“If You Were the Police, What Would You Have Done?”

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This is a usual excuse explanation people usually stand behind when trying to justify police actions that usually result in the death of a victim. This specific article was brought up due to the death of Jacob Blake; as if we needed more black people dead and more reasons to ‘love’ the police. I posted an article online condemning yet another police-killed-black-man story and then a friend responded to me, basically with that: “If you were the police, what would you have done?”

If you’re trying to just hide behind this excuse while fully knowing that you’re biased/racist and you’re just looking for confirmation bias, let’s not waste each other’s time my friend. If you are here because to the best of your knowledge, killing someone is justified yet you want to learn more, and you sense there’s just something wrong about that decision and you can see and feel that the world is on the other side of that decision, and you genuinely want to understand why people are reacting negatively to police actions like this, read on.

Let’s set the stage:

Disclaimers

  • Unlike some people in police departments, I fully admit that I do not know how to control tense situations nor do I claim I can control people and/or situations (anyone who claims otherwise is just fooling themselves)
  • I know that there are just plain bad people out there. I am not living in some fantasy land that there are no violent crimes. I’ve discussed this extensively in this article about the police around the time of Floyd’s death. This explains where I stand when it comes to guns, why I think the police should be defunded, and how emergency (weaponized) response units ought to be.

Story

The quick story is: you see a video of a black man being apprehended by the police, starts to ignore them, disobeys their command to stop, proceeds to walk towards the driver’s seat of his own car, tries to pull something, and then that’s the moment officerS landed him 7 shots.

At this point we’re all thinking of the same thing. It’s not looking too good for our guy here. You disobeyed cops and then you start to “reach” for something no one knows, that’s scary sir (for you).

At the time of writing (Aug 25, 2020), there are very limited information about the incident. We know that he is un/fortunately alive but paralyzed from the waist down. Just click on the article above to get a picture (of the story).

Digging Deeper

The person who recorded the video talked to the media and explained what happened before (the video).

Summarized version was he was apprehended already, punched to the ribs, and was even tased already even before start of the video.

Opinions

As I’ve said I understand (although I do NOT support, JUSTIFY nor do I think it’s smart) when the cops pulled the trigger just at that exact moment he was about to reach for something. It’s unfortunate but I think that’s how they are trained? I’m not sure. “When you don’t know what’s about to happen or what they are about to reach for, you are now excused to fire your weapon” (I’ll go back to how dangerous this logic is). It may not be an individual mistake but more of a systematic shortcoming.

Let’s go to the worst case scenario: let’s say that he was part of the domestic disturbance call (undetermined), and that he has malicious intent (undetermined), and that he was about to reach for a weapon to be used against the officers (undetermined). Imagine that you are the police officer following him in the video and keep in mind that all these factors are undetermined for you as things are happening. We don’t even know what the officers asked/said and what he was reaching for. All the things are happening so fast so you go with what you know and then you do the: “When you don’t know what’s about to happen or what they are about to reach for, you are now excused to fire your weapon”.

Well first I really don’t mind and I hold no ego if it turns out the guy’s out to kill officers. I would be happy that no innocent black man was killed/injured in this confrontation. But before you say I told you so, read everything first.

But damn, 7 shots? The first guy fired two, on a person bent over ON HIS BACK, still undetermined if he’s armed or not. I haven’t been shot but I’m sure one is more than enough to incapacitate me. Then you see this officer who fucking looks like on bloodlust. Clearly officer 1 have it under control and he has lots of ammo but Officer #2 really wanted to get in on it and fired the 3rd shot and then some. Dafuq is that?

Charge him with resisting arrest or something. (attempt to) take a life? Bruh, c’mon, you’re not that special.

“But Dan you don’t know if he’s going to pull a weapon or something”

You’re right, you also don’t know if he’s just about to pull a wallet or something. So your answer is pull the trigger? What kind of fucking oversimplification is that?

“Oh yea, you’re so smart, what would you have done instead?”

