Friday, May 7, 2021
May 7, 2021

Linkedin Pinterest

Letter: Change police tactics


I’ve been thinking about and grieving the death of Ma’Khia Bryant, who was killed by a police office in Columbus, Ohio, hours after the Derek Chauvin verdict was announced. The video shows her to be violent, brandishing a knife. What I fail to understand is how this in itself should lead to the 16-year-old’s death. The police officer used his gun to subdue, kill, the girl because it was the weapon he had readily at his disposal.

There must be a better way for police officers to deal with situations like this. First of all, there’s the knee-jerk response from a white person to a Black person out of control. Secondly, there’s the imperative to “fix” the problem definitively instead of pausing for what would be a more reasonable solution. Both of these could be addressed by better training and fundamental changes in the police culture.

The resources available for subduing a violent individual are another matter. Reliance on guns is unfortunately the common denominator of American policing. I would rather police officers use a low-tech control device like a net thrown over the individual rather than escalating immediately to a deadly weapon. This works for out-of-control animals. Some might say that people shouldn’t be treated like animals, but isn’t it preferable to shooting them dead?

We encourage readers to express their views about public issues. Letters to the editor are subject to editing for brevity and clarity. Limit letters to 200 words (100 words if endorsing or opposing a political candidate or ballot measure) and allow 30 days between submissions. Send Us a Letter