KEEP CALM, DO NOT PANIC, PUT YOUR HANDS ON THE STEERING WHEEL, SPEAK SOFTLY AS YOU WOULD TO A CHILD.

 

Rod Dreher

The Shooting Of Philando Castile

Screen grab from Lavish Reynolds' livestream

Screen grab from Lavish Reynolds’ livestream

My God, this video below of the immediate aftermath of Philando Castile’s shooting by a suburban Minneapolis police officer leaves one speechless. His girlfriend, Lavish Reynolds, started uploading the video to Facebook live, moments after the officer shot him in a traffic stop for a busted tail light. In the video, you see a wounded, bleeding Castile in what were the last moments of his life. Do not watch this if you are not prepared for it! It is NSFW! But I hope you will watch the horror that this woman and her seven-year-old daughter endured, to say nothing, obviously, of the dead man:


From the Washington Post account of the video:

As Castile moans and appears to lose consciousness, the officer can be heard in the background shouting expletives in apparent frustration.

“Mam, keep your hands where they are,” the officer shouts at Reynolds. “I told him not to reach for it! I told him to get his hands up.”

“You told him to get his ID, sir, his driver’s license,” Reynolds responds. “Oh my god. Please don’t tell me he’s dead. Please don’t tell me my boyfriend just went like that.”

More:

From her video, Reynolds appears to have begun recording seconds after her boyfriend was shot, just after 9 p.m. local time. (The footage appears to have been flipped when it was uploaded to social media sites, mistakenly suggesting Castile was the passenger in the car when, in fact, he was the driver.)

More:

In the video, Reynolds tells the police that her boyfriend is “good man” who works for St. Paul Public Schools.

“He doesn’t have no record or anything,” she says. “He’s never been in jail or anything. He’s not a gang member or anything.”

A website for J. J. Hill Montessori Magnet School lists Phil Castile as its cafeteria supervisor.

Clarence Castile, Philando’s uncle, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that his nephew had worked in the school’s cafeteria for 12 to 15 years, “cooking for the little kids.” He said his nephew was “a good kid” who grew up in St. Paul. Philando Castile’s Facebook page says he attended the University of Minnesota.

And finally:

“He was reaching for his license and registration. You told him to get it sir! You told him,” Reynolds says. “He tried to tell you he was licensed to carry and he was going to take it off. Please don’t tell me boyfriend is gone. He don’t deserve this.”

The screen goes black.

“Please Lord, you know our rights Lord,” Reynolds says, apparently praying. “You know we are innocent people, Lord. We are innocent people.”

Read the whole thing.

Keep in mind that we don’t know what happened in the moments before the shooting. Why would a police officer approach a car stopped for a busted tail light with his weapon drawn? The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Castile had only misdemeanors on his criminal record. Did the cop order Philando Castile to keep his hands up, and did Castile defy him by foolishly reaching into his coat to remove the gun that, according to Reynolds, he told the cop that he had? Was the gun licensed and legally owned, as Reynolds said? Does that matter?

To be clear, the only people who saw what Castile did in the seconds before the shooting are the cop, Lavish Reynolds, and perhaps her daughter. I want to be careful here and not judge the cop based only on partial information. But this is a horrible situation, and … what can you even say at this point, other than may God comfort those suffering people, keep the peace, and bring forth justice. 

Question for the room: should we be grateful that technology brings us videos like this, because it tells us the true story with vivid immediacy? Or should we regret it because the imagery is extremely emotional, and obscures the search for truth?

Me, I’m grateful that we have this technology now, because police can’t get away with abusing their authority. But I’m writing this as someone who just watched this video, and who is in an emotional state, shocked and grieving for Castile, Reynolds, her daughter, and those who loved Castile. I know that emotion conditions the way I regard this killing. We watch a man die on video, shot to death by a cop at point-blank range. We hear the sobbing and the pleas of his girlfriend, and the cries of her daughter, who may have seen it happen too (this isn’t clear from the video). The humanity of this scene tears your heart out and, if Reynolds’ account is accurate, infuriates you. That is a black man, a school cafeteria worker, who was pulled over because he had a busted tail light. And now he is dead.

