What else can explain their actions and attitudes?
Law enforcement agencies in America are using the No More Hesitation series of cardboard and paper targets for shooting practice. The Minneapolis-based Law Enforcement Targets Inc. (LET) has produced at least eight of them, with photos ranging from a young boy to a pregnant woman in her third trimester, both of whom are pointing guns. Other posters include an elderly man in his home holding a shotgun and a young mother with her daughter in a playground. There does not yet appear to be a baby in a playpen target. Available for 99 cents a sheet, the posters are approximately two-feet-wide by three-feet-tall. (Note: all the posters I’ve seen are of white people; perhaps it is too controversial to shoot a non-white pregnant woman or child?)
LET is a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) supplier. It has contracts worth at least $5,471,126 with several federal agencies, and it boasts of providing training materials throughout the military and to “thousands of law enforcement agencies at the municipal, county, and state levels.” Law enforcement customers are admonished to “Mix & Match ‘No More Hesitation’ targets for best pricing.” Presumably, officers who shoot the elderly man will also want the companion elderly woman target.
Under an advertised image of a pregnant woman, LET explains the purpose behind the training material, “No More Hesitation Targets were designed to give officers the experience of dealing with deadly force shooting scenarios with subjects that are not the norm during training. No More Hesitation faded background enhances the isolation and is meant to help the transition for officers who are faced with these highly unusual targets for the first time.”
Correction: LET did caption the pregnant woman target in the foregoing manner. Some time last week, LET either removed the images of civilian targets or blocked open access to them. It is not clear what happened because LET’s “explanation” is ambiguous: “These products have been taken offline due to the opinions expressed by so many, including members of the law enforcement community.” Are they available offline? And why are some target posters still on the site (as of noon 25/02/13)?
To view many of the targets, however, it is now necessary to use the Wayback Machine – a free online service that archives the Internet and preserves ‘vanishing’ data. The pregnant woman target can be accessed by feeding the old URL into the Wayback search box.
The officers are being conditioned to shoot their next door neighbors without reservation or pause. They are being desensitized to the confrontation with civilians that will occur if a door-to-door disarmament is conducted or civil unrest erupts. The police are being trained to shoot young children who hold guns even though the vast majority of such weapons will turn out to be water pistols or their equivalent. Those who believe the police can tell the difference should remember the recent manhunt for Chris Dorner – a large, young black man. Without warning, Los Angeles Police Officers fired more than a hundred bullets into a truck containing two small Asian women – one of them 71 years old – before the officers realized neither was Dorner…