Editor’s note: This article was created in response to an anonymous submission, which pointed out to a video about the Watertown shooting on April, the 19th. Watch the full video here.

If you are a member of the Pride, you are surely already well informed about the firefight and manhunt surrounding Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s apprehension and arrest.

A short summary based on the official police report:
On the evening of April the 18th, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, carjacked an SUV and robbed the owner. The following morning, the SUV and a Honda, driven by the brothers, was tracked by the police and the suspects were subsequently involved in a shootout in Watertown, MA. Although wounded, Dzhokhar was still able to flee with the stolen SUV, allegedly running over his brother.  He parked the SUV a few streets away and continued his flight on foot. Shortly thereafter a charge of law enforcement officers advanced upon Watertown and the Boston Metro area was shut down. Dzhokhar was later discovered, wounded, in a boat by its owner, who immediately called 9-1-1.  Law enforcement officers descended onto the scene and high volume gunfire ensued.  The gunfire stopped only after calls from a Superintendent. Later, U.S. Officials said that Dzhokhar was unarmed when captured.  He was driven to a hospital, bleeding badly from wounds to his left ear, neck and thigh. Reports that the neck wound was from a possible suicide attempt were later contradicted in interviews with SWAT team members after the revelation that he was unarmed, who described the wounds as slicing injuries.
Knowing the official side of the story, it is legitimate to ask yourself the question, with Dzhokhar being unarmed and not firing on officers, was the use of heavy gunfire appropriate or not?
From an officer preservation perspective, it could be interpreted as a safety measure. Law enforcement had received information that Dzhokhar was armed and possibly in possession of explosives, therefore a danger to not only responding officers but to the public as well.  The onslaught of gunfire by the police could be explained by the uncoordinated situation or the lack of response from Dzhokhar.

Nevertheless the Department of Justice claims that injuries, which emerge in such a situation, have to be limited to an unavoidable minimum.  Do heavily bleeding wounds on the ear, neck, thigh and leg of an unarmed suspect fit the definition of an unavoidable “minimum”?  

Being sure that  Dzhokhar was the only suspect in the boat by use of the thermographic helicopter camera, the plethora of law enforcement officers surrounding the property to block his escape,  the actuality that he was not firing on officers, the presence of bomb sniffing dogs that could disaffirm or confirm the presence of explosives,  the availability of less than lethal weapons that most officers and agencies are equipped with, was the abundance of gunfire that left Dzhokhar in critical condition a justifiable use of force?  

Some speculate that it was the officer’s witting aim to kill Dzhokhar to ease the completion of the case but such a substantial claim without complete clarification of this event is purely conjectural.

With what we know, do you think the police response was an overzealous use of force or an adequate response based on the information available to them at the time? Were they justified in the approach they took for apprehension?
5/13/2013 12:52:28 pm

I definitely think that it was a overzealous use of force especially based on all the already known information as mentioned above (sniffer dogs, thermographic imaging) and even visuals when they lifted the tarp). I am also amazed that he actually survived such an onslaught and am still doubtful that HE (Dzhokhar) actually did. Him being able to climb onto the boat all by himself after suffering a bullet to the neck/throat is also doubtful, and I base this on research that I've done regarding bullet shots to that part of the body. There are some graphic videos (view with caution) on youtube that demonstrates what such a victim would be experiencing...Also, based on the picture of him in the ambulance and laying on the floor , his face looks pretty banged up and it could be from being punched. They say he was so weak that they just went in and "scooped" him up-where is the picture of them doing that?

debbie tempalsky
5/13/2013 04:36:14 pm

I am with Anon above. "Overzealous"? Much. Also, I wonder myself many times if this boy is actually alive.
To me, it seemed like they wanted to prove something - The justification for shutting down the whole city for such a "dangerous man" - and that once they did find the suspect, he would definitely NOT escape.
And to have Jahar willingly give himself up, climb out of the boat on his own doing to be THEN shot in the throat, was so unnecessary. He was as danger to no-one, and they knew that.
It appeared to me afterwards, they were embarrassed by their shooting spree, to quickly confiscate the boat and to hide the side riddled with bullet holes from sight...all photos after it was known that Jahar was unarmed, were from the front view only.
Yes, to me - Overzealous use of force on somebody who never once fired back.

