Commentary by Marc MacYoung
Does this kind of thing happen when someone is fucked up and out of their minds in a berserk rage? Yeah. Is it right, wrong, a tragedy, understandable? Yeah. Those too. Is the story about pulling the gun and getting bumped plausible? Yeah. Do I consider the officer an idiot for pulling a gun and approaching that close? Yeah. But those kinds of things happen when you’re fighting a berserker. Fundamental rule of violence, anytime you engage in it, there’s a chance of someone dying. Sack it up people, it happens.
That’s why judgmental and emotionally based words like ‘should’ need to initially be put aside. The situation first needs to be viewed objectively and actions observed without that filter and bias. If you start out with your mind already made up (cops are always evil/cops are always good) then you miss being able to see what actually happened on the film because you’re only looking to find information that will support your bias.
My fundamental problem with whole thing is why are ONLY two guys trying to handle a combative prisoner during transfer? My bottom line answer is funding. Why wasn’t CERT or a five man team on this guy? They knew this dude was on the fight. They’d had to taser his ass five times already. Odds are the answer is insufficient officer availability. Whether they were short handed from scheduling or because of other funding, two guys taking him out by themselves is the kind of situation that results in this kind of situation.
But that creates a different set of problems. Would a shooting been understandable if they had five guys on him? Way less so. Two guys trying to handled a bodybuilder on the fight? Way more understandable why bad shit happens.
There’s a shift in the nature of the recruits. Years ago boxing was an acceptable part of physical ed. (Hell PE came from creating military ready recruit pool). As the days of non-violence (violence is bad you know) and concern about liability physical contact was removed from most training forums. At first one can argue that the removal of this training worked because you had a group of people who’d fought on their own. Except now you get a whole thunderin’ herd of recruits who’ve never learned how to take a punch.
Now I’m not talking about officer safety here. I’m talking a whole shitload of young recruits who are scared of getting punched (and who don’t know they can) and are hesitant to engage for that and liability reasons. They go for weapons a LOT faster.
Hey people who’ve been bitching for a kinder and gentler police force… you got your wish. Except now they go for their weapons faster …
Commentary by Clint Overland
Hindsight by the general public is always so clear. But they ain’t the ones with their lives on the line. I been told by several cops that if they had to arrest me they wouldn’t hesitate to shoot me if I fought. So I make it a point to always be nice to the police when they show up. They have their own set of rules that trump mine.