MONROEVILLE, Pa. (KDKA) — Pennsylvania State Police invited KDKA to an open session that revealed their own training and procedures.
When should police use lethal force? When should they not? State police invited KDKA to a public session on Wednesday to provide insights into their training and put people in the shoes of the troopers.READ MORE: Judge Denies Robert Bowers' Motion For Govt. To Produce Evidence It Monitored His Online Activities
In a use force simulator during the session, Trooper Tristan Tappe unloaded a plastic service revolver on a man holding up a convenience store. Had she not, according to the simulator, the suspect would have shot the store clerk.
KDKA’s Andy Sheehan: So the officer acted correctly?
Officer: The officer acted correctly in that scenario.
It was all part of a session held by state police use of force specialists designed to make the public aware of the pressure that police are under in these situations and their rights under the law to protect themselves and others.READ MORE: Pa. Native, Penn State Grad Carl Nassib Comes Out As First Openly Gay Active NFL Player
“Ultimately, with the hope of providing some better understanding out there as to what police officers do, how they’re trained, and legally what they’re governed by,” said Lt. Timothy Fetzer.
In a time when police use of force is under intense public scrutiny, state police invited lawyers, judges and members of the media to take a look at their training. While referencing new methods such as de-escalation and nonlethal alternatives, the presenters showed videos of incidents when those methods failed.
Instead, they hammered a few key points: that citizens never have the right to resist arrest, officers do have a right to use lethal force to protect their lives and the lives of others, and life-and-death decisions are sometimes made in quick ticks of time.
“It’s easy with hindsight attribution to say coulda, woulda, shoulda,” Cpl. Bart Lemansky said. “Here’s what would have been the optimal way to solve this but you did this. It doesn’t matter what would be optimal. What matters is what did the police officer do. Was it objectively reasonable or was it not?MORE NEWS: Mary Maloney Shows Display Of Strength, Determination As Rehab Continues Following Spinal Cord Injury
State police contend that the vast majority of police shootings are justifiable and pass legal muster, but they are making this case at a time when the large segments of the public are demanding a higher standard.