The laws regarding police officers discharging their weapons are difficult to regulate after an incident has occurred. If an officer feels threatened, he or she may use a weapon in order to subdue or kill a suspect. Unfortunately, many instances have occurred in which officers have shot unarmed victims because they mistakenly perceived a threat from an individual.
Dallas police are investigating one such incident, in which Officer Amy Wilburn shot 19-year-old Kelvion Walker. According to Fox DFW, Dallas police have stated that Wilburn “perceived Walker to be an imminent threat, drew her weapon and discharged it once striking him.”
Witnesses of the incident have since questioned what Wilburn believed was an “imminent threat,” as Walker was reclined in the front passenger seat of a vehicle and holding both his hands in the are when the officer approached him.
Wilburn, who has worked for 12 years on the force, was placed on administrative leave while the officers conduct an investigation into her actions.
WFAA 8 reports that Attorney General Kevin Washington has sued the Dallas Police Department for the shooting and death of another unarmed individual, Clinton Allen.
“I don’t know how many unarmed individuals are going to have to be killed before someone intervenes,” Washington said.
Dallas City Councilman Dwaine Caraway agreed that action needs to take place in the city regarding the police’s use of excessive force.
“I think it’s getting to a point now or it has gotten to the point where we are going to have to bunker down and ask some tough questions about police training and get a better understanding of it,” Caraway said.
Exact statistics are not available, but several news reports have emerged from Dallas in recent months regarding the shooting of unarmed individuals. Walker remains in critical condition at the hospital for shooting-related injuries.