About a month after a white officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., the city’s assistant police chief, Al Eickhoff, took to Google and searched under the words “less lethal.”
Eickhoff, a 36-year veteran of Missouri police work, said he was looking for any new device, weapon or ammunition — any alternative to lethal force — that might have prevented a deadly result when Michael Brown and Officer Darren Wilson encountered each other in the noonday heat last August.
Browsing a California company’s Web site, Eickhoff found pictures and videos of an odd-looking, blaze-orange device docked on a normal handgun barrel. When a bullet fired, it melded with an attached projectile the size of a ping-pong ball that flew with enough force to knock a person down, maybe break some ribs, but not kill him, the product’s makers said — even at close range.
Its name: the Alternative.
Great, but how about actually teaching officers gun safety and incident management, instead of letting them shoot at anything that moves?