I am curious - on what grounds did the Showmans sue the police for the death of their daughter? It is a tragic death, but from your report the police received a call that someone was armed and dangerous. They encountered that person who pointed something at them which they had an instant choice to decide - weapon as described or no? The decision was shoot or be shot. I fail to see how this tragedy should result in any liability for the police officers or the department. Their tactics may be shady, but if they are routinely sued for tragedies such as this one, I can understand their desire to minimize their exposure.

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It does sound like law enforcement responded appropriately given what little information we have. At the same time, there’s a tendency of groups to circle the wagons and protect each other. I don’t trust just because someone wears a uniform, but I do support those in that tough job. It’s an imperfect world and we can not rush to judgment either way.

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Don’t discuss the weather. Don’t say howyadoin’. Don’t say anything.

You have nothing to gain by talking to them and everything to lose.

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Mixed feelings about this.

I agree that it is in poor taste to withhold information about a person's death from their family until information is procured, but that doesn't lessen the validity of that information or change the fact that opposition to it stems from a stance that "We wouldn't have shared that information if we knew he/she was dead", clearly implying they would've withheld pertinent information themselves which might have benefitted them in a future lawsuit.

It's all a big game, from all sides, and it's ugly.


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Very interesting essay. It does seem an inhumane response to a tragic situation. As others commented, I don't know the basis for damages - ethics aside. Unless perhaps emotional distress learning that one has been interrogated before the information has been revealed. I wonder if the response is linked to today's current environment, where police shootings are heavily scrutinized, and attorneys will be quick to swoop in.

Years ago, I was in Spain, where police roamed with military-style weapons. I went up to one to ask for directions, and he looked at me as if I were crazy and shooed me away. I remember thinking that I was glad our police were approachable. They also had a lottery, which I thought was a pathetic exploitation of the poor. Now, I am leary of walking up to a police officer and bombarded every day with the latest state-sponsored lottery.

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