A video was posted on social media Friday afternoon that appears to show a deadly use of force encounter between a police officer and an unidentified man in Orange County, California. It is perhaps the most clear footage of a police killing that has ever been circulated in the public.
Based off the reactions on social media, it is clear the court of public opinion is already in full swing. The footage is in high-definition, and clearly shows the altercation which results in a man being shot multiple times.
The footage, like most of police use of force incidents, only starts rolling once the fight is on. The officer is on top of unidentified man, when suddenly the officer dismounts, draws his pistol and backs away. The video appears to show the man with an object in his hand. The police officer then fires what sounds like seven shots based off the audio of the video.
After taking what appears to be multiple rounds, the man remains on his feet even after the last shot is fired, but eventually teeters backwards and falls over, appearing to be unconscious or dead.
Based off reactions on social media, some typical reactions are already presenting themselves: “The officer was in no danger,” “The man did not have a gun,” “the officer was so far away from the man.”
What the video perhaps shows most clearly is that guns are not death rays. They do not immediately throw someone off their feet into the air, like so many thousands of movies have conditioned us to believe. The officer fired seven times from what looks like inside of 10 feet. It stands to reason that few, if any, of those shots missed their target. The man being shot reacts as though he is being hit very clearly as the shots are going off. But, none of those reactions result in the man dropping whatever is in his hand, and none of the shots result in the man being thrown off his feet.
If what is in the man’s hand is indeed a weapon, he never once lost positive control of it, even after being shot.
Time will tell if the officer made the right decision. Ideally this video will serve to show people what it actually looks like when a human being is shot, and that it takes multiple shots to put someone down in a fight.
Featured image courtesy of YouTube