The National Police Spring
Active Shooter Prevention Expert on Domestic Terrorism
May 7, 2015
Incidents continue to evolve around the world with terrorism. Threats of violence in the forms of car bombings, hostage-taking, active shooter events, and global political and rebellious coups demonstrate the “voice of people.” The National Police Spring stemming from Ferguson and the Baltimore “Communities Against Police” is just the beginning of the shift within our own country and we need solutions, not people rallying with empty demands. Centering arguments on race instead of the core issue which few admit is that of socioeconomic community status. By diminishing the actuality of the facts reduces the value of actual racism to near zero. The race is “A” factor, not “THE” factor. At no time does this paper imply race is not a key issue – in actuality, it’s a good portion of the core. Incidents within this essay describe basic principles and facts of the same that few knew due to irresponsible reporting, but they are indisputable. Each incident has often demonstrated the rush to judgment against police with zero facts and then assumes to be a race issue. Enter Baltimore, the population is more than represented in every Governmental agency but economically, deprived of jobs and solid occupations. The poor economic conditions leave many residents with little opportunities to earn a living. When crime on the streets provides that opportunity and the first to address each incident is a police officer, there will be no one else to blame no matter the issue. Solving the communication problem will result in 95% of the solution. Knowing what’s wrong is key to fixing what lies within each mind, body, and spirit.
After Action Report
This After Action Report (AAR) from the City of Baltimore is written for the leadership of not just the city but also the state. This is similar to an essay regarding the civil disorder and restoring the peace from both sides. Instead, this white paper deals with the majority of issues causing unrest, distrust, and the political oversight that is lacking. Attempting to write a white paper for a national agenda to create order is not impracticable, it is unrealistic.
Staring with the initial incident creating the catalyst for the “breakout of unrest” was the arrest and wrongful portrayal of facts by two separate parties. The police department did not have the forward vision to release a basic statement of facts of any information and with the history, created doubt. The community (family attorney with their agenda on national race relations) went on to allow leaks of non-material ideas. This is not an indictment of the family or victim, rather the fact that some would seize the opportunity to advance their own personal agendas using Freddie Gray post mortem. Local community politics went on to rush a misleading synopsis of the tragedy. Filling the media with untrue information ahead of the police was the spark found earlier in this AAR. Following the events of the past two weeks, we can pause and evaluate what actually continues within this torn community.
A look to the past to predict the future is in order. Many use Trayvon Martin as the starting point portraying police as targeting young black men. This in itself marks the falsehood of the argument as this young man’s death, although tragic, was not done at the hands of police.
Result: Mr. Martin was shot and killed by a “wannabe” police officer, George Zimmerman because according to the Department of Justice report, a struggle ensued and the man responsible for his death felt “threatened.” It is the author’s opinion this did have something to do with race because Mr. Martin was a young black male where his killer did not think he should be. The letter of the law served Justice, but the spirit of the law was clearly violated because of the same laws that gave Mr. Martin freedom of movement provided an alibi for Mr. Zimmerman’s freedom of self-defense.
Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, MO by a white police officer. The fact of this case did not meet the criteria of the “race agenda.” Instead, misstated facts would continue to follow in propaganda form. The misstated facts cost the officer his career, in addition to threats to cause harm to his family. It was not a store robbery or even a crosswalk violation that led to the death of Mr. Brown. Read the entire report and the discovery is clear, tearing of one and a half inches of leather on the officer’s belt around the gun created the fact that Mr. Brown was trying to disarm the officer who went on to shoot him to stop the threat. This is an important fact; we cannot see into the heart of the officer but what we know is the police train to stop the threat, not kill. There is no trick shooting so it is impossible with adrenaline to shoot the gun out of a hand or shoot them in the arm or leg. Only in movies do people fall over when hit. Mr. Brown apparently took several rounds to stop the forward movement. While society does not see that as reasonable, I doubt those criticizing would have reacted differently in a fearful life and death situation.
