NYPD: Putting The "Mass" Back In Mass Shooting. Are Cops To Blame For ESB Shootings?
Authorities have tallied the victims from Friday's "mass shooting" at the Empire State Building, and as it stands, it wouldn't have been a "mass" shooting at all if NYPD officers hadn't squeezed off 16 rounds at deceased murderer Jeffrey Johnson -- nine of the 10 victims were shot by police.
That's right, what initially was reported Friday morning as a "mass shooting at the Empire State Building" was actually just one disgruntled ex-employee shooting a former colleague, whom he apparently blamed for his getting canned. Then the police showed up.
That said, there wouldn't have been a shooting period if Johnson hadn't decided to murder a former co-worker and then pull a gun on the officers -- despite the fact that he wasn't able to get off a single round before the cops took him out.
Regardless, there has been some criticism of how the police handled the situation -- firing 16 shots into a crowded sidewalk perhaps wasn't the best way to handle the situation, those critical of the cops have argued.
However, those critics probably haven't seen the video of the shooting embedded above.
In video released by authorities, it's clear Johnson pulled a gun on the officers and put it "right in their face." The officers then opened fire -- albeit into a sidewalk full of people.
As Gail Collins notes in a column for the New York Times, NYPD officers firing in the line of duty only are accurate 34 percent of the time, which is a somewhat troubling statistic.
That said, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said Saturday that the officers "responded quickly, and they responded appropriately. These officers, having looked at the tape myself, had absolutely no choice."
We'd have to agree -- regardless of how crowded the sidewalk, these officers had a gun in their faces. Not to mention, it all happened in the span of about five seconds. In other words, it's no surprise that the chaotic scene -- created by Johnson -- led to a few inaccurate shots.
If you ask us, the only person to blame for Friday's shooting is Jeffrey Johnson -- regardless of how bad the cops' shots were.
We want to know what you think, though: do the police share some of the blame?
Cast your vote below.