There are several officers and I assume you have several tasers. You can’t tell me those don’t do anything? I’ll take beating at this point. In fact you (police officers) actually did it before the start of the vid. I still can’t wrap my shawarma why you guys assaulted and tased him already I don’t get why he’s still not in cuffs at the start of the vid? This is what you’re made for, assault and cuff and ask questions later. The one time it would actually have been helpful, omfg…

At the very least, shoot two omg..SEVEN?!

This also goes back to my curiosity about why guns are prevalent with police. This is a tool that inflict so much physical, mental, emotional, even economical (this recovery) damage yet the requirements to operate this tool is so low. Physical operating it so easy but the moral, societal impact of using this whether justified or not just has so many effects that I wonder why there are no phd or masters requirements to become a police officers. Operating a gun has not been the problem for quite a while. It’s been when to use it and on what circumstances.

Those who side with the victim would say: “were there no other peaceful way?”. But wait, remember he was headlocked, punched to the ribs, and tased already even before the start of the vid. Those who side with the police would use this as an excuse.

So…what excuse explanation do you want us to use:
That police team is incompetent (5ish vs 1 with tasers, can’t apprehend 1 guy?) or that he’s superman? Pick.

If he was deemed dangerous and if the police assumed he was the criminal in that situation already, shouldn’t he be in handcuffs already? Oh he wasn’t a threat? Ok, great. So why still shoot in the end if there are no signs of threats?

What should we write this off as?

“Shoot when unsure”

Let me explain how stupid dangerous this logic is. First there are some “the punishment does not fit the crime” scenario going on here. If I shoot at you (aka criminal certainty=100%), it makes sense that you can shoot back. If I have a bulge in my jacket and my hand is concealed (criminal certainty=50%), you may or may not shoot me. If I step on the grass when there’s a sign (criminal certainty=5%), you probably will not shoot me. Now when you have 0% certainty how come the reflex is shoot?

Police officers are also humans, they make mistakes. What’s worse, they’re VERY open to bias. So if your response is to shoot every time, well that’s not good for society isn’t it? Here’s another funny thing, every time the police is called into any situation, they do not know the full story. You. do. not. know. anything. So what, license to spray and pray everyone? Dafuq kind of logic is that.

Still not convinced that police can make mistakes? If you haven’t noticed in the past YEARS already, they make mistakes…A LOT OF THEM. They usually result in someone dying:

Want more, just go to youtube and type in cops, racial profiling, mistaken arrest/kills, etc. OMFG…field day.

Do we also have to list again all the black people killed in their homes, while running, stating they can’t breathe, etc?

So I don’t get it. If you tell me you don’t have a driver’s license, I sure as hell won’t lend you my car. If you tell me you just got your license, no one’s gonna lend you their Porsche. So how come people who looks and seems no better than most of us are granted a tool that clearly does not de-escalate things and has the power to kill? I don’t get it. That’s fucking stupidity.

Why are they all coincidentally black? If you think that police, guns, and killings are justified, you just have to ask yourself that why is that the victims are most of the time black? Sit down and think of that. While you’re at it, why is it also coincidentally that in these exact situations, the killers are police officers, white, and male? You don’t have to be political about it. If you’re smart and unbiased, you know this is worth investigating and if/when you do, you will uncover what most informed, educated people know already: Racism is alive and well and it’s systemically embedded in the police department.

Stop you because you look “suspicious”? C’MON MAN. Just by hearing your voice and how you talk I can tell you’re a piece of shit already…

You need to be (really) good at reading people and situations. Remember you have a gun hence the quality of service and interpersonal skills should REALLY NATURALLY BE HIGH. You have a powerful tool, you hold a job title with power and so you should be able to exemplify why you are allowed to wield this power. If you’re shit at reading people and situations, you shouldn’t be a police officer in the first place.

