Via Bruce Schneier’s blog, the Washington Post reports on “the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which represents the heads of police departments in the United States and across the world, has issued new guidelines saying that officers who confront a suicide bomber should shoot the suspect in the head.” But this isn’t the scary part, considering that not shooting at the bomb seems fairly obvious. This is the scary part:
The police organization’s behavioral profile says such a person might exhibit “multiple anomalies,” including wearing a heavy coat or jacket in warm weather or carrying a briefcase, duffle bag or backpack with protrusions or visible wires. The person might display nervousness, an unwillingness to make eye contact or excessive sweating. There might be chemical burns on the clothing or stains on the hands. The person might mumble prayers or be “pacing back and forth in front of a venue.”
The police group’s guidelines also say the threat to officers does not have to be “imminent,” as police training traditionally teaches. Officers do not have to wait until a suspected bomber makes a move, another traditional requirement for police to use deadly force. An officer just needs to have a “reasonable basis” to believe that the suspect can detonate a bomb, the guidelines say.
To be blunt: if you have a Middle Eastern appearance and luggage, or are an electrician, make sure that you’re never nervous in public, or the police may lawfully shoot you in the head. Y’know, to be safe. I sure hope this doesn’t get traction in the U.S. But it probably will. I’m less concerned about awareness of important warning signs than I am of a policy of ’preventative’ shooting to kill.