Posts Tagged ‘idiot cops’

One sheriff’s deputy shot himself in the leg while pulling out his gun to confront a suspect.

Another accidentally fired a bullet in a restroom stall. A third deputy stumbled over a stroller in a closet as he was searching for a suspect, squeezing off a round that went through a wall and lodged in a piece of furniture in the next room.

Accidental gunshots by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies have more than doubled in two years, endangering bystanders and occasionally injuring deputies. The jump coincides with the department’s move to a new handgun that lacks a safety lever and requires less pressure to pull the trigger.

Sheriff’s officials say that the increase in accidental discharges — from 12 in 2012 to 30 last year — occurred because deputies were adjusting to the new gun. They expect the numbers to fall in the years ahead. So far this year, the department has recorded seven accidental discharges, five of which involved the new weapon.

But the problems may not be over, as more deputies switch to the Smith & Wesson M&P9. In response, department officials have imposed extra training requirements.

The M&P has obvious benefits. It is easier to shoot accurately, can be fired more reliably under stress and is a better fit for people with small hands. The switch was prompted in part by the threat of a lawsuit by women who had failed the Sheriff’s Academy. More recruits — including more women — are now passing the firearms test, and veteran deputies are also logging better scores at the firing range.

But the sharp increase in accidental discharges has prompted an investigation by the Sheriff’s Department’s new inspector general. Critics say this type of semiautomatic, which is widespread in law enforcement and includes the Glock used by many agencies, is too easy to misfire.

At the New York Police Department, a rookie officer is facing criminal charges, including negligent homicide, in a fatal shooting in a housing project stairwell. An attorney for the officer says he accidentally fired his department-issued Glock.

A former Los Angeles Police Department officer who was paralyzed when his 3-year-old son shot him with a Glock has sued the gun manufacturer and others, alleging that the light trigger pull and lack of a safety mechanism contributed to the accident.

Bob Owens, editor of BearingArms.com, says the design of the Glock and the M&P makes such tragedies more likely. “I don’t think, with the amount of training most agencies have, that a gun that has so few tolerances for mistakes is the best choice,” he said.

An adjustment

For two decades, L.A. County sheriff’s deputies carried the Beretta 92F, a heavy metal gun with a large grip.

People with small hands often have trouble flipping up the Beretta’s safety as they prepare to fire. The first shot requires 12 to 15 pounds of pressure on the trigger, forcing some to use two fingers and reducing shooting accuracy for many. Subsequent shots take about 4 pounds of pressure.

The M&P is made of lightweight polymer, with a hand grip that comes in three sizes. Firing a round is as simple as pulling the trigger with a consistent 6 to 8 pounds of pressure.

Sheriff’s deputies have the option of sticking with the Beretta, and some have, saying they are used to it. But many who have switched to the M&P say their shooting has improved.

“At first, I thought, ‘No way, I’m keeping my Beretta forever,'” said Sgt. Mike Rafter, a firearms instructor. “Then I started shooting, and it’s a lot nicer. I can shoot better, and I’m more confident.”

Read the rest @ http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-sheriff-guns-20150614-story.html#page=1