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Should the NYPD Even Be Issued Firearms?

The number of bystanders hit by police gunfire in this week's Empire State shooting suggest that NYPD officers should be armed with Tasers instead of handguns.

by
Bob Owens

Bio

August 25, 2012 - 10:07 am
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The nine civilians shot by the NYPD in a shootout with a man who had just murdered his boss are not happy with the gunfire of the officers in packed city streets:

Robert Asika was among those wounded, shot in the elbow from a distance of around eight feet by one of the two police officers who confronted Johnson. He accused police of “shooting randomly,” and said he saw at least two others hit by police bullets.

“If you’re gonna aim try and aim perfectly. If you wanna aim at the target, you got to know what you’re doing because it’s the street,” Asika said. “I could have been dead right now. I could have been dead.”

Witnesses and officials are now saying that the shooter, Jeffrey Johnson, never fired at police. He pointed his weapon and never fired a shot. If true, then all nine people wounded can be confirmed to have been shot by the two police officers.

In the comments of another post on this subject at my blog, a claim was made that the NYPD does not issue Tasers to beat officers. If this is true—and it appears to be true with only 600 issued (2010) in a force of 34,500 officers—it is a major failing of the New York Police Department, as even rural small-town police forces issue Tasers to all officers as a matter of course.

A better choice for crowded city streets? An X26 Taser as used my many police departments, but not by NYPD's more than 30,000 beat cops.

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