Diallo Incident One Officers Perspective

.. ce Plaza (N.Y.P.D. Headquarters) by influential people in the political and celebrity world. Much has been said about the four officers training. Also questioned was their technique used on the street for stopping and questioning people they reasonably suspect, have, are currently committing, or are about to commit a crime.

These are four police officers that went on patrol one night, and followed department guidelines, tactics, and the laws of New York State, but they made a mistake, a very big mistake. They acted on their instincts, they thought that they were going to die, and they acted in the manner that they thought was appropriate. They fired their weapons until they felt the threat was eliminated, as they, and the rest of the police officers in the N.Y.P.D. are trained to do. The big question on everyones mind was why 41 shots? Another question was how come they just didnt shoot that thing out of his hand? (Thats always one of my favorites). The question that should be asked in all this is, If I were in the position of the officers involved with the Diallo shooting, and given the training and past experience, would I have reacted in the same manner? Your answer would probably be I dont know.

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There are police officers with twenty or thirty years on the job that will answer that question with I dont know. Let me share a very terrible incident to you. This is an incident that may have the reader of this essay consider the reasons why a police officer does what he or she was trained to do. On February 28, 1997 in North Hollywood California, there was an incredible shootout that the L.A.P.D. had with two very well armed and very well bodily-protected bank robbers. During this shootout the officers were unable to put these robbers down.

The two bank robbers were so well protected by body armor, that they actually stood in the middle of the street firing at the officers while reloading from the trunk of their getaway car. The officers shot, as we are trained to do, at center mass of the body. But to no avail these cretins were not going to be put down easy, the bullets were bouncing off the robbers own bullet resistant vests. One was eventually stopped by a shot to the head; the other eventually succumbed to his wounds also. The L.A.P.D.

and other departments learned a valuable lesson that day on tactics. Almost immediately the N.Y.P.D. changed its training at the shooting range. We have always been taught to shoot for center mass. The torso is the largest target for an officer to aim at without actually using the sight of the officers weapon.

After being in a shootout myself in 1993, I can surely attest that there is no time to use sights. This is why we have a sniper unit (Emergency Service Unit), they at least have the luxury of setting up, taking aim, and getting the O.K. to shoot a dangerous felon. When officers arrived at Rodmans Neck in the Bronx, where the N.Y.P.D. shooting range is located, officers are placed in a situation where they were being told to shoot for the head of the suspect and continue firing, then run at the subject, even sometimes from the kneeling position with our hands behind our heads, as if we were in a hostage situation.

We were to fire and reload as quickly as possible and get back into the fight and survive. This was the new curriculum for the N.Y.P.D. that was the result of the L.A.P.D. shootout. The instructors job at the shooting range was to shake the officer up as much as possible while the officer reloaded and fired. Instructors would stand behind the officers, not just yelling, but firing M-14 semi-automatic rifles near the ears of the officer to simulate a gun battle, but to also get the adrenaline of the officer going as quickly as possible. It works! As a highway patrolman who works alone, these exercises were conducted with a 3:1 ratio.

Running along side the highway officer were three instructors yelling and screaming. After being short on breath, you are to fire a shotgun four times, and then fire your handgun immediately following the expenditure of your shotgun rounds 16 times, and reload. This is in addition to the training area we call the Fun House. The Fun House is not any fun at all. It is a place where the officer recruit has a simulated death while attending the academy.

The inside of this building looks like a rat-infested tenement. The recruits mission is to die. The recruit cannot win; it is merely a training plan to show the officers weaknesses, and strengths of the officers adversaries. As you walk down a narrow hallway on a simulated radio run of a man with a gun, the lights flicker, doors pop open, actors run from apartment to apartment. All this time the officers peers are looking at him or her, they are perched on top of the walls, they stand on three-foot high catwalk.

As the officer enters the apartment, the officer observes a man and a woman standing in the middle of a living room. The couple is arguing with each other. The man fits the description of the person with the gun. This is where the instructors grade the officer. What will the officer recruit do? Common sense would have the officer tactically approach the man with the gun, and frisk him to eliminate a possible threat.

But since the officer is a recruit at this time, and recruits dont want to be yelled at by the instructor, the recruit decides to quell the situation by just talking with the couple. When, bank–bangthe officer recruit and his/her partner have just been shot and killed by that male subject. The yelling now begins by the instructor on why the officer recruit did not eliminate a threat and do a quick legal exterior frisk of the male. Would that have been aggressive? the instructor would ask. The answer would be no.

The law has been spelled out for situations like this that permits a frisk on the subject, given this was a radio run and the communications operator is considered a reliable informant, giving the officers the description of the perpetrator. True the operator gets the description from an outside source, but the officers get the information from the 911 operators, which make the operators our informants. The officers involved in the Diallo incident are experienced police officers. These are officers who have been placed in life and death situations day in and day out. In a police department of 40,000 police officers there is a hero everyday.

Babies are being delivered, CPR is being administered, and a lonely old lady just called 911 with a false call, just to have an officer respond so she has a person to talk to. However this is not what the public is told. These types of events just dont sell newspapers. Are there rotten apples in the N.Y.P.D.? Absolutely, as there are in every profession. For the most part, police officers themselves would like to have those rotten apples thrown off the department. Because of the officers that abuse their power, it makes it that much harder for the majority of the officers, the honest hardworking police officers to do their jobs.

These four police officers are part of the majority. The closing statement during the trial of these four officers, Chief Prosecuting Assistant District Attorney Eric Warner stated: [The defendants didnt come] on duty that night with the intent to kill Amadou Diallo or anybody else. But when they got out of that car in front of Amadou Diallos home in the early morning of February 4th, they made the conscious decision to shoot him That is a statement that is true and false. Did these officers intend to shoot him when they got out of their car? The evidence proved that as a falsehood. Did they intend to shoot Mr.

Diallo when they felt their lives were in danger? You better believe they did. As for this terrible unfortunate incident on February 4, 1999, this wasnt a crime, nor was it a racist action; this was a tragedy. This was a tragedy for five men, five children of God. Creative Writing.