In light of police shootings in the past couple of years and the resultant protests that have driven a gargantuan wedge between those who support police officers and those who believe police departments are inherently racist and disproportionately target minorities, I thought it would be relevant to publish this longer piece on police training.
As mentioned below, the author is a law enforcement and security expert. He understands training, stress situations, and security matters and approaches them from a realistic, educational perspective, rather than emotionalist rhetoric.
It’s something we should all consider.
Police shootings of innocent people aren’t necessarily the result of racism or a desire to kill black men. Stephen Didier presents another possibility and offers some possible solutions.
We would all do well to seriously consider his essay.
Law enforcement training and preparedness in the United States today is largely ineffective and irrelevant. This is due to its failure to adapt necessary training methodologies to address evolutionary changes both in technology and public expectations. However, there are effective solutions with accompanying practical policies that had been previously implemented on a national level, only later to be abandoned for political and fiscal ease. Such abandonment has turned out to be penny-wise and pound foolish in light of the increasing number of criminal and terrorist attacks on law enforcement and the concomitant fear such attacks create among the public at large. Before offering these solutions it is necessary to understand the complex social and human performance dynamics underlying this problem. It must also be noted that this article is not intended to be disrespectful of the courageous men and women who serve in blue. Rather, it is written to present realistic solutions to the problems they are facing both personally and professionally.
The rule of law and the peace officers entrusted with the responsibility to uphold it is the fabric of a safe and prosperous republic. Constitutional Republics like the United States, where a person’s private property rights and security supersede the wants of a government run by a communist despot or fanatical theocracy need virtuous men and women to keep the peace and uphold law and order. When selfless individuals volunteer to do so, society owes them leadership and consistent and fair rules. Moreover, it owes these officers the training, knowledge, skills, and equipment needed for the protection and betterment of society. These needs are not mutually exclusive from the needs of the people the officers serve. In fact, the better trained officers are, the less likely they are to infringe upon the rights of their fellow citizens.
The average junior high school ball player practices about four hundred (400) hours per year, and for the most part these players are mediocre: only their parents and fellow students come to watch the games. Sadly, most law enforcement agencies spend less than four (4) hours per year – after entry-level academies – training their personnel on the ethical, legal, and tactical dynamics of deadly force encounters.
The public expects officers to demonstrate professional ball player-level performance. This training-performance disconnect will not be solved by body cameras or more restrictive rules for the use of force. Rules are generally written by the tactically unknowing in response to political demands for deadly force encounters to unfold as they wish them to rather than how they truly do. This is another reason why judgment-based training is far superior to rules-based training. Rules-based training is a linear solution to a nonlinear problem.
Despite all the negative press, police officers in America have and continue to do an incredible, and often thankless job, protecting and promoting the societies and secure communities in which many of us live and work. They are the people who respond at 2:00 AM when something goes “bump in the night.” Moreover, the actual number of suspects who succumb to police officers’ use of deadly force is astoundingly low (Note: an increase in media coverage is almost certainly responsible for the perception that police shootings are at epidemic levels). Annually, in a nation of 330 million persons, police officers are assaulted at least 66,000 times. Of those assaults, at least 15,500 are committed with a dangerous and deadly weapon. (As discussed, below, this trend is getting worse). As a matter of law, if a suspect assaults a police officer with a deadly weapon, that officer can use deadly force in self-defense. Yet, despite these numbers, police officers only kill approximately 600 suspects per year nationwide: about the same number of murder victims in Chicago in that same timeframe. So, this notion – repeated time and again by woefully or willfully ignorant members of the press – that police are on a rampant killing spree is a nothing less than a lie.
Nonetheless, as communities grow and evolve, whether due to population increases, changing political and cultural norms, values, criminal activity, etc., so must the police. Since the 1960’s, there have been innumerable police reform initiatives in America, with several recent efforts driven by both political and social demand. Given the broad responsibilities of the police, and often-limited resources, police leaders continually develop policies to prioritize and focus their activities. Unfortunately for the individual police officer, most of the evolution and changes occur within the realm of administration, policing programs, enforcement initiatives, law changes and service orientations, and not in the individual officer’s physiological and psychological ability to be effective against the ensuing increase of personal attacks or terrorist threats against them or the public.
If there’s anything I’ve learned in my years on the Interwebz, it’s that the Internet loves outrage! Outrage goes beyond the old media adage, “If it bleeds, it leads.” Outrage gives people purpose, notoriety, and attention. It’s virtue signalling that provides the veneer of caring for the victim, or helps paint the outraged themselves into a victim. Outrage is everywhere, because it sounds more urgent and interesting than plain anger.
