Resisting the Police

I had an Army buddy who was a former police officer. Often, he’d tell humorous stories about his time on a medium-sized police department. Less often, but more poignantly, he’d tell life-and-death stories. It seemed he traded one form of service (being a cop) for another (the military). To my question as to why he traded professions, he told a harrowing story. He and a fellow cop had an encounter with a criminal who shot (didn’t kill) his partner, then took off running. My buddy chased him down, caught him, tackled him, and proceeded to beat him nearly to death; and would have, had several other officers not pulled him off. Continuing his story, he said that in the chaos of the situation, adrenaline took over. The concept of stopping before he’d completely eliminated the threat never occurred to him. He reacted completely on survival instinct and to protect his partner. It was that encounter that convinced him to leave the force or he’d end up killing someone.

Because of my time in the military, stories like his, and knowing how quickly life-and-death situations can be thrust upon cops, military members, or anyone, for that matter, I tend to give a large benefit of the doubt to policemen, first responders, and the military. Ask yourself the simple questions, what would you do, and how would you react to any of the infinite number of situations police officers find themselves? In the heat of the moment, would you think to shoot for the legs to wound the perp (as Biden says cops should do), would you throw a single punch and then back off? Or would you do what most people do in life-and-death encounters -- continue your actions until the threat is neutralized?                                                                                              

Last week, the Memphis PD released the video of the killing of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols. It was horrible. Never letting the facts or the truth get in the way of the narrative, our Democrat media (CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NY Times, etc.) and politicians screamed that Nichols’ death was due to white supremacy and racist policemen. White supremacy and racism have become the Dems default narrative for every problem we face. The truth is, white supremacy and racism had zero to do with Nichols’ tragic death. That is unless Blacks are inherently racist because all parties involved -- the victim, the five policemen who beat him, the policemen’s supervisor, and the Memphis PD’s chief, are black. 

Nobody should ever get killed because of a mere traffic stop. When someone gets killed by the police, the narrative immediately becomes we need police reform, better police training, and so on. Of course, police could always be better trained. There’s no profession that couldn’t use better training. However, why don’t we ever hear about civilians needing to be better trained -- as in obey law enforcement? When a police officer says, “stay in your vehicle,” “exit your vehicle,” “show me your hands,” or “lay face down on the ground” -- they’re telling you that for a reason. You should obey him/her, without questions and without resisting. Complain later. If not, expect the situation to escalate -- quickly. Why? Because all of us, especially the police, have seen far too often where weapons are produced, and the situation immediately becomes life-and-death. In some videos of police killings, the victim resisted the police. Michael Brown (Ferguson), Eric Garner (NYC), George Foster (Minneapolis), Rayshard Brooks (Atlanta) and Jacob Blake (Kenosha) all resisted. Again, that doesn’t warrant a death sentence. But when someone fails to comply with the police, when they resist, it’s inevitable -- a fight will ensue. When that occurs, anything can (often does) happen. 

The Memphis PD’s video shows part of the encounter with Nichols. It doesn’t show what happened beforehand. I refuse to believe that any cop shows up to work hoping “today’s the day I get to kill someone,” though sometimes that happens. Why do police killings happen? Almost always, it’s because a routine situation (for example, Nichols was stopped for reckless driving) gets out of hand and things escalate. Again, why? Yet again, almost always, it’s because the eventual victim decides to resist and becomes uncooperative. Yes, police are trained in de-escalation techniques, and so was my Army buddy. But when someone takes a swing, spits in a cop’s face, pulls a gun, shoots an officer, etc., etc., adrenaline kicks in. When that happens, the fight-or-flight syndrome takes over, and the officer continues his actions (whether it be with fists or with a gun) until the threat is 100% neutralized. 

Is that what occurred with Nichols’ encounter with the police? Had he threatened them in the moments before the videos began? Did he spit in their faces? Tried to grab one of their guns? We don’t know because the media has decided what we should and shouldn’t know. The media’s narrative -- cops are racist, they “hunt” unarmed black men, and police should be defunded -- must be followed and believed. 

Well, I don’t buy their narrative. Sure, there are bad cops but the vast majority are there to protect and defend. What I don’t understand, just like with George Floyd’s death, is why none of the officers involved didn’t realize that the force they used to subdue Nichols (even if he had been combative) went far beyond what was needed. You’d think that at least one of them would have tried to stop the others once it was clear that he was subdued.   

And why is it that when a death such as Nichols occurs, we’re expected to accept that neighborhoods and cities must be burned? We saw that in 2020 after George Floyd’s death -- in dozens of Democrat-run cities where riots, destruction, and murders erupted while the mayors told the police to “give them space” as though we must tolerate Antifa, BLM, and other anarchists destroying our communities. Apparently, in Democrat-led cities, it’s become the norm that your city will burn when a black man gets killed by the police. 

How about we let the justice system work, like it’s doing right now in Memphis? The five policemen involved in Nichols’ death were fired and have been arrested for murder. Nichols, and Memphis, is receiving justice. So, please stop with the race baiting that’s intended to inflame passions for the sole purpose of creating chaos across the nation. 

Image: Chris Yarzab

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