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Old 08 January 2018, 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
Saying that deescalation techniques are not promoted or that police officers are not taught that lethal force is a last resort is not quite the same as saying they're taught to shoot first and ask questions later. A nervous, untrained person in that situation might naturally be inclined to shoot first, which is why training is so important. I'm sure there's some training to this effect, but perhaps there needs to be more since it doesn't seem to be sticking.
One of the things that bug me about all the “Cops shoot an unarmed person” stories is that when it hits the papers, the police and their defenders will say something like, “The other person was doing X and the Cop was so freaked out and had to make a snap decision.” Thing is, while I do not deny that law enforcement is a very high stress job that does take its toll, at the same time, cops are supposed to be trained to deal with intense situations. Yet they are allowed to get away with being so freaked out, they felt like they had no choice but to be all Dirty Harry, while an untrained civilian is expected to remain in a state of zen-like calm as a cop, aka someone with gun, acts all aggressive, yelling and getting in their faces.

It’s probably born of the mindset as described by Abraham Maslow: when all you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. While cops do undergo deescalation training, the amount of training they receive in this area, is pitiful when compared with the amount of training they receive in firearms.

It’s probably born of a lot of trends born over the decades. The War on Drugs probably helped intensify the militant mindset of the organization’s culture and as our culture grew harsher and more punitive towards criminals, along with the paranoia created in the wake of 9/11, this mindset grew, until now the police see themselves less as members of a community they’ve sworn to serve and protect, a more as protected class outside the community, deserving of greater privileges and protections than their fellow citizens.

The militant mindset leads the police to see the people they are supposed to serve and protect as guilty until proven innocent, which leads to tragic shootings of unarmed civilians. These shootings leads to the community further mistrusting the police and they become more hostile in their attitudes, which only further fuels the militant mindset among the police, and now we find ourselves trapped in a moebius strip of awful.

I don’t know how to fix everything and tragedies will always happen, but you should try to lessen the amount of manmade disasters wherever and whenever you can. My suggestions are increased time spent on deescalation training and bad cops should face harsher penalties.

After all, the Cleveland cop who shot and killed Tamir Rice, had been previously employed by the town of Independence. He quit the force while they were in the process of firing him, yet still managed to find work with another department, claiming that he resigned for personal reasons. Yet the Cleveland Police just accepted him at his word and didn’t bother to call up his former employers; a person applying for a job ringing up groceries, faces more hurdles to employment than that.

If they had checked the officer’s records, they might have discovered a memo recommending his firing, saying “Individually, these events would not be considered major situations, but when taken together they show a pattern of a lack of maturity, indiscretion and not following instructions. I do not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct these deficiencies."

I know, I know, that cop was just one guy and the Wichita Police Department is just one department, but these cases reveal a disturbing pattern. The expression isn’t “Oh it’s just a few bad apples, there’s nothing to worry about.” The expression is “A few bad apples spoils the bunch.” Even if someone is truly a great cop, a veritable saint of a human being, if they allow abuses, either ones born out of malice or incompetence, to continue, then they are basically serving as accessories to the bad cops’ crimes.
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