Rep. Byrd: Police Too Quick to Use Deadly Force
Wyoming's lone black legislator says this week's officer-involved shootings "should be troubling to everybody, not just minorities."
Representative James Byrd, D-Cheyenne, who's dad served as Cheyenne's chief of police from 1966 to 1974, says "it's very easy to turn up the race card," but what's even more troubling is the "escalation (of officers) to use deadly force so quickly."
"When you go back and evaluate these things, you see really a catastrophic failure in that ability to process the level of response to the situation," said Byrd.
Byrd says law enforcement agencies need to do a better job of training officers how to react to situations and eliminate officers that have racial motivations.
"There is a commonality to it happening," said Byrd. "Most of them are officers who do not have years of training and experience, most of them do not have years of dealing with cross-cultural interactions and some of them are just plain, for a lack of a better word, racially intolerant."
"When you take a life, especially on the law enforcement side, you can't be judge, jury and executioner in the field," added Byrd. "I'm afraid that that's what some of these police officers are headed for in the judgement and the execution of their duties."