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To Protect and…shoot kittens.

May 7, 2014

The shooting of several kittens in Ohio is raising a great deal of anger among residents and outside observers alike. Some of it is from cat lovers, but in other cases it is outrage from individuals who quite reasonably feel that shooting kittens in close proximity to young children, represents a lack of judgment that is inconsistent with being a police officer.  The police chief disagreed and no action is to be taken at this time.  In this case, the poor judgment of a police officer and the support of his department goes far to explain why so many people have issues with the police.


The question of judgment is nowhere more important than in regards to the conduct of a police officer. As one of the few groups in America who are authorized to forcibly detain others, question them and even use lethal force against other individuals, police officers must be held to the highest standards.  Errors that would be acceptable in other fields are unforgivable in a law enforcement officer precisely because the state has entrusted them with so much power.


Officer Bob Accorti failed to exercise good judgment. The use of a firearm is traditionally reserved for dealing with animals that may present a real threat to the safety of the officer and other bystanders.  Obviously kittens do not fall into that category.


Secondly, the presence of children should have made it plain that the use of a firearm on the kittens  was out of the question.  The sounds and sight of such an action would be seriously traumatizing to many young children. There may be situations where such actions are necessary, but this was not one of them.


But worst of all was the casual dismissal of the community’s complaint’s by the police department.  It is this attitude that has led to such distrust of many police agencies by the people. The assumption that no matter the event, the agency will never work to reign in its police officers is corrosive to the needed cooperation between the community and law enforcement agencies.


Or, to put it bluntly—what is the chance that any of the children who saw a police officer shoot several kittens are going to trust or be willing to give other police officers the benefit of the doubt in the future?  In this case, the poor judgment of an officer and his department have helped to prove correct the doubts so many individuals hold about America’s police agencies.


From → Police, Politics

One Comment
  1. The only qualification required to be a cop in most cities is a willingness to shoot someone.

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