Video of deputy shooting teens leaves experts uncertain: ‘What was his purpose for firing?’

Newly released video of an Onondaga County sheriff’s deputy shooting and killing two teens raises troubling questions that won’t be fully answered without further investigation, several law enforcement experts said.

Experts contacted by said they had concerns about the deputy’s actions. He fired at a moving vehicle, a move that is widely discouraged by police agencies. And he clearly was able to get out of the path of the fleeing car as he was shooting at it.

Full story: Video of deputy shooting teens leaves experts uncertain: ‘What was his purpose for firing?’

2 Replies to “Video of deputy shooting teens leaves experts uncertain: ‘What was his purpose for firing?’”

  1. Did the officer have an alternative to deadly force? When is it acceptable to use deadly force? These questions are highly controversial and debated consistently throughout the criminal justice system. In many cases, the use of deadly force is scrutinized for potential alternatives, such as de-escalation techniques, non-lethal weapons, or strategic retreat. This controversy reflects the ongoing tension between ensuring the safety of law enforcement officers and protecting the rights and lives of individuals encountered by the police. Critics argue that officers should exhaust all non-lethal options before resorting to deadly force, especially when facing individuals who may not pose an imminent threat. However, defenders of law enforcement maintain that officers often face split-second decisions in high-stress situations, making it challenging to assess alternative options. This debate stresses the need for comprehensive training, clear guidelines, and transparent investigations to strike a balance between officers’ safety and minimizing the use of deadly force, highlighting the complex and critical nature of this issue in modern criminal justice. We talked in class about the issue surrounding “police jeopardy”, in which it is the idea that some police officers put themselves into situations in which their life becomes threatened when it didn’t need to be, resorting to fatalities. I think, in part, this is one of the biggest issues in deadly force debates and is certainly important to the situation in the article.

    1. You’ve nailed it, Raegen. Officer-created jeopardy is probably the biggest cause of the discrepancies between community expectations for police use of deadly force and the legal standards established in Garner and Graham.

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