The Anti-Sam Dubose Video: UK Police Subdue a Knife-Wielding Man Without Incident
Wednesday afternoon, Hamilton County prosecutors released video of University of Cincinnati Officer Ray Tensing shooting Sam Dubose, an unarmed African-American, point blank in the face, all because Mr Dubose let his car slowly roll away after committing the grave crime of not having a front licence plate.
The video rightfully shocked the conscience of most Americans, leading to widespread outrage and the summary indictment of the officer in question.
But the question remains: Why? Even setting aside the manifest racism of the American police system, the use of lethal force by American police flies in the face of basic common sense. American police killed 404 people in 2011. By comparison, just six people were killed by police in Australia. England and Wales killed only two people, and German police killed six.
This stark contrast was on full display yesterday when hours after officials released the brutal video of DuBose's killing, Northamptonshire Police in the UK released a video from March of last year showing two police officers calmly engaging a knife-wielding suspect and subduing him without incident -- to either the officer or the suspect. According to The Telegraph:
PC Alex Prentice and PC Debbie Wishart were called out to a domestic incident in Corby in March 2014 and were confronted by an agitated knife-wielding man, named as Lee Vickers. Vickers managed to hit PC Prentice’s protective vest.
The police officer told BBC Crimewatch, “If the knife had been two to three inches higher it would caught me in the neck”... A statement by Northamptonshire Police said: “They both demonstrated courage, cool resilience and outstanding professionalism in the face of extreme danger.”
Notice in the video below the different approaches the two parties take: One is of confrontation and domination, the other de-escalation and proportionality. Of course, neither video is entirely representative of either country but, released on the same day, they do provide a stark window into how radically different America approaches law enforcement versus the rest of the world.