As you’ve no doubt heard, NYPD officers discharged 16 rounds Friday in an attempt to subdue suspected gunman Jeffrey Johnson. Johnson had allegedly opened fire on his former boss just minutes earlier.
However, what the media is reporting recently is every round for Johnson’s .45 have been accounted for, meaning the 9 innocent bystanders wounded in the gunfire exchange … were struck by bullets negligently fired by NYPD officers.
Here’s where things get touchy. My contention, keep in mind I was a firearms instructor and gunsmith for the USAF for 7 years, is the NYPD intentionally increased the force necessary to fire their duty firearms after previous shootings resulted in too many rounds fired into suspects (or victims, depending on your perspective).
Here is a piece from 2011 indicating all was not well at Police Plaza long before Friday’s shooting. Now, I can tell you as an expert no one in history has fired multiple excess rounds because their trigger pull was too light. The officer-involved-shootings involving absurd numbers of rounds fired at suspects can be explained with two words the NYPD will never admit. “Training,” “Deficiencies.”
One round might be negligently discharged due to a trigger that’s “too light”; however, anyone with even moderate experience on a firing range knows to remove their finger from the trigger. When officers fire excessive numbers of rounds into a suspect who is already clearly defenseless, they’re either stupid, mean or improperly trained. My professional opinion is they were not trained properly.
Now, don’t get me wrong, NYPD has over 35,000 officers by most counts. To properly train that many officers; for instance, USAF standard for Security Forces was 3-4 hours of classroom, 2-3 hours of firing range, twice a year, one of those two times was an advanced course involving night fire and quick reaction, NYPD’s budget would easily balloon another several million dollars.
Instead, after this incident, rather than correct the deficiencies and properly train the small portion of the population the Big Apple’s political brain trust allows to possess firearms, they attempt to solve the problem through changes in hardware. So, instead of the expensive route that would result in better trained officers who would not, for instance, fire a dozen rounds in Times Square at Darius Kennedy, they attempted to correct the problem by increasing the pressure required to pull the trigger.
Keep in mind, this is my theory based on what I’ve put together from news stories and my experience as a firearms instructor. The problem with increasing the trigger pull on officer pistols is it causes wild changes in the direction of the barrel during high-intensity situations requiring discharge of the firearm.
In other words, a bureaucratic decision made to prevent one person from being shot 12 times, or 4 people from being fired upon 50 times, resulted in 9 people (none of them suspects or dangerous, by the way) inadvertently receiving lead poisoning of the immediate variety.
And somehow the City that Never Sleeps still gets looked to as the benchmark for city government? Mayor Bloomberg is a passionate advocate of gun control and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has done nothing to correct the obvious and glaring training deficiencies in his own department.
Personally I’d like to see them both unemployed, but that’s up to the voters of New York, New York.