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Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:17 PM

Use of police robot to kill Dallas shooting suspect believed to be first in US history

Source: The Guardian

For what experts are calling the first time in history, US police have used a robot in a show of lethal force. Early Friday morning, Dallas police used a bomb-disposal robot with an explosive device on its manipulator arm to kill a suspect after five police officers were murdered and seven others wounded.

We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was, Dallas police chief David Brown told reporters.

Peter Singer, a strategist and senior fellow at the New America Foundation who writes about the technology of warfare, said he believed this was a first. There may be some story that comes along, but Id think Id have heard of it, he said.

Others concurred. As far as I know, it appears to be the first intentional use of a lethally armed robot by the police in the United States, said Elizabeth Joh, law professor at the University of California at Davis.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/08/police-bomb-robot-explosive-killed-suspect-dallas



I'm not a fan of this action an will IMHO have unintended consequences.

69 replies, 4569 views

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Reply Use of police robot to kill Dallas shooting suspect believed to be first in US history (Original post)
NWCorona Jul 2016 OP
JonathanRackham Jul 2016 #1
NWCorona Jul 2016 #4
Kennah Jul 2016 #67
LongtimeAZDem Jul 2016 #2
NWCorona Jul 2016 #3
LongtimeAZDem Jul 2016 #8
cstanleytech Jul 2016 #39
7962 Jul 2016 #5
lastone Jul 2016 #6
LongtimeAZDem Jul 2016 #10
lastone Jul 2016 #11
NWCorona Jul 2016 #13
Igel Jul 2016 #46
Rhiannon12866 Jul 2016 #65
brooklynite Jul 2016 #56
Judi Lynn Jul 2016 #48
mblock Jul 2016 #55
christx30 Jul 2016 #57
FSogol Jul 2016 #58
TeddyR Jul 2016 #59
jtuck004 Jul 2016 #7
Kennah Jul 2016 #68
MohRokTah Jul 2016 #9
NWCorona Jul 2016 #14
MohRokTah Jul 2016 #15
NWCorona Jul 2016 #16
MohRokTah Jul 2016 #19
NWCorona Jul 2016 #21
MohRokTah Jul 2016 #22
NWCorona Jul 2016 #23
olddad56 Jul 2016 #41
MohRokTah Jul 2016 #42
TeddyR Jul 2016 #60
lastone Jul 2016 #12
tclambert Jul 2016 #17
NWCorona Jul 2016 #18
NWCorona Jul 2016 #20
Ash_F Jul 2016 #24
NWCorona Jul 2016 #25
Ash_F Jul 2016 #26
NWCorona Jul 2016 #27
Ash_F Jul 2016 #32
daleo Jul 2016 #37
TeddyR Jul 2016 #61
daleo Jul 2016 #66
Warpy Jul 2016 #28
jayfish Jul 2016 #30
NWCorona Jul 2016 #31
oswaldactedalone Jul 2016 #29
DAngelo136 Jul 2016 #33
christx30 Jul 2016 #38
Judi Lynn Jul 2016 #49
DAngelo136 Jul 2016 #34
Kaleva Jul 2016 #45
many a good man Jul 2016 #35
Kennah Jul 2016 #69
sangfroid Jul 2016 #36
rockfordfile Jul 2016 #40
olddad56 Jul 2016 #44
Judi Lynn Jul 2016 #50
olddad56 Jul 2016 #43
pallidin710 Jul 2016 #47
Kablooie Jul 2016 #51
Name removed Jul 2016 #52
NWCorona Jul 2016 #54
NeoGreen Jul 2016 #53
TeddyR Jul 2016 #62
NWCorona Jul 2016 #63
Ash_F Jul 2016 #64

Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:20 PM

1. Land drone.

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Response to JonathanRackham (Reply #1)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:23 PM

4. Exactly

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Response to NWCorona (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 10, 2016, 11:25 AM

67. Think of the dark humor SNL could script with this one N/T

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:21 PM

2. They used it to eliminate a mass murderer operating from cover, without endangering themselves

That's an appropriate use of the technology, IMO.

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Response to LongtimeAZDem (Reply #2)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:23 PM

3. Like I said. This action will have dire unintended consequences

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Response to NWCorona (Reply #3)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:28 PM

8. Nearly all actions do (nt)

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Response to NWCorona (Reply #3)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 04:12 PM

39. Yup though I bet it will mainly be felt by assholes like this guy who feel

its ok to murder people.

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:24 PM

5. Perfectly acceptable use. No danger of injuring civilians. Only guilty party affected

 

Would have been nice to have been able to use it quicker, but you cant tote robots around everywhere

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:28 PM

6. Unintended consequences

 

and further erosion of the rule of law - we can not let the police murder people without due process, no matter the offense... Can believe people are not outraged by this...

