Copper kills unarmed man who “walked with purpose” towards police car

Seven years on the force – probably had one of their shiny new police cars

A veteran police officer shot and killed an unarmed man this week in Des Moines, Iowa, after firing through the rolled-up window of her patrol car. Police say the man, identified as 28-year-old Ryan Keith Bolinger, “walked with purpose” toward officer Vanessa Miller’s vehicle when she fired the fatal shot.

According to police, the incident began on Tuesday night when Bolinger pulled up his Lincoln sedan to a Des Moines police patrol car helping to make an unrelated traffic stop of another vehicle. Bolinger was allegedly so close to the pullover that the officer inside could not open his door.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Des Moines police sergeant Jason Halifax said Bolinger then got out of his car and began “dancing in the street or making unusual movements in the street”.

Halifax said that Bolinger then got back into his vehicle and led police on a low-speed chase before making a U-turn, giving officers an opportunity to block his path with their patrol cars.

It was at this point, Halifax said, that Bolinger got out of his Lincoln and rushed toward the officer’s vehicle. Officer Miller, a seven-year veteran, fired one shot at Bolinger’s torso, who died on the scene.

No weapons were found on or near Bolinger’s body.

Life in America. Anywhere in these United States. Your life is in the hands of someone with a gun.

Weapons violence affects one in four kids

More than one-quarter of all children nationwide have been exposed to violence involving a weapon…

Over 17.5 million children (26.5% of the sample) ages 2 to 17 have either been victimized by weapons, such as a knife, gun, stick, or rock, or witnessed victimization with a weapon, reported Kimberly J. Mitchell, PhD, of the University of New Hampshire, and colleagues.

Of those surveyed, 2 million children (12.5%) experienced direct victimization, while 13.1% reported indirect victimization, they wrote in Pediatrics.

The study separately examined weapons with a “high lethality risk,” such as guns and knives, with 3.1% of the victimized sample reporting at least one direct (2.1%) or indirect (0.9%) incident involving these types of weapons in the past year. Risk factors included those children living with a non-parent adult caregiver (7.9%) and older age (6.3% of 14- to 17-year-olds).

Not surprisingly, those victimized by a knife or gun were more likely to be associated with personal weapon carrying (13.2%), peer weapon carrying in the past year (12.3%), and victimization at least seven times (“poly-victimization status”) in the last year (8.4%)…

Mitchell told MedPage Today in a separate interview that while other previous studies about youth and violence have examined how personal weapon carrying leads to negative outcomes, this study wanted to explore the effect that trauma had on the children involved.

“The results underscore the importance of health professionals asking all children about their exposure to weapons and remembering that it is particularly essential to do so in children with histories of victimization,” she said. “Moreover, when young people have been exposed to weapons, the mental health consequences must be assessed and addressed.”

Tidy, taut and timely, this report brings professionalism and perhaps a bit too much objectivity to the lives of children affected by violence. Too many concern themselves only with their “right” to involve violent means in defense of whatever they wish to defend, to punish anyone they wish to punish. Absent law and lawfulness.

Still, I wish it could serve as testimony to change laws used over and again to defend circumstances that lead to abuse and death for children more in need of care than weapons.