Result: Mr. Brown was shot and killed by police because of the actions he created to cause Officer Darren Wilson to defend himself. Police are responsible for their firearms not being used against others by others. This was the only outcome from the series of events that occurred according to The Department of Justice report. Mr. Brown went beyond simply resisting and began continuous fighting. The fact that Mr. Brown was an African American and the officer a White male had zero bearings on this specific case.
New York police were enforcing a sales tax on cigarettes law when they came into contact with Mr. Garner. Following a struggle, not only did police use what many believe to be an unreasonable force to affect the arrest, the contact was unnecessary to enforce a substandard law. There is little doubt the man died because of a tragic series of unfortunate events, but it was not because he was black. The police did what they could to stop a man who was resisting all commands. At this point what should the police do? Walk away and try again later when Mr. Garner was more reasonable? That would be more irresponsible than the narrative being brought forward at the expense of Mr. Garner. The choke was indisputably not in the policy but the size of the suspect and the officer trying to affect the arrest were not equipped to deal with the struggle as they were thinking hand force is much better than lethal or ECD force to stop sales tax crimes. The end result was Mr. Garner DID say I can’t breathe so many times it has become a motto for communities to rally against police. Again, police messaging went awry here and the damage continues to be self-inflicted on police because of messaging errors. This is not justifying the death of Mr. Garner, in fact just the opposite; we do not know what would have transpired if mutual cooperation was in order at that moment.
Result: Mr. Garner died of what many consider the acts of the officers “choking him out.” The fact is Mr. Garner died of a phenomenon police regard and medical examiners reveal as; “Sudden In-Custody Death Syndrome.” This is no excuse as the loss of life against Mr. Garner but shows that police did not set out to kill a cigarette salesman, rather a series of incidents lead to the death of Mr. Garner including the actions of police by not immediately responding to the “I can’t breathe” statement. In my experience, people say everything to keep from being arrested and 99% go to jail without incident. Mr. Garner was the one-off with an actual medical issue and this is one of the biggest fears for police, an actual medical problem. The non-indictment of the officers was an excuse for race-baiters to use this death in their favor. The end result is a tragedy that really should not have occurred but its doubtful race had anything to do with this incident. The number of whites arrested for this crime far exceeds those of African Americans in the same area.
By far this is the most important of all the listed cases, not because the life of Mr. Gray is more valuable, but the causation of the incident is telling. The movement that we are watching in prime time is just the beginning and as police, we need to be ready to adjust our own focus and as citizens, we need to be ready to adjust our tolerance to facts, not agendas.
This incident is very different in several forms that the above four chosen by the author. Freddie Gray was a known drug dealer in the streets of Baltimore with over a dozen arrests for dealing illicit narcotics to include heroin. Instead of police trying to create the correct opportunity to catch a drug dealer, they created an incident that directly leads to his death. Mr. Gray was contacted for literally looking at police wrong. In the Baltimore Police Department, there is a policy against the chase of people absent probable cause that a crime was or was being committed. After catching Mr. Gray, police used a knife he was carrying to arrest him under the guise of an illegal weapon, which as it turns out, was not illegal at all. Problem number two and the incident would not end with these two issues.
Mr. Gray is arrested for what most consider; “pissing off the police” (POP). As the false arrest continues, everything that could go wrong continues to deteriorate. Mr. Gray is continuously struck with police using the excuse “resisting arrest” by police of the same race and others considered being minorities in the profiles. Most would argue at this point race cannot have anything to do with this arrest because police were minorities arresting a young black man who they thought to be dealing with heroin. Again, instead of waiting for a proper arrest, the police created an issue directly contributing to the death of Mr. Gray.
Loading Mr. Gray into the police transport van the video shows his lower body less than active with the movement of his legs. This does not mean his spine was severed, it means police possibly used an unreasonable amount of force to affect his arrest. With a damaged windpipe or swollen airway, at least according to a leaked report from the medical examiner, Mr. Gray had damage inflicted during his police contact. With the refusal of the police and the District Attorney to release details of the autopsy, leaves doubt speculation among the community in America watching. There is a direct correlation leading to the unrest across major cities with Baltimore as the centerpiece. The new narrative, that’s not so new, is that police “target” black men in an effort to capture and or kill (whichever is expedient). This narrative is carried from the bottom up and out through the media with examples such as the ones within this AAR.
