The Use of Force

Blood on walkway at Borough Hall subway station after shooting. NYPD says 1 dead

— Alex Silverman (@AlexSilverman) March 11, 2015

Norman Seabrook, the president of the New York City Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, cautioned the public not to rush to a conclusion. “I believe that we should wait until all circumstances are in before rushing to judgment,” Mr. Seabrook said. Mr. Seabrook said there was a confrontation and the former officer was “forced to use his weapon.”

A bystander filmed part of the confrontation on a cellphone, and it was shown Tuesday night on WCBS. The video shows a taller, older man approaching a younger man and shoving him. The two briefly struggle before a gunshot is heard. It was not clear what happened right before or after the video was taken.

A man, a sixty-nine-year-old ex-corrections officer, was “forced” to draw his gun; a man, an unarmed thirty-two-year-old, was shot in the chest with deadly “force.” This may have been a “force” majeure: What else could’ve happened when former members of the city’s deeply troubled corrections department are allowed to carry guns into civilian life, long after their time on the “force”?