BEARING ARMS — When a suspect is killed via gunfire in the commission of a crime by law enforcement officers or “regular Joe” citizens, we often here the same question repeated by the deceased suspect’s family members and friends.
“Why didn’t they just shoot him in the leg?”
We heard people ask this question in the Michael Brown shooting, the death of Tamir Rice, and more recently in the death of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum.
Occasionally we’ll hear a slight variation of that, asking why the suspect wasn’t shot in the arm, but they’re both ways of asking police to shoot at the extremities of the body, in the mistaken belief that shooting someone in the arm or leg is somehow guaranteed to be less lethal.
That’s simply not true.