Yeah, sounds like someone got excited. De-escalation and less lethal would have been the way to go here.
That being said, you act a fool waving a knife around, you should know getting shot is a possibility
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A fellow-passenger (before fleeing/being ordered off the streetcar) stated that the knife-wielder was behind most other people before the incident started, then took the knife out, held it still in front of him while shouting and walking slowly toward the front of the vehicle.
This witness made the interesting observation that, had knife-guy wanted to, he could easily have stabbed a number of people from behind, using speed and quiet, before a general alarm was sounded.
That he went loud-and-slow--rather than actually attacking anyone--makes one wonder: suicide-by-cop?
Personally, if I were to highjack a trolley with a knife I would be expecting to get shot rather than getting a stern talking to.
I guess they could have talked him down, but is that really the expectation in this situation?
One issue I have with police reactions to the vid is that many of them seem to think there are two types of person facing a sharp-wielder: cops, and those with absolutely no use-of-force training. The great ones and the rest, so to speak.
They might want to recall that it's not as dichotomous as that: some of us end up in use-of-force situations--including potentially deadly ones, such as someone wielding a sharp--without all sorts of tools on our duty-belts.
Do not misunderstand, we (bouncers and others in similar professions) do not seek such situations, nor do we encourage them: on the contrary, trying to defuse aggression is part of the job. However, incidents can develop suddenly--before we have a chance to de-escalate matters or call authorities--in which case it's our training versus some amped-up moron(s) with the sharp (or whatever).
Being basically an idiot, I've been in club security (alongside other jobs) since the early 80's. This means that I've faced morons, with all sorts of nasty things in their hands and a wish to use those things on anyone nearby (or a specific target), from time to time. Close quarters in crowded and dubiously-illuminated situations, not like a brightly-lit street car with absolutely nobody near it. I may have a taken few minor cuts, a scar or two...but I've never had to bash or choke the life out of anybody yet.
In the vid, there is lots of distance between Yatim and anyone else. He's moving either very slowly or not at all. Only one cop, out of all present, plugged him--nine times. Thus, this does not appear to be a general reaction-trained response or other force members would have done likewise.
Forcillo's trial may turn out to be quite interesting.
That's a good point. But how would they know he is mentally disturbed?
I don't know all the facts obviously, but a lot of factors could have influenced the decision. If the suspect was told to stop and kept coming at the officers while armed with a knife, what is the protocol for that situation? Still if only one of the 9 officers shot him, maybe I am missing something.