Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

Recent Thoughts: On Police Killings

On police killings: I would like to see a paradigm shift in police training: Emphasis on de-escalation, and tactics such as weapon retention, martial arts such as judo instead of Krav Maga or whatever they teach police these days, and more use of less-lethal weapons such as the PR-24 baton. Fire discipline also needs to be taught. Who’s telling these officers it’s correct to empty your magazine at an unarmed man? I understand that the idea is to knock the suspect down, and people hopped up on drugs or rage or mental illness can sometimes absorb a staggering amount of damage before falling over, but you’d think you could take half a second to see whether the first two shots had effect before pulling the trigger a dozen more times.

On the other hand, I wish that more mothers and fathers, teachers and preachers, would counsel that, no matter how shameful and humiliating it may be to truckle to a police officer, the odds that you will still be alive to complain about it afterwards are far greater than otherwise. As the Bible says, turn the other cheek. “A soft answer turneth away wrath.”

For one thing, you have to realize that the cop is as wary of you as you are of him, if not more so. He doesn’t know whether or not you are armed, drunk, on drugs, or off your meds, and has to assume the worst for the safety of himself, his fellow officers, and citizens in the area until assured otherwise.

People don’t accept that, once engaged, it’s rare that an officer can back down. He’s not just one man, he’s THE Man, the Force, the Law. If he backs down, all that is seen to back down. At best, he will be subject to criticism from his colleagues. At worst, he may be disciplined. If you are calm and compliant, there’s a possibility you may be let go. Get up in his face about the perceived injustice, and, guess what? If you resist apprehension, that officer has hundreds of fellows and heavy weaponry to back him up. It’s a battle you can’t possibly win, yet people try it every day with frequent harm to both sides.

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Tags: crime, politics
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