Are police officers accountable for using deadly force?

Posted July 12, 2010, at 7:31 p.m.

The shooting of a man outside the Togus veterans hospital last week by a VA officer and game wardens will be investigated by a panel that determines whether the law enforcement agents were justified. Historically, those panels, which are composed of those working in criminal justice or public safety, find officers are justified. Are Maine law enforcement officers too quick to use deadly force? Should they be required to get more training to handle standoffs with people with weapons? Should the panels that review such shootings include “civilian” representatives? Or are law enforcement agencies in Maine merely reflecting the realities of dealing with a violent populace, and with the new threat of those who are trying to get shot (referred to as “suicide by cop”)?