Police Gun Down Diabetic Man Who Desperately Needed Medical Help

police carWhen we call the police for help, we expect them to do just that ... help. A Georgia woman says that the exact opposite happened when she called 911 for her sick boyfriend. The cops ended up shooting the poor man to death and the details of the deadly incident are unbelievable.

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Police Chief Tony Tanner claims that when his officers arrived on the scene, Jack Lamar Roberson was acting aggressively and armed with "two items he used as weapons." They say he refused to listen to their warning to drop what he had in his hands. As a result, they shot and killed him.

Roberson's girlfriend Alicia Herron and mother, however, both say that story is absolutely untrue. According to them, he never threatened the cops, nor did he have anything in his hands. As they tell it, the police just barged in and killed him unprovoked. Herron describes the scary scene as follows:

They just came in and shot him. He didn't say nothing, the police didn't say nothing, anything, it was like a silent movie. You couldn't hear anything, all you could hear were the gun shots go off and I seen them going into his body and he just fell down.

She says a reaction to an overdose of diabetes medication could have contributed to his erratic and confused state. There certainly seem to be some holes in both sides of this story. However, I still don't see why they shot and killed the man. I know their jobs are hard -- arguably the toughest profession outside of military service. Most of us don't have the guts to put our lives on the line every single day. But wasn't there a better way to resolve this situation -- at least in a way that didn't result in his death? Shoot him in the leg, perhaps? Or taser him?

This story is especially disturbing considering that it's not an isolated incident. Last month 25-year-old Jonathan A. Ferrell was killed by cops while trying to get medical help after a car crash. In both cases, these were black men and it begs the question whether race played a part in these tragedies. Why is lethal force necessary? Are the police being overzealous? It's certainly a frightening thing to think about.

Do you think the police used excessive force in these situations?


Image via Cliff/Flickr

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