A story I posted today read that, “Alabama police arrested a suspect for assaulting an officer after he allegedly pulled a gun on police and got into an altercation with officers during an early morning traffic stop”. Keep listening. The vehicle had been stopped for traffic violations and pulled into a gas station. The officer called for backup, which arrived, but a passenger was noncompliant with officer’s instructions. He broke free, started running, pulled a gun from his waistband and pointed it at one of the officers. Notice I said pointed it at one of the officers. Did any of the officers under totally righteous circumstances, shoot to stop the threat? Nooo
A second officer used a distraction strike and was able to get the asshole to drop the gun. A second gun was found in the lowlife’s waistband. If the distraction strike had missed or been ineffective, then what…one cop shot, two cops shot, or maybe he could have gone for a three-bie.
Here’s the point. In this environment of anti-police braying jackasses, what became of the old tried and true cop adage: “Better to be Judged by 12 than carried by Six?” Hmmmm. After all, really, wasn’t the Derrick Chauvin George Floyd tragedy, a true freak show? How many cops have made it a habit to kneel on the necks of subjects for eight or nine minutes? I dare say, not even Sergeant Chauvin. But, it has impacted policing in such a profound way that it almost seems as if some cops would nowadays rather be carried by six than judged 12, as horrific as it sounds.
The overwhelming number of officer involved shootings and such are, ultimately, adjudged to have been appropriate under the particular circumstances.
Try this one. Google Jose Montanez and Springfield, Massachusetts police. You’ll see an amazing clip of video as this nut job continually points a gun at police who had been called because ShotSpotter had detected numerous rounds being fired. Why didn’t the officers shoot to stop the threat? According to the article, they immediately noticed that the gun’s slide was locked in the rear, which typically indicates it was out of ammunition or unable to be fired unless the slide was moved forward. Whoa! Not a bad catch by the coppers in two or three seconds. “They certainly took a chance on waiting for that, but it gave them another second or two where you know that he’s not going to be able to fire.” according to a Springfield police commissioner. “If he closes that slide, I’m sure both officers would have had to fire for their own lives.” You hope! You think that’ll ever make the network news?
In another harrowing video clip, an Illinois officer is stabbed multiple times and pulls his taser, not his sidearm. Quoting the article: “The officer first tries deploying a stun gun before being taken to the ground. Then 15 seconds after the first stab and 10 stab wounds later, he draws his service weapon fires, four rounds, fatally, wounding, the assailant.” Check it out for yourself by Googling East Peoria officers stabbed or, via YouTube.
Finally, here’s one: Georgia officer chooses to get hit by SUV rather than use lethal force. In an interview with Channel 2 Action News, Officer Ivory Morris said he ended up on the hood of the SUV before he was thrown from the vehicle and run over, which would have been grounds for using lethal force. His restraint caused him a broken leg and a trip to the emergency room, but the teenager kept his life.
“I was like, I don’t want to hurt this kid.” Morris told the news station from his hospital bed. “I don’t want to take nobody’s kid away from them.” I get it, Officer Morris, I do. It’s almost abuse to expect cops to make these types of life altering decisions in fractions of seconds, but cops do and must every hour of every day, the vast majority of which never make cable news. And if a dead officer is carried by six, not judged by 12…in all likelihood, that, too will not make the cable news. Some things to think about, perhaps.
Considering online training as a supplement? You won’t go wrong if you choose the only reality-based online video training in the world for law enforcement, visit us at lineofduty.com and click on the red tab marked ‘Get a Free Trial’ and see what you think. In the Line of Duty, still saving officers’ lives and making a difference after a quarter century. I’m Ron barber. Thanks for listening and that’s Stuff You Never Ever Learned at the Academy.