While at work today, a local video swept through the office like wild-fire...footage of a few police officers in Pasco having a confrontation with a man, and then pursuing him when he fled, and finally, fatally shooting him when he stops running and turns around.
The link to the most recently updated story is here, but to summarize from several stories and slightly conflicting witnesses:
Most people agree that the police were first called because the man in question was throwing rocks in to the street at a busy intersection in Pasco(for what is said to NOT be the first time). Upon being confronted by the police, he is said to have responded by throwing some rocks at them, hitting two officers. He was then tazered by one officer, before the video above picks up.
As you can see above, the tazering appers to have been less than effective, and the suspect(or victim depending on your point of view), runs across the street, at which point at least one of the officers opens fire, before they all pursue the guy across the street. He then stops, and turns to face the officers. His hands go up, and there are conflicting reports about whether there was another rock in hand or not, or if you could make a case that his hand was going to his waist band. Either way, officers responded by opening fire, killing the suspect/victim.
This is NOT going over well with the local community, as I'm sure you can imagine.
It's tough, and I'm not sure I'm willing to take a strong opinion either way. On the one hand...yes, I acknowledge that a 'soft ball' sized rock could 100% be a deadly weapon. On the other hand....really, a rock? 3 to one, and you shot him because he had a rock? Then, on the gripping hand...and the heart of the matter for me...did the original complaint rate the type of response that it got? Is a guy potentially tossing rocks in the street(no reports of him hitting a car), worthy of a response by 3+ police cruisers, and the escalating things to a shooting situation?
Truthfully, I think I am more upset by the initial gun fire, which was targeted on the guy when the only thing behind him was an intersection full of cars, than I am by the shooting that resulted in his death. I would love to see the final report on where those bullets ended up at.
Sigh...I hate to second guess police officers...I said dozens of times it's not a job I am certain I can do...but man, in a case like this...would it have really been horrible to let the guy run a bit?