John F. French: NH needs better laws on deadly force by police officers
We commonly hear that an officer has only a split second to make the decision to shoot. I submit that the officer actually makes the decision to shoot long in advance of the incident, weighing three inputs: 1) training received, 2) state statutes justifying deadly force, and 3) individual moral or religious beliefs. When he is in a situation that matches all three of these inputs, he shoots.
RSA 627:5, section II, paragraph 1 is being used to justify shooting mentally distraught, often suicidal people, many in their own homes, others during traffic stops. It has justified the following police shootings: Charles Turcotte, Feb. 2, 2010, domestic dispute; Larry Minassian, 51, Jan, 6, 2011, suicidal person with knife (survived); Wayne Martin Jr., March 2, 2011, revocation of conditional discharge from N.H. Hospital (shot for not taking his meds); Shelly Naroian, 47, May 19, 2011, domestic dispute; Christopher D. Seksinsky, 39, June 27, 2011, domestic dispute; Alberto Pagan, 21, Oct. 22, 2011, domestic assault; Jason Lagueux, July 9, 2012, domestic disturbance; Grant Hebert, Oct. 28, 2012, motor vehicle pursuit (survived); Steve Amazeen, 45, Dec. 3, 2012, suicidal (survived); Geoffrey Bidwell 42, Jan. 6, 2013, suicidal; Christopher Varagianis, 37, June 3, 2013, motor vehicle offense (survived).
Killing is irreversible. Police need the authority to keep the peace, but our statute on the use of deadly force needs to be changed to restrict their use of deadly force to a level that reflects the non-violent reality of New Hampshire.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Frustrations aside, my thanks, plow guys - 0
- Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Lot in a name, so we want to get them right - 1
- Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Any meaning to groundhog predictions? - 0
- Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Glad to get emails; well, one of 'em, anyway - 0
- Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Strange stories? This one takes the cake - 0
- Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Bank, with our help, putting kids in action - 1
- Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Despite size, UNH a whirlwind of activity - 2
- Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Smaug? Desolation? Movie offers plenty of time to think (about something else) - 3
- Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: A momentous year for these newspapers - 4
READER COMMENTS: 0
- House approves regulations on prepaid oil contracts - 0
- Gorham voters approve all articles on town warrant - 0
- Fugitive of the week arrested in Maine - 0
- Jacob Brown - 0
- 2 dead, at least 18 injured in NYC building explosion - 1
- Milan voters support Kenney in tight race, elect two new selectmen - 0
- Auburn police contract approved - 0
- Newton selectmen chairman defeated in election - 0
- Candia to look at alternatives to Central High School - 0
NH oil dealer who failed to deliver convicted in Montana of millions in construction fraud
John DiStaso's Granite Status: Shaheen among speakers at Senate Dems' climate change 'talkathon'
Minimum wages: Maximum spin
Hooksett votes down Pinkerton schools deal