Law enforcement world slams Biden's advice to shoot suspects 'in the leg'
"We shoot to stop the threat," said Lawrence O'Toole, a lieutenant colonel with the St. Louis Police Department. "You could be endangering the public by shooting and missing."
Law enforcement officials are slamming Joe Biden's suggestion that police officers should shoot violent assailants in the leg to avoid a potentially fatal altercation, with experts arguing that police are trained to do exactly the opposite of what Biden advised in order to minimize harm during violent confrontations.
In an extended exchange with a questioner during his Philadelphia town hall event with host George Stephanopolous Thursday, Biden laid out his vision for police reform, including his opinion of how police officers should utilize deadly force while on the job.
"There's a lot of things we've learned, and it takes time," he said, "but we can do this. You can ban chokeholds … but beyond that, you have to teach people how to de-escalate circumstances."
"So, instead of anybody coming at you and the first thing you do is shoot to kill, you shoot them in the leg," he offered as an example.
'Why don't we train the military to do that?'
Multiple law enforcement officials argued to Just the News that Biden had strongly misjudged the logistics of police use-of-force.
"It's a myth," Dana Schrad, the executive director of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, said of Biden's notion that leg shots are a practical alternative to current police training.
"We have a continuum of use of force policies that we follow," she said of police officers. "Officers are trained to de-escalate situations, to use the minimal force necessary, to contain a situation, and to bring it to a peaceful conclusion."
"If an officer is forced to use lethal force," she continued, "that means there's imminent danger. If there's that level of danger that would force an officer to use a firearm, he's trained to shoot to body mass."
"It takes some really special equipment and a real good marksman to disable someone by shooting them in the leg," she added.
Biden's remarks on Thursday were not the first time the politician has given controversial law enforcement advice. He made the same shoot-for-the-leg argument at a community meeting in June of this year. Several years ago, the former vice president also suggested that utilizing a double-barreled shotgun and "fir[ing] two blasts outside the house" would be enough to scare away would-be criminals.