Should Police Officers Be Shooting People Who Are Armed With Box Cutters?

Categories: Morning Poll
box-cutter-top.jpg
Homespot HQ via Flickr


Last week, Austin Del Castillo died after being shot by a Tempe police officer.

Police allege Del Castillo was armed with a box cutter.

See also:
-Tempe Police Didn't Have to Shoot Austin Del Castillo, His Friends Say

Del Castillo is accused of "lunging" at the officer with the box cutter, although it raises questions over whether the officer really needed to shoot him. What, cops don't carry Tasers anymore? Pepper spray?

In at least two other Valley police shootings this year, those on the receiving end of the bullets were armed with objects that seem less-than-lethal -- a chair leg, and a wine bottle.

Obviously, the best-case scenario is to not have a box cutter near a police officer, but in this case, do you think that police need to shoot a man armed with a box cutter?

Cast your vote below:


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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.




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95 comments
astroturf
astroturf

If you are armed with a gun and some nut job lunges at you with a box cutter you'd fire your gun at him too.

Beasto
Beasto

If You Can Be Taken Out By A Box Cutter You Shouldn't Be A Cop. It Is My Expectation The Police Use All Other Options Available Before Firing A Gun. This Cop Should Be Held Accountable. Too Often There Is A Culture Of Cops Protecting Each Other On These Types Of Issues. Look At The Scottsdale Cop That Had Something Like 7 Or 8 Kills In His Career. Also The Slap On The Wrist For Crisman.

robert_graham
robert_graham

Of course they should be because threatening a cop with a box cutter could be as deadly as threatening a cop with a gun. You go figure assholes!

IdontRecall
IdontRecall

It shouldn't happen, this reflects d lack of  training of that Police Officer....come on, that's completely ridiculous, if there wasn't imminent danger 4 d bystanders, why not call 4 back up ,instead of scalating d situation, like that LEO probably did. What is worse yet; d indescrtiminate firing, disregarding d life of innocent bystanders at d scene of d crime. Why a suspect armed with a box cutter should b EXECUTED, when there are more options, not as lethal....but I guess that 4 this Officer a human life wasn't worth 2 try it. This's more like "happy trigger" than abide by d Law. I wonder if LEOs r tested 4 illegal drugs after this kind of CRIMES happens.

And please don't start with that usual bullshit that d officer was attacked, unless u were there & witnessed d whole thing. most of d Officers when in a situation like that would use the old good excuse: "I was attacked & my life was in imminent danger" when sometimes  that's not d case,specially when d only witness is murdered or there are no other witnesses. DO NOT ENCOURAGE CRIMINALS BY JUSTIFYING ACTIONS LIKE THIS ONE.

realist
realist

Does anyone think this poll will matter? ... and this was a friend of mine.

If you want to make a difference, go out and make your voice actually heard.

Ryan Evans
Ryan Evans

Tempe PD are trained and carry nonlethals!

Ryan Evans
Ryan Evans

Ignorance Brian..pilots are unarmed and untrained!

Howard Lee
Howard Lee

Don't bring a knife to a gun fight wit a cop! They will remove you from the gene pool.

Tim Treece
Tim Treece

I don't carry and I'm not a cop. I am a concerned and well informed citizen. I, btw, agree that with you on that point. Cops should be rational and held accountable.

Donnie White
Donnie White

It's simply if you can't make rational decisions with gun in your hand maybe you should carry one.

Tim Treece
Tim Treece

75% of shots fired by law enforcement in the field miss their mark. And these are the highly trained professionals.

Donnie White
Donnie White

If u can't handle your firearm under pressure, maybe you shouldn't be a cop. Or even carry a gun

Peter Fullmer
Peter Fullmer

The real question is: should a bunch of people with no firearms experience or legal training, therefore no idea what the fuck they're talking about, be discussing this at all?

Tim Treece
Tim Treece

All of you talking about "well placed shots" to disarm have obviously never fired a hand gun. That kind of precision is tough when calm and aiming at a stationary object. Hitting an arm or leg while a person is moving is very unlikely. That is why cops started carrying tasers and pepper spray, accuracy is less important with a nonleathal weapon. Bottom line is that police are public servants, not executioners. We have a thing called due process in this country.

adamhide
adamhide

Besides the excessive use of force...one should also note that this was an extremely busy intersection on the edge of a very busy University at a very busy time. What is the risk cost factor for one of those bullets straying and hitting a by-standard. The use of excessive force in this situation I believe put more innocents at risk that weren't even involved in the situation. I walk around and live in this area, and would feel safer if police used every option available in a busy area before letting the bullets fly. It's not like it was 3:30 in the morning. It was 8am, in the public sphere. This guy didn't have to die, he just needed some help.

Chelsea Erin Alongi
Chelsea Erin Alongi

You clearly have no idea who he was Jennifer Thorne, he was a good and wonderful person and there are lots of people upset at the loss of his life.

