- It doesn’t help that the law in the United States gives fairly wide scope for police violence. Under the European Convention of Human Rights, police can only shoot if it’s “absolutely necessary” in order to achieve a legitimate law enforcement purpose. Meanwhile, in the US, police officers can shoot if there’s “reasonable” perception of a grave and imminent threat, which is a far more subjective standard.
- Related: Video Shows How British Police React to a Teen with a Toy Gun — Putting US Cops to Shame
- Related: Good Cops Turn In Their Own Officer After He’s Caught on Dashcam Beating Handcuffed Man
Olivia Goldhill, Quartz
Police don't need guns to be effective. (Reuters/ David Moir)
Another week, another police shooting in the United States. So far this year, 569 people have be killed by US police, according to The Guardian’s count. Police brutality is a horrific normality and, in more ways than one, black men being shot by police has become the modern-day equivalent of lynching.
But, of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. A police officer does not have to shoot to kill and, in several countries, a police officer does not even have to carry a gun. In Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, Britain, and Ireland, police officers generally do not carry firearms. In one of these countries, Iceland, it’s legal for citizens to carry guns—and there’s an estimated rate of 30 privately-owned guns per 100 people.
Olivia Goldhill is weekend writer for Quartz, with a focus on philosophy and psychology.
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Video Shows How British Police React to a Teen with a Toy Gun — Putting US Cops to Shame, Matt Agorist, Free Thought Project
- For the naysayers who think that this case is an isolated act of heroism, think again. The lack of deadly force is so common by police in European countries that it’s not only been documented multiple times, but it’s been caught on film multiple times.
- It is high time this country looks closely at the way it trains its police force.
- Related: How do police handle violence in countries where officers don’t carry guns?
Good Cops Turn In Their Own Officer After He’s Caught on Dashcam Beating Handcuffed Man, Justin Gardner, The Free Thought Project
- While this handcuffed man’s actions may have been questionable, there are plenty of incidents during which cops stood by and watched their fellow cops beat non-violent, and even innocent individuals without saying anything. Good cops turning in the bad ones is a huge part of the solution to bridging the divide in America, and the officers who were unafraid of crossing the blue line deserve to be recognized.
- Related: A Former Police Chief: Put Down the Big Stick