Tag Archives: Michael Brown

Why has “unarmed” seemed to become synonymous with “not deadly”?!?!

So, yet another tragic police-involved shooting incident in the U.S. of an unarmed black male…

“Tony Robinson shooting elicits Madison police chief’s sympathy”

Yes, “black lives matter”.  But, why does it always seem to be the black lives that are taken by white police officers that become an issue for the various protesters and others of the ilk of Al Sharpton, etc., etc.?

No one seems to be protesting in the streets and chanting “black lives matter”, and screaming “burn this bitch down”, when young black men kill each other – it’s not politically relevant as much, or doesn’t sell as many papers as the rascist-inflammed and twisted viewpoint that white cops are gunning down poor, innocent, harmless black “kids”.

In 15 years in the U.S., from 1999 to 2014, there were 76 black males killed in police custody or in the course of arrest…

“Unarmed People of Color Killed by Police, 1999-2014”

In fact, black males kill black males more than any other population group, and 93% of murder victims are killed by someone who shares their own race…

“Juan Williams: No. 1 cause of death for African-American males 15-34 is murder”

Somehow, the political, black rights, and social groups have banded together in recent months and years, and somehow turned this into a race-baiting issue.  Hell, if you don’t agree with them that white cops are senselessly gunning their kids down in the street, then you’re a racist. If you point out that black males are killing each other more so than at any other time or by any other group, well, you’re a racist, because you don’t see how the past treatment by the white man caused these conditions.  No self-responsibility, no self-awareness, nothing – these groups seem to aim to have others fix the problems for them, and stick their heads in the sand as to the community itself festering in these self-promulgating conditions.

There were also two police officers that were recently shot in a shootout with some subjects a month or so in New York, during the midst of all this racial unrest.  Where was the self-righteous Al Sharpton and the rest of his cronies then?  Where was the thousands and thousands of people protesting then??  Where were the signs saying “Police Lives Matter”, or simply “Lives Matter”, no black, no white????

With these recent occurrences, there seems to be this thought that “unarmed” seems to mean “non-deadly” or “non-violent”.

Let me share something…

Source: The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, A National Use of Force Framework (November 2000), 13.
Source: The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, A National Use of Force Framework (November 2000), 13.

That’s called the “Use of Force Continuum”, and it’s what myself and relatively all other police officers are trained on.  The differences in various Canadian provinces and U.S. states may be present, but overall, it’s a similar item used across policing everywhere.

The concept is that the Use of Force Continuum emphasizes that there are several degrees of responses to threats that do not involve weapons, and that weapons are only an option of last resort.  Lethal force is also only used when the officer has a perception that there is a threat of serious/grievous bodily harm or death, as illustrated by the subject, and focused as a threat to the officer or any other member of the public that the officer has a duty to protect.

Does a gun always present a threat of serious/grievous bodily harm or death?  Absolutely.  Doesn’t matter if it’s proven to be loaded or not, firing pin broken or not, etc., etc. – those are all semantics for afterwards.  Bad guy points a gun, threat is real.  Period.

Knife?  Same thing, if you’re within a certain distance.

Anything else that can be used as a weapon?  Perhaps.

Now…”unarmed”?

Take the Michael Brown case.  It’s now known that he tried to disarm the officer, was beating him in the head, the officer felt his life was threatened, a round went off in the car, Michael ran away, the officer felt woozy and felt like he was about to lose consciousness from the beating and altercation, Michael was a giant of a man compared to the officer, and then after running away he turned and charged back at the officer.

Reasonable to believe that the officer felt his life was threatened?  Absolutely.

Just because Michael was unarmed, didn’t mean he didn’t portray a deadly threat.  Due to the circumstances around that, it was extremely likely and reasonable for the officer to believe that if Michael got back to him, the officer might lose the fight, have his weapon taken from him by Michael, and be slaughtered.