Witness the Trigglypuff phenomenon. That’s what outrage gets you nowadays, no matter how ludicrous. Worldwide attention, some sympathy, and notoriety.
During the past year, we’ve seen outrage at cops. Riots. Black Lives Matter protests against police officers. And yes, even murders. The perpetually outraged have denied police officers service in restaurants and stores, tainted their food, and treated them like pariahs.
Are there bad cops? Yeah. There are criminal cops. There are negligent cops. There are cops who don’t give a shit. There are cops who are paranoid and incompetent. There are cops who are racist as well – just like in any other profession.
There are also police officers who have dedicated their lives to protecting and serving and to working to make their cities and neighborhoods safe for peaceable citizens. They put on a uniform, leave families behind every single day, and go to work knowing full well that they may not return. They kiss their loved ones “goodbye,” with the full understanding that it may be the last time they do so. They could be your neighbors. They could be your friends. They could be your family members.
Many times there is more than one side to one story, and opportunistic swine who seek to manufacture outrage to draw attention to themselves or their causes tend to take advantage of their bully pulpit, their access to social media, their microphones – real and metaphorical – to foment contempt, to pit the populace against police, to arouse rage and foster animosity between the “victims” and those they perceive to be in power.
This sounds like one of those cases.
Dad Pens Harrowing Facebook Post After Cop Points Gun at His 7-year-old!
Yes, it certainly does sound harrowing and outrageous. How could a police officer threaten to shoot a father and his child who were guilty of nothing more than traveling home on vacation! The father details the frightening tale in a lengthy Facebook post in which he recounts how this “particularly aggressive” officer tapped on the rear passenger side window with his pistol, scaring his child, how he wouldn’t listen when the concerned dad tried to explain they were in a rental car and were just coming back from vacation, how he “leered at me down the barrel of his pistol” and pointed his pistol at the child threatening to shoot her, how he threatened to “murder” him.
And of course, there’s the usual “I love you all. I’m thinking of suing.” conclusion.
It certainly does sound like the police officer overreacted, but I did want to see what the other side had to say. It’s only fair to objectively take a look at both sides of the story.
It does appear correct that the officer stopped the vehicle. The license plate on the vehicle had been reported as stolen, and the car rental company had not replaced the vehicle plates when the front plate was reported stolen.
The officer also reports that the dad – identified as Kenneth Walton – “was not responding to officer’s commands while seated in his vehicle so the trooper moved up the passenger-side window and got the occupant’s attention by tapping on the window with his hand. It was at this time the trooper realized there was a child in the car as she sat up into view. Mr. Walton was ordered out of the car and detained in handcuffs while the trooper conducted his investigation.”
I can see why he ordered Walton out of the car. Last thing you want is for anything to escalate in close quarters when there’s a child in the back seat. It made sense to immobilize the potential criminal while you figure out what the hell is going on.
Especially during a high risk stop, in a high-trafficked area!
Yes, it does appear the officer was being risk-averse until he concluded his investigation of the situation, and he probably was aggressive and more than a bit frightened, given that it was night time, and the stop took place on a road known for drug trafficking and other shit. That said, once he concluded that the vehicle wasn’t stolen, that the rental company simply forgot to replace the plates, he released Walton, who by all accounts was cooperative.
“AZ DPS understands and sympathizes with the concerns the family has regarding this situation,” says Captain Ezekiel Zesiger, Flagstaff District Commander. “Anytime a police contact is made for a possibly stolen vehicle our troopers are trained to take all necessary precautions. In this instance, the vehicle’s license plate was reported as stolen. Troopers must adhere to their training in regards to conducting a high risk traffic stop in these types of situations. Training and protocols are in place for the safety of the Trooper as well as the safety of citizens. Fortunately, the subject in this case was compliant with the trooper and the situation ended peacefully with no one being harmed.”
It was a tense situation for all involved. Both the officer and Walton, I’m sure, were nervous – both with good reason. Other officers were at the scene, and by Walton’s own admission, were comforting his daughter while the investigation was going on. Of course, she was nervous! There were bright lights and a bunch of nervous police officers. It was dark, and her father was nervous.
But all’s well that ends well. Walton got the name and badge number of the officer, as well as the name of his supervisor. He admits the entire ordeal lasted only a few minutes until the mystery of the stolen license plate was solved. And once released, he was on his way to the rest of his vacation.
