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'Police Reform Now' 

Editor:

Idea: It's time we take firearms from law enforcement ("Fear to Anger to Rage," June 4). Give them all non-lethal equipment and hire more officers if needed. A call for firearm assistance can then be made for firearm assistance whenever necessary. Doing that allows a much better decision to be made whether or not firearms are warranted and should be sent.

Officers are pulling firearms at the slightest sense of a confrontation. Refusing to stop walking away and not having a weapon is not a confrontation and it shouldn't be an immediate death sentence. Enforcing the law is what police are trained to do. But it seems to be that the decision to shoot the person simply because the person won't comply and won't willingly get on the ground is wrong and officers need to force them to the ground, not shoot them. Though they have an arsenal of non-lethal methods and usually countless officers assisting, countless times officers have relied on the firearm instead. If this is the new norm, then officers should start saying, "If you don't comply now I'm going to shoot to kill."

That is not what they're trained to do but that is what they do. I apologize to all our law enforcement. I support you, but this is a fact more often than not. It's a total waste of time training officers when the first thing they almost always do is pull the firearm. Hey, maybe veterans should be the only choice for the job. They are trained and grilled on how, where and why to use their firearms. But along with that, firearms should only be on the street when SWAT is called. Then, the last weapon used will be the firearm. Something like this has to be done now! Standing for comprehensive police reform now. God bless America!

 

Mark Kennedy, McKinleyville

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