A 73-year-old librarian became the latest victim of police in Punta Gorda, Florida. However, her tragic death — in front of 34 people, during an officer’s demonstration about police use of deadly force — is far from the, unfortunately common, tales of violence by law enforcement.
Mary Knowlton signed up to be a student in the citizen police academy hosted by the Punta Gorda Police Department, intended to show residents of the small town why and how officers do what they do.
After the group of 35 participants toured the police station and spoke with officers — a popular public relations tactic used by departments across the country amid the epidemic of police violence — Knowlton and another person decided to volunteer for a demonstration.
To illustrate how and when officers decide to use lethal force, the officer had the two students role-play a scenario putting citizens in cops’ shoes. Full Story »