‘The View’ host on what police should do to stop would-be killers: “Shoot the gun in the air as a warning”

The following contains editorial content written by a current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

During the April 22nd broadcast of ABC’s “The View”, Joy Behar managed to offer her brand of world class advice on how police officers need to address armed suspects during rapidly evolving scenarios.

With little surprise, Behar did not disappoint by suggesting police officers can “shoot the gun in the air,” among other suggested less lethal approaches to armed suspects.

During the episode of “The View”, the show had replayed a clip from CNN that showed Don Lemon providing his commentary on the officer-involved shooting that happened in Columbus, Ohio.

During the CNN clip that was played on the show, Don Lemon stated that based upon the available bodycam footage, the officer was stuck in a situation where there was not much else other than to use deadly force:

“Base each incident on what we see. When I look at this video, I see police responding to a dangerous incident where someone is armed with a knife. Police walked up on a situation, and they need to figure out what is happening.”

“Other lives are in danger. If we’re going to discuss this case, we need to be honest and use our common sense. We cannot have a double standard. We have to acknowledge that police have jobs to do.”

Reacting to Lemon’s take on the investigation, show cohost Whoopi Goldberg asked Behar about a sidebar conversation she’d had with Don Lemon specifically about this case, with Behar saying the following:

“Well, [Don Lemon] texted me because I mentioned this case yesterday vis-a-vis the George Floyd case. He said you know that the cop had no choice or something to that effect. My feeling is I don’t know if that’s true or not. I really can’t figure it out anymore.”

Behar continued from there, showcasing her utter ineptitude by way of offering some of the most ridiculous alternatives to the difficult decision that the officer had to make in real-time during the incident:

“I mean, it seems to me in a situation — This is what it looked to me. I looked at the tape and still can’t figure it out. Shoot the gun in the air as a warning. Tase a person. Shoot them in the leg. Shoot them in the behind. Stop them somehow.”

“If the only solution is to kill a teenager, there’s something wrong with this. There’s something wrong with the way these things are being conducted. Even if the cop had to do it, there’s something wrong with it. I can’t explain it any better than that.”

Here’s the first thing that any reasonable person should digest regarding this officer-involved shooting, and that is if CNN’s Don Lemon reviews the case and notes that this is an unfortunate incident where the officer wasn’t left with much choice – then chances are it’s a good shoot.

Casting that obvious aspect aside, it seems as though Behar must be getting her situational use of force continuum tips from the Twitter comments sections, where people who have anime avatars are chiming in on how police should deal with rapidly evolving situations where victims’ lives are at stake.

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LET Unity

There are too many pundits out there that are hyper-focused on the generalities surrounding this case, who want to make it more controversial than it really is or should be.

People are talking about the age of the individual that the officer shot, critics are trying to make it a race issue, and people like Behar are doing the whole shoot him in the leg trope.

Even though it may be insensitive to the family of the 16-year-old girl that recently died during this critical incident in Columbus, based upon the evidence in this case, Ma’Khia Bryant was fatally shot because she was about to take the life of another person without cause.

It is extremely frustrating to watch folks try to disingenuously frame this like it was some sort of high school fight of sorts.

No sane person would allege that deadly knife fights are a part of the typical neighborhood squabbles that coming-of-age individuals experience.

This may be an uncomfortable truth for people to acknowledge, but a 16-year-old possesses enough ability and agency to commit a heinous crime that can be committed by any other adult.

It’s not as though a 16-year-old doesn’t know that stabbing somebody can – and likely will – kill a person.  

Yet we’re continually bombarded by these pundits that are treating this situation as though Bryant’s fatal shooting is the moral equivalence of, for example, a cop shooting a toddler that was holding a gun.

But the only way people are going to be able to have a frank conversation about this case is if people are willing to risk being insensitive or offensive when discussing the facts about this case.

And based upon the available evidence so far, Bryant appears to have been a fatal threat to others during the moments she was fatally shot. When Bryant was fired upon by police, she was an armed “assailant” – not a “victim”, not a “witness” – an armed assailant.

This deceased teen was not someone kid was walking down the street and some renegade officer just rolled up and opened fire on her – she was involved in a physical altercation, retreated inside of her home, retrieved a knife, and went back outside to attack on unarmed person with a knife. 

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Author: Gregory Hoyt

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