Shaaliver Douse: "They Kill Us And Cover It Up"

Shaaliver Douse

Last Sunday, two rookie police officers in New York City shot and killed a 14-year-old boy. The kid’s aunt is calling the boy’s death an unnecessary killing. She says the police gunned him down for no reason and she wants the officer who shot her nephew in the face charged with murder.

“They’re making it all up. There was no gun. It’s all a cover-up. It’s what the police do. They kill us and cover it up,” the boy’s aunt, Quwana Barcene, told news sources. “It’s not fair,” she continued. “It was my sister’s only child. You shouldn’t have to bury your child. My beautiful nephew got shot in the head. A mother of one now has to bury her only child. I’m tired of the police getting away with murder. Trayvon Martin is never going to end. This rookie cop—please bring him up on charges as a murderer.”

Others are asking why the police shot the youngster in the face. Why not an arm or leg? Better still, why not shoot the weapon out of his hand. One person even went so far as to ask why use lethal force at all since the shooter was a mere child of 14. Why, she asked, didn’t the police wait until the boy was out of ammunition and then tackle him? Isn’t that what they’re trained to do?

Another person commented, “So lemme get this straight… we can put a man on the moon and bring him back safely, but we can’t find a way to disarm a 14 year old without killing him?”

And then there was…”He was black and running. That’s all it took for the cops to gun down an innocent kid.”

So, let’s go back to Sunday night/early Monday morning to see exactly what happened just prior to the police officers’ encounter with 14-year-old Shaaliver Douse.

The two officers in question were assigned to graveyard shift foot patrol as part of a special assignment to help stop violence in the area. At 3am the officers heard gunshots and responded toward those sounds. That’s when they saw Douse firing a handgun at a man running away. The officers took cover behind a parked automobile and yelled for the shooter to drop his weapon. They also identified themselves as police officers. Douse turned and fired again. The officers returned fire, with one round striking Douse in the jaw. He died on the scene as a result of that wound.

The incident was captured on video, a video that clearly shows Douse firing his weapon at a group of men, then chasing after one of them while still firing his weapon. The police have the video. They recovered Douse’s gun, a black 9mm Astra. And there are witnesses who’ve provided statements backing the officers’ statements.

NewsOne photo

The two officers did everything right. They identified themselves as police officers. They took cover. They ordered the shooter to drop the weapon. He didn’t, and fired again, either at the officers or in the direction of a man running in the street behind the officers. The officers returned fire and stopped the threat to them and to others.

At the time of the shooting, no one knew the age of the shooter. But age is not a factor in this case. Six or sixty, a gunman was trying to kill another person, therefore the use of deadly force was indeed justified.

As far as shooting the gun out of the attacker’s hand, well, that’s strictly a TV thing. Police officers are trained to shoot center mass of their target, and the reason for doing so is that you don’t have time to take a proper stance and slowly aim for the “bulls eye” while people are shooting at you. Even if you thought you might have the time to do so, it would be a foolish and probable fatal mistake. So no arm, hand, finger, shoulder, or leg shots. Besides, not many people are capable of accurately delivering a round to a tiny target, even without the stress of incoming rounds.

The race issue…well, I’m sorry if what I’m about to say shocks anyone, but the color of someone’s skin has nothing to do with having to shoot at a person who’s shooting at you, or at someone else. All that’s on a cop’s mind at that point is how to stop the suspect (white, black, blue, or purple) from trying to kill them or others.

Here’s another statement that might anger some of you. There is indeed a foolproof method of stopping a good number of the shooting deaths of teens of all races, and that’s to keep their young butts off the streets at 3am. They’re kids, and they don’t belong out of the house at all hours of the night.

And, what about the guns they so boldly carry? When’s the last time parents set foot in their kids’ bedrooms? What about having a conversation with them? Talked to them about their friends and associates? When’s the last time someone gave a flip about them?

