BUT: An example of immature Police/Police brutality IS a big problem (general)
BUT: An example of immature Police/Police brutality story against blacks
Policeman who shot, killed Detroit man shares his story
Brad Heath, USA TODAY 7:40 p.m. EDT August 26, 2014
A controversial police shooting, then 14-years of second-guessing in Detroit.
Detroit police officer David Krupinski pulled his trigger twice and watched the man crumple face-down onto the driveway, the garden rake he was holding clattering down with him.
What happened after Krupinski pulled the trigger that August afternoon in 2000 on the west side of Detroit is a blur, he said.
What happened in the seconds before is still being disputed.
Almost instantly, the shooting turned Krupinski into the face of a police force already besieged by complaints that its officers were too quick to kill, particularly when white officers encountered black suspects. But Krupinski, who is white, said in his first extended interview about the shooting that he did not learn why this shooting stood out among dozens of others until he turned on his television the next day: The man he had killed, Errol Shaw Sr., 39, was black, armed only with a rake, and was deaf and mute, unable to hear officers' commands.
Killings by police officers are a daily event in the United States; at least 400 are reported to the FBI each year, and the true total is almost certainly far higher. Shaw's death and its aftermath offer a vivid illustration of the damage and confusion that often follow. As officials continue to probe the death of an unarmed black teen that touched off a week of unrest in Ferguson, Mo., it is, if nothing else, a reminder that such shootings can cast very long shadows of anguish, mistrust and second-guessing.
Perhaps the longest of those shadows didn't lift until Monday, when a judge in Detroit agreed to end 11 years of federal oversight of the city's police department. Not long after Krupinski fired those two shots, the city's mayor took the unusual step of asking the U.S. Justice Department to investigate his own police force. That probe found an alarming pattern of abuses, including a series of unjustified shootings.
Local police involved in 400 killings per year
Eleven years later, Detroit's force has become "another example that law enforcement agencies can change to better serve their communities when they commit to meaningful reform," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement Monday. Among other things, its officers fire their weapons less than half as often as in the years before federal monitoring began.
But some mistrust remains.
"I don't know if you can say it's better," said Ron Scott, a spokesman for the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality. "I think the use of force speaks for itself; it hasn't really changed in 10 years."
Krupinski said he still replays the events of that afternoon, wondering whether he could have done anything differently. "I have gone through the scenario hundreds of times, thousands of times, and every single time, there's nothing I would have done differently," he said.
His critics still recall the shooting, too — and still insist he belonged in jail.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE POLICE BRUTALITY/IMMATURE POLICE STORY:
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