Sometimes policing isn't pretty. The poor "unarmed thug" that was shot in Ferguson just robbed a store and attacked the officer before getting shot. He was an alpha male and nobody was going to tell him what to do. If he wanted something, he took it. No damn store owner was going to keep him from his cigars! That stupid cop told him to get out of the street. It was HIS street and nobody tells him what to do.
There is no reason any officer should have to compete in hand-to-hand combat before escalating their response. There is no point during a fight at which the action stops while he picks his next weapon. An officer who loses consciousness loses control of their weapons and may very well die as a result. Their only option is to stop the threat NOW. You can critique it all you want when it is over. Anyone attacking a police officer should expect to be shot. That's just common sense. And yes, by a real gun, not a tazer or baton. Those frequently have no effect and by the time you know it hasn't worked it can be too late.
I don't want any officer to fail to act because of what it might look like on camera. It could get innocent people or themselves killed. Now they are more likely to hesitate because their career could be ended because they dared to be aggressive while putting and end to a dangerous situation.
The movie Road House summed it up perfectly:
Dalton: "I want you to be nice until it's time to not be nice."
Bouncer: "How are we supposed to know when that is?"
Dalton: "You won't. I'll let you know."
When it's time to "not be nice" it means decisive action is taken to subdue or take down the criminal. If the officer is being threatened, end the threat. The criminal is the one who put on his "big boy" pants and decided to fight with law enforcement. This is real life, and if he decided he isn't going to jail he can go to the morgue. I won't lose any sleep with either of his choices because he made the choice, not the officers.
And for all the "drugs should be free" pot heads, down-vote all you want! (if you can find the button in your stupor)