African-American Community; Good vs. Bad Police?

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Let me start off by saying I hope that is not the case. Secondly, GOOD police officers are absolutely necessary to the safety and welfare of the public. Thirdly, there are many law-abiding police officers who risk their lives, do their duty and abide by their oath. They should be commended, appreciated and respected. But then there are the others – bad cops, racists, bullies, opportunists, poorly trained, abusive and irresponsible. People who should never have carried a badge in the first place. They make it hard on the many good cops, the public and everybody else. So this article will address the boomerang-type karma they bring on themselves.

IF YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR THE TRUTH, YOU WILL NEVER FACE IT

 

As a man who carried a badge and who still occasionally trains police officers, in my current position as Director of Public Safety, I must speak the truth with balance, equality and fairness. And there is a growing trend we all should pay attention to. According to FBI statistics, hundreds of police officers were shot over the last year or so. Dozens already since January of 2022. And just like criminals bring it on themselves when they rob a bank, take a police officer’s weapon or commit another crime, bad cops can bring it on themselves just the same. Unfortunately, most police officers don’t like to think about this, won’t admit this and would rather just blanketly blame the perpetrators. But to solve the problem, we need to pull the blanket off the issues with a balanced analysis from all angles.

A police officer is not a hero just because he or she puts on the uniform, the badge and the gun. He or she is a hero when they do the work of a hero, exhibiting the actions of a hero, standing up for others like a hero, standing against lawlessness, where ever and whenever they may find it – even if it is found amongst their fellow officers. When they follow the law and apply it fairly, police officers are heroes. So for all those people who “back the blue” no matter what they do, you are part of the problem in creating a false and unrealistic perception of heroism. And I can name dozens of veteran officers, supervisors, FTOs and commanders who agree with me.

 

IF THE TRUTH ANNOYS YOU, THEN YOU WILL NEVER FOLLOW IT

 

Reaping what you sow, boomerangs and karma are not just for civilian or citizen criminals. That is a fact that ultimately none of us can override nor escape. Nobody should be above the law, especially those entrusted to enforce it. And unfortunately, a mindset is growing in the communities across America that citizens are not going to take any and every thing from bad cops anymore. So more and more, people confronted by the police are proving that citizens carry guns too. I projected this would happen 10 years ago.  I had hoped I was wrong.

I do not promote violence period. And when cops (good or bad), are shot or killed, it makes all police officers edgy and nervous. That means itchy trigger fingers, less patience, far less de-escalation and many more incidents that won’t go well. That is bad news for everybody. But I still have to ask all the DAs, judges, police commanders, juries and politicians, what are citizens supposed to do when they are attacked, abused or threatened by bad cops? I have asked this question over and over again, but every person who answers makes no sense in their response.

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Still, what to do about bad cops? Especially when DAs blow or dismiss cases, juries seldom convict, police unions support bad cops and absent-minded citizens blankety “back the blue”? Self-defense is for everybody and the second amendment is very real. On top of that, where much is given, much is required. So if police officers are to have our trust and serve the community, they must hold that trust sacred and “protect and serve”. If police officers want citizen support, they must contribute the same. The “us vs. them” mentality has to go away – on all sides. And it needs to take the “blue code” with it.

Good police officers have no problem with anything I have just said. But for those who strenuously object, you have to ask why. Citizens are tired of cases such as Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, George Floyd, Tamir Rice and many others. My comment is not intended to justify and criminal activity by any citizen, but neither will I justify unlawful, unnecessary, illegal or abusive police behavior.

Police officers go through intensive training, including training on interpersonal communication, situational threat assessment and de-escalation. Citizens as a whole are far less trained. So which one should have a greater responsibility to resolve matters in the best way possible for all concerned? The police officer. And we have to stop making excuses when they don’t.

Of course, the other side of the coin is that police officers are human beings too. And upon analysis of numerous incidents labeled as racism or police brutality, my office has found sometimes they are mistakes or human error, ego, immaturity or inadequate training. So to be fair, all police incidents that don’t turn out well should not be lumped into the same category. Especially when citizens very often do not have all of the facts, Likewise, when many officers stand with a rogue cop, they often don’t have all the facts either.

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That being said, let’s look at an example of bad police work – the death of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta at the hands of APD Officer Garrett Rolfe. I am going to give you an abbreviated summary and Tess I have viewed and analyzed the bodycam footage from both officers on the scene. Brooks was parked at a Wendy’s drive thru in Atlanta. Rolfe administered the sobriety test and Brooks failed. Without telling Brooks he was under arrest, Rolfe proceeded to handcuff Brooks. A fight ensued where Brooks assaulted both officers present, took one officer’s taser, began to flee, pointed it at the officer then fired the taser. Officer Rolfe fired his sidearm, striking Brooks. While Brooks lay there dying, Officer Rolfe kicked him. Then Mayor Bottoms ordered that Rolfe be fired. But he got his job back on a due process technicality.

Clearly any officer having a taser pointed and fired at him would likely and reasonably shoot the perpetrator. Especially if the perpetrator had just assaulted two officers (felony) and was fleeing, thereby likely posing a threat to others. But it’s not that simple and seasoned police officers know it. Self-preservation should always be a factor but that is not the only factor to consider. And regular psychological assessments should be conducted on all officers, especially when a death is involved. But this won’t happen widespread because

(1) of what the analysis would find

and

(2) cities need people in uniform on the streets – even if some of them don’t belong there. There is a way to balance all of this out, but local politicians do not seem interested in doing it. And then there are fake groups like Black Lives Matters who deceived its members just until it brought in enough money for the founders to take a payoff to shut up.

So, let’s rewind to a point that many police officers don’t want to talk about regarding incidents like the one in Atlanta with Officer Garrett Rolfe and the death of Rayshard Brooks. If the intoxicated citizen had been an off-duty police officer, a wealthy white male driving a 100k Mercedes, the daughter of a senator, the son of a judge or DA, he or she would not have been arrested for DUI in a Wendy’s parking lot to begin with. He or she would have been taken home and directed to pick up the car keys from the police station. Or he or she would have been allowed to call for a ride, maybe even for his ride to drive the intoxicated person home. Most officers in those scenarios would have de-escalated the situation. And a worse-case scenario would have been a citation for public intoxication and towing or impounding the vehicle. You and I and most police officers know that is how this would have played out. Be honest. So ethnicity on both sides was a factor, economic status is usually a factor and even neighborhood or geographic area was a factor. This is what nobody in positions of power wants to talk about.

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So let’s make sure you understand my position and share this article with others. The perpetrator did commit felonies. And if you take a police officer’s weapon (or attempt to) after assaulting him, you may be shot and killed. If you are not being abused, compliance is very often the safer option for a citizen. Still, like I said, there is much more to that which could have happened early on as initiated by a better officer. Especially when Rolfe is Caucasian, Brooks was African American and the police chief had told officers to use discretion because tensions were high over the George Floyd murder.

My first amendment message to all citizens? Don’t shoot police officers! And if you do, it better be clear cut self-defense backed up by proof. And you should surrender, not run. But you better not be in the process of a criminal act if it happens or you will have jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. My message to police officers?  Follow the law, use your de-escalation training, treat everybody fairly, drop the “us vs. them” mentality. Police the community for the right reasons or find another job. Use your head first, not your duty belt. Hold bad cops accountable. And use an arrest as a last resort, not a first option. All of us must think before we act!

Staff Writer; Trevo Craw

A Free Thinker, who loves to talk about Politics, etc. Also, all about uplifting the Black Community even if it doesn’t fit your mindset. One may hit me up at; [email protected].