On Saturday, a man allegedly stabbed three people in a London subway and then approached several officers. What happened next might surprise some Americans.
In video released on Twitter, the knife-wielding suspect can be seen lunging toward a man standing near two officers; the victim pushes him off. The officers, pointing stun guns at the suspect, appear to show restraint even after he moves toward them. They don't discharge their weapons until after they've notified him several times that they're about to do so.
In comparison, here's how officers in San Francisco reacted on Wednesday to a stabbing suspect who was stumbling against a wall while holding a knife. (Note that the video is graphic and disturbing.)
In both incidents, the suspect is holding a knife near police. But there's a glaring difference in the officers' reaction to the situation.
In the San Francisco video, far more officers respond and all of them are carrying guns, though officers later said they tried to subdue the suspect with beanbag guns before shooting him. In London, the two officers in the video carry stun guns.
In San Francisco, the suspect died in a hail of bullets. In London, the suspect was subdued.
Meanwhile, the U.K. is on its second-highest alert level, meaning a militant attack is considered highly likely.
Few officers carry firearms in the U.K. In fact, a 2006 survey of the British Police Federation, which represents all officers in the U.K., found that 82 percent of members didn't even want officers to be armed. Each police unit has its own firearms team, but police-involved incidents are routinely gun-free, according to the BBC.
Gun violence remains low in the U.K., and officers have less of a need to fight fire with fire, the BBC reports.
U.K. police have only killed one person this year as of Sept. 1, according to Metro. In the U.S., cops have killed 776 in that time.