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Response to lastone (Reply #6)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:33 PM

10. Most reasonable people understand the difference between justifiable use of force and murder (nt)

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Response to LongtimeAZDem (Reply #10)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:39 PM

11. and you are then ok

 

with being judged by the police department and not a judge or jury of your peers - what if they fking BOMBED the wrong guy? We all agree that in the heat of any situation things often go way wrong, I am amazed and saddened by how easy we piss away our rights... pathetic...

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Response to lastone (Reply #11)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:46 PM

13. I agree with you

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Response to lastone (Reply #11)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 04:32 PM

46. If somebody's shooting at you, you can shoot back in self defense.

That's pretty much a natural right. It's not denying them their right to a trial. It's denying them their right to kill you. Some get pissed off at the idea of being denied their right to produce dead bodies. Most, at least in the US, not so much.

They negotiated; the guy shot at them. If they'd managed to shoot him during the firefight, that wouldn't have batted an eye. He was holed up, hostile, threatening, if they could have shot him, fine. They couldn't, so the remote-controlled vehicle with a bomb on it worked.

That they're police doesn't reduce their right to self defense. They're still human, even if they are blue.

Sadly, those bomb disposal robots are more expensive than a simple RMC toy truck. Could have used that and saved a bunch. Then again, it saved the expense of the trial, incarceration, and the endless appeals just to, as many here would put it in a slightly different context, "get justice for the officers."

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Response to Igel (Reply #46)

Sun Jul 10, 2016, 08:56 AM

65. While I hate to hear of any loss of life, I sadly have to agree that you're right

The shooter had already killed five human beings, injured several others, and wasn't about to stop there. This guy was on a rampage and needed to be stopped before he killed many more. Negotiations failed. Sadly, life didn't mean much to him at that point, even his own.

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Response to lastone (Reply #11)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 08:18 PM

56. the police were in negotiations with him...

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Response to lastone (Reply #6)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 06:18 PM

48. Moral, sane human beings will be outraged, you can believe it. n/t

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Response to lastone (Reply #6)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 08:04 PM

55. Due Process

I fully agree with you.No American citizen should be denied due process because we feel we have the right to make such a decision based on the gravity of somebody's crime.Andrea Yates killed all 5 of her children in Texas.She was tried and convicted of capital murder;then she was retried and declared not guilty by reason of insanity.She is now in a mental institution,not on death row.She was granted due process,and in the end justice was served.Who's to say ,without applying due process,that the Dallas shooter was not so insane that he also deserved Mrs. Yates sentence. Rather than being blown up by policemen who, understandably,had nothing but intense hate for the guy,a carefully chosen jury of his peers should have decided his fate.

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Response to mblock (Reply #55)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 08:32 PM

57. The comparison to Andrea Yates isn't really a valid one.

She wasn't shooting at the police. She wasn't a threat to them. She allowed them to arrest her. She went to court. She had a lawyer. If she had been shooting and screaming "The end is near" at the cops, they would have killed her too.
Johnson was shooting at the police. He was threatening the kill all the white cops. He had already killed 5 people. He said he had explosives.

Yates got due process because she submitted herself to the court system. If Johnson had done the same, he would be in a cell right now awaiting arraignment and his due process. A cop's job is to eliminate a threat to public safety and enforce the law.

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Response to mblock (Reply #55)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 08:39 PM

58. Oh. Too bad the Dallas Police didn't have you there to go in and read the

Dallas Shooter his rights!

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Response to mblock (Reply #55)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 10:50 PM

59. I assume you agree that

 

We should not ban people from buying firearms just because they are on a secret government list, because due process. Right?

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:28 PM

7. It was a hand grenade on a stick. n/t

 

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #7)

Sun Jul 10, 2016, 11:27 AM

68. Everything goes better on a stick

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:29 PM

9. I consider this action 100% legitimate, lawful, and appropriate given the circumstances.

 

Each situation will be unique, but as I see it this was a very valid use of technology to end a violent and fatal situation.

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Response to MohRokTah (Reply #9)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:49 PM

14. So what happens next time there's a hostage situation and

They want to use one of these to make contact? It happens more than you might think.

And I also don't think it was legitimate.

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Response to NWCorona (Reply #14)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:51 PM

15. There was no hostage in this situation.

 

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Response to MohRokTah (Reply #15)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:53 PM

16. And I said next time.

Do you think the perp will say " oh they took out that guy cuz he was alone "?

You don't know what a strawman argument is.

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Response to NWCorona (Reply #16)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:56 PM

19. Straman precisely describes your agument.

 

You added conditions to the argument that were not in existence, e.g. hostage(s).

