HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -The recent spike in law enforcement shootings is something to be concerned about, but not necessarily in the way you might think.
The deaths of several unarmed suspects have led to calls for better training for officers, deployment of more non-lethal weapons, and new policies for pursuits and arrests.
But let's not be so quick to blame law enforcement in general for these unfortunate cases.
Most of our peace officers consider themselves just that. They want to help keep the peace, not increase violence. The vast majority are well-trained and professional and pulling the trigger is the last thing they want to do.
What is more disturbing is the likelihood that more people are being shot – because our streets have become more dangerous – for both police and the rest of us.
The meth epidemic, poverty, homelessness and even the lack of mental health and prison beds have left too many desperate people on the streets.
Many are living criminal lifestyles, sustaining themselves on petty crime. But even a petty criminal – when addicted to drugs that make them paranoid and manic – can make bad decisions in a confrontation with law enforcement.
Let’s thank the people who protect us for their service. Of course investigate when things go wrong, but also appreciate the larger picture of why they end up in the terrible position of having to make that fatal decision in the first place.