I've long proposed a simple rule: police officers who shoot unarmed innocents should have their guns taken away. They can work desk jobs or monitor meters. But if nothing else, they shouldn't ever be in a position to put lives in danger again.
Applying that rule in Miami would have dramatic consequences.
The local CBS affiliate has investigated a police shooting that happened there last December. The results are jaw-dropping. A man who committed armed robbery and shot a police officer hours earlier was spotted in his automobile, along with a passenger who played no role in his crime. Police officers gave chase.
CBS reports what happened next:
The suspect's blue Volvo crashed into the backyard of a townhouse.
It was later determined that neither the suspect nor the passenger was armed. Police officers nevertheless fired two barrages of bullets into the vehicle. Witnesses say that after the first volley of approximately 50 bullets, the two men were still alive.
Anthony Vandiver, who lives in a building adjacent to the lot, saw the incident. “They were saying put your hands up, and the guys were still moving after they shot maybe 50, 60 times,” he said. “And the guy tried to put his hands up. And as soon as he put his hands up, it erupted again. And that was it for them. That guy tried his best to give up. I swear to God on everything I love, my kids, my momma, everything, I seen it all.”