"I don't really know how many people swallowed your self-righteous BS about the police and fire 'do-nothings,' but I think you should first look at the elected officials who decided water-rescue training on an island was no longer necessary.
"Though I was not there, and neither were you, I cannot say whether or not this individual had a weapon, or what his reaction may have been to a group of officials coming to 'get' him. The first thing you, the lawyers, and every other instant expert would say is: were they acting within established policy? Were they acting within their scope of training?
"In your life, making an assumption will at best make you look like more of a horse's rear than you already do. In the case of a public safety official, that assumption could get them killed. ... Rules are in place for a reason. Do you always agree with them? No. Act outside the rules and you might not live to go home to your family after work."
This is the mentality of the bureaucrat, and it's widespread within public-safety bureaucracies, who increasingly place 'officer safety' as the main concern of any operation -- to the point that they often do nothing. As I wrote in my column,
"Police and fire agencies are bureaucracies and, as such, they end up functioning in a similar manner to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the IRS and any other alphabet-soup agency you can name. As author and economist Thomas Sowell put it, 'You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for bureaucrats procedure is everything and outcomes are nothing.' And so normal people stand around wondering how we can end up with such a bad outcome - a preventable death - while the bureaucracies, stuck as they are on procedure, tell us they acted appropriately."
The problem is that police and fire policies are established by the unions and the politicians who curry favor with them. The key question is how to get the public interest back into the debate as we determine policies that can have life-and-death consequences.