Involvement in traumatic events like shootings can lead to years of anxiety and worse for police officers. Austin Police Chief Brian Manley, acting on an increase in alcohol-related incidents among officers this year, says he has made their mental health a priority.
The Aurora, Co., police officer who shot and killed an armed homeowner Monday was involved in another deadly shooting in late June. The officer was returned to regular duty while the investigation of whether he was legally justified in using deadly force in the June incident was ongoing.
The parents of Antwon Rose II, the 17-year-old killed by an East Pittsburgh police officer on June 19, prompting weeks of protests, filed a federal wrongful death suit against the officer, the borough, its chief of police and its mayor.
Chief Hennepin County, Mn., prosecutor Mike Freeman is not charging two officers who killed Thurman Blevins, 31, last month. Blevins fled from the officers with a loaded handgun and turned toward them, Freeman said.
Interim Police Chief Carmen Best said the two officers had violated policy when they recklessly fired at the stolen car. She told the officers, “Your actions and decisions…created a deadly force situation that unnecessarily threatened public safety.”
It’s been almost one month since Antwon Rose, 17, was shot by East Pittsburgh police Officer Michael Rosfeld after he ran from a vehicle during a traffic stop on June 19. Demonstrators braved the sweltering heat during rush hour, determined to keep the case in the public consciousness.
Activists gathered at Chicago Police Headquarters Monday morning in response to the video issued by police that showed a man who was shot to death by an officer on the weekend had a firearm and tussled with officers before the shooting. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson quickly disseminated the body camera video, but activists called for his resignation.
Each state fashions its own laws spelling out when officers can use deadly force. In 1985, the Supreme Court changed the legal landscape, ruling 6-3 that shooting fleeing suspects who were not an imminent threat violated the person’s constitutional rights.
In Chicago, of two fatal shootings by a police officer in the same incident, one led to a $16 million settlement; in the other, the victim’s family this week got nothing. Much depends on whether the officer is considered to have been reasonably afraid.