One of the things that keeps coming out of the Ferguson shooting is that Michael Brown was "unarmed." As if "unarmed" people cannot be a threat to cop.
Now I'm not talking about whether Michael Brown was or was not a threat. I do not know. But the fact that he was "unarmed" does not mean he wasn't a threat.
This is a video (from 5 months ago) of an "unarmed" man on the whom I think the police officer should have shot. But the cop didn't. I guess the officer didn't feel his life was in danger. Kudos to him. Seriously. But I think his life was in imminent danger. And I think I would have shot the guy.
Just based on the description of the video (and the fact that the train isn't leaving and a police officer is involved), let's assume guy threatened to shoot subway passengers. A cop responded. The guy attacks the cop. That's where the video starts.
The cop tries to retreat. Then the cop maces him at 0:15. There's a nice deflection at 0:17. (Shazam! Jujitsu shit.) The asp comes out at 0:21. [Wack.] Little if any effect. The guy keeps coming at the police officer. Notice how few seconds have passed.
The grappling continues. The guy keeps coming. What would you do?
Now when you can use lethal force is not cut and dried. It's up to the police officer. And I can't read this police officer's mind. But he didn't use lethal force. That was the choice he made. Maybe he never felt his life was in danger.
But I'm telling you I think I would shot guy point-blank at 0:45.
Would this have been a "good" (ie: justified) shooting. Abso-fucking-lootly.
I've been in fights. And I haven't shot anybody. For whatever reason (backup, for instance) I never felt my life was in danger. I won't say this cop should have shot the guy. He felt he didn't need to. And he turned out to be right. But had he shot him, I would defend that shooting (as would the law).
But what if there's no video? What if the cop does shoot? What if, as would happen, some "eyewitness" on the subway says "the guy had his hands in the air [which, actually, he kind of did]. And he was surrendering when the cops shot him for no reason!" Then what do you assume?
Because when cops hear of a cop shooting an "armed person," they assume something like this happened. Cop know, based on everything they have done and seen, that police do not shoot people for no reason. Cops think: there but for the grace of God, go I.
Also note there is a train of people, not one of whom helps the cop. (Or you could say it's good nobody helped the other guy, who was asking for help).
So this subway cop showed amazing (and perhaps even unwise) restraint in use of force. But yes, in hindsight, it's clearly better that nobody got shot.
So did this officer receive any kudos for his bravery or his restraint? I don't know. Should he? Yes. Did he? I doubt it.