Shitty situation, to be sure, but ultimately resolved peaceably.
But Walton is apparently one of those opportunists who can’t let a situation go without using it to advance his cause.
The first thing he does is screech that his story NEEDS TO BE SHARED! SHARE IT! NOW!
Second, he recounts the story, and inserts a bit of his own editorializing – assessments that have no basis in fact.
He was in the back of the car, detained and immobilized, and he personally heard the dispatcher tell the police officer that the man he had in the back of his vehicle was not a suspect. He was released after that revelation.
And yet, he claims to know the state of mind of the officer, whom he assesses to have been out of control.
He admits in another post that he “relied on my daughter’s recollection of the officer knocking on the window with his weapon. If it was his wedding ring, it was very loud. It caught me by surprise and I turned to see the gun just inches from her window, so it appeared he’d used it to rap on the window, but my daughter’s recollection could be wrong. I’m not sure if this part really matters.”
So the claim that the officer “pointed the gun” at his child was based on the recollection of a terrified 7-year-old, and he believed it, because the officer knocked really loudly! Got it.
He also claims that the only reason he’s still alive is because he’s a white guy.
I realized it was very possible that the only reason I was alive was because I am a scrawny 48-year-old white man wearing a Micky Mouse t-shirt and cargo shorts and hiking boots. The officer that arrested me was so pumped up on adrenaline and eager to get a “bad guy” that he could barely control himself, and if I’d looked just a little bit more threatening to him – because I was black, or young, or long-haired, or tattooed, or didn’t speak English – I believe he might have pulled the trigger.
I guess Walton is a mind reader? A psychiatrist?
No. Definitely not a shrink or a psychic. But he is a criminal and a thief, who apparently is looking to cash in on the outrage he manufactured.
On April 28, 2000 he posted an auction on eBay for an oil painting that attracted a closing bid of US$135,805 and which bidders speculated might be a work by Richard Diebenkorn due to its resemblance to the artist’s work, the existence of the monogram “RD52” on the canvas, and the fact that the seller claimed to have found it at a garage sale in Berkeley, California, where Diebenkorn had lived. In the description accompanying the auction, Walton seemed to have no knowledge of art and claimed to have no idea of the painting’s value. The auction generated international headlines and, after a series of investigative reports by Judith H. Dobrzynski in the New York Times revealed that Walton was in fact an experienced art seller who had sold several forged paintings and worked with other sellers who bid on each other’s items, Walton was banned from eBay, and the FBI launched an investigation into his trading activities.
He’s already asking people on social media to help him research the disposition of a civil rights violation case.
He’s got thousands of BLM supporters egging him on in the original post, propping up their own agenda with hackneyed BLM shibboleths. After all, if you don’t wallow in your own white privilege, you won’t get nearly as much support, now will you?
Everything about this screams “OPPORTUNISTIC SWINE TRYING TO PROFIT FROM A SUIT!”
Let’s hope the justice system gives Walton the finger for manufacturing outrage, using his daughter’s fear, and the BLM movement agitprop and stirring shit up in an environment where relations between the races and between the police and citizens are already wrought with tension.
I know it’s been weeks since I’ve written anything. I needed a break. I haven’t really been in the mood to write. First, there was the snow, which prompted me to sit around in bed all day in my pajamas drinking hot tea and watching Law & Order reruns.
And now… I’m off on temporary duty to Miami.
I know… HARDSHIP! But you’d be surprised how crappy it feels to go from a foot of snow in DC to 85-degree heat with 10000 percent humidity down in southern Florida! So if you have a snarky comment about how you feel oh-so-sorry for me being down here, keep it to yourself, punkin, because all you’ll get from me is a one-fingered salute.
As for what I’ve been up to?
For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been a regular part of the GunBlog Variety Cast along with some awesome folks, including Sean Sorrentino and Erin Palette. I’ve been doing this for a while now, but I’ve been an abject FAIL at blogging about it, because I’m lazy. So go over there and listen. Surprisingly enough, I don’t bloviate about guns on this one, but rather foreign policy. Erin talks about prepping, Sean and Adam talk about… stuff, and other incredible, talented, and intelligent folks talk about guns and tech. It’s fun. You should check it out, if you want to find out what I sound like on the air (shout out to my broadcaster background!).
And no, I don’t curse.
So what’s been going on?
