I want to take a moment to address some of the concerns that are raised whenever there is an officer-involved shooting. It is always sad, unfortunate and tragic when an officer-involved shooting results in serious bodily harm or death.
It’s traumatic for the family that has lost a loved one, and it’s traumatic for the officer that found himself in a situation that he felt compelled to use deadly force.
I don’t know of an officer that does not dread discharging their weapon — not only because they don’t wish to harm anyone, but also because of the grueling process of investigation that follows.
There have been a lot of questions about the amount of force and also suggestions for safer options. There have also been a lot of demands for further training for our officers. While good training is always helpful, nothing can prepare an officer for being placed in a situation where his life or the lives of others are threatened.
While officers certainly benefit from training, the public would benefit from some education on how the human brain reacts when it is placed in a life-threatening situation. That would answer a lot of the questions that are being raised about the amount of force used or where an officer should be aiming when firing their weapon.
We are a caring community with a lot of aloha, so I understand the sympathy and concern when the victim is someone struggling with mental health issues. But the fact is that a good percentage of the violent crimes that are committed are committed by those who are struggling with mental health issues. When an officer is being violently attacked, he does not always know the history of the person attacking him and has only seconds to respond. All he knows is that his life is being threatened.
The issue at the moment of attack is that a life is being threatened, and the threat must be stopped.
Many of the mass shootings we have seen are committed by individuals who are struggling with mental health issues. When lives are being threatened, our officers are tasked with the job of stopping the threat.
Our police officers did not create the mental health crisis we are experiencing in our communities, but are forced to deal with it in order to protect us.
There are no easy answers to the issues we are facing. Let’s extend aloha to the victims, but let’s show the same aloha to our officers out there with very difficult jobs. They are doing their best under very trying circumstances to serve and protect, as they are sworn to do.
Let’s pray for those poor families who have lost a loved one, and let’s pray for our officers who were forced to take a life and are living with the pain of that memory. Let’s try to understand this from all points of view.
Hawaii Police Department chaplain
With the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, especially the Delta variant, better start stocking up on wipes, masks, gloves, rubbing alcohol and, most importantly, toilet paper.
In the last several months, gone are the days of standing in lines of stores waiting to enter, no longer see attendants spraying your hands with sanitizers, or making sure you sanitize your hands at the self-serve sanitizer bottles, enforcing mask rules, taking your temperature at the door, wiping down each shopping cart individually, etc.
As for social distancing, all I see these days from the smallest mom-and-pop stores, to the large big box stores, are customers standing 6 feet apart at the cashier lines. However, in between store aisles, especially at grocery stores in the vegetable and fresh fish sections, customers crowd one another just like pre-COVID times.
Back to tiers one and or two again?