We recently saw a problem where a policeman pulled a gun on a 10-year-old black child, pointed the gun at the child, and ordered him to the ground. The police department said that the officer followed department policy.
Perhaps we should examine the department policies and guidelines. Do the guidelines have any reference to height at all or any reference to possible age. Would the guidelines prohibit an officer from drawing a gun on a 2’ 6” toddler or a 3'8" 6-year old or a 10-year old that is of near normal height. If there is no policy for these cases, perhaps they should be considered.
Is there any policy that the officer should look at the “suspect” and estimate the age? If the child is estimated to be 6 or 8 or 10, perhaps the officer should be given some advice on an action. If there is no gun in sight, perhaps the officer could ask the age of the child.
Finally, are there any records that show any Utah officer acted in a similar way with a 10-year-old white child? If so, that would do much to defray the concern that this is a racial act. I fear that there are none, but I hope someone in the state can prove me wrong.
So, let’s not vilify the officer but ask if police reasonable guidelines or policy exists to answer these questions. If they don’t, obviously this is a management issue and the people in charge, not the officer, should be asked to answer.
Bud Funk, Morgan