Some have raised the familiar criticism of the police shooting of Ferguson, Mo., teenager Michael Brown as overkill because he was shot six times. But police are trained to shoot until a lethal threat has ended, whether it takes one shot or 10, reports USA Today. “It just happens so fast that you just react and then you hope like hell that you did the right thing,” says Jim Bueermann, president of the Police Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit.
It’s far too early to determine whether the killing of the unarmed Brown by Officer Darren Wilson was was legitimate, Bueermann says. But the fact that Brown was struck six times is not necessarily proof Wilson acted illegally, he said. “Officers are trained to shoot until the threat is no longer presenting a threat,” says David Clinger, a former police officer who now teaches criminal justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.