Debate Magazine

Would a Taser Have Been a Better Police Alternative?

Posted on the 01 September 2011 by Mikeb302000
What prompted this headline was the premise that having added female police officers to various law enforcement forces has resulted in less reliance on force, and more on negotiation and on alternatives to lethal force, including firearms, but also other forms of violent responses to challenging situations.  The first requirement to doing that is to consider alternatives to lethal force that could serve equally well.

Miami police shoot, kill man carrying a toy gun

Relatives of victim say he was mentally disabled; no one else injured in incident

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — A man carrying what was later determined to be a toy rifle was shot and killed by police, authorities in North Miami Beach said.
The incident began Wednesday afternoon when officers responded to calls about a man seen walking around with a rifle.One emergency caller reported the man had pointed the rifle at a dog, NBC Miami reported.An encounter between the man and officers ensued and shots were fired, North Miami Beach police spokesman Sgt. Warren Hardison said. The man was flown to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.Members of his family said that the man was mentally disabled and never violent, according to the Miami Herald and WFOR-CBS 4. Family members told WFOR the victim was 56-year-old Ernest Vassell."They murdered him in cold blood for a toy gun!" the victim's sister, Claire Harding, told WFOR. "That’s no reason for you to kill somebody!"No one else was injured in the shooting.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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