As of today, May 3, 2015, we do not know what the result of Baltimore will be. We do know however that there is a national movement to change the narrative and conversation of how police do their job. The only issue the author sees with this is that police will feel resented and set aside and relent to do their job as once trained. This is cause-and-effect at its finest. One solution is that we look to what the people want and that is quality police to protect them and lesson actions to enforce. There are several problems with this that this AAR will not address. Instead is the author’s intent to show that race has very little to do with this problematic series of events. Tragic as though they may be, the professionalization of Police departments across America can be a starting point to fixing or at least curbing the actions of rogue officers.
The South Carolina officer gunned down the African-American man who fled without cause is simply a murderer with a badge. His actions of a cover-up following the discharge of his firearm eight times are not only inexcusable it’s flat out illegal. People complain about police actions often say police should be better or better trained. The fact of the matter is police are simply human and do their best with what they have and no amount of training can instill the principles of a fight or flight. Fight, Flight, or Freeze is inherent inside all of us how we do not know how we will act until under that type of duress. These actions sometimes cause failure to act or excessive fighting both of which we have seen. Unfortunately, many officers hide under the guise a fight or flight to enforce rather than to protect.
Police need to adjust to the public’s new calling and quit taking their position personally. So many officers here the “calling” that they want to protect and serve and they fall into enforcing thinking they are protecting. While this type of policing method does need to be carried out in certain portions of different communities, it does not mean police should have [that] zero-tolerance attitude et al. Instead of thinking what the police need, the police should start thinking what citizens need. This of course is the reason for police in the first place, to serve community needs while maintaining good order and discipline. This profession is one police chose and it begins with protecting the public in keeping their trust. Maintaining their trust is something entirely different. Just a few thoughts that could be incorporated into earning the public’s trust and police adjusting their methods of operation.
Reasons Protestors are Correct for Marching and Wrong for Looting
The protesters have rights and have a good frame of mind for wanting to change the impact on the communities. Of course, the issue is that several out-of-town protesters come in and exchange their good ideas for criminal actions. Many so-called civic leaders come in and call for the burning of minority-owned (non-African-American) businesses. Instead of the impact understood and recognized by the community at large these people get to leave the city once their objective is complete. Several inside the community are so desperate to get their voice heard they follow these people under ill advice because there’s no one truly looking out for them. Their elected officials have let them down, refused to communicate, and forgot the representation for which they’ve been elected. If they had the true community’s heart in mind communication would be at the forefront of each and every conversation.
Police act as the first line between the citizens and the criminals in the court systems. Typically, there are several years of pent up aggression or issues that then boil over when a person calls the police. It is up to these officers to solve the problems in five-minute increments because that is the approximate time police service calls last. Police have training in community relations, dealing with special needs people, dealing with crowd control, and dealing with the court systems. The problem is few officers understand that this job is not personal.
By professionalizing the system of policing there would be a higher standard of training with education as a focus for development. At the time of this writing, it’s an occupation like a trade, not a professional career like a doctor or lawyer. Some politicians commit egregious acts while in office and retain that office although it is a minute sample. Police: 1/10th of 1% of officers do criminal acts and it not only reflects poorly on the officers but on the entire badge-wearing community. This talk that comes out of all the major cities into the media following these tragic incidents generally has a common theme that police are the problem. The true problem of course is not the lack of training or the lack of weapons or over resources; it is the lack of quality officers available for the position. Who would want to enter an occupation where everyone hates you just because of the job you would perform? Who would want to enter an occupation that pays approximately $50-$70,000 a year that you would ultimately have to give your life up for citizen is sworn to protect. That same citizen appears on the nightly news writing and protesting of your very existence. Elected officials hide behind their stands and say it’s the police fault and when the cards fall it’s the police left the clean it up. Where’s the solution for success in this? Here are four items that I propose will help police move forward into helping their communities again and in turn, the communities will help the police. I defer back to the watch and ward method of policing when our country was first founded.