Police misconduct can cause wrongful death. Wrongful death in the context of police misconduct happens when a police officer unlawfully or negligently fires his or her gun and as a result causes the death of a person. The usual pattern is a police officer uses his or her gun intentionally but unreasonably, usually as a result of subjective (not objective) concern for his or her own safety and/or safety of others. Often the issue is whether a lesser force could have been used to stop the transgressor, in other words was the use of a gun legally justified. It is axiomatic that police misconduct can take a hefty toll on the society as a whole. Not only the family members of the decedent suffer unimaginable sorrow, but also any payment to the victim's family, either through settlement or jury verdict award, is paid by the tax payers. As such, with the popular use of recording devices police misconduct has become the subject of intense public scrutiny. In some countries such as United Kingdom police officers do not carry guns. However, in the United Kingdom gun sale to the public is unlawful and therefore it is most unlikely that a police officer would be faced with a person who is armed. In contrast in the United States the second amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, therefore the solution is not banning the sale of guns in the United States, nor is it to stop police officers from carrying guns.
A relevant issue that is the subject of the public conversation is police use of racial profiling. It has been argued that racial profiling is a by product of policing the public no matter how much training and supervision are afforded the police, and consequently it is more likely than not that a police officer would invoke the use of his or her gun in a police pursuit or a traffic stop when racial profiling is employed by the police officer to assess the situation. It has been widely reported that minorities are afflicted with the brunt of police misconduct i.e. abuse of firearm. Some argue that it is not because of the racial profiling that minorities are more likely the subject of police misconduct, but rather in the poverty stricken communities crime is more prevalent and consequently the more police presence, a recipe for more errors and mistakes. Such posturing supposes a factual premise that more and more minorities continue to live and do live in poverty afflicted communities. So what is the solution? It has been suggested that leaders of the nation, those in the government and the private sector, must do more to remove poverty from the afflicted communities. The logic behind this proposition is that crime is more widespread in poverty stricken communities, and that by removing the poverty, arguably there will be a reduction in crime, and consequently a reduction in the concomitant police profiling as well. However removing poverty from society has been the goal of every society since perhaps time immemorial. Perceivably the most successful in this regard are perhaps the socialist countries of Scandinavia. Socialist societies pay heavy taxes to carry the burden of the less fortunate, an ideology that is frowned on in the United States - not the helping of the less fortunate but the "heavy taxes." One would think that an extraterrestrial being visiting planet earth would possibly conclude that on planet earth societies, in most part of the world including the United States, are segregated by those who "have" and those who "have-not", and that the law's main purpose is to protect the "haves" from the "have-nots." A cynical and simplistic world view, but nonetheless a thought provoking one. Not all people are born with equal opportunities and some humans have immutable physical characteristics that unfortunately makes them the target of prejudice by the less educated (not in terms of schooling but rather in terms of understanding). People are created as equals and must be treated as equals, yet somehow application of this simple truth runs afoul. It has in the past and it will in the future until such a day that humans realize that they should not compete with one another by way of prejudice but rather work with one another to give a helping hand to the less fortunate among us. Until such a day when we all can get along and live happily, the remedy prescribed by law in police misconduct cases is wrongful death litigation, i.e. suing the responsible person and/or entity for monetary damages, with the intent that such damages would alleviate the sorrow of the victims' family and furthermore be a deterrent for the police not to commit the same wrong again.