The Jurors who acquitted Philip Brailsford of second-degree murder last week were told to judge him based on "how a reasonable officer would act, versus a regular person with no police training," as The Arizona Republic put it. That distinction was crucial, because a "regular person" would never get away with shooting an unarmed man who was crawling on the floor, sobbing, and begging for his life.
Like other recent cases in which jurors failed to hold police officers accountable for the unnecessary use of deadly force, Jacob Sullum writes, Brailsford's acquittal shows that Cops benefit from a double standard. Unlike ordinary citizens, Sullum says, they can kill with impunity as long as they say they were afraid, whether or not their fear was justified.
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