A Police Officers Two Cents – Bystanders Wounded By Police During the Empire State Building Shooting

Author: August 26, 2012 8:00 am

It’s unfortunate that people are quickly rushing to judge the NYPD Officers involved in the Empire State Building shooting. I caution people to not rush to judgment. What anyone who has been in a high stress situation such as an active shooter/combat situation can tell you is that things never go as planned. Basic human physiology robs a person in such critical incidents, of the ability to calmly breath aim and shoot in the same manner as they would on a gun range. Add to that the fact that firing a shot in a heavily populated area is very dangerous and there is no amount of training that can reduce that risk completely.

I can promise you, as a police officer, that these officers did not go to work planning to wound bystanders.  Furthermore, I find it doubtful that they had no concern for the people in the immediate vicinity of the shooting. These officers found themselves in a deadly force situation and did their job to the best of their ability. It is very unfortunate that in the real world there is often collateral damage in such encounters. The actions set in motion by the suspect will continue to inflict collateral damage as the wounded as well as the police officers involved will no doubt struggle with this both physically and emotionally for years to come.I support, and I urge you to support these NYPD officers.  I sincerely hope that people use restraint in judging these officers because it really does cause officers in similar future circumstances to hesitate in situations where hesitation will cost further loss of life. My heart goes out to the wounded and to the officers involved.


People are quickly rushing to judge the NYPD Officers involved in the Empire State Building shooting. I caution people to not rush to judgment. What anyone who has been in a high stress situation such as an active shooter/combat situation can tell you is that things never go as planned. Basic human physiology robs a person of the ability to calmly breath aim and shoot in the same way as they would on a gun range. Add to that the fact that firing a shot in a heavily populated area is very dangerous and there is no amount of training that can alleviate that risk completely.

I can promise you, as a police officer, that these officers whom I’ve never met, did not go to work planning to wound bystanders. These officers found themselves placed in a deadly force situation and did their job to the best of their ability. It is very unfortunate that in the real world there is often collateral damage in any such encounter. The actions set in motion by the suspect will continue to inflict collateral damage as the wounded as well as the police officers involved will no doubt struggle with this both physically and emotionally for years to come.

The Progressive Cop both supports and urges you to support these NYPD officers. I sincerely hope that the judging ends because it does cause officers in future circumstances to hesitate in situations where hesitation can cost further loss of life. My heart goes out to the wounded and to the officers involved.

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2 Comments

  • I live in New Orleans. The police are as corrupt as it gets. The problem has always been that people see government as a cash cow, not a responsibility to their neighbors.

    The overarming of police has also led to a violence first, excuses and ‘cover -your- butt later’ mindset. Get out of the tanks, out of the SWAT gear and into neighborhood nurturing.

    • While I stand by the response to an active shooter needing to be a return of swift and overwhelming violence, I also agree that police departments should not abandon community policing. Tactics in dealing with incidents such as the NYC shooter will not ever meet the approval of everyone. There are those who would prefer the police not act at all and there are those who will blame them for not acting. I believe there is still a third demographic who expects the police to be made up of Marvel superheros who make no mistakes.

      It is imperative that in the situations you’ve eluded to, however, that police integrate with the community. I am a strong supporter of police getting involved in the neighborhoods they patrol. Too many police officers are quick to dismiss community policing because they don’t see the results they are after. The Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment in the early 1970’s proved that increasing patrols doesn’t have that big an impact on crime rates. What we learned is that our resources could be better used if officers did just what you suggested and “get out of the tanks” and “into neighborhood nurturing.”

      What you, the voter, must do is demand no less from your elected officials. Many of your neighbors in the Crescent City feel the same way you do. You don’t need an outsider such as myself telling you about your local politics but in general, if people want to keep getting elected and there is a large voting bloc demanding something with a clear and unified voice, the voice is usually heard.

      I have been writing on topics such as this for some time because it is all I can do to try and reach citizens one at a time. Who knows if I’ll ever have much success but I cannot give up. I have a vision for where I would like to see things and I would be nothing if I did not push for that vision to come to fruition. I believe you subscribe to my idea of policing based on your comment so I urge you to be vocal.

      Pay me a visit at http://www.theprogressivecop.com

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