The video is so emotionally direct that it’s hard to keep straight the fact that we don’t know what happened in the moments before she started recording. The partial truth is so vivid and shocking that it may obscure our ability to take in the whole truth. This is the problem with video: it makes us think we’re getting the whole story, when that may not be the truth.

How Lavish Reynolds kept her cool and recorded this I will never know. However this comes out, that woman showed grace under pressure that is heroic.

I will update this post throughout the day as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: Reader Wes:

Describing the officer as “frustrated” really doesn’t do it justice. Listen to the guy — he’s clearly torn up over what has happened. He’s wailing in pain.

I have many friends and family in law enforcement, and I can tell you this proliferation of cell phone footage is always a major topic of concern with them whenever they discuss their jobs. Many of them live in terror of losing everything over a video like this that’s stripped of context and makes them out to be the bad guy. I realize that seems like a petty fear next to someone losing their life, but it’s still very real. Just like it’s hard for a black person watching videos like this to avoid asking, “what if that was me getting shot?”, it’s hard for me to watch stuff like this without thinking “what if that cop was one of my loved ones?”

One also needs to realize that nearly every experienced law enforcement officer has a haunting story about a colleague who was killed in the line of duty while performing some utterly dull, routine task, like pulling someone over for a busted taillight. They were walking up to the dude’s car window and the driver, without warning, just whipped out a gun and started shooting. Or they’re knocking on a door to ask a person if they saw someone stealing the neighbor’s jet ski … but unbeknownst to the cop, the inhabitant is a wanted felon in an unrelated case. He sees a blue uniform, figures the cops have finally caught up to him, and thinks he’ll go out like Butch and Sundance, so he opens the door and starts blasting. And another cop’s kid grows up without a dad.

This doesn’t excuse an unjustified shooting, but it does provide some context — officers aren’t going about gunning down black people because it gives them a thrill. They walk around highly aware of the fact that for some people, their uniforms are a big flashing neon sign that says “please shoot me.” Frankly I don’t know how some of my friends and family find the courage to keep doing it. I couldn’t live with the stress.

UPDATE.2: A fascinating perspective from reader John T. Broom:

As a concealed carry instructor, this deeply troubles me. I’ve had several encounters with law enforcement while carrying and have never had a problem. But, then again, I’m white, in my 60s, and live in a very gun-friendly area.

For the cop haters out there, it is a rough world right now for police officers with a lot of them being shot for being cops. So let’s suspend judgement for a while. This doesn’t look good for the officer, but first impressions can be very deceiving. So let’s let the smoke clear and do justice to all concerned here.

For the cops out there, I’m just guessing here, but if someone announces that they are a concealed carry holder and they are carrying, they typically — 99,999 out of a 100,000, are law-abiding citizens and they are telling you this for your safety and theirs. If you’re nervous, ask them to step out of the car so you can secure their firearm during the course of the stop. I had this happen one time, by the end of the stop we were comparing handguns and enjoying one anothers’ company. Most of the folks you come in contact with are good folks. Be patient, be safe — a clear, Sir or Ma’am, please put your hands on the steering wheel, I want to talk to you for a minute; would go a long way to defusing situations and allowing everyone time to think through what they’re going to do.

For the CCW or CHL holders out there; do what the FBI and DEA teach their plain clothes unmarked car agents to do. Roll down your window, cross your hands outside your car near your review mirror. Tell the officer once he or she arrives at your window that you are a permit holder and that you are carrying and ask them how they want to handle this. Be clear in telling them where your firearm is located and tell them that you wouldn’t mind if they retrieved it and secured it during the stop. NEVER NEVER refer to it as a ‘gun’, law enforcement is trained to use the term GUN as a warning to others and hearing the word immediately changes their state of mind.

