When all you have is a hammer…

There’s an old expression, “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” That seems to be the case in the spate of police killings of black men and women in the United States of America. There were calls last summer to ‘defund the police’ and that of course spawned a reaction on the right. We need police. What we don’t need is needless killing of innocent people in apparent mistakes.

Five years ago my wife and visited the United Kingdom and Ireland and there the police do not carry firearms. A couple of years ago I visited Italy and there the police do carry firearms. Where did a I feel safer? Wales and Ireland of course. Despite the popularity of weapons in the United States there are always accidental discharges that result in loss of life. Daunte Wright would be alive today without the accidental discharge of a weapon. The policeman who killed Daunte said they mistook a tazer which is holstered on the opposite side of the officer from their service weapon. A startled officer confronting an unarmed suspect shoots the suspect by mistake. The innocent suspect dies as the result of a mistake.

We need other options. There must be a better way. Why the use of deadly force for a vehicle infraction?