Since groom-to-be Sean Bell died in a 50-shot fusillade fired at his car by five police officers, New York City officials have gone into detail about the Police Department's guidelines for shooting at a moving vehicle, reports the New York Times. The rules, in the department's Patrol Guide, are clear: “Police officers shall not discharge their firearms at or from a moving vehicle unless deadly physical force is being used against the police officer or another person present, by means other than a moving vehicle.”
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, by citing the guidelines, raised the possibility that the five officers who shot at Mr. Bell might have been in violation of the rule. But in a series of other recent confrontations in which police officers shot at drivers trying to run them down, police officials voiced unambiguous support for the officers involved. In two police shootings since last month – one in which an officer fatally shot a driver – the police said the shootings appeared reasonable.