ISIS and NYPD Vertical Patrol Have the Same Gun Handling Strategy

The Al Hayat Media Center of ISIS released today a new video with English subtitles, “Beneath the Shades of Swords.” The lengthy video includes footage of ISIS fighters on the battlefront, highlighting their kills.

The video includes audio of Shaykh Abū Muṣ‘ab az-Zarqāwī, the former head of Al Qaeda in Iraq who died in 2006.

According to the video’s translation, Zarqāwī says,

O you, O mujahidin, take your caution and be prepared, dust off your weapon and get ready, do not lift your fingers from the trigger, and anticipate the moment it begins.

Do not lift your fingers from the trigger? That sounds familiar. Where have I heard that before?

Oh, I remember: that was how Officer Peter Liang was handling his firearm when he negligently fired his gun and killed Akai Gurley.

Just as holding your gun with your fingers perpetually on the trigger is considered acceptable for the NYPD vertical patrol, so too does ISIS recommend it for its fighters. And I suspect that Zarqāwī means a fighter is to have his gun drawn while keeping his fingers on the trigger, just as Officer Liang did.

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch said vertical patrolling in that manner was a perfectly acceptable and reasonable thing for Liang to do:

Encountering a perp with a gun is all too common during vertical patrol and it’s the reason that our members, like police officer Peter Liang, have weapons drawn while performing this job.

(To Lynch’s credit, I could not find anything in the NYPD patrol guide prohibiting it, as I reported the other day.)

Is this to say that there’s some equivalency between the NYPD and ISIS? Of course not!

My point is that NYPD officers need to take the moral high ground, and have a much greater threshold for drawing firearms than do ISIS fighters.