To the family and friends of both the shooting victim and the officer, let’s be quiet and patient, let’s honor the victim who appears to be not only innocent here but a good man by our patience and our respect for the rule of law, not the rule of lawlessness. Let’s honor all law enforcement officers by not rushing to judgment and by allowing the investigation to follow its natural course rather than baying for more blood now. Maybe this is the time for all of us, the people, to show our leaders what a respect for the law is and what that looks like.

If the officer is in the wrong here, then let us examine it thoroughly and determine was this willful, negligent, or misfortune and act accordingly. Clearly though, this is a time for prayer and thoughtful consideration of the state of our nation.

UPDATE.3: Russell Moore on what these shootings mean for the church:

The situation is complex precisely because such injustices are so longstanding and are often hidden from majority populations, who don’t pay attention to such questions because they rarely have to think about them. My oldest two sons are learning to drive. I have many fears, but I’ve never worried about one of my sons being shot after being pulled over. My perspective is thus radically different than my African-American neighbor or colleague or fellow church member. Notice the differences even on social media over the past couple of days. An African-American colleague of mine noted that the divide is glaring, with black evangelicals interacting with this set of news while many white evangelicals continue on discussing the presidential race or the upcoming Olympics, with no reference to these shootings. That divide ought to cause us to reflect on how we’re experiencing the culture differently, and what implications that has for our unity and our witness.

I think that’s a good point. One reason (a small reason) whites don’t talk about it publicly is that if you say the “wrong” thing, however innocently meant, you might bring a storm of social media condemnation down on your head. Moore talks in his essay about the danger of the moment that we’re in socially and culturally, with everybody being so polarized. I’ve thought for a while that the church is just about the only “safe space” for people of all races to come together and talk about these things in a constructive way. Campuses aren’t it, and heaven knows Twitter is the last place in the world for it to happen.

UPDATE.4: Reader PeterH comments. Notice his last line:

This hits close to home. I live within 2 miles of where this took place. The kids across the street attended the school where Castile worked, and I have a church friend who teaches there, too.

Falcon Heights is a small town just to the north of Saint Paul. It’s not at all unusual for me to see a car pulled over on that stretch of road. I suspect it will come out that there’s a significant amount of revenue for that small town coming from citations for broken taillights, etc.

FWIW, on a facebook thread, one of my white neighbors mentioned that when she was pulled over in that area for a minor infraction, she was approached by a police officer with his weapon drawn.

Posted in , . Tagged , , .
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

187 Responses to The Shooting Of Philando Castile

← Older Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    JonF: Point taken, sort of. It’s about entering into relationship with people that you begin to see them differently. If people, not necessarily cops would walk with people in meaningful ways change would start to happen in hard communities. Relationship changes things and the government really, really sucks at it. That was my point. Just look at all the welfare and other government programs. There is zero relationship. I’ve spent the last two mornings there and it’s not an enjoyable experience. If you haven’t been, you should try it some time.

  2. Brendan from Oz says:

    It’s worth reminding oneself of all of them, but a couple of the Peelian Principles (Sir Robert Peel) that established formal policing in London in 1829 or so.

    If we revert to military instead of civilian policing we will have regressed significantly. The metaphors of soldiers, warfare and the application of the military technology of today onto our own populations is scary and utterly inappropriate to say the least. It is the language of tyranny, not freedom.

    4. To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.

    6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.

    9. To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

     

     

  3. Chris Travers says:

    FWIW, on a facebook thread, one of my white neighbors mentioned that when she was pulled over in that area for a minor infraction, she was approached by a police officer with his weapon drawn.

    I wonder if that is so far outside normal police operating procedure for a court to hold that there is no qualified immunity.

  4. AGD says:

    This is, of course, terribly shocking.

    I will not watch the video, for the same reason that I will not watch any video of any person as he dies: I do not have a right to watch it. Only loved ones have a right to share in such an intimate moment.

    Might good come from this? Perhaps. But certainly much more violence an

  5.  

