In Leesburg, VA, the police chief says he’s trying to change the mentality of his department, from one of suspicion and armed response to one of help and protection. So, maybe the message is getting through in some places, and maybe other departments will follow their example. Via the Washington Post:
[Officers] Davis and Hilton stepped in with their guns drawn, and Davis repeatedly told the man to put his pistol down. The man did not comply. Instead, he darted into the next room, hid behind a wall and held his gun out in the doorway, daring the officers to make the next move.
But this story does not end as many others have recently. The officers did not shoot.
Rather than fire at the armed man, Davis slid his gun back into its holster. He walked over and gripped the man’s hand holding the pistol. And, slowly, he talked the man into lowering the weapon. Then, rather than arrest him, the police arranged for him to get psychiatric treatment.
Several months later, Hilton walked past the apartment, and the man, whom police declined to to identify, stepped outside. “Officer Hilton,” the man told him, “thank you for what you guys did.”