Us v, Them?
This is a new day. This is a new chance to get it right and show the progress of man as an inhabitant of the planet and a member of society.
But it’s also a bad day. Life has been lost. Innocents have been harmed and injured. A society within a society self-flagellates; whips and beats itself while destroying the businesses and police meant to help them in times of strife. It’s a time when frustration on both sides of the skirmish lines drawn in public venues lead to division, dissension, derision and demolition of a nation’s hopes for coming together as one.
The events occurring in Baltimore, Maryland are a result of people NOT coming together. They’ve rejected speaking to each other and shout down any attempts at peaceful resolution for the crimes alleged to have been committed. It’s not known how a young man came to be killed, his spine nearly severed (as the allegation goes) while in police custody. We weren’t there but the evidence will prove the rightness or wrongness of any control activity executed against this young man.
Our hearts should go out to the suffering being known by his family.
I, as a former law enforcement officer, am appalled at my personal knowledge of the fact law enforcement training is for the most part, misdirected and ignorant in specific circumstances. Officers react to stress with an extension of force without sufficient training to ensure the control of the suspect and the safety of both the suspect and the officer. There is no simple solution. All must come together to determine the problems and address them so as to produce solutions everybody can live with.
Number ONE: let’s stop justifying bad behaviors with excuses. Let’s stop complaining because jobs aren’t available and recognize some people want exorbitant pay for jobs a chimp can be trained to do. Let’s stop paying illegal, “undocumented” aliens to do the things people suffering the pains of a false sense of entitlement won’t do unless they get better than $15 an hour. Let’s start teaching parenting to those most hedonistically challenged and make them understand the responsibility of their actions; make them understand a moment’s pleasures can lead to a lifetime of effort to raise a child brought about from that union. Make the male responsible by DNA assurance and demand by society to support the person he helps to create. Allow NO welfare payment to women and/or men NOT knowing the identity of the other parent.
Then, at the same time, let’s start training law enforcement personnel in Empty Hand Control Techniques to a level of proficiency approaching the Expert level. The United Kingdom has many jurisdictions with officers NOT in possession of firearms. They make arrests daily and without the need for excessive firearms emphasis. Law Enforcement Officers in America spend more time learning armed intervention than they do unarmed control techniques. This is because misuse of a firearm leads to devastating effect when it occurs. A person will be maimed or killed when impacted by a bullet or shotgun round.
In America we don’t teach officers to fight. We don’t teach officers to control. We teach officers by virtue of their frustrations to look to get even because the system may let the accused off with a light or probated sentence while the officer may have to convalesce for an extended period of time. In the officer’s mind there is no justice in such cases.
Less than 1% of all officers will endure repeated assault necessitating the use of lethal force (impact weapon to a head or use of a firearm) to control a situation. Yet Firearms Training is accentuated across the nation and noted to be practiced more regularly and with greater stress placed on the judicious use of Lethal Force. This is as opposed to learning and regularly training in “Less Than Lethal Force” and “Control Techniques”.
Few officers must take control of a suspect at gunpoint. But, every suspect taken into custody will be touched, directed and controlled by an officer by hand. The level of remedial training in control techniques and Community Policing Techniques is miniscule in comparison to firearms training.
We train our officers to revert to what they know will keep them safe: the gun. They don’t have sufficient confidence in their abilities to control suspects with empty-hand techniques, leverage with a baton as opposed to striking and when they’re assaulted and hurt they revert to getting “pay-back”.
We must teach respect for the police as agents of society’s right to peace and safety in society. We must also teach the police to respect the people and extend their presence as an arm of the people’s right to peace and safety. One CANNOT work without the courtesy and understanding of the other.
Both elements must take responsibility for their actions and answer for what they do as a society: not from an idea of “US vs THEM”.
Thanks for listening