Most police officers are able to go their whole careers without having to discharge their weapon in the line of duty anywhere outside of a training environment. For LAPD officer Toni McBride, though, that isn’t the path her career will take.
That’s because, as a fairly new police officer, McBride has already had to use her weapon. She’s the officer on the other side of body cam footage that’s made the rounds on social media. Faced with a man armed with a knife, McBride seemed to do everything right. She clearly didn’t want to shoot the suspect, but he gave her no choice.
She did what she had to do.
Now, she’s being vilified because in addition to being a police officer, she’s also been a competitive shooter.
An LAPD Officer was forced to shoot a man armed with a knife and now she is coming under fire because she’s also a competitive shooter and social-media influencer.
In a time where police training is coming into question, we are criticizing an officer who trains more often than most with her firearm?
There has to be more to the story.
Rookie Police Officer Toni McBride is a professional shooter for Taran Tactical Innovations out of Simi Valley California.
Taran Tactical is the same outfit responsible for all those badass videos of Keanu Reeves training for his John Wick movies. There’s even one of Halle Berry training for John Wick 3.
Taran Tactical is also known for spotlighting attractive women on their team.
However, her looks aren’t the only thing she had going for her on the competitive shooting scene.
When she graduated from the police academy in 2017, McBride was awarded the “Top Shot” in her class for her proficiency with firearms. She was assigned to Newton Division in South Central Los Angeles.
That’s right, folks. She’s got the skills that matter.
However, it’s those skills that are causing some to question how she handled the incident.
The LAPD has released the PO McBride’s body camera footage showing the incident as well as the 911 calls leading up to the shooting. They also included third party video in their “Critical Incident Community Briefing”.
The video shows McBride and her partner arriving on scene and shortly thereafter, Hernandez appears behind his crashed Chevrolet pick-up truck. Hernandez is clearly armed with a box-cutter in his right hand. McBride gives verbal commands and Hernandez does not comply causing McBride to shoot him.
The video also shows a large crowd surrounding the accident scene. McBride seems to do an excellent job of getting onlookers to clear the main street and get to the sidewalks.
Hernandez’s family has said that McBride shot too fast because she is a competition shooter however, with so many other lives to preserve in addition to that of her own; she wasn’t given much of a choice by the seemingly disturbed Hernandez.
No, she wasn’t. She gave instructions multiple times and Hernandez not only did he not heed them, he was advancing on her. While there was still distance between McBride and the suspect, there were also people far closer who could have become victims or hostages.
In other words, it sure looks like McBride did everything she could.
If her competitive shooting background did anything, it minimized the risk to bystanders and ended the confrontation before any innocent parties could be hurt.
She should be praised, not criticized.