The saddest thing about someone who loses his/her life at the hands of the police is that the death is almost always the consequence of the deceased’s resistance to being arrested. The likelihood of someone dying when he/she fully complies with police orders is nearly, and should be, zero.
To protect the public, police are charged to complete an arrest even if there’s resistance. Having watched as 4-6 police struggled to control a medium sized, violently resisting man, I am sure no police want to engage in such struggles; they result in too many police injuries and deaths.
Peaceful exchanges can turn violent and dangerous instantly:
People are not innocent victims if they are injured in the struggle to arrest them. There is no easy, safe way to control someone who resists arrest. If it comes down to it, the police deserve to go home safely, not a person who resists arrest.
What saddens me more than the deaths of people who resist arrest, are the many thousands of deaths, rapes, robberies, kidnappings, muggings, and other crimes causing injury to innocent people caused by criminals. For example, over 10,000 people are killed annually due to drunk drivers, about 15,000 people are murdered annually, and in 2018 an estimated 734,630 women were victims of sexual assault.
The alternative to successfully arresting resistors is to just release resistors. Two recent actions show how insane that would be. New York has instituted a no bail law which releases criminals without bail. And, due to concerns about Covid-19, many convicted criminals have been released early. Many criminals resumed their criminal behavior harming more innocent people; murderers murdered again, robbers robbed again, etc.
The struggles and injuries that occur when criminals resist arrest are the necessary, ugly side of providing a society where most people can feel safe.
I believe most people like believing that we, our family members, friends, and everyone else are safe at home or elsewhere, that our property is safe even when we leave home, and that people can expect to drive home safely because the police are arresting and locking up criminals.
As I have watched the police lined up confronting rioters who scream in their faces, spit on them, throw things at them, and in some cases assault them from behind, I wonder where do these saints come from? And, if society doesn’t support them and appreciate them for doing the very difficult and dangerous job we have given them, then we shouldn’t be surprised when good police disappear and are replaced with no police or bad police … and the number of crimes and innocent victims skyrocket.