Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dead at 24

I usually don’t say much with regards to politics and law enforcement. I highly regard those who are sworn to serve and protect—placing their lives on the line everyday for citizens like you and me.   However, recent events involving Devin Taylor’s death (a person that I didn’t know) have caused me to ask questions about the rights of unarmed citizens and the judgment and statute of the law with regards to protecting those rights.

These questions in no way reflect upon the character of the deceased nor do they presume upon the character of the officer involved in the shooting.  Both the officer and the family of the deceased need our prayers.

The following questions are intended to raise awareness and invoke thought about ways to avoid the taking of a human life.

  • Does being legally intoxicated and belligerent justify the use of deadly force when the person that is intoxicated is unarmed?
  • Does fear for one’s safety justify the use of deadly force against an unarmed man?
  • Wouldn’t it be reasonable for a law enforcement officer to disable the stopped vehicle of a suspected drunk driver (taking the keys and locking the car doors or blowing out the wheels) as opposed to using deadly force against an unarmed person whose address and identity are known?
  • Could better physical and self-defense training in debilitating a resistant suspect help to avoid the use of deadly force?  
These are just a few initial questions that were generated by the seemingly avoidable death of such a young man.
Regardless of any past behavior issues (although nonviolent), it is hard to accept the notion that a person’s life means so little that restraint, patience and wisdom could not have found a better way to resolve the situation.

I wasn’t there and neither were you. But Devin’s not here to tell his side of the story. All we can do is try to comfort his family, pray for the officer involved and learn that there are choices we make in life that shouldn’t cost us our life, as well as there are some choices in life that you can never take back.

Link to video below

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