kill has been made.
The Chief of Police and the President of the United States use the same rationale to execute without trial someone suspected of a crime.
Community activists should ask their city council members what rules of engagement their police officers use. I suspect that in many cities the rules say shoot to kill rather than shoot to incapacitate/capture/detain, certainly the statistics on police shootings seem to indicate that the national tactic for police departments is to shoot to kill.
Will U.S. government officers at all levels -- national, state and local -- argue that shooting to kill is safer for the police and cheaper than holding a trial, jailing the accused and imprison a person convicted of a crime?
It appears that shooting to kill is easier in all aspects whether it's unmanned aerial drones killing people outside the United States or unmanned ground robots with bombs.
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