Panicked Police Predicament **WARNING GRAPHIC**
If you are squeamish, too young, or just at the end of your social rope, I suggest you NOT watch the above video. I'll do my best to cover it in this article so you don't have to watch it if you fit into one of the above categories.
In the above video, officers who are clearly already agitated, attempt to respond to a noise complaint. That's right, a noise complaint. After knocking on the door, they see a man answer the door. No physical threats are made. As the man exits the door, the officers see that he is holding a pistol, they instruct him to put it down so he puts his arms out (a universal sign of surrender) and bends down to put the pistol on the ground. Yet as he's doing so, one of the officers shoots him multiple times in the back, killing him.
They are immediately confronted by his girlfriend to whom they respond with, "he pulled a gun on us." Yeah? Really? No, not so much. The video shows as much.
You can read more about this tragic event here.
What really needs to be highlighted here is the absolute aggression by these officers. It highlights a policing model based on a predator/prey model (you can learn more about it by googling predator police training) as opposed to the older protect and serve de-escalation model. Here was a man in full compliance with their orders, simply answering the door with his firearm (I'll get to why in a second) and who was shot FOR FOLLOWING THE OFFICER'S COMMANDS.
Now, some of you are going to inevitably ask why he felt the need to answer the door with a firearm. Well, I could tell you all about the millions of people in this country who do the exact same thing, but rather I'm going to tell you what the news reports. He had had a late night door banging experience earlier that week and he feared that it was the same person coming back just now calling themselves the police. He had a door knocker, but no eye hole. He had no way of knowing the legitimacy of the knocking.
So when he opened the door and saw that it was the police, he proceeded to exit his domicile in a peaceful way, with no quick movements, and immediately began complying with officer orders. He did everything right except that maybe he could have put the gun down before exiting, however then the officers might have been upset that he took his time to "hide something" from them.
I often go back to my military training. I can't help it, it's ingrained in me. Had any of my fellow Soldiers in Iraq done this, they would have been up on murder charges and facing a Courts Martial and multiple years in Levenworth. Yet here, no arrests, no trials, nothing except an IA investigation that apparently ruled in the officer's favor. It IS unjust, and though this is a white male, it just as easily could have been anyone else from any other race or gender. You see race isn't the root of the problem, predatory policing, overworked officers, denial of accountability, and a broad sweeping qualified immunity are. If 18 year old Soldiers, in a war zone, don't get qualified immunity, and are held to a much higher standard, then why is it that we can't expect more out of professional law enforcement officers here in America?
We don't need to defund the police. We don't need to abolish the police. We DO NEED to retrain the police. We need to invest in them and give them more tools than just military gear. We need to hire psychologists and other crisis management individuals to work ALONG SIDE the police, not in place of them. We need to ban all types of the predatory model training and find a way to bring back the beat cop as opposed to the professional crime reporter who sometimes has to be a jailer in the streets.
There is a middle ground, and we so desperately need to find it. Yet until officers know that they will be held accountable for egregious and reckless actions such as this, we should have no expectations of better. These weren't officers responding to a riot, they were officers responding to an annoyed neighbor who just wanted them to be more quiet so he could sleep. This never should have happened.