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紐時賞析/槍擊案「失能校警」被捕 當警察一定敢衝不怕死?

2019-06-26 15:32聯合報 紐時賞析

人們普遍認為當警察就該置死生於度外。 法新社
人們普遍認為當警察就該置死生於度外。 法新社
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Bravery Is a Job Requirement. In Real Time, It Isn’t Always So Simple.

警察 一定敢衝不怕死?

When Lt. Craig Cardinale got to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as a mass shooting was unfolding last year, he found Deputy Scot Peterson pacing outside, repeating, “Oh, my God. Oh, my God.”

去年,當克蘭格.卡丁納爾小隊長抵達發生大型槍擊案的馬喬瑞史東曼道格拉斯高中時,他發現警官史考特.彼得森在外頭踱步並不斷說著「我的天啊、我的天啊。」

The deputy, who was assigned to the school, was behaving in ways typically associated with fear or panic, the lieutenant told investigators. He was moving “back and forth,” talking to himself and “breathing heavily.”

小隊長告訴調查人員,這位被派往該校的警官表現出來的,是跟恐懼與驚慌有關的典型行為,他「來回」移動、自言自語,而且「呼吸急促」。

What he was not doing was what the prevailing law enforcement protocol says was his first responsibility: Go into the building. Stop the gunman.

而他沒能做到的,是履行現今通行執法準則下他的首要職責:進入大樓內制止槍手。

Peterson has been castigated and criminally charged with endangering children and culpable negligence in connection with the attack that left 17 people dead. The case against him is highly unusual and promises to raise all manner of legal questions, such as whether a police officer’s failure to perform as trained can lead to prison.

彼得森受到嚴厲批判,並因在這起17人死亡的攻擊事件中使兒童性命陷入危險,且有重大疏失而被以刑事罪名移送法辦。他的這個案例頗不尋常,而且肯定會引發各種法律問題,例如警察是否會因未能按照受過的訓練行事而導致入獄。

But it also raises a larger moral question: How much bravery do we expect, or demand, of law enforcement officers? What level of courage rises to the level of heroism — and what is just part of earning the paycheck?

而此案同時也引發一個更大的道德問題:我們對執法人員的勇敢該有多大的期望或要求?要有多少勇氣才能達到英雄的水準?只用來賺取薪水的勇氣又該是多少?

Officers themselves are likely to hear inconsistent or even contradictory messages that may reflect the public’s polarized view of police as protectors or oppressors. Police officers rushed into the twin towers as they were collapsing; they have also shot and killed unarmed people for fear of losing their own lives.

警察本身可能會聽到不一致甚至互相矛盾的訊息,而這些訊息反映了民眾對於警察是保護者或壓迫者的兩極看法,警察曾經在雙子星大樓正在倒塌時衝了進去;而他們也曾因為害怕失去自己的生命而開槍打死手無寸鐵的人。

“Every cop has heard some variation of ‘Your first job is to go home at the end of your shift,’ some version of ‘It’s better to be tried by 12 than carried by six.’ And every cop has also heard ‘You are the heroes; you are the front lines of defense; you are the ones who are supposed to run toward the gunshots,’ ” said Seth Stoughton, a former police officer who now teaches law at the University of South Carolina.

出身警界、目前在南卡羅來納大學教法律的塞斯.史托頓說:「每個警察都聽過『你的第一要務就是值完班回家』這樣的論調,以及『被12個人審判總比被6個人抬著要好』之類說法,每個警察也都聽過『你們是英雄、你們是防線的最前線、你們是應該向槍聲奔去的那群人』。」

Expectations and training have changed drastically since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, when law enforcement was criticized for failing to quickly confront the assailants and 13 people died. Until then, typical police protocol had been for officers to wait for backup, or for the SWAT team to arrive.

1999年科倫拜恩高中大屠殺發生以來,人們的期望與訓練有了巨大變化。當時執法部門因未能快速對抗攻擊者,以致有13人死亡而受到指摘,而在那之前,典型的警察準則是讓警察等候支援,或是等特警小組抵達。

But after that, many departments rewrote policies to emphasize that every minute could mean another death. Officers were instructed to impede or take down the gunman immediately.

但在那以後,許多警局改寫了準則,強調每分鐘都可能意味又有一人死亡。警察也奉命立即阻止或擊斃持槍歹徒。

Dan Oates, who was the chief of police in Aurora, Colorado, when 12 people died and 70 were wounded in a shooting in a movie theater there in 2012, said officers are now drilled in tactics that put the well-being of hostages and innocents first.

2012年,科羅拉多州奧羅拉市一家電影院發生12人死亡、70人受傷的槍擊事件,時任奧羅拉市警察局長的歐茨表示,警察現在受的戰術訓練是將人質與無辜者的福祉擺在第一。

文/Shaila Dewan and Richard A. Oppel Jr. 譯/陳韋廷

說文解字看新聞

正義英勇是一般人對警察的印象,被稱作「人民保母」的他們常暴露於危險工作環境中,但縱使再神勇也是人,危急關頭仍可能感到害怕,彼得森即為一例,未盡責保護學生的他慘遭各界撻伐,而castigate意為「嚴厲譴責」,指的是公開場合中的苛責,跟reprimand(訓斥)、censure(指責)等字類似,reprimand用於上對下,若以嚴厲程度來分,censure最輕。

culpable negligence則意指「有罪過失」,為一法律用語,其中culpable意指「該責備的、 有罪的」,negligence在法律中則代表過失行為,而重大過失刑事罪的英文則是criminal gross negligence。

此外,片語take down在文中意指「幹掉,除掉」,並非我們一般所知道的「寫下來、抄下來」的意思,又同段片語put...first則指的是把...放在首位,例如把我的事業擺在第一位,英文會說put my career first。

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