This week Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams found himself again explaining the circumstances of the shooting of a citizen by his officers. I’m sure it’s not among the chief’s favorite duties.
This time the chief reported that officers were confronted by a woman with a knife … stabbing herself and telling the cops to shoot her. When she ignored orders to drop the knife and got too close, the officers opened fire … mortally wounding the woman.
Eight times this year Wichita Police officers have shot citizens; four of them died. Chief Williams says it’s part of a national trend.
No police officer wants to shoot anyone, and the vast majority never do. Most officers rarely un-holster their guns during a work day. But when that moment comes, the officer must make a life-and-death decision in the time it takes to blink an eye. They say no training or practice can truly prepare the officer for that moment when they alone determine how best to protect the public and themselves.
Our thought for today is from G. M. Trevelyan:
“Action springs not from thought, but from readiness for responsibility.”