Indiana Daily Student

EDITORIAL: Five bullets too far


We usually think of domestic disputes as loud bickering, and calling the police for help.

But police officers need a cultural competency of handling difficult situations.

The officer usually speaks rationally to those individuals in an argument.

Things typically end civilly after careful actions from all parties involved.

Most cases are solved with a simple knock on the door.

But things didn’t end that way when 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier argued with his father the morning after Christmas.

Officer Robert Rialmo arrived at the Chicago residence, ready to end the dispute, only to wind up fatally shooting LeGrier.

According to the police, the combative teenager, wielding a baseball bat had HTC in his system and discharged the officer’s weapon. LeGrier was shot not once, but six times.

According to Time, LeGrier also suffered from mental issues.

Until earlier this week, there was little information released about the matter.

This caused both families of the deceased to claim the police overreacted.

In times of despair, it’s easy to point fingers at the police too soon.

But after reviewing the facts we believe the police overreacted.

A teenager holding a baseball bat does not deserve six bullets.

Police shootings in the black community have become a serious epidemic in America.

Although only a few commit these actions, their fatal actions create the stigma any one of us should be afraid of the police.

These officers have undertaken the responsibility of serving and protecting all citizens, no matter what race, age or gender. They should accept this.

They signed up for a life full of high stress and high risks, with the knowledge they would be expected to act against their snap judgment in tough situations.

Things could have been different — a quick Taser gun to the side, rubber bullets or even the use of a less lethal gun attachment.

It would seem as though the cops are left out of the conversation.

They simply resign, or in Rialmo’s case, are rightfully charged with first-degree murder for their actions.

The panic button, or in this case the trigger, needs to be taken far less literally.

Pulling the trigger on a deathly weapon shouldn’t be used in times of miscommunication where there is little imminent threat.

The treatment of minority detainees by police differs needs to be addressed.

Protocol is a procedure, something that’s followed routinely.

In light of recent events, it seems as though this regimen has been thrown out the window by far too many members of the police force.

The majority of these officers are harmless.

We should understand brutality is never the appropriate way for us to achieve justice.

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