Police Abuse

Fifth Police Shooting of the Year in Vermont, Twice the Annual Average

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Super Troopers
"Super Troopers"/Broken Lizard

The state government in Vermont began investigating all police shootings in 1997. Since that time, according to records obtained by the Associated Press, there have been 41 shootings, 18 fatal. All but two were found justified (or "lacking criminal conduct"). A cop who fired a warning shot in 1998 was taken to trial but acquitted, and a police officer who shot a suspect in 2013 is still being investigated. On Thursday, a state trooper shot at a woman in Bristol who was allegedly waving a gun around and refusing to follow orders, the fifth police shooting of the year, more than twice the annual average over the last 17 years.

The attorney general's office doesn't want the public focusing on the 200 percent increase. Via the AP:

On Monday, John Treadwell, head of the attorney general's criminal division, did not offer an interpretation of what the records show.

"There are years when there are more and there are years when there are none. The absolute numbers are still low," Treadwell said. "We review each case when it comes in."

Allen Gilbert, executive director of the Vermont Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said he hoped the numbers could be used to find ways to reduce future shootings.

"The recent uptick is really disturbing," Gilbert said. "The problem with the shootings is that even when there's a ruling that the shooting was legal, they're still awful."

Emphasis mine. The absolute numbers in Vermont are indeed low. It would be refreshing if law enforcement and law enforcement boosters also highlighted the low absolute numbers they are dealing with when they play up the "war on cops" or other crime waves.

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22 responses to “Fifth Police Shooting of the Year in Vermont, Twice the Annual Average

  1. On Thursday, a state trooper shot at a woman in Bristol who was allegedly waving a gun around and refusing to follow orders

    It’s always the same story. Obey or die. Land of the free to ask permission and obey orders.

    1. Uh, if the woman truly was waving a gun around and not obeying orders (which presumably were something like “Lay down your gun!”), then this is one case where the police probably were justified in shooting her. They aren’t ALL unjustified shootings.

      According to a Vermont Public Radio report, there were shots fired before the police arrived, and the woman’s husband tried to get her to drop the gun, too.

      1. Shhhh. You’re ruining the narrative.

        1. LOL, yes, but if you want to be taken seriously about these things — and police over-reaction is a serious problem — you need to allow that some cases are justified. This article seemed like a bit of a stretch.

      2. This is surreal – Bristol is my home town, with only 4000 people. Last time we made the news, it was for our horse-drawn garbage truck. And our tiny police department are definitely a little uncomfortably gung-ho, but the shooting was with the staties in this case, so there hasn’t been much ruckus on the BPD facebook page yet.

  2. Some day, those hicks in Vermont will get with the OFFICER SAFETY program.

  3. “Nice holster.”

  4. How do you feel?

    Good enough to fuck your mother!

    1. I invented this gag, Rabbit. Only in my day, the rookie got naked.

      And we also used blanks. You’re a sick motherfucker Mac.

  5. All but two were found justified (or “lacking criminal conduct).

    You need to close your quote.

    All but two were found justified (or “lacking criminal conduct).

    1. yeah, in a lot of places, that’ll get you shot….

  6. Why should Vermont be any different than any other state lol.

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  7. I think Oregon’s had five just since the start of August.

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  13. Fluctuations like this when small numbers are involved are common, so a one-year blip may not be indicative of a long-term increase.

    One other thing — Vermont’s rate of police killings (about one per year) is similar to the national average on a per capita basis. So even though the absolute number is small, Vermont is not any better than average.

    1. Valid sample size – how does that work?

      I would make Statistics required coursework for prospective Libertarians if requirements weren’t anti-libertarian.

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