Well, for one, we kicked Maduro and his band of Venezuelan thugs in the nuts with some sanctions last week. And if you hear them whining that this means the United States is about to launch into some kind of military action against them, you can laugh a little, because they’re either ignorant, or just want to raise the level of whining. Fact is that they were sanctioned under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), which authorizes the President to regulate commerce after declaring a “national emergency” in response to any unusual or extraordinary foreign threat. It certainly doesn’t authorize any kind of military action.
Specifically, the E.O. targets those determined by the Department of the Treasury, in consultation with the Department of State, to be involved in:
- actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions;
- significant acts of violence or conduct that constitutes a serious abuse or violation of human rights, including against persons involved in antigovernment protests in Venezuela in or since February 2014;
- actions that prohibit, limit, or penalize the exercise of freedom of expression or peaceful assembly; or
- public corruption by senior officials within the Government of Venezuela.
The E.O. also authorizes the Department of the Treasury, in consultation with the Department of State, to target any person determined:
- to be a current or former leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in any activity described in the E.O. or of an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked or frozen pursuant to the E.O.; or
- to be a current or former official of the Government of Venezuela;
What does this all mean? It means we don’t like corrupt thugs who steal money from their own people while undermining their basic rights using the U.S. financial system. So we cut off their access to it.
What else has been going on?
The Justice Department determined there was no basis for continued legal action against Darren Wilson, who last year shot Michael Brown in an action which was determined to be justified. Of course, Holder and the DOJ can’t leave well enough alone, so even though the shoot was good, they put out a report citing racism in the Ferguson PD writ large in an obvious attempt to mollify the screeching race hustlers. It is interesting to note that the report cites revenue generation being emphasized in the PD’s approach to law enforcement.
Patrol assignments and schedules are geared toward aggressive enforcement of Ferguson’s municipal code, with insufficient thought given to whether enforcement strategies promote public safety or unnecessarily undermine community trust and cooperation. Officer evaluations and promotions depend to an inordinate degree on “productivity,” meaning the number of citations issued. Partly as a consequence of City and FPD priorities, many officers appear to see some residents, especially those who live in Ferguson’s predominantly African-American neighborhoods, less as constituents to be protected than as potential offenders and sources of revenue.
This is a problem that’s not just limited to Ferguson. Nothing new and different there, and I’ve often been appalled at the outrageous fees and penalties imposed on citizens for engaging in a simple mistake or minor traffic violation. So I get it. It sucks.
But in the same breath, the DOJ’s report claims that “The harms of Ferguson’s police and court practices are borne disproportionately by African Americans, and there is evidence that this is due in part to intentional discrimination on the basis of race.”
Lemme ask ya something. If it is obvious that the city’s focus is on revenue generation, rather than public safety, and therefore, it views the PREDOMINANTLY AFRICAN-AMERICAN city as a source of revenue generation, wouldn’t it stand to reason that in a predominantly black city, the brunt of those revenue generation policies would be… um… black, and that the reason Ferguson’s law enforcement practices and policies overwhelmingly impact African-Americans is because THAT’S WHO PREDOMINANTLY LIVES IN THE FRIGGIN’ CITY?
But hey, some of us don’t go looking for racism under every bed and around every corner.
In response to said report, Ferguson’s city manager has resigned and a state judge will be in charge of all Ferguson cases. Every town needs scapegoats, I suppose. That, of course, didn’t mollify the stampeding hordes, and just this past weekend, two police officers were shot after working crowd control in Ferguson. Police charged Jeffrey Williams with the shooting. The suspect admits he fired the weapon, but claims he was aiming at someone else in the crowd.
I’m trying to wrap my head at the amount of fucking stupid it takes to make such an admission. Stupid #1) You fire your weapon into a crowd of fucking people. Stupid #2) You admit to doing so, but hey… you weren’t aiming at police, and I guess you were expecting to hit your mark dead on. In a crowd. You dimwitted, miserable FAIL of a fucktard. Stupid #2) The only two people you conveniently hit are two cops. How propitious, considering the demonstrations were all about supposed police “racism.”
And, of course, Holder has been sniveling about how much acts of violence against law enforcement are not to be tolerated. Never mind he and his DOJ are the ones fomenting said unrest!
OK, enough about that.
