CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer asked guest Jeffrey Toobin on Thursday why police weren’t instructed to “shoot to injure,” instead of kill.
Blitzer’s questions arose during a discussion on the unfurling conflict in Ferguson, Mo. over the fatal police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.
“They often shoot to kill,” Blitzer said of police. “Why do they have to shoot to kill? Why can’t they shoot a warning shot in the air, scare someone off if they think they’re in danger. Why can’t they shoot to, injure, shall we say? Why do they have to shoot to kill?”
Toobin said police are trained to “never fire a warning shot” and to “never fire a shot to injure.” He explained that if police fire their guns, they must “accept the risk” that they are “gonna kill somebody.” Adding that: “If you are not prepared to kill someone, don’t fire the gun.”
The rationale behind this, according to Toobin, is that if law enforcement is taught to fire warning shots or to shoot to injure instead of kill, people will be shot “too often.”