Target: Dana Wingert, Chief of Police, Des Moines Police Department
Goal: Demand justice for unarmed man shot through a police squad car window.
An unarmed man was fatally shot by a police officer who fired her weapon through the rolled-up window of her squad car. According to a police statement at a press conference, the man was “briskly walking” toward the officer’s patrol car after exiting his car during a low-speed pursuit. The pursuit begun after an officer spotted Ryan Keith Bolinger, 28, “dancing erratically” in the streets before entering a vehicle.
The erratic behavior began when Bolinger pulled over beside an officer during a separate traffic stop. He then got out of his car and began making strange motions in the streets, according to the statement. The officer pursued Bolinger for one mile after he returned to his car and began driving, at which point the suspect exited his car and was killed by a single shot to the torso.
While Bolinger’s behavior was certainly odd, it did not warrant his execution. At no point did the man, who had no previous criminal record, pull a weapon on the officers or do anything to make them suspect their lives were in immediate danger. In this case, a non-lethal manner of apprehension such as a taser would have been much more appropriate.
This incident is yet another example of the growing overuse of police force against unarmed citizens. Each day, an average of two people are killed by police in America, many of them who, like Bolinger, could have been saved by sounder judgement and a bit of compassion. Sign the petition below to demand that the officer responsible for Mr. Bollinger’s death is punished accordingly.
Dear Chief Dana Wingert,
A Des Moines police officer recently shot and killed an unarmed man through the glass of a police cruiser window. The man, who had been acting erratically, approached the squad car after pulling over during a low-speed chase. Almost immediately, Senior Police Officer Vanessa Miller fired a single shot to the man’s torso, killing him.
The man did not possess a weapon, and it was poor judgement to use lethal force before other methods, such as a taser, had failed. Because of this, 28-year-old Ryan Keith Bolinger’s life has been tragically cut short. Particularly considering rising levels of deadly force used against civilians, police departments across America must work to ensure that police are trained to solve situations without the overuse of force. We, the undersigned, demand that the officer responsible for this shooting is punished in order to deter future unnecessary use of deadly force.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sirimiri