AMERICAN COPS SHOULD TAKE NOTES FROM THESE COUNTRIES
SAME STORY, NEW VICTIM
Updated: August 18, 2017
The Guardian reported that more than 900 people were killed in the United States by police officers in 2016.
The victims were parents, spouses, daughters, sons, friends, colleagues, classmates, and neighbors.
While we can agree that some situations require excessive force, it’s becoming a challenge to ignore the frequent deaths at the hands of the boys in blue. Once again these contentious acts have left Americans scratching their heads about gun control and the questionable conduct by our law enforcement.
The problem isn’t about the possession of a firearm; how the firearm is being deployed is the issue. Studies have shown that American cops have killed more citizens in days than other countries have killed in decades. In fact, there are several places around the world that consider the use of a firearm a violation of law.
So what are these countries doing differently? Why are their homicide rates significantly lower? And more importantly, can U.S. officers adopt an alternate tactic to mitigate violence without the use of guns?
It’s time to take some notes, America. This is how other countries monitor gun control.
- Iceland is considered one of the safest countries on the planet.
- Police are usually unarmed despite the fact that over a third of the inhabitants carry guns.
- An elite counter-terrorism unit, Vikingasveitin (The Viking Squad), will be contacted in the event of an emergency response. They are seldom called out.
Iceland vs. United States:
- The Washington Post reported that 995 people were shot dead by police in 2015
- The Icelandic police force fatally shot a civilian in an operation in 2013. This was the first time someone was killed by an officer since it became an independent republic in 1944. Yes, you read that date correctly.
- With the exception of Northern Ireland, most officers in the United Kingdom are firearm free despite the dangerous encounters they endure every day.
- It was recorded that only 209 of the 6,700 Manchester force carried firearms in 2015.
- Instead of guns, officers carry batons, pepper spray and handcuffs for protection.
- Guns are used as an absolute last resort. In the event of a violent threat, a special force unit will be called. The unit is compiled of specially-trained firearms officers that are ready to respond to terrorizations against the public.
- Officers in the United Kingdom also collaborate with health service workers when dealing with suspects with mental disorders. This technique protects officers, and, more importantly, the civilians.
United Kingdom vs. United States:
- In the first 24 days of 2015, American officers killed more people than police in England and Wales have killed in 24 years.
- No need for an explanation…just look at the poll.
- In 2008, Japan experienced 11 firearm related homicides; America had over 12 thousand that same year.
- Although Japanese officers are armed, it’s uncommon for patrols to use guns to mitigate escalated disputes.
- Researchers believe the strict legal sanctions play a significant role in Japan’s low homicide rates. There are harsh repercussions for those who use firearms against civilians and/or police.
- Even members of the infamous Yakuza, Japan’s organized crime syndicates, recognize gun ownership as a liability. A person can receive three years to life for firing a weapon and a separate charge for possessing unlicensed bullets.
- Like Japan, researchers determine that South Korea experiences fewer gun-related homicides each year by forbidding most forms of firearm ownership.
- Law officials possess handguns, but they have strict provisions about using guns against civilians.
- To add, most citizens are prohibited from carrying guns…even if they want to protect their household and/or spouse.
- Special circumstances do apply. Citizens are issued sporting and hunting licenses, but firearms must be stowed at police stations. Hunting weapons can only be checked out during hunting season and cannot be kept overnight.
- Norwegian officers are rarely seen with loaded guns.
- Officers maintain firearms in patrol vehicles; guns are sealed and/or locked.
- If guns are needed, officers must receive special authorization from a chief to deploy them.
- Few officers have handguns. Law officials who carry guns are usually sergeants and criminal investigative units.
- Like Norwegian officers, weapons are securely stored in sealed gun cabinets in patrol vehicles.
- Firearms are only used if a potentially threatening situation transpires. They don’t consider selling CDs, broken tail lights, and playing with toy guns as threatening situations.
WHO DO YOU CALL WHEN THE POLICE ARE THE PERPETRATORS?
So what’s next…or should I say, “Who is next?”
Do we pray? Do we revolt? Do we stand idle and hope that change will magically appear?
More importantly, what will YOU do?
Please understand this article was not written to bash police… it was written to shed light on different policing practices and begin thinking about how we can adopt new approaches. The obstacle(s) will not be resolved overnight; however, this does not mean that we should continue to ignore it. If we are going to improve as a country, we cannot sweep these issues under the rug. Citizens and law officials should continuously challenge the law and relentlessly construct reforms to ensure the safety of our citizens.
New procedures are requisite for the future of our country…because murdering American citizens will no longer be tolerated as a de-escalation strategy.