"Until then, we have the next police shooting of a young black man just waiting to happen. When it happens, the community will be outraged, once again. It truly is a no win situation."
I did not mean to be glib about such a serious subject. So let me sober this up just for a minute. The young black man who was recently shot and killed in Minneapolis by the MPD was not the first, and unfortunately, will not be the last. Unless you are up close and personal with a subject (and even then, it sometimes does not work as planned), a taser gun is your only non-lethal remedy to a situation. However, if a subject is running away with weapon drawn, deadly force is the only remedy - other than letting the person go.
In the science fiction world of Star Trek, the Phaser was usually the weapon of choice. It was a wonderful weapon for many reasons. If you needed to subdue someone, and then talk (or interrogate) that person at a later time, a simple stun would be in order. If you were really angry, you could set the Phaser to kill, and then it is game over. However, if you were highly aggravated at someone, you could set the Phaser to vaporize.
Until we get a science fiction weapon developed to fit our reality, here is what we are stuck with. First off, our law enforcement professionals are under attack. Plain and simple fact. In 2016, 67 cops were killed in the line of duty. Last year, the number dropped to 46. However, this year, if the current trend continues, we could lose up to 80 officers. Blame Obama, blame Antifa, blame whomever you want, but this is the truth. Every cop wants to go home at the end of watch, vertical and breathing.
This is a vexing problem for sure. Throw in some false narrative like "hands up, don't shoot", mix in some hot, sticky weather, and many large cities are like tinderboxes, just waiting to explode. That leaves the police in a precarious position.
The police are not only the thin, blue line, but today they need to walk the thinnest of lines. How to maintain the peace, protect the innocent, and then stay alive by doing it. At the end of the day, this is what we have. Regardless of how many procedures are written, regardless of how much training officers receive, they are still human. Many life or death decisions need to be made in less than two seconds.
It is hard for me to believe that our wizards who work at DARPA have not yet come up with a reliable and non-lethal weapon to use. I mean, a taser gun was a great start, even though if a person is on certain types of drugs, the taser might lose some effectiveness. We need something that even from a moderate distance, will temporarily disable a person. And we need it now.
Until then, we have the next police shooting of a young black man just waiting to happen. When it happens, the community will be outraged, once again. It truly is a no win situation. No cop EVER wants to fire his weapon in anger where the result might be a lose of life. Yet, that is what they are trained to do if the situation warrants it. Like I say - with any shooting, there are no winners.
Let's just hope within the next few years a non-lethal weapon is tested and ready to go for police forces to use. Will there still be a need for lethal weapons? Probably. But we really need something between a billy club and a 40 cal. M+P sidearm. We owe to the community we live in.