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To Protect And Serve

Palauan Man Shot Dead by Police in Dededo

“Despite being warned and sprayed with mace, the individual, brandishing a machete and a knife, lunged at police…”

I don’t know exactly how many cops were on the scene trying to disarm the man, but it had to have been at least 7 because the story says the man’s mother was escorted to her home by cops (I’m guessing 2) and when those cops called for backup the supervisor responded as well as 4 other officers. Add them up and you’ve got at least 7.
I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve had to subdue a man who was brandishing a machete or a knife (in this case both), but I’m wondering if shooting the man dead was really the only way to get him under control. 7 cops against one man with a machete and a knife. The mace didn’t work, so the next line of defense must be bullets. Really? No batons or sticks like how they brought down Rodney King? How about tasers? And did they really have to shoot to kill? Couldn’t he have been shot in the arm or in the hand that was carrying the machete? Two shots were fired. How about aiming those two bullets for the legs so he just falls over and can’t go anywhere. What kind of extensive training do GPD officers undergo to prepare them to deal with scenarios like these? I’d really like to know.
Say a carabao wandered into your neighborhood. It’s disoriented and it’s defensive. It could trample you or charge and kill you with its horns. Would the only way to secure that carabao be to shoot it dead? What if it was a super valuable prized carabao that had won blue ribbons at fairs and shows around the world? Do you think maybe you’d try to come up with other ways to catch it besides shooting it dead? Maybe you and 6 friends formed a wide loose circle around that carabao and maybe half of the circle distracted it while the other half got some ropes together and lassoed it when it wasn’t looking. Or maybe you and your friends somehow coaxed or led it into a pen or cage. Or maybe you all just waited in a circle around the carabao until it got too tired to resist anymore. It might take hours to calm that carabao and tire it out, but it would live to see another day.
[UPDATE] Lots of discussion going on over here, too.

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6 Responses

  1. Daggz says:

    i agree. this story brought a tear to my eye. not to blame anyone, but mentally ill people who do not take there medication are not thinking properly. all of which could be controlled with medication. in nursing, we are taught that when we encounter a situation involving aggressive mental patients. the first thing that should be done is to calm the patient and and make the environment calm as well. you dont go yelling at them, even if just assessing the situation, “do you want to fight”. and all he really wanted was his mom. someone he trusted. i believed he acted the way he did because he felt cornered and most of all alone. a really tragic situation that could have been prevented.
    your right jos, they should issue lassos instead of guns. or at least have the officers go through a mental evaluation before issuing them guns.

  2. Arnold says:

    It would be hard to comment having not seen the incident firsthand. Media can sometimes be misconstrued. LE training always tells you to shoot center mass, that way you can always guarantee the subject goes down.
    Whether he lives or not that’s another story. Personally, I’d like to go home at the end of my shift alive.

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  4. Ben says:

    If “media can sometimes be misconstrued” and cops have been caught on tape lying and abusing their authority.
    who are we to trust?
    If a non-violent solution was really sought after then it would have been found. Anything conceivable is achievable.
    Since it ended pretty badly you can tell how hard they thought.
    GPD should get their money back for the mace they bought. My grandmother’s donne is probably more potent.
    Maybe you should change the carabao metaphor to a 12 year old kid or “what if it was your cousin”

  5. fabmimi says:

    this man was a close friend of James and they worked together at simply food 🙁
    it has shattered the community. thank you for writing about it on L13 and increasing awareness.

  6. Michelle says:

    Another tragedy that could have been avoided. Why not stun guns?

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