Courtesy of Slate.com
Before they even don their uniforms, police officers receive hours and hours of training about the appropriate use of force. At the nation’s police academies, they learn how to evaluate situations where force could be an option and when it’s illegal. By the time officers are patrol-ready, they know how to use their firearms, batons, and stun guns. Yet, in response to the chokehold killing of Erin Garner, New York Police Commissioner William Bratton has called for the “retraining” of his officers. Training is, of course, essential to law enforcement. But it would be a serious and dangerous error to shrug off these deaths and beatings by cops and simply attribute them to inadequate training.