This new incident with Tony Robinson in Wisconsin.  Again, not all the facts are out yet, but since these special interest groups are rushing to judgement immediately – the officer was responding to a call of multiple occurrences involving the same subject, of a threatening manner and a battery that had occurred, busted into the subject’s apartment (lawful and required action of a police officer) after hearing an ongoing disturbance, etc.  Some media reports I’ve seen have stated that that officer was struck over the head with a pipe or other metal object, that the subject was something in the nature of 6-foot-5-inches and 220-plus-pounds (vastly different from the officer), and that the officer said the subject was trying to take his gun away from him in a struggle.

Reasonable to believe that the officer felt his life was threatened?  Absolutely.

With the above two examples, unarmed does NOT mean non-deadly.  One thing I was taught as a cop – no matter what, NO MATTER WHAT, there is ALWAYS at least one gun at any scene…mine.  If I “lose the fight”, if some guy gets the better of me, if he’s already taken the choice to fight a uniformed police officer and disregard the law to that extent, it’s more than reasonable to believe that if he knocks me out he’s going to want to get my damn gun – from that point, there’s only really one round he needs to use to take me out, and then gawd knows how many others could be killed or hurt with the remaining rounds.  The onus is on every individual police officer to always go home to our family’s, and to always protect the public safety as well, and if some subject, unarmed or not, wants to present a threat like that and have his family claim afterwards that their “poor innocent harmless child” has previously “never done no harm to anyone”, tough.

These special interest groups, these parents (and I do understand their grief and anger, no matter how ill-aimed it may be), these communities – they need to fix their own issues, fix the roots of the problems.  They need to stop blaming everyone and everything else.  They need to wake up that, yes, while everyone’s sons and daughters may be sweet, innocent, harmless little babies at one point in their life, they sometimes develop into little devils and gangbangers and deviant criminals.  If your “innocent little darling child” has an arrest record and rap sheet longer than their scholastic endeavours, there’s an issue there.  If they’re “well known to police”, generally it’s safe to say they haven’t been a complete angel, no matter the sentimental misrepresentation.

These aren’t “innocent kids” as some of them claim – these are men, old enough to vote and drive and be done school and be working.  These are sometimes giants of men, stereotypical “football players” – tall, well-built, muscular, determined men.

White, black, red, yellow – doesn’t matter.  Unarmed or not – doesn’t matter.  If a subject exhibits a threat of serious/grievous bodily harm or death, that’s when the “police challenge” is issued by the officer yelling “Police, stop!!!” or “Police, don’t move!!!” and drawing their weapon to bear.  After that – cede and obey commands, or we’ll cede you for yourself.

And so the travesty in Ferguson, Missouri reaches it’s tragic denouement…

Watching CNN right now.  The prosecutor isn’t even done reading his statement.  Within two minutes of stating “no indictment for Officer Wilson on any of the five counts”, the crowd is already unravelling.

Video snippets are already being shown of crowds of protestors running down the streets, already starting to cause mayhem, with the police already forming their riot lines.  Aggressive and tactical posturing is beginning on both sides.

Thoughts and prayers go out to the true residents of that small city, and the general area.  The looks of “professional protesters” are appearing to make this into an ugly and unfortunate climax.  As if the whole situation wasn’t bad enough, people are already starting to take advantage, yes advantage, of the situation as it is.  Peaceful protesting it is not.

Even with what the prosecutor is reading appearing to show that Michael Brown did in fact charge at Officer Wilson, and did appear to try to disarm the officer (which is a threat of serious-bodily-harm-or-death, directly armed or not, and not the completely innocent “little boy” that some try to proffer), people will look at it as a 100% race-against-race issue, and not for what it is – resentment and distrust, on both sides of the coin, leading to the destruction of two families and a community enduring the national embarrassment of the tragedy of social and racial disparities.

Good luck to them all.  Patience, understanding, racially-unbiased-justice and better temperaments are needed.