Proposal to change shoot to kill policy for cops

May 25, 2010 2:57:55 PM PDT
There is outrage over a proposal to change the 'shoot to kill' training for police officers. A bill in New York's Assembly would require officers to use minimum force with the intent to stop suspects, not kill them.

Officers say it's unrealistic and would put lives in danger.

"Any sort of additional requirement that is shoot to wound, it's impossible to implement," said Commissioner Ray Kelly.

The PBA President is also disputing the bill. "We always use the minimum amount of force. Sometimes the minimal amount is deadly physical force to stop that person from killing a person or a police officer," said Pat Lynch.

The bill's supporters say the controversial police shooting of Sean Bell is one tragic reason why the deadly force approach needs to be dropped.

Brooklyn assembly members Annette Robinson and Darryl Towns sponsored the minimum force proposal.

From Albany, Mr. Towns explained, "The bill gives us an opportunity to open up a dialogue regarding police procedures."

But police policy expert Dr. Maki Haberfeld says she knows of no law enforcement agency, domestic or foreign that employs a shoot to stop approach.

"The Polish police tried to train officers to shoot at body parts and there were casualties and they basically gave up. It's a very dangerous perspective," she said.