The use of deadly force
by Rapid City Police Chief Steve Allender
Recently our agency experienced an officer-involved shooting. The suspect in this case used a knife to attack two police officers and as a result was shot several times by one of the officers. As of this writing, the suspect is recovering, and is expected to face serious criminal charges for his actions. No police officers were hurt in the attack.
For the most part our department enjoys widespread community support. There will always be those who don’t support us, even hate us, and as much as we would like to, we won’t be able to change their minds about this. My job is to provide the same service to everyone regardless of their feelings toward us.
Generally speaking, there is a small percentage of people who speak negatively about the police after a deadly force incident and the same is true for our agency. Even more so when the suspect “only” uses a knife. We get some negative comments after using deadly force on a knife-wielding attacker, such as:
- “I thought the police were supposed to disarm people with knives.”
- “The police should have used a Taser or martial arts, not a gun.”
- “Why did they shoot him so many times?”
And one of my favorites:
- “Why didn’t they shoot him in the leg?”
My first response to these comments is: Thanks, Hollywood!
Go to the Chief’s View for the rest of the story.