The unarmed and innocent victim of police fire in Miami says that, when he asked the policeman why he'd been shot, the officer replied, ‘I don't know.’ Great. So the cop panicked and either missed his intended target (who also didn't need to be shot), accidentally striking the guy with his hands up (!), or it was an accidental negligent discharge. Either way, Officer Sloppytrigger (a SWAT member, no less!) is not suited to carry a firearm. Maybe he can handle parking duty, or directing traffic.
This after we learn that an Atlanta policeman shot and killed a man fleeing in a car, while falsely screaming ‘He almost hit me.’ In fact, it wasn't even close. The shooting was entirely unjustified. At best, the (young) officer panicked. One wonders about the quality of police training in Florida and Georgia (and in certain small suburbs in Minnesota), and also about the level of fear among police officers. Given recent outrages against police (in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and San Diego, to mention only the three that jump immediately to mind), the latter is certainly not improving.
Let's be clear: An assailant doesn't need a firearm – or a knife, or a bomb, or an automobile – to be deadly dangerous, especially if he has taken certain drugs. Consider Michael Brown, the ‘gentle giant’ in Ferguson, Mo.: He was large and angry, behaving erratically, he'd already assaulted and tried to take a firearm from the policeman, and he was once again threatening the officer. The threat was genuine and imminent and the officer did what he had to, as all the investigations, local, state, and federal, determined.
But in the Miami case, as in Falcon Heights, Minn., and Atlanta, Ga., it appears that the policemen fired improperly. Not that the victim in Minnesota handled himself perfectly, but his behavior was merely foolish, certainly nothing to warrant the policeman's decision to open fire.
I'll have more to say on how a civilian should deal with police interaction, especially while armed, later.