There was supposedly a ceasefire agreement reached in Ukraine. Well, it was reached, but if you’re thinking that it’s somehow been effective, you’d be wrong. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the ceasefire is “fragile.” I think while violence has been reduced some, he’s the master of the understatement. If you want a boots on the ground (so to speak) glimpse into what’s going on, you should follow U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt on Twitter. The Russians will tell you it’s not their fault – that it’s the separatists failing to abide by the ceasefire – that they have no control over said militants. Um… yeah… right. If you think that Moscow isn’t behind the continuous arming of separatists in the region, I have this bridge…
Yes, I know I should keep up with my blogging, but even I need a break sometimes, so if I’m not around, it’s because I’m busy having a life.
Deputy approaches dog playing with kids. Tries to shoot dog, because he’s a shithispants coward, shoots himself in the leg instead, because he’s an incompetent clod (thankfully), and tries to claim this was a vicious, terrible, huge dog attacking him.
Not so much, if you watch the video.
Yeah, real super aggressive. Video doesn’t lie, but apparently Riverside does just a bit.
“A dog came at the deputy in an aggressive manner,” Munoz said. “The deputy, (attempting to defend himself) pulled his service weapon, shot one round, and injured himself in the leg.
Yeah, just a bit.
A Riverside County sheriff’s deputy was hospitalized Wednesday after accidentally shooting himself in the leg when a large dog approached him at a Riverside home.
Sure it did. I can certainly tell how horribly aggressive that wagging little tail and the goofy, lolling tongue is. Goodness, these little kids must be terrified!
Dude, do yourself a favor and shoot yourself in the groin next time, so your kind of cowardly stupid doesn’t breed.
Longtime readers of this blog know our views on illegal immigrants and immigration and border security. That said, there’s been some sentiment on the immigration issue lately in the Virginia righty blogosphere that I feel compelled to respond to. I wasn’t one of those offended by the (in)famous Super Bowl commercial featuring America the Beautiful sung in various languages, but Jim Bowden makes some very salient points otherwise about borders, culture, and the rise and fall of nations nonetheless. On the other side of the ledger, many who should know better are rushing to the defense of the GOP establishment and their immigration ‘principles’ that came out of the GOP House retreat late last month.
Particularly galling at Bearing Drift today is the repeated use of the word ‘nativist’ to describe those of us who actually expect immigration laws to be enforced. In this same post, Shaun Kenney, whom I nearly always agree with otherwise, decries caricaturing of illegal immigrants using a graphic, and then does the exact same thing to those of us who demand border security and the rule of law, using a graphic of the memorable Bill “The Butcher” Cutting character, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, from the film Gangs of New York. We also apparently are demanding draconian violations of civil liberties and the rounding up of the 12 to 15 million illegals come hell or high water… News to me. He advocates for amnesty, well, because it’s mean to expect these poor, innocent illegal immigrants to show some respect for our laws and sovereignty. Oh, and the Catholic Church, represented on this issue by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wants amnesty, so for some reason that should settle it. I think not. Come on, Shaun, you’re better than that. That is the height of hypocrisy. And please, people, quit conflating legal and illegal immigration.
Over at Virginia Virtucon, a post is up taking Dave Brat, a candidate for U.S. House in the 7th District, to task for questioning the incumbent, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, on immigration, because Brat demands immigration laws be enforced, while opposing Obamacare. The author has the nerve to suggest it’s hypocritical because Obamacare is the “law of the land”. Respectfully, this is political weaselry at best. The Affordable Care Act is only in force because John Roberts chose to place his concern for the ‘reputation of the SCOTUS’ (or something) above the plain language of the Constitution. Even left-wing SCOTUS watchers were amazed that he sided with the four liberal justices. No one has ever credibly suggested that immigration and border security laws are unconstitutional. Such a comparison is ridiculous on its face. Add to this that Brat would seek repeal of the Affordable Care Act should he be elected, and the attacks come off as even more patently ridiculous. Factor in that Cantor himself said on the House floor less than two weeks ago that “immigration reform could be an economic boon to this country” and it’s easy to see why conservatives are suspicious of Cantor, Bob Goodlatte, and House leadership on immigration issues.
Want to win the trust of conservatives on these issues? Enforce the law and secure the border. Once that’s done, then, and ONLY then, will we be interested in discussing immigration reform. The visa and immigration system is certainly broken, by over a century of lobbying by every industry, racial interest group, religious denomination and labor group imaginable, and cries out for repair. But just like the amnesty Reagan signed in the 80s, the business lobby will team up with others to prevent any meaningful enforcement, and this time we have an administration ulterior political motives to look the other way already. No amnesty, and no reform until enforcement. Learn it, practice it, earn it.