A police training exercise shows how dangerous weapons should not be used around bystanders.
A couple of days ago I posted about an “active shooter drill” in Winter Haven, Florida, where police invaded a school full of shocked and scared students. At least one police officer running into the building with a drawn firearm had it loaded with bullets. Far from apologizing and promising to never do it again, the police department insisted that terrorizing students with the fear of being shot was a necessary and important part of the “training.”
No one was hurt but readers need to realize that police are not infallible. When they use weapons in proximity to bystanders those bystanders can be injured. A much less problematic exercise in Columbus, Ohio, demonstrates that police do injure people. According to Ben Swann’s website: “Riot Training Ends in Disaster: Cops Wreck 3 Cruisers, Deploy Tear Gas on Elementary School Students.”
The place chosen for this drill was Cooper Stadium.
Officers claim that smoke grenades were then used to test where the wind might carry tear gas that would be used during the training. Due to changes in wind conditions, the exercise was moved to a different part of the stadium than what was originally planned. Police say that the manufacturer of the tear gas canisters, Chemical Tactical Systems, indicated that the devices have an effective range of only 40 feet.
During the exercise, police fired 15 canisters of tear gas. The noxious fumes were then wind-swept to nearby Sullivant Elementary School, inflicting six students with irritation of the eyes and throat and sending a pregnant teacher who suffers from asthma to the hospital for observation. Police found out about the tear gas accident after school administrators called firefighters for help. Deputy Chief Tim Becker told The Columbus Dispatch, “The school is about 3,000 feet from where [the tear gas] was deployed.” Fourteen students were taken home from school by their parents, one of whom told NBC-4 Columbus that her children were crying when she arrived. No one was seriously hurt during the accidental gassing.
Again, this is not nearly as serious as the use of weapons (especially a loaded weapon) at a high school. I’m thrilled that no one was seriously hurt. But it does show, if you hadn’t realized it before, that police are not infallible. They can cause harm and they do.
Which is one reason why these active shooter drills should be entirely abolished.