When Is It Right For A Cop To Shoot?

July 11, 2016Jul 11, 2016

After the recent shootings last week, many are wondering what the protocol is for police to shoot. Were the cops last week acting upon training or were they out of line? Here are the basic guidelines for police shooting, as reported by HLN Law Enforcement Analyst Mike Brooks.


In answer to the question of if cops are trained to "shoot to kill":

"Brooks says that officers are not trained to 'shoot to kill' but to shoot to 'stop the threat.' If an officer has made the decision to pull his or her weapon and fire, they are doing so to end the danger to themselves or the public. Officers are trained to pull out their gun only if there is a serious danger to themselves, their partners, or the public."

And to answer why cops don't "shoot to wound":

"Mike Brooks says that when officers are trained with firearms they are trained to shoot at 'center of mass.' Shooting at an arm or leg can be difficult in the situation, and may put bystanders or others at risk. Brooks says that if a suspect is wearing body armor, then some officers are taught to shoot for the head after shooting at the center of the body."

This may not give a clear answer to whether the cops last week were in the wrong, but it does give us understanding on their training. What do you think about the cops' actions last week?