Kansas Police Kill Teen to Stop Suicide

18-yld Joseph Jennings

18-year-old Joseph Jennings, though unarmed, was shot 16 times

On August 21, 2014, 18-year-old Joseph Jennings had attempted suicide by taking pills. He suffered from painful seizures, which apparently drove him to desperation. Two days later, after the hospital released him, Ottawa, Kansas police shot and killed Joseph. Dozens of spent shell casings as well as bean bags littered the scene. 16 times, a police officer shot this young man–not including several bean bags. Apparently, the 911 caller had reported someone with a gun, but witnesses indicate Jennings had no gun, and in the articles I’ve found, police don’t contradict that.

In true “we had to destroy the village to save it” logic, police killed another person behaving in a suicidal manner. Even more tragic, police threatened to shoot the teen’s (step-?)father, who neared Joseph, attempting to tackle him. Let that sink in. Police threatened to kill a man attempting to save his son.

Ottawa Police Chief, Dennis Butler, said the officers did what they were trained to do. ‘They reacted based upon the training that they’ve been given from the academy,’ Butler said. ‘We were thankful that no officer was injured from protecting themselves from risk of great bodily harm.’

“Ottawa Police Shoot Unarmed Teen 16 Times While Family Begs Them Not To”

I’m wondering, Police Chief Dennis Butler, why you’re training those under your command to kill unarmed, suicidal teenagers and threatening to kill their parents who try to save them. While I appreciate that you and your highly-trained officers want them to avoid risk of bodily harm, I don’t believe you that this unarmed 18-year-old posed “great bodily harm” to a group of cops. And, I can’t understand why you not only train them poorly in marksmanship (several rounds missed him, which I would think posed an even greater danger to your cops and/or bystanders), while teaching them that an unarmed, mentally ill teenager poses such a threat to your brave crime fighters that he needs to be shot 16 times.

Apparently, that wasn’t enough. Now, the the county attorney, Bob Bezek, has reportedly told Joseph’s family to take down the memorial they erected at the location where the brave Ottawa Police Department slaughtered him.

Compare and contrast:

Elaborate, expensive, taxpayer-funded funeral which interferes with traffic vs. makeshift memorial erected by family members

Elaborate, expensive, taxpayer-funded funeral which interferes with traffic vs. makeshift memorial erected by family members

updates: number of times victim shot, minor grammar corrections


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