Officer A is walking down the street and X says something personal to A. Officer says X knows that's not true. Then X responds by screaming insults and obscenities at Officer A. Officer B tells X he shouldn't be so rude to A. X and B get into an altercation where B hits X. X tells B he's dead if he tries to shoot him.
A crowd of around 50 people begins to gather around A and B. The crowd begins to shout insults at B and throw objects at him. A call goes out for back up and 7 more officers arrive. One of the crowd tells the officers that the crowd will kill the officers if they shoot.
At this point, the crowd has grown to 300-400 people. The officers tell the crowd to disperse.
Instead of dispersing, the crowd becomes more rowdy and belligerent. They are throwing objects at the officers and taunting them. One member of the crowd threatens the officers with a baseball bat. Finally, something strikes one of the officers and knocks him down. That is followed by members of the crowd attempting to hit the officers. One of the officers is struck during the melee.
I should add that there had been agitation about "police brutality" among the locals, which contributed to why there was the taunting of the officers.
Additionally, most of the members of the crowd were not what people would call "solid citizens"--after all, they are threatening authority and willing to attack them and possibly kill them.
What should the officers do in your opinion?
- Use nonlethal force to stop the threat
- Fire their weapons into the crowd
Think about your answers to this scenario very carefully.