Letter: It takes courage to refrain from using deadly force

(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Melissa Kennedy, mother of Danielle Willard, speaks during a "rally against police violence" outside of West Valley City Hall on the one year anniversary of Danielle Willard's death Saturday November 2, 2013. Danielle Willard was shot and killed Nov. 2, 2012 by West Valley City police during an alleged drug bust. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill determined West Valley City Detective Kevin Salmon and former Detective Shaun Cowley were not justified in using deadly force against Willard, but he has not determined whether the pair will face criminal charges for their actions.

Robert Kirby’s July 27 column is spot-on. “Stand your ground” is idiotic. And the Florida case could have happened just as easily here.

I understand the concept — after all, real men never back down. Tell that to the thousands of police officers who are man (or woman) enough to do it every day. I am a 6-foot-5-inch, 250-pound man. I am in a profession that has put me in the path of angry individuals over 80,000 times in 40 or so years. I have been hit, spat on, sworn at and attacked by every kind of weapon you can imagine (including guns). And every one of those individuals (and I) were alive at the end of the conflict. Nothing, short of saving a life, is worth deadly force. And a warped sense of machismo is at the bottom of the “nothing” list. Lawmakers, do the manly (or womanly) thing and change the law.

Bob Barr, Salt Lake City

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