The article describes an officer-involved shooting that took place on January 17, 2021, and ended with the killing of an African-American man Zontarious Johnson. The body camera footage allows analyzing the actions of Officer Nathan Ronan. According to the article, when police officers heard gunshots outside the building, Ronan saw a shooting between Johnson and another man. He started chasing after Johnson; however, the latter aimed his weapon at the officer, who had to open fire.
The issue of using force by police officers has always triggered debates. According to Hatch and Dickson (2017), the cases of officer-involved shootings often cause criticism and raise questions about the moral side of such incidents. However, it is necessary to understand that in certain situations, officers are authorized to use deadly force. The prevention of “an immediate threat of death or serious bodily harm” is the major case allowing the use of a weapon by the police (Hatch & Dickson, 2017, p. 15). According to Ronan, when he followed Johnson into an alley, the latter “raised and produced the barrel of a weapon” (Hutchison, 2021, para. 7). In the discussed situation, the body camera footage demonstrated that the officer had to open fire for self-protection.
Nowadays, society is especially sensitive to such situations, especially after the notorious murder of an African-American George Floyd. The issues of racial discrimination also play an important role since they can distort the interpretation of an incident. In the case of Officer Ronan, it is clear that his life was under threat, and he had to open fire to protect himself. It is necessary to mention Ronan’s actions after the incident: he commanded to keep Johnson in custody and do first aid. To conclude, such cases, especially with people of color involved, often cause public criticism. However, careful investigation is needed to identify if the actions of police officers were justified, as in the case of Nathan Ronan.
Hatch, D.E., & Dickson, R. (2017). Officer-involved shootings and use of force: Practical investigative techniques (2nd ed.). CRC Press.
Hutchison, W. (2021). Breakdown of Lawton officer-involved shooting video. KSWO. Web.