The knowledge after the fact of whether the suspect had a gun or not is certainly emotionally powerful in forming our judgements of these officers, but it is irrelevant legally to the officer on the scene attempting to effect an arrest of a non-compliant suspect.Leaving aside these specific cases, I'm curious if other officers have had specific moments in the past couple years -- their own Ferguson Effect -- that changed the way you do their job. Was there some discussions, protests, riots, news report, prosecutions, politician, Benghazi (I'm kidding about the last one, I hope) that changed the way you do your job?
The fact that the media and the masses apply this rule of hindsight to police use of force and are pressuring police agencies to do the same for internal investigations makes me fearful that the courts will soon start pushing to adopt this same rule of hindsight. That is my personal Ferguson Effect.
February 9, 2016
Your Personal Ferguson Effect
There's an interesting comment in a previous post where an officer describes what he calls "my personal Ferguson Effect." Two similar cases. One cop shot and killed a non-compliant unarmed person. The other cop did not shoot a non compliant person and is now dead.