The First Rule of Policing claims another victim. Via WSB-TV in Atlanta:
The family of a 17-year-old shot and killed by a Euharlee police officer has hired an attorney, and they say he had a remote control in his hand. They say it was not a gun.
Christopher Roupe, 17, was in the ROTC at Woodland High School and wanted to join the Marines. His friends said he looked after them.
The police went to Roupe’s home to serve a probation violation warrant on his father. No information is provided about why the warrant issued or why he was on probation, but warrants issue, for significant reasons or trivial ones.
A female police officer told GBI investigators that Roupe pointed a gun at her when he opened the door.
“We don’t know where that statement came from. The eyewitnesses on the scene clearly state that he had a Wii controller in his hand. He heard a knock at the door. He asked who it was, there was no response so he opened the door and upon opening the door he was immediately shot in the chest,” Law said.
Knock and announce, meaning that the police should have advised whoever was inside that they were the ones knocking, for everone’s safety. They didn’t. But even if they had, would that have made a 17-year-old boy say to himself, “I better put down this Wii controller because the cops might think it’s a gun and kill me”? Not likely.
The reason for posting this is the banality of the killing. Think of your child, or any child, answering the door with a gadget in his hand. Think of that child dead because the cop didn’t quite know what he was holding, and the First Rule of Policing demanded she kill him out of ignorance.
This happened, and will continue to happen, as long as police are trained and permitted to kill from a position of ignorance rather than take any potential risk to their safety. Yes, a risk is involved. No, it is not acceptable to kill children out of ignorance. If that’s unacceptable, then get a job as a firefighter.