Dear Dirty America


NYPD Rampage: Those officers are horrible shots!

August 25
23:49 2012

When I initially saw the headline announcing that a man had killed one person near the Empire State Building, and that he’d wounded nine others, I couldn’t have imagined that the large number of those shot were done so by the NYPD. Actually, I should have. They shot and killed an unarmed petty car thief earlier this summer. Shantal Davis.

NYPD officers also fired 73 times at an armed “thug” and, in the crossfire, murdered an innocent Brooklyn mother named Denise Gay. She pushed her niece to safety, and was then shot in the head. Ballistic analysis confirmed Gay was killed by police.

It’s hard to blame these people. Half the fun of being a cop is having the privilege to open fire on a legitimate criminal. Once the justification is present, it’s time to go to work. Empty one clip, pop in another. The heavy jerk of the pistol in your hands. The sheer power and force.

Back to Friday morning’s shooting. Most of America already knows that two officers created most of the carnage, but here’s the official quote:

based on ballistic and other evidence, “it appears that all nine of the victims were struck either by fragments or by bullets fired by police,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters Saturday at a community event in Harlem.

Officers Craig Matthews and Robert Sinishtaj fired a combined 16 shots at shooter Jeffrey Johnson. Nine of their bullets somehow hit nearby scattering pedestrians. The first thought in my head was, NYPD officers are terrible shots. Should they even have guns? They could have killed more innocent people than the man they gunned down. In fact, it’s lucky or blessed or both that more people weren’t killed.

How does that happen? How many times does a police officer need to pull the trigger? How many shots should be fired when there is a crowd stampeding off in all directions? Of course the officers freaked out when Johnson aimed his gun at them. Primal survival instinct takes over. Of course they had to protect themselves. But to fire from a very close range, sixteen times, and have only 7 bullets hit their target, is pitiful.

That’s just under a 44 percent hit rate. Police officials said Johnson had 10 bullet wounds, so perhaps the two shooting officers weren’t as shaky of gun handlers as it seems. They still aren’t accomplished shooters. I wouldn’t trust either of them with guns. But if only 16 shots were fired, and ten hit Johnson, somehow nine bullets either missed, or exited the shooter’s body and struck fleeing pedestrians.

The headline should read, Shooter kills one, NYPD goes on rampage, killing shooter and wounding 9 others.


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