You want the violence to stop, then keep your teens at home. Offer them guidance. Teach them right from wrong. Do things with them. Don’t wait until their blood stains the concrete walk at the corner to decide that suddenly you’re a parent.

It’s the adults’ job to be a parent all the time, not just when it’s convenient or when the press is interviewing you beside a makeshift memorial where your child died in a barrage of gang-related gunfire. That’s not the time to be pointing fingers, unless you just happen to be standing in front of a mirror.

In the case of young Shaaliver Douse, well, I certainly want to express my condolences to the family of anyone who loses a loved one, including the Douse family, but I also want to let the officer who fired the fatal round know that I’m thinking of him/her too. Because, now he/she will have to live every day from this point forward, knowing they killed someone’s son…a child. Sure, the shooting was definitely justified, but that does little to ease the pain, a pain I know all too well.

Will you know where your child is tonight after midnight? I certainly hope so, for everyone’s sake.

16 replies
  1. Tony Burton
    Tony Burton says:


    I have been pondering this sort of thing (the racial dichotomy re: law enforcement) since before the Martin/Zimmerman incident, but that event really got me started thinking.

    Honestly, I think Zimmerman used extremely poor judgement and escalated the event WAY past what it should have been, ending up having to kill someone who should not have been killed. The fact that he was exonerated shows the failure of the justice system, in regard to how the prosecution was handled, as well as how the judge instructed the jury. IMO, it should have been a manslaughter charge.

    That said, I have seen so many people comparing this killing to the Trayvon Martin killing and I am, quite frankly, dumbfounded. This “kid” was armed, violent, and hostile. He was shooting at others, and when ordered to stop and drop his weapon by authorized law enforcement officers, he raised the weapon once more. No police officer worth his badge would have allowed that kid to go on shooting. The officer did what was necessary. It was a “righteous shoot.”

    That said, it’s sad that the 14-year-old assailant had to die. But as so many have remarked: why was he armed? Why was he out at 3 AM? Why didn’t he obey the orders of the authorities? Essentially, Shaaliver Douse committed “suicide by cop.”

    People who blame the police for this sort of thing are abrogating their own responsibilities to rear their children properly.

    Thanks for the post, Lee. It needed to be said by someone with experience in the field.

  2. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    Well said, Lee. When I first heard this on the news, my first thought was “what the heck was the kid doing out at 3 a.m.?” Second was, if the kid was so innocent why was he out with a gun chasing someone? and where did he get the gun? If you live in this type of area, stay the hell home at 3 a.m. Most of all, to the mother my condolences, but you should have been a parent before the kids died on the street not after.

  3. Sally Carpenter
    Sally Carpenter says:

    Excellent post, Lee. I’m tired of absent parents pulling the “my child’s an angel” defense whenever he/she get in trouble. Does the monther know how the son got the gun in the first place? Does she care? Curfews are in place for a reason and this sad tale tells why.

  4. Janis Patterson
    Janis Patterson says:

    Lee, your post was masterful and should be read by everyone. Unfortunately we live in a time where some people (mostly minorities, I believe) think that the laws don’t apply to them, that they can do whatever they want without consequences. If that child had been at home asleep or studying and not out at 3AM shooting at people, he would be alive and well. Actions have consequences.

  5. Doug M Cummings
    Doug M Cummings says:

    In Chicago, a state representative came right out and accused the police of murdering black youth. She stepped back somewhat from her statement when questioned but still quoted “sources” from her neighborhood…one of the highest violent crime districts in the city.
    I have absolutely no doubt that otherwise good people believe the cops-as-murderers claptrap. I agree that some of them are lousy parents themselves and don’t want to admit it. Some are grasping for any reason at all to explain what’s happening on their streets. Some are just immersed in the third-world type culture that insists authority figures will do whatever they wish because they have “the power.”
    Sadly, in many places, it’s far safer to point at the cops than at the vicious animals who, with little provocation and probably great glee,would wipe out an entire family for pointing the finger of guilt where it really belongs.

