Your say: Do we criticise the police too much?

Yesterday a very unfortunate incident happened in Sydney’s West and old young woman was shot dead by police. Social media has been ablaze overnight with people arguing the toss – should they have shot her or shouldn’t they have shot her? There are very good and very interesting arguments on both sides and today we want to know… What do you think?

What we do know is that it occurred just near a Hungry Jacks. She had a very large kitchen knife (being referred to as a “butchers knife” in the media) in her hand and was walking aimlessly in and out of traffic. The age has been reported different throughout media, some saying 17 and some saying 22 year old. She allegedly ignored police requests to drop her weapon and continues to walk closer and closer “swinging” the knife about.

One witness has said, “She could not have been tackled, the way she was running and swinging the knife it would have been ­impossible to get an arm or leg shot on her … she just kept coming as if she was possessed.” This suggests that the police did the best thing they could do in the situation. They are trained professionals and even though we all have an opinion on what they should have done, they are the only ones who know what is the procedural thing to do.

The arguments on social media were that police do the best job they can, they’re only human. They’re taught to shot in the mid section of the body by default training so that is their most natural target. They handle the situation with professionalism because that’s what they are – we aren’t professionals at what they do so why do we try to tell them how to do their job? Police do everything they do to uphold public safety – if it wasn’t her dead she probably would have killed one of us so we should stop arguing about the job they do and start to be thankful.

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Conversely, on the other side of the fence people were saying that the “pigs” as they were often referred to are “power hungry” and “enjoy” it. Some said their jobs are boring so they make things like this big for themselves. Others said there was no need to shoot the young woman. Some said that shooting shouldn’t be an option and police should never carry guns. Some said it’s blatantly wrong for people in the country to have that kind of power, trained or not and some said that police aren’t trained enough.

Both sides argued well and valid points and it really comes down to personal opinion. So today tell us, what do you think about police? Should we stop criticising them and let them get on with the job? Or is this shooting an example of the police acting with what should be considered misconduct? Share your thoughts in the comments below…