Overuse of Force by Police of Georgia
Sadly, a law abiding 17-year-old was shot in the chest as he answered the door of his home holding a Wii controller. A police officer, at the house to serve a warrant for a violation of probation on his father, shot him in the chest claiming the boy pointed a gun at her.
After the shooting, neighbors ran up to the home and distinctly saw a Wii controller in the dead boy’s hands. Not a gun.
Use of force describes the “amount of effort required by police to compel compliance by an unwilling subject.” (Definition by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, see http://www.theiacp.org). This can range from verbal and physical restraint to lethal force. Police may only use as much force as is reasonably required to overcome resistance by an offender. This is judged by a reasonable officer under the same circumstances standard. If a reasonable officer would believe lethal force is necessary, an officer will be justified in using said force.
As a police officer, split second decisions are frequently necessary. And, unfortunately for officers, a few bad seeds may spoil the reputation of the entire profession in a city, town, or state. But the real question is when will their punishment meet the crime? The only way to keep the police in check is to punish them when they go beyond what they are allowed to do. It should not have to come to an innocent child losing their life before something is done.
Malcolm Anthony, Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer wonders what difference it would make if the child did have a gun. He was in his own home and had the right to answer the door with a gun in hand if he wanted to, as long as he didn’t point it or threaten the officer with it. The officer’s excuse isn’t even an excuse.
Here’s one view of the story: