I’ve been writing about a lack of public understanding about what police do, the reluctance to give cops the benefit of the doubt they deserve, and other solvable issues that lead to de-policing. De-policing is the phenomenon where officers shun proactive police work and do little other than answer 911 calls. This occurs when cops don’t believe their leaders will support them if they’re involved in a controversial incident, even if they acted in good faith and according to training. A truly tragic case that recently came out of Baltimore illustrates this point perfectly.
Last month, a jury awarded the family of a suburban Baltimore woman who was fatally shot by police $37 million in damages. Police shot the woman, who was armed with a shotgun, during a standoff at her apartment that lasted six hours. The jury awarded this extraordinary damage award despite the deceased “plaintiff” having pointed a shotgun at a police officer before she was shot.
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