People seem too eager to be on one side of the debate or the other. Some feel adamant the police were too quick to shoot the troubled man with their bullets aimed to kill. Others feel the police did their job, protecting themselves and the public from a man with a deadly weapon.
The truth is, we don’t know which side is right just yet.
That’s exactly why the state police are conducting what we hope is a thorough investigation into the shooting. Until we know the results of that investigation, we are not equipped with enough knowledge to separate innocence from guilt.
Police officers are here to protect and serve the public. We trust them to only use deadly force when absolutely necessary to protect their own life or the lives of others.
We can’t automatically assume that was true in this case. There have been similar situations where it was found law enforcement did not act properly, needlessly claiming a life.
We do not know how far away the sword-wielding man was from the police officers when they shot him. We don’t know if he was an immediate threat to others at the time the officer shot him. We don’t know if there were other actions the officer could have taken to safely get control of the situation without firing his gun.
At this point, it’s all just speculation. We don’t know the exact details. We’re entitled to our opinions, but we must be careful not to jump to unverified conclusions.
We must be patient and let justice take it course.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Liz Stuck. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.