Donnie White
Donnie White

Truth of the matter is most cop are pussys and hide behind the gun.

barney
barney

And once again, people think cops can make trick shots to smaller parts of the body.  people think a cutting instrument isn't lethal enough to warrant lethal force in return.  A table leg and bottle can be deadly weapons.  A box cutter is definitely a deadly weapon.  I seem to remember box cutters being the primary weapons used to hijack a few airliners sometime back around september 2001.  Cops don't sign up to get cut up.  they sign up to do the job that the majority of people don't have the stomach or courage to do.  but cops are easy media targets and regular fodder for avid readers of shoddy media reports.  so many experts here about how a situation should be handled but those same experts cower in a corner and who do they call to take care of the problem...who....why the same 'ol cops they just finished complaining about.  sheep

Joe Rollins
Joe Rollins

Do police officers these days not carry non-lethal weapons such as tasers, pepper spray, and batons? Who the hell is telling them to use their gun as their primary source of protection?

Samantha Ziegler
Samantha Ziegler

If they are threatening civilians and the officers then YES. We pay them to make those decisions. If they blow their head off then no because you can stop a psycho by shooting out their knees or legs. So a couple of well placed shots will do.

Chelsea Erin Alongi
Chelsea Erin Alongi

He did not need to be shot. Unless you know the facts try not to assume shooting a kid is the only option.

IdontRecall
IdontRecall

@robert_graham, jaffy, fucking moron, only u can come up with such stupid comment, I wonder what would u do if confronted by an unarmed individual.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@robert_graham i am waiting for you to comment on Malley, he one upped this guy, he actually had an AR-15 pointed at the cop. why are you not commenting on that one?

afriendindeed
afriendindeed

@realist do all of your friends carry and brandish box cutters? where do you and your friends live?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Peter Fullmer  

They've all see lots of police shows on TV, so they know exactly how every situation should be handled.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@adamhide  

Yes, it's really too bad he attacked the police with a deadly weapon instead of allowing them to get him to somebody who could help him.  I'm sure they agree.

When your life is being immediately threatened, the million-to-one chance of killing a bystander is insignificant.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Chelsea Erin Alongi  

Wonderful people sometimes make fatal mistakes, and when they do, they need to accept responsibility for those mistakes, and their friends need to try to avoid blaming others.  If he had run out into traffic and been killed by a car, would you blame the driver for not swerving into oncoming traffic to spare him?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Joe Ploskonka  

Common sense is telling them that if they believe they are about to die, they should choose the most effective means of preventing that.   The other tools are for use when you have time to consider your options more carefully.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Samantha Ziegler  

 You don't shoot at the head or at the knees or legs.  You shoot at the center of mass, because when you're afraid that you're about to die, your visual acuity and your fine motor skills are diminished.  Aiming at center of mass increases your chances of hitting the target even if you're off by a foot or more.  Aiming at extremities is likely to be your last mistake.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Capitalist-Socialist  

How many tries do you get with that?  2?  How much practice do officers get with Tasers, as opposed to with their service pistol?  In the moment of "Holy shit!  He's trying to kill me!"  which would you expect an officer to reach for?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Chelsea Erin Alongi  

The facts as presented are that he lunged at the police with a box cutter.  Given those facts, the shooting was justified.

IdontRecall
IdontRecall

@valleynative, tell me genius, where do you get ur knowledge from, magazines, books?u have to have a source where to get it from.....oooohhhh, my bad...i forgot that u were born with d knowledge of everything( d man who knew too much?)..ha ha ha ha..ur comments r becoming more & more deranged.

adamhide
adamhide

@valleynative Ask the bullet holes in the Chili's building about the million-to-one chance. As a taxpayer, and a citizen that walks this very corner, I would rather have my officers using force to subdue than force to kill. Three bullets went into the victim, 2 into Chili's. One bullet is still unaccounted for.

FrankFunknuckle
FrankFunknuckle

@valleynative @adamhide 
Well put adamhide!
And PLEASE do not endure this "alleged" valleynative troll.  He WILL get the last word.  He IS smarter than anyone else.  And he is JUST NOT WORTH anyone who has a shred of common sense's time. 

adamhide
adamhide

@valleynative I'd take my chances against a box-cutter vs. bullets anyday...have a nice day

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@adamhide @valleynative  

I'm under the impression that those holes were misses.  Only the target died, to ensure that he couldn't kill anybody else.

You're free to choose not to call the police.  Apparently somebody called them to report that a person was threatening members of the community with a box cutter.

Weigh the chances of the person hurting somebody vs the police hurting somebody and use your best judgment.

 

adamhide
adamhide

@valleynative  I would ask them next time to not even show up in my community when there is a chance of non-lethal force being used to subdue someone. And they also lied, I believe someone from that day is dead...

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@adamhide @valleynative  

Adam, I asked the bullet holes.  They explained to me that nobody was killed creating them.   They also pointed out that if the missing bullet had struck somebody, it's extremely unlikely that nobody would have noticed by now.  

They appreciate your concern, but consider it misplaced.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@FrankFunknuckle @valleynative @adamhide  

When people are mistaken, I refute them.

If I am mistaken, you can refute me.

If you disagree with what I say, but lack the knowledge and experience to refute me , you can simply call me a troll. 


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