You created an argument out of whole cloth to tear it down.

"Next time" implies identical conditions, e.g. a mass murderer in body armor that has killed 5 cops and injured another 7 in cover refusing to do anything other than kill more cops.

Any conditions added beyond that becomes a de facto strawman argument against the conditions in which the robot was used this time.

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Response to MohRokTah (Reply #19)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 02:05 PM

21. So by your argument you can't discuss where future tech might lead

And I brought up unintended consequences in my op so I'm covered.

Also "next time" means next time a robot is used. It's highly unlikely that this exact situation will arise again.

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Response to NWCorona (Reply #21)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 02:10 PM

22. And once again, you create a strawman

 

You just made up something so you could knock it down.

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Response to MohRokTah (Reply #22)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 02:11 PM

23. Lol ok

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Response to MohRokTah (Reply #15)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 04:25 PM

41. whats a little collateral damage in this day and age.

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Response to olddad56 (Reply #41)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 04:26 PM

42. You demonstrate a lack of understanding of law enforcement procedures and desired outcomes. eom

 

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Response to MohRokTah (Reply #15)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 10:52 PM

60. Setting aside all the argument

 

This is a really awesome picture. Good job.

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:54 PM

17. I wish they wouldn't go giving robots ideas . . .

Next thing you know, they'll be looking for Sarah Connor.

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Response to tclambert (Reply #17)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:55 PM

18. Well they say Skynet is just around the corner lol

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Response to tclambert (Reply #17)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:57 PM

20. Oh and on a side note

http://m.slashdot.org/story/312915

Not sure if true but definitely funny.

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 02:15 PM

24. It was a desperate situation. Definitely worthy of discussion though.

Apparently the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a KILLER FREAKING ROBOT.

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #24)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 02:16 PM

25. I can agree with that statement

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Response to NWCorona (Reply #25)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 02:22 PM

26. I don't really have much to add right now.

It's a tough situation. The future is scary sometimes.

Needs thought.

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #26)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 02:25 PM

27. I'm just wondering if they could have used a CS canister or something.

I'll admit it's definitely easier to Monday quarterback that to make the hard decisions.

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Response to NWCorona (Reply #27)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 02:38 PM

32. That may have prompted him to charge out firing, since gas just makes you cough.

He charged and killed an officer who was behind cover in one video. He was clearly very dangerous with that weapon.

I think the other best option would have been to wait him out. When people get hungry and tired they can be more susceptible suggestion.

Maybe he indicated that he would attack them soon?

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #32)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 03:41 PM

37. Wait him out

No water, no food, no sleep. It would have been good to have taken him alive, to be sure that there were no accomplices. I don't know if there will ever be certainty about that, now.

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Response to daleo (Reply #37)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 10:56 PM

61. Or just blow his ass up

 

Like they did. He killed 5 police officers, shot several more as well as at least one civilian, and we are worried about how the cops killed him? If he had been out in the open and shot then nobody would be complaining, but since he was killed while cornered we are worried about the means used to dispose of this murderer?

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Response to TeddyR (Reply #61)

Sun Jul 10, 2016, 10:59 AM

66. We will never be sure if he was acting alone, now

If he was cornered, he wasn't able to do further harm. By waiting and arresting him, the public could find out if he acted alone, as well as other salient details. Now, this will no doubt become fodder for conspiracy theories and urban legends, from every direction.

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 02:27 PM

28. Unintended consequences

You can bet anybody with a grudge and the least bit of technical expertise gained from playing with radio controlled cars and camera drones is going to up his game now.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #28)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 02:29 PM

30. Way past that.


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Response to Warpy (Reply #28)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 02:29 PM

31. Or resorting to RF jammer or spoofers

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 02:28 PM

29. Micah Johnson's mind had gone to pieces

and the Dallas PD helped him get his body to come along. No problem with it.

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 02:53 PM

33. For those of you who find this tactic acceptable

For those of you who say: "Well, it was an appropriate action against someone who endangered the lives of police and was not willing to surrender" then I would remind you of this incident:

http://www.nytimes.com/1985/05/14/us/police-drop-bomb-on-radicals-home-in-philadelphia.html?pagewanted=all

If you can justify the bombing of an individual, then you can also justify the bombing of many as well. And wouldn't that undercut your arguments against the bombing of people in Syria?

"You can't be wrong AND be strong." as my father would remind me as a youth. The same applies here.