You’re called in for a domestic dispute, the guy is isolated outside, on the lawn already (no more dispute). Everyone, even the victim is trying to de-escalate. There are multiple officers on scene and one guy, THERE ARE KIDS AT THE BACK OF THE CAR FFS. DAFUQ is this? You think he’s trying to live the thug life and being a good parent? Dafuq is that shit.

Why shoot? Why? Why 7 times? You scared he might have a weapon? How sure are you? Scared for your life? Again, you had a scuffle already before the start, why is he not in a handcuff then?

“Why would you disobey the police?”

Believe it or not, there are actually very valid reasons why one would disobey cops. If by hearing this you’re surprised, I’ll tell you what, you are probably white/with power or status that you haven’t experienced discrimination yet. To be clear I am not promoting that you diss and disrespect cops. Abide by the law. Be a good citizen. I am just trying to simply answer the question:

The first scenario is that you assume that all cops are nice. I’ve shown you some are crooked and up to no good. Some do not know the law. And for unfortunate victims in societies (blacks) it has become a passage for them to know their rights to a tee, so they would know what to do when they’re stopped. That said, a police officer might ask you to do something that you are more than lawfully allowed to decline and not oblige to. You’ve seen them the links above. Their word is not absolute. Most of the shit they just say because they know you will probably comply because you know they’re police officers.

Another reason–and this is big, especially in the black community–is that police officers have just piece of shit reputation in their neighbourhoods that black people just don’t want to do anything with them. Police are there to “serve and protect” but black people just push them away even if they mean well. Why? WELL CAN YOU FUCKING BLAME THEM. You call cops because you need help and somehow instead of being helped, someone WHO IS NOT SUPPOSED TO DIE, is now DEAD. That said there are so many occurrences of cops using the excuse that “Oh I thought he was a threat”, “I thought he was pulling a gun” (sounds similar with our current situation right now with Blake right?), so now black people are scared to even pull things out of their pockets because they don’t want to give you ANY reason excuse to end their life abruptly due to some “misunderstanding”. Jacob Blake, dead for reaching god-knows-what.

Again, dead for jogging, dead for being unarmed and running away, dead for no provoking reason. The list goes on man.

Here:

LET. THIS. FUCKING. SINK. IN.

Police officers are the ones racist YET THE BLACK COMMUNITIES ARE THE ONES TO ADJUST. Let that fucking piece of shit logic SINK THE FUCK IN. Imagine having to talk to your kids one day, explaining how to deal with cops and when kids ask why, you struggle to explain, simplify, and justify racism. Imagine having to explain why his classmates don’t have to worry about this, but you should. Imagine having to tell them that when confronted and no matter how fearful you are (and everyone knows how anxiety-inducing police interactions are, guilty or not), that no matter how scared you are you have to stay still and don’t flee because for some reason, when you flee you become a criminal with a high chance of death.

Fucking fix your shit together you pieces of shit.

The police has created that fear bubble that leaves the black community in a lose-lose scenario; catch 22 but with death. If you pull your wallet to provide identification you’re shot. If you don’t comply, you’re shot. Fuck this shit man…

You don’t have to be black to understand what they’re going through man. You just need brains and some effort to process that man…Can you not see these injustices man…

The cherry-pick excuse

Second to the last, my friend provided me a video link of a false-positive video. Cop assumes the guy is harmless then ends up being shot. I think this was his attempt to justify shooting Jacob Blake. I don’t know if he’s being innocent (e.g.: the 16 year old me would’ve agreed to this because I would not have known the full issue at hand and I would not have known how to look for facts) or if he’s being blatantly ignorant and trying to justify the shooting.

The guy is clearly a criminal and deserves to be jailed/whatever the law deems proportionate to shooting a police officer.

I’m also not going to shit-talk this officer and say “you could’ve done this instead”. I commend him and I feel bad for you for getting shot. I actually do not have a problem with the video entirely. Lay down whatever APPROPRIATE response that should’ve been done to this criminal. Like I said, I know and accept that there are people out there who’s really just up to no good. This is exactly, one of them.