  6. Geoff Lin
    Geoff Lin says:

    I used to compete a lot in IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association). When my number wasn’t up, I’d watch some of the master-level shooters do their course-of-fire. Some targets were intentionally obscured behind cover, effectively making them a smaller target. Even they had trouble striking those targets at standard engagement distances. Now, if THEY have trouble aiming at smaller targets, what about other trained people under duress? I think people watch too much prime-time TV and not enough reading.

  7. GunDiva
    GunDiva says:

    Explain to me how, exactly, a fourteen-year-old by who is SHOOTING at people in the middle of the night is INNOCENT. Because I just don’t understand it. Those police officers were in a lose-lose situation. If they had waited until the “boy” ran out of ammunition and then tackled him, the city would have been sued by whoever what hurt by those flying bullets.

    Age is not a factor. Lack of parenting is.

  8. L.J. Sellers
    L.J. Sellers says:

    Thanks for posting this. My first thought when I heard about the incident is that people would overreact and blame the police. I’m glad they have video to support their version of the event!

  9. Hannah Jayne
    Hannah Jayne says:

    I’m with Cathy. I wish there was a way to require every citizen to participate in FATS. It completely changed the way I view these “senseless murders.” Police officers are trained to stop threats and that’s exactly what they did here. Wait for the guy to empty his clip before tackling him? Where did that person think those bullets were going to go? And at what point does a person (police officer or otherwise) stare down the barrel of a gun and think, “well, that’s attached to the arm of a 14-year old kid. I’ll just wait until he’s done.”
    My condolences to the kids grieving family, but where was their concern when their child wasn’t home in bed at 3am?

  10. Joe Prentis
    Joe Prentis says:

    At the end of the Korean War, Robert McNamara made a statement that infuriated a lot of people. He was Secretary of Defense at the time and he was commenting on accusations that he had caused a lot of needless deaths of American boys by sending them into harms way. His statement was, “. . . they were safer fighting a war in Korea than they would have been if they had stayed at home.”

    People complained long and loud about what sounded like an unfeeling statement, and then someone checked the facts. McNamara was correct. If you were to add traffic deaths, shootings, drugs, and other reckless behavior together, more of them would have died of these causes than they would otherwise. It is sad to realize that our citizens are unspeakably violent. The USA has become nothing short of a war zone. Unscrupulous reporters are whipping each story into a frenzy hoping that they can sell more newspapers or keep more of us glued to the television. One day they are going to publish one sensational story too many and the whole country is going to erupt in violence. God help us all.

  11. Audrey Webb
    Audrey Webb says:

    All great points, Lee. We live in a culture of blaming others. What might you think your 14-year-old was up to in the middle of the night? Take charge of your kids. They need attention and guidance.

  12. Lisa P
    Lisa P says:

    Vivian, I couldn’t agree more. Have you seen this article that was in the news recently?

    Here is the link with video (where you can see the boy being coaxed in his speech)

    And another article A 6 year old (SIX!) attempted to take a police officer’s weapon, attacked the officer, and attempted to kick out the windows of the officer’s cruiser… and mom is worried that the officer was too rough on her son. It boggles the mind trying to understand where mom’s line of reasoning was coming from.

  13. Cathy Wiley
    Cathy Wiley says:

    There are times I wish we could have everyone try out FATS (Firearms Training Simulator) and see what happens if they try to “aim for the hand holding the gun”. You’d probably shoot an innocent bystander.

    Or be shot and killed yourself.

    But I’m sure, then people would say the simulator was manipulated.

  14. Vivian Zabel
    Vivian Zabel says:

    Too many parents are not parents but blame others when their children get into trouble or are killed. As a former teacher, I dealt with the problem on a less violent level, but still parents wanted their children to be above accountability for their actions, or lack of.

    We do children no good service by only excusing or by ignoring their bad actions. Adults MUST take the responsibility of being adults and teach children and hold children accountable, rewarding them only for achieving.

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