Written by Nicholas Vetrisek
Body-worn camera and surveillance footage from an incident over the weekend has recently been released by the San Diego Police Department. The footage vindicates the police by showing that the robbery suspect had pointed a gun at them.
Officers initially attempted to stop the suspect due to his distinctive face tattoos matching those found on a wanted poster for a robbery a week prior. In the video, the officers attempt to stop him but he continues to walk away from them. The officer eventually says “stop, let me see your hands.” While the suspect was walking, he dropped a bag of items he was carrying and reached for his waistband, pulling out a gun. After pointing the gun at the officers, they opened fire.
According to the suspect’s family, he was shot 11 times, including at least once in the head. This case highlights many of the misconceptions and falsehoods that surround the police that activists wrongly claim. This is evidenced by the immediate protest following the shooting, in which angry protesters immediately assumed the worst possible situation with no knowledge of the facts or context of the incident.
Damian Lorra, the suspect’s brother in law, stated about the police’s use of force, “I get it — one, two, but 11 times? I think that’s not right.” This is a common argument from activists and it’s simply misguided. They frequently criticize the use of force by police, but fail to realize that there is no consistent standard for use of force. Shooting a suspect once or using a taser on them may sound adequate to an inexperienced civilian, but it’s all too common that such a de-escalation attempt proves unsuccessful and lives are put in imminent danger.
In addition, the large protests that mobilized immediately after the shooting are completely unacceptable. The police were doing their job by attempting to question a robbery suspect, yet the civilian populace immediately defaulted to accusations of racism and demanding the defunding of police.
The people whose job it is to protect our cities are treated like foreign occupiers and it’s disgusting to watch. This is a case of a completely justified shooting, but the media and activists are trying to make it into a police issue when it’s merely one dangerous criminal getting shot because he tried to shoot the police first.