This is a whole shitload of factors combining to create one effed up outcome.
A) cop training appears to be woefully inadequate when it comes to defusing situations such as this one peacefully….at least in this situation. We have no idea how many similar situations end with better outcomes do we?
B) The state of mind of the cop firing at the victim. I can't even imagine what was going through that guys head at that moment….his training may have been as previously outlined here. "Shoot to control the threat". HE was probably flying on autopilot. I guarantee you he didnt count how may shots he let off … the moment he fired once he was fully committed to neutralizing the "threat". He ramped himself up to the point of no return. I bet he even fired several more times not realizing he emptied the clip. Purely going on reflex at that point - another example of lack of training/preparation for such a situation. Police need to be in control of their actions at all times.
c) No other cop was able to recognize that one of their members was about to lose it. you see no communication among the cops, no clear leader taking charge of the situation. Its a free-for-all. None of them even appear to react when he shoots. They all have their emotional blinders up. Yes compassion can be a sign of weakness, but cops need to recognize when compassion goes a long way in certain situations. When your facing someone like a Bacon Brother compassion be damned..but this was just a messed up kid with a pocket knife. Once again- more training required on the parts of cops to be able to determine a more appropriate approach to the situation.
In the end - i see no excuse as to why this happened. I feel sorry for the officer who pulled the trigger. I fully believe that he lost control of his actions was on a train-wreck course. No flexibility in his approach. He'll probably need years of therapy. After it was all done im sure he didnt want to kill the kid.
The family of the victim, as hard as it may be, are in a position to advocate for change. Instead of calling for heads to roll, they should take the high road and lobby hard from their position to drastically improve training of cops. Its unfortunate that this world needs law enforcement - but we do. They need to be better at their jobs.
Unfortunately I have the strong suspicion that they will use the one cop as the fall guy. Everyone will smile and feel justice has been served. Then go back to whining about the woe of the Maple Leafs, how their beer was to warm, and dammit the DVP flooded again.
Nothing will actually change.