American Policing 101, for the year 2015: Principles to memorize.
HOW TO STOP A SUSPECT
1. It’s best to shoot to kill with all suspects. Do not call for back up to help take them down. Do not rely on pepper spray or non lethal ammunition. Do not tackle them–you might slightly injure yourself. Do not shoot them just because they’re black. Shoot them because they’re afraid or trying to get away–and black.
2. Shoot to kill, every time. Do not shoot at their legs or hips, since that might stop them without killing them.
3. If they’re white you need not shoot them unless they’re acting crazy (or “crazy”). If they’re white (or any other color) but seem to be suffering hallucinations, whether from a bipolar condition or drugs, kill them immediately. Do it quicker if they have an ink pen or a small broken bottle or some other deadly implement.
4. If they have what is likely a toy gun, shoot them. You can’t take a chance. A ten year old boy can be as deadly as a thirty year old man. Shoot them and then check.
5. If you have back-up, wait till the back-up has its guns drawn as well, so that everyone can shoot the suspect together.
6. If the suspect comes at you with a knife, no matter how small, shoot him dead instantly. Sure, if it’s in his right hand, your shot at his right shoulder is as good a shot as hitting his heart, or head, but don’t shoot him in the shoulder, because that would stop him, and he might live.
7. If they or their relatives or friends have a dog of any kind, SHOOT THE DOG. Even a toy poodle can bite.
Always opt for panic. Using judgment about when to shoot to kill will only delay shooting to kill.
HOW TO SEARCH A SUSPECT
1. If they reach into pockets for identification you have just asked for, shoot them. Maybe there was a little knife under the identification.
2. If they seem frightened by the search, shoot them. Don’t take a chance!
John Shirley is the author of numerous books and many, many short stories. His novels include Bleak History, Crawlers, Demons, In Darkness Waiting, and seminal cyberpunk works City Come A-Walkin', and the A Song Called Youth trilogy of Eclipse, Eclipse Penumbra, and Eclipse Corona. His collections include the Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild award-winning Black Butterflies, Living Shadows: Stories: New & Pre-owned, and In Extremis: The Most Extreme Short Stories of John Shirley. He also writes for screen (The Crow) and television. As a musician Shirley has fronted his own bands and written lyrics for Blue Öyster Cult and others.