The Cure to the Disease of the recent Homicide by Cops
There are misconceptions and then there are plain bonehead assumptions, when it comes to the recent rash of officer involved shootings and it appears that many are guilty of the later. A misconception is the assuming that someone is a bad person long before ever really getting to know or even taking the time to get somewhat acquainted with that person and defined as “.a view or opinion that is incorrect because it is based on faulty thinking or understanding.” This happens a lot in life especially when we generalize about a certain segment of society based squarely upon the actions or perceived actions of some within that segment of the population. If you consistently see a certain group of people committing crime over and over again, then one tends to assume and build a misconception that all people of that same particular group must also commit crimes on a regular basis. This misconception leads us to assuming the worst or the best of a section of society even though there is often clear evidence to the contrary. Often times this is done because it is easier to justify our refusal to get to know others or our selfish nature to always be right in our assumptions if we can use often faulty statistics to support our positions. The often saddest part and the piece of the puzzle we most ignore, is the Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) that we are all equipped with that tells us we are wrong.
For those with a very high degree of the love for misconceptions, this then opens us up to now develop an unstoppable force which comes over us that often manifests into assumptions. What makes them bonehead assumptions is the constant refusal to correct them long after you have begun to even admit to them being false out loud. An assumption is defined as “a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof” and you find this present in almost every aspect of existence. Often times proof is ignored or minimized because we do not wish to admit that our assumption was wrong. The shooting of unarmed people are bonehead assumptions but often times those committing this crime are police officers and allowed to continue without penalty making others think that now it is okay to continue to pursue bonehead assumptions and avoid all need to prove anything.
The cure to this rapidly spreading disease, which by the way, does not only affect police officers. This disease does not discriminate and can often be found in everyday people who hold no authority or control over anyone but themselves. So the cure for this disease when it comes to police officers is to return them to a common theme which used to permeate through all law enforcement training and that was violation of personal space. Each person you encounter has a distance of personal space that you, as an officer, must respect. Invasion of that personal space will put anyone in a defensive posture and from that comes a bonehead assumption that they are not complying or resisting. If you watch the video of the recent shootings, one thing should become abundantly clear to you and that is the cops’ insistence to keep moving forward toward the person in question. Many times their weapons are already drawn and yet they continue to close the gap between them and those suspected of committing a crime. This makes a reasonable person begin to ask if whether they have been properly vetted and trained on the shooting range to the point where they can hit a man-size target at any other distance besides up close.
There used to be a time where police officers were trained to handle their issue weapons and use cover and concealment when dealing with a combative or unwilling subject. Many times the doors of their patrol car or either engine side of their patrol cars were more than adequate to provide them protection if those confronted decided to become fatally aggressive. That’s not what we are seeing now, we are seeing officers whose idea of cover and concealment is drawing their weapons first and standing behind it to fire first. Cover and concealment was quite useful because it allowed the officer to see more than just the narrow focus of the hands and get a clue about the total person that they were dealing with before ever approaching. It also reduced the fear felt when dealing with someone who it has been assumed may turn hostile. Figure this, if the person not only has to turn around with a weapon and fire into a very tiny spot to strike any officer, there is a greater chance of their one and only shot not even coming close which allows the officer even more justification to return fire.
There also used to be a conditioning of officers to understand that the minds number one job is to protect the body and in order to do that, the mind may quickly build walls to quarantine an event until at which time the mind begin to believe that small portions of it can be released a little at a time. This happens especially when an unnatural act is performed. The taking of a life, any life, is an unnatural act and when it happen those involved must now deal with it for the rest of their earthly existence and maybe even long afterwards.
To cure this disease, first remain close enough to hold a clear conversation but far enough away so that several actions must be taken before personal space is violated. The cure is to re-train officers to understand that not all that they meet from a particular segment of society is anything like the last person that they encountered from that segment and finally prepare mentally for what will and must happen when an unnatural act is performed. These cures does not require medication or a doctor’s directions, they do however require all of us to consider that what we think or have been told may not necessarily be true and are often false when it comes to any segment of society as a whole. Each individual is responsible for his/her choices and decisions which does not reflect on the entire group of members of that same crowd so if we take it one person at a time and do not assume that all are exactly the same, we can get a quick handle on this problem before it gets worse because the course that we find ourselves on today is headed directly toward the situation becoming chaotic and out of control. Funny thing is, the shooting of Americans citizens who fail to comply for even a traffic stop dies at the scene or even in the hospital but those who commit terrorism seem to survive to make their court dates.