Friday, April 06, 2007

Keystone Cops

An FBI agent was killed by another FBI agent while trying to arrest 3 men who were armed but did not fire at the FBI and so far there's not even a claim that anyone pointed a gun at the cops. The claim is that it was an accidental discharge. One witness claims to have heard a pop, pop, pop. So I guess it was three accidents.

There are a couple of things about the use of language in the story that strike me.

One is that the FBI uses the term "dynamic arrest situation"

Preliminarily, information suggests the agent may have been fatally wounded as a result of the accidental discharge of another agent's weapon during a dynamic arrest situation," the FBI said in a statement Thursday night.

I'm not sure what that means. When cops use the term "dynamic entry" they mean busting into an occupied dwelling with guns drawn and either no announcement or just yelling "police, police" as they knock down the door. Another way to describe it might be "planned, uncontrolled violence". But dynamic entry sounds better.

The other quote of interest is
Bush, 52, and his team were tracking a group of men believed to be responsible for at least four bank robberies, the FBI said. In two of them, the suspects had fired assault weapons while inside the bank, the agency said.

Fired assault weapons while inside the bank?

How much you want to bet that they fired the weapons into the air, that they've never shot at anyone?

Of course these guys should have been arrested, but it's really not safe for anyone, cops, bad guys, or bystanders, to create these kinds of "dynamic arrest situations". This dynamic nonsense makes the cops feel powerful and all, and it makes good press when it works. But it's just not necessary and causes big problems when it doesn't work.

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