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Letter: More training is needed for police officers who protect our citizens

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Posted: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 6:27 am

Parminder Singh Shergill’s death was one that should never have happened. I blame it on lack of training for those on duty to “protect” the citizens of Lodi — and themselves. If an officer cannot discharge his/her weapon at a distance of 20 feet in order to just wound or disable a victim, then he/she should go back to gunnery school and get training on “a placed shot.” These officers had plenty of experience between them to know the difference. They must have known Mr. Shergill’s background since he had been seen at least four times before.

Witnesses say he was not in an aggressive stance; hands up, walking and some say no knife in sight. If he did have one, it must have been a small pocket knife — they never reported he reached in his pocket.

I’d also like to address this letter to Mr. Shergill’s group of fellow veterans at the Stockton Veterans Clinic. I know your loss of this man, and his comradeship to your group, means a lot to your own recovery. I know how you feel about that authority taking advantage of their authority. Just remember they think a little differently than the way you were trained, and somehow act accordingly. Your group leader will most likely go over this particular problem. I know our group will talk on this again as we see the need is there.

Yes, I am in a group of PTSD veterans — World War II veterans. We are slowly losing our members. I am a veteran with four years in the Marine Corps and two years fighting in the South Pacific, both with the Marine Raiders and the 3rd Marine Division. I was taught a “placed shot” theory with the Raiders when they needed a prisoner. I spent 12 days on Iwo Jima before being hit by machine gun fire and carried off the island. I still fight my war, even in my sleep, and I know you young men do as well.

And to those who train in protecting their citizens: Approach the problems with protecting the citizens, not using them as target practice. I think 15 rounds in a person to disable him is 14 too many.

Frank Wright


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