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Commentary: Don’t Confront Police with a Gun

By Garth Baker

Early Saturday morning, officers came across a vehicle that was reported stolen and the vehicle’s owner advised there was a firearm in the vehicle. Officers pulled over the vehicle, driven by a Sharmel T. Edwards, 49. As things unfolded, Ms. Edwards refused to get out of the vehicle. CIT officers (crisis intervention officers) responded and started negotiating with the Ms. Edwards in attempts to have a peaceful resolution. These attempts failed when Ms. Edwards exited the vehicle and pointed a fire arm at five police officers. The police officers were forced to choose between their lives or hers, and rightfully they discharged their firearms resulting in the death of Ms. Edwards.

Now that you’ve got the scenario, I want you to put yourself in the position of any one of the five officers who were FORCED to shoot. Everyone will judge and it will be said why didn’t just one officer shoot, why didn’t they taze, why didn’t they blah blah blah? I’m just happy the officers were able to resolve the situation without any INNOCENT person(s) losing their lives.

The bottom line is Ms. Edwards was in possession of a stolen vehicle that had a firearm in it. Ms. Edwards was in control of how the police contact would unfold, not the police. Ms Edwards could have just complied, exited the vehicle, and been taken into custody without incident. Ms. Edwards, the person in control of her own fate, decided to exit the vehicle, brandish a firearm and point it at officers. The officers responded to HER DECISION in a way everyone would have if in the same situation. Ms. Edwards created this, Ms. Edwards knew if she got out with a firearm she would be shot, but she did it anyway.

So in your Monday morning quarterbacking of how the officers reacted, try to remember the officers were only reacting to the poor decision of Ms. Edwards.