5/13/2013 06:22:52 pm

Interestingly enough, after I posted my comment, I found a youtube video where a SWAT officer is telling Anderson Cooper that it was not a gun shot wound but a knife slash...check it out

Fa Realz
5/14/2013 03:16:20 am

Police say there was imminent fear of bombs, other weapons, and possibly more suspects. But the photo shows a police officer in the boat (while Jahar was still on the ground being detained) and he got in there BEFORE bomb squad cleared it. He says he was checking for any other suspects. I thought they were utterly afraid the boat had bombs!?!? There was definitely an unnecessary use of force against an unarmed man.

5/15/2013 01:14:01 pm

I am at the gym watching the live footage. For over an hour you hear gunfire going.. and going.

Question? Why would you send the bomb searching robots after a supposed 1 hour shoot out? Why were you shooting for an hour in the first place? Who did you think was shooting back? You are shooting into the boat where you think bullets are coming from? What do I think? What do you think? I think shoot first and ask questions later! They had heat seeking vision... they hoped he was dead or so close to dead that he would not make it... what else makes sense. If they were these amazing bomb gurus and you thought they had a bomb.. let this entire brigade shoot for an hour at a boat with a guy that they had a martial law shut down. With 9000 troops.. 3 military planes .. tanks etc. Why did they think he was still in Watertown ? Personally I think they knew he was in that boat .. personally I think that they wanted to practice Martial Law. Cause then they lifted it just before night fall... First I heard of Jahar being located was that a woman called in .. that her shed door was open and a change of clothes and blood. Does anyone remember that story.. ? I was excited he got caught all but for apx 5 mins. I stopped walking on the treadmill. Got Chills all up my arm.. got very scared and my gut, mind etc all told me .. you just got punked... this is all a big merry go round of stories .. spinning faster and faster hoping that you dont remember what you just seen or heard last. I watched CNN, CBS, NBC, Fox on my cell phone at work.. push through alerts.. listened on my satellite radion on my 1hr and 15 min commute to work. Then all night .. I would sleep with the news on. Monday on thru to Friday.. No internet, No Twitter, No FB ... it was the Officials and the Main Stream Media made that treadmill stop.. made me gasp and shake suddenly. I wish I was 16 years old again. I am not some fan girl. Im old enough to be his mother. Doubt he would be interested in a Conservative, Christian that listens to Country, Michael Buble, Harry Connick Jr., And I am old enough to be his mother. It was persistence that broke Watergate, It was persistence for truth with Benghazi, It was persistence that freed slaves and gave women the right to vote. For those of you saying that what does it matter? Shame on you! Honestly, if he or you or your family member is wronged or is innocent.. you want us to go Oh Well .. let me get back to my X-box what does it matter. We came to this country for freedom and we as US Citizens have rights. If you want to give yours up so be it. But don't give up my rights .. they are mine to keep. My family did not come thru Ellis Island for nothing. When you say what does it matter.. you are saying you don't matter. Who are these so called people that matter more then you or me... who is them? Why are they so special. Those victims lives have changed .. bystanders at the event lives have changed forever etc.. Heck my life has changed yet again. But golly gee what got some one.. it may be the right person.. it may not be .. but who cares .. because it makes us feel big and superior to just pick anyone .. this way we can go back to our lives. IF we have the wrong person that means that the person or people are still out there.. Think about 1991 Rodney King if that bystander did not film and was not brave to put it out there and fight for his rights. Joan of Arc .. my God does anyone take history anymore. Do you think that just because it is 2013 we just nod our bobble heads to anything that comes off the Boob Tube or that there is no corruption. Look around the world .. look at those 3 girls locked in that house for 10 years. Tyranny is happening all around you. Catholic priests hiding sexual misconduct.. Penn State.. He may not be innocent though I believe he is.. but no one is questioning the gaping holes in their story. PS if your following the news.. you will see that those people that you trust keep getting their hands caught in the cookie jar. The ones that we trust to be 100% truthful. But your right (sarcasm) Throughout history if that was our mission statement .. where would we be? I don't even want to imagine.

5/17/2013 11:09:45 pm

iCicero: The same thing happened to me as I was watching this unfold. The story started to fall apart as they told it, and I had a visceral reaction.


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