NYCTalking sends out our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Darrius Kennedy, a man that was shot and killed by the NYPD on Times Square over the weekend.
Darrius was smoking marijuana in the Times Square area. When approached by police he is said to have taken out a large 11 1/2 inch knife and holding it like an ice pick over his head. Police tried to reason with him, even pepper sprayed him but he continued brandishing the weapon and walking/running around Times Square. At some point the police officers made the decision to open fire on Darrius. The Hempstead resident was shot at least 7 times and died from the wounds. Police officers armed with tasers were said to be on route, however did not arrive until after the fact.
This was not the first time that Darrius had a run in with the law, apparently the 51 year old had over 10 arrests going back as far as 1978. He was taken for mental evaluation in 2008 yet must have been cleared as he was still free. Family members stated that they hadn’t seen him since June. They questioned why police fired on him and why they didn’t shoot him in the leg or something to the effect. I wonder where they were prior to this happening though?
Here’s the thing, anyone with a gun is taught one thing, and I am sure that this applies to police officers as well. You do not draw your weapon unless you are in imminent danger and are fully prepared to fire. If you do draw your weapon and open fire, then you shoot to kill, you do not shoot to maim, nor to slow down, you shoot to kill.
I am in no way justifying murder, however, if the police hesitated much longer, and that man ended up killing a child in Times Square, I’m sure opinions would be very different about his being shot. How would you feel if your family member were the victim of this knife wielding man because the police hesitated to shoot him?
The police, military, and any other form of law enforcement has a very difficult job, hard decisions have to be made. I am sorry that a man lost his life, but when it comes down to it, I’d rather have the man wielding a knife shot and killed as opposed to an innocent child being killed by the knife wielding man.
Bare in mind that Times Square is one of the most heavily populated areas in NYC, filled with tourists and locals alike. The police had to do what they had to do. Mayor Bloomberg and the police department stand by the officers and their decision.