A friend of mine posted something online in reaction to the recent El Cajon shooting of an “unarmed black man.” That the man was indeed unarmed is proven.
But. What if he wasn’t? How could the responding officer have known that?
There are, of course, extraneous circumstances–as there always are in these instances. The media is certain to let us know about them. Yet I got to thinking–it’s so easy for us to second guess police. Why don’t they tase them? Why don’t they shoot them in the leg, or shoot the gun out of their hand?
Imagine someone facing you from a few feet away and pulling out…anything. How long does that take?
Roughly speaking, it takes about 1.5 seconds. A lot can happen in 1.5 seconds. Try this: hold out your arm straight in front of you with a pen in your hand. Drop the pen. Catch it before it hits the ground.
It isn’t that easy, is it? Or even possible. Now add stress to that. Someone shouting. The possibility of nearby people being injured.
Watch someone pull a banana from their waist. Or a Nerf gun. Time it. What if their back is to you? How long does it take for your eyes to recognize movement? Where the movement is coming from? What the movement is? The guy’s hand is moving…what’s in it?
1.5 seconds. That’s all you’ve got. That’s all that’s between you and…anything.
Just watch this short video, and tell me how the police in the El Cajon incident–or any incident–could have reacted differently. This didn’t happen. But it could have.