Police killings won’t be reduced with a ‘shoot to incapacitate’ policy
Attempting to turn a gun into something less than a lethal weapon will get more people hurt and killed.
Louis Dekmar, the police chief in LaGrange, Georgia, is trying to change the way his department shoots people. According to The Washington Post, Dekmar isn’t changing the deadly force policy or the type of firearm issued or even trying to reduce the number of times his police officers shoot. He’s trying to change what body parts they aim at. The chief is training his officers to, when possible, shoot at the legs, pelvis or abdomen, rather than the prevailing law enforcement protocol of aiming for “center mass.”
Dekmar, who has led the department in the town of about 30,000 people for 26 years, means well. He wants to reduce the number of shootings by police that end in fatalities. But meaning well and making sense aren’t the same thing. In this case, what the chief is doing may get even more people killed — including his own officers.