Police training
Cuffing drill at LAPD West Valley Station. Photo credit: Rynerson Bail Bonds / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Police killings are a serious problem in the US. But any honest debate around this issue must include the fact that cops have a tough job: Every day they potentially face citizens who carry more firepower than they do.

At WhoWhatWhy, we are well aware that the US has a massive police-brutality problem. The excessive, and often deadly, force used against innocents and low-level criminals is unconscionable — as is the stunning lack of accountability in most such cases.

But understanding this issue takes more than pat assumptions. There are, of course, hundreds of thousands of good cops and they have to make tough decisions every day on how much force to use to protect themselves, their partners and civilians. In a country in which more than a third of all households own a firearm, danger is never far away for cops on the job.

This brief video illustrates some of the deadly situations cops may face on a daily basis.

Classic Who: The Ferguson Report, Part 1: Breathing While Black

Classic Who: The Ferguson Report, Part 2: African Americans, Cash Cow for the City

Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from police training (Rynerson Bail Bonds / Flickr – CC BY 2.0)


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