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Thursday, June 30, 2016


Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Police need training in de-escalation, ombudsman says". The majority of police training focuses on exerting authority and establishing control over hostile individuals. Hmm. O.K. if they are armed or actually assaulting someone then I can see that approach. If however they are merely angry or agitated what a wonderful way to escalate the problem.

There "have been hundreds of recommendations from coroner's juries for years for better police training to deal with dangerous interactions, and the government needs to "review the human costs of their legacy of inaction to finally make this issue a priority"...". So said Paul Dube, Ontario Ombudsman.

It seems to me that there is a certain amount of taking responsibility away from individual officers who unecessarily kill either unstable or agitated citizens. Certainly telling officers to feel free to shoot suspects simply because they are carrying, but not using a weapon and or simply because they refuse to comply with verbal commands from officers has muddied the waters. Sammy Yatin ignored Officer Forcillo's orders but was not threatening any bystanders or citizens. In fact he was on a streetcar by himself simply walking back and forth when the officer opened fire and shot him numerous times including after he had collapsed.

Maybe better training might have convinced Officer Forcillo to behave in a more human fashion. Or maybe not.

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