What my problem is this logic and an attempt of any individual to use this to excuse everything else. A sample is not a complete and exact representation of the entire population (omfg this is stats 101 man, you should know this). Hitler’s German, so what we kill all Germans? A woman fakes a sexual harassment complaint to a guy, gets busted; so what, we dismiss and ignore all reports of domestic violence, sexual harassment?

Omfg I keep harping about this every fucking time. CRITICAL THINKING. USE YOUR FUCKING BRAIN. RELY ON DATA. I fucking did the homework for this already:

I looked for where this shooting took place. It shows it’s in Hampton Country, South Carolina.

Ok, let’s look up some South Carolina stats:

This site shows: 178,000~ total crimes annually, with around 24,800 being violent (~14%?)

Crime rate per 1000 residents is 4.88 (that’s what, .4%?)

There’s even a line/stats in the website that says:

MY CHANCES OF BECOMING A VICTIM OF VIOLENT CRIME IS: 1 in 205 (~.4% too)

So let’s go back to the video then. No one’s denying the video and how it’s wrong. So what do you want to happen buddy? You want to use this video to justify, weaponize, and perpetuate police brutality and/or racism?

When you don’t know what the situation is (and you can be sure as hell you won’t know), give them the permission to shoot people? Again, who or what gives you the right? In that scenario, you have .4% chance of being right (e.g.: it is justifiable to shoot someone because he will shoot back). Damn son, that logic. You know what, I’ll let you use the 14% figure and it still ain’t right.

So what now? What is this, cherry-picking data for confirmation bias?

There are social responsibilities and impacts too if you just blindly follow logic like this. You’re perpetuating that the police (not the law) is absolute; that they’re always right. You justify the use of force (THAT RESULTS TO DEATH), etc etc.

Last but not the least there’s this one argument that some people do not want to admit:

Mass shooters, usually white, usually male: On situations where they haven’t committed suicide or they have not been killed by someone else, how come they are…..arrested?

I mean, they have clear and present threat with them. They have already killed people. They are clearly armed yet…………..(just) arrested?

But what about:

  • George Floyd, complied, no guns, have not killed anyone: dead
  • Breonna Taylor, asleep in her own home, no guns, and have not killed anyone: dead
  • Atatiana Jefferson, killed in her own home because her house was reported to be unlocked: dead

The list goes on and on my man. Do you not see a pattern here? Are you not curious? Do these not make you think and be more critical?

Know their names: Black people killed by the police in the US

George Floyd: Timeline of black deaths caused by police …

List of unarmed black people killed by the police

How does this relate to Jacob Blake? Here’s why: First I need you to be honest, be ready, and don’t fuck with me on this one. Pull your open-mindedness here and even if you lie to me, we all know the reality and the truth is in your head…

Try to wrap this ultra complex scenario in your head:

What if

.

..

Jacob Blake was white? Mind-blowing right?

Same everything: his name is Jacob white, he’s involved in domestic dispute, 3 kids at the back, white tank top, same face, walked to his car to get something, everything; JUST WHITE.

C’mon man I’m not even going to pose it as a question to you man (because there’s no question). We sure as fucking hell KNOW that our man would not have received 7 shots and there would be no headlines right now, right?

EDIT: Within 24 hours of posting this, news broke about a white male teen with an assault rifle, shoots two protesters and was eventually (just) arrested. Clearly having weapons, clearly have shot someone already, but JUST arrested. See what everyone (of all colours) are mad about here? The double standard is real and undeniable already even for non black, male people.

If you understand, you’d now know why people are now pissed off at the police, most especially when it’s a black man dead again. If you understand, you would know that “the act of shooting” is secondary (still a big and main point though) and people are more concerned that again, for years why it is the usual story:

Deadly use of force
By who: Police, white, male
Victim: Black, most likely male

To my sweet, innocent, and genuinely kind white friends, please don’t fret. I am not holding things against you. Blacklivesmatter does not mean anti-white, if you haven’t heard that yet. I still love you the same. I just need to paint the picture to those who are oblivious.

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