National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Police Shoot From Helicopter, Kill Two

From the Associated Press:

A Texas state trooper who fired on a pickup truck from a helicopter and killed two illegal immigrants during a chase through the desert was trying to disable the vehicle and suspected it was being used to smuggle drugs, authorities said Friday.

It is astonishing when police officers disregard the most serious rule governing their conduct–the use of deadly force.  Even if the police were 100 percent certain the vehicle had a trunk full of marijuana and cocaine and that the vehicle was highly likely to elude capture by the police on the ground, that would not justify the use of deadly force.  Not even close.   The story reminds me of one of the early scenes in the movie Black Hawk Down, where Delta snipers disable the engine of a vehicle from an Army helicopter in order to capture one of the occupants.  This may be another example of military tactics spilling over to the civilian world of policing.

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