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Response to DAngelo136 (Reply #33)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 03:47 PM

38. How would you handle it?

How many people would you risk in a rush at this guy? Or just wait for 30 hours until he gets hungry or desperate enough to attack? Keep giving him fleeting targets, hoping he exhausts his ammo? Toss in CS gas hoping it'll disable him, and he doesn't just randomly shoot at you while you go to tackle him?
I think the robot bomb was the least bad idea they could have done. There are 7200 seconds in 2 hours. If he didn't want to die, and he wanted to get due process, he could have laid down his weapon at any moment. But he didn't. He wanted to die. Whether he was shot, or blown up, it doesn't really matter in the end.

And this incident is nothing like the MOVE bombing. There were no innocents killed in this bombing. It was just the murderer that got killed.

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Response to DAngelo136 (Reply #33)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 06:27 PM

49. That was a tremendous observation by your father. I'll remember it. Thank you. n/t

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 02:57 PM

34. I would also add

that the allegations of the late Christopher Dorner seems to be relevant and prescient, don't you think?

http://www.alternet.org/corporate-accountability-and-workplace/what-led-chris-dorner-go-edge-workplace-abuse-racism-and


And how did he meet his demise?

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/how-law-enforcement-and-media-covered-plan-burn-christopher-dorner-alive

So let me get this straight: Suspected White mass murderers are brought to justice alive, but suspected Black mass murderers are bombed? Isn't this disparity of treatment the source of the problem in the first place?

Just sayin'

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Response to DAngelo136 (Reply #34)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 04:31 PM

45. Most white mass murderers end up dead

Either by their own hand or killed by police. Regardless of color, if one decides to shoot it out with the police, they will end up dead.

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 03:04 PM

35. I really don't like the idea of Killer Robots

Flying Killer Robots are worse but this one is also pretty scary.

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Response to many a good man (Reply #35)

Sun Jul 10, 2016, 11:28 AM

69. Oh, c'mon. Next thing you'll be worrying about the Fire Department starting fires. n/t

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 03:21 PM

36. All those who think this is an acceptable tactic

 

In an urban setting, please look up the statistics of those released by the military for wounds sustained during training. Talk about unintended consequences. No one is supposed to be hurt in these exercises, but every year a good number of people are.

Second, it is called shrapnel. No matter how you try to control it, you will still always get hunks of metal and concrete moving at bullet speed as a consequence of explosions. If this tactic goes into the playbook, someone other than the target will, sooner or later, be killed or badly injured. Guaranteed.

Finally, the police are NOT supposed to be an occupying force with the power of life and death over a captive population. They are supposed to enforce the law. That we have become cheerleaders for the grossest leap in lethal police power since the introduction of the SWAT concept is worrisome indeed.

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 04:22 PM

40. I've thought more about this since yesterday

Could the robot be armed with other things? tear gas etc..?

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Response to rockfordfile (Reply #40)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 04:28 PM

44. good point, but I think emotions were probbaly running pretty high at the time.

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Response to rockfordfile (Reply #40)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 06:29 PM

50. It would make more sense. It would make it easier to be sympathetic to their losses. n/t

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 04:26 PM

43. I would have preferred the cops just sealed off the area, like air tight...

and just let nature run its course

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 06:13 PM

47. Powerful conversation going on over here.

As a immediate and clear danger, it seemed reasonable to have Mr. Robot (no pun intended to one of my fave shows!) rush in and "BOOM" take out this apparent killer with a attached bomb. I don't know if I like that as protocol to handle barricaded suspects. Someone mentioned shrapnel and that was a great point. You can't control shrapnel trajectory. What about gas lines, building structure, secondary debris, premature explosions and that lost ability to have been able to talk the suspect out of his position and surrender.

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 06:38 PM

51. We capture wild animals with tranquilizer guns so...

Couldn't a robot be used to shoot tranquilizer darts to incapacitate a target instead of blowing him up?
It may not be the safest method under normal circumstances but it seems preferable to killing him.

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)


Response to Name removed (Reply #52)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 07:23 PM

54. The ends justifies the means argument.

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 07:21 PM

53. Jump ahead...

...what will happen when someone uses a robot to kill a cop?

I see no detente in this escalation.


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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 10:59 PM

62. I wonder how many of the "wait it out" crowd

 

Were yelling for the feds to attack and forcibly subdue the tea-party idiots that occupied the refuge in Oregon?

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Response to TeddyR (Reply #62)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 11:52 PM

63. Not sure. The perspective on which you view events definitely has an impact

Hopefully with certain events or actions. You can step outside your box and realize that some things are just wrong. No matter who it happens to.

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Response to TeddyR (Reply #62)

Sun Jul 10, 2016, 01:37 AM

64. They definitely should not have been letting them receive food, power and heat.

Instead, they were just emboldened and audibly shocked when the FBI finally moved in.


The man who was eventually shot may still be alive if police were a little less supplicating at the start. He would have been more mentally prepared to surrender.

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