During the incident, Taylor used Less than Lethal shotgun beanbag rounds when Wrana brandished a knife. Taylor fired 5 rounds and the autospy reported two rounds struck Wrana in the abdomen and one in the chest. Wrana died five hours later of internal bleeding from the blunt force trauma.
Now, Taylor wasn't the only Officer present, four other Park Forest officers responded as well. During testimony, two of the others stated they were in fear of their lives during the incident, with the on scene Surpervisor testifying, "I thought deadly force was authorized and we were using reasonable force under the circumstances."
However, a use of force expert and former Secret Service surpervisor Francis Murphy, referred to the 5 officers' tactics as "officer-created jeopardy", criticized their decision making, and offered up several alternatives they should have used,
"They didn't start by giving it a cooling-off time. They kept going into his room and agitating him."Murphy did testify trying to shield rush Wrana or using pepper-spray could have jeopadized the officers or caused serious injuries to Wrana as well.
Do the facts that Wrana was a white 95 year old WWII veteran and Taylor is an African-American have anything to do with the decision to prosecute? I don't know.
I do know something about this type of incident, having responded to several near exact situations. In a recent one, I responded to a call out to an Hospice/Elder Care building.
At 2 in the morning an elderly, confused, angry and frightened man had somehow gotten an old claw hammer (not an Estwing) which he had hit a nurse in the shoulder and was outisde his room pounding on doors and furniture.
My on duty sergeant and another officer showed up. While my Sergeant chatted up the old man I moved to his side and out of his perherial vision. Several pieces of furniture had been moved around the man by members of the staff. He absent-mindedly brandished the hammer and at one point raised it up over his right shoulder. At which point I grabbed the hammer and yanked it from his grasp.
The man turned at me and demanded I return his hammer calling me a "little sneak thief". While the gentleman refused to go to his room, he sat down in a nearby chair and quickly fell asleep.
So, what should be lesson and take away from this and other Use of Force incidents?
I'm not sure. What I do know is I and other Police Officers are being counted upon more and more often to respond to incidents which really require trained medical personnel or Social Workers. But, because right-wingers have thrown in with the Guard Dogs of the Plutocracy, funding for those people and programs has been slashed mercilessly.
And now Republicans are coming to steal Social Security and working on rolling back even the modest gains from Obamacare.