911 Call from Officer Involved Shooting

Listen to the call James Clark's friend made to 911 before Gwinnett County Police were forced to shoot and kill the man in Lawrenceville, Ga.

Gwinnett County Police have released the 9-1-1 call from a man who says he's a friend of James Clark. The call was made in an attempt to help Clark, who the caller said was going through a rough time after his fiancee had just left him.

Police after he approached them with a rifle aimed at the officers. Clark's following the incident for disorderly conduct.

What do you think about GCPD's actions in this incident? Were the appropriate or over the line? Tell us in the comments section below.

Joseph Wade April 28, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Due to the always volatile, unknown nature of a situation in which someone is pointing a firearm of any kind at you, you have to assume the worst possible scenario. So, from this angle, the shooting is probably justified. On the other hand, if the officers who responded had been aware (which I do not know) of the immediate social history of breakup and present despondency, there might have been a good chance of talking the man down and getting him some psychological help to get past the moment. If a counselor, chaplain or other trained professional had been available, this life might have been saved. Ultimately, as described, this was a man in great despair, but more inclined toward death as an escape than toward life facing the immediate great pain and loss. Having failed several times to actually kill himself suggests that there was still a desire to live and get past it. The balance might have been, for example, 75% quite and 25% wanting help and living relief. Unfortunately, what did happen was suicide by police. I wonder what might have happened if the officer had understood this,and had refused vebally to summarily shoot the man. If he did not truly 100% want to kill himself, he probably even more did not want to harm the officer. I once read a very wise statement: "Tragedy is not when a right confronts a wrong. It is when two rights confront each other." This situation, as it developed, has the ring of a tragedy.
Crystal Huskey April 28, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Thanks for posting this Vanzetta. Joseph, perfect summation.


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