     

     

     

  6. Eric V Hutchins says:

    Rod, you are a Christian, you write about a Benedict option. I laugh when I see your remarks and think about the hell of slavery in which Black people forged, as in a refiner’s fire, and maintained their faith. That hell allowed no choice of any kind of Benedict option, perhaps that is why we are as strong and as fearless as we are. But I did not write this to belittle your faith, but to call you to put that faith in action. What you have seen, what you say has sickened you, is something you, and everyone at the American Conservative, have heard about, read about and perhaps discounted for years. Pictures are much more difficult to gainsay. If you so desired, you could hear or see a hundred, a thousand versions of the story told by that video. Would TAC’s love for this country and belief in its justice prompt you and your colleagues to tell those stories and call for action to end this reign of terror. I have spent many hours arguing with friends that conservatism is not racism, that it is in fact opposition to the evil of arbitrary government power. Is there any more evil exercise of arbitrary power than to kill a man in the manner that you have just seen. Black people sardonically joke that Dylan Storm Roof killed nine people and was provided hamburgers when he was arrested. We recall that one of the two murderers who escaped from prison in New York was returned to prison in relatively good health after he was apprehended. We remember the casualness with which Texas police treated members of two motorcycle gangs who were involved in a fracas in which nine people were shot. And then we see one police shooting of a black person after another and wonder what is it with you people that you perceive our humanity or perhaps in your estimation lack of humanity in such a way that you cannot see what is right before your eyes. You are a Christian, Pat Buchanan I know is a communicant of the Church of Rome, is in fact a Jebbie,as am I. Your magazine is a powerful voice on the right. It is time for you to lift that voice and decry the injustice with which some of your fellow citizens live, the injustice which sickens you. If your Bible has the same red letters that I find in my Bible, you know what the God man said in Matthew 25:31-46. I will save you the trouble. 31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

    32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

    33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

    34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

    35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

    36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

    37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

    38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

    39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

    42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

    43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

    44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

    45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

    46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

    The service your King asks of you requires more courage than the Benedict Option. Now. And, no, I am not a robot.

  7. The Sicilian Woman says:

    We’ll never know for certain the exact exchange between the cop and Castile. It’ll be the cop’s word against Reynolds, and based on the actions of both in the video, post-shooting, I am biased towards Reynolds’ account of things.

    I read the cop’s actions after the shooting as realizing that he f***** up enormously. My guess is the cop told Castile to get his ID, and immediately realized he should have disarmed Castile first, and then compounded his error in direction by freaking out and panicking when he saw Castile reach for his ID, not knowing whether Castile was reaching for his ID or his firearm. Then he fired multiple shots.

    That Castile volunteered that he had a firearm would indicate to me – not as a cop, of course – that he very likely was not a threat.

    I’m trying to wrap my head around the cop still pointing the gun at Castile, whom he shot more than once, and as he was dying. Was that some sort of protocol based on the fact there was another adult in the car and he had to wait for backup?

    I’m amazed by Reynolds’ survival-mode demeanor; she was functional, cool though upset, and she was still respectful, too. Given the circumstances, how many other people would have freaked out and probably found themselves dead as well?

    Why was Reynolds handcuffed and held by police? That poor baby girl witnessing this scene…

    I’m not expecting anyone reading to know the answers; I’m just thinking out loud. My goodness, there is so much to process in this, much in terms of questions and tragedy.

  8. Brian Walker says:

    I also, as other writers have pointed out, do not wish to say anything intending to be taken as a matter of fact. Nor do I wish imply that this was not a tragedy. I would like to add to what was being said about concealed carry. The government forcing concealed carry licenses makes the tension between law abiding citizen on a routine traffic stop absolutely explode…regardless of color. You are taught in training to tell the officer right away that you have a CCP and you have a gun in the car. You are, and I cannot stress this enough, supposed to keep your hands on the wheel until they tell you to. I work as a musician, so I have been pulled between 30-40 times in the past 6 years (only ticketed once…for speeding, most stops were basically just trying to catch random DWIs because of the time, location I was driving in, and my age/description). Some officers will just say “ok” and go on with the stop, others will ask you to “point” to where the gun is, or “tell them” where the gun is…mind you, if you have taken your hands off of the wheel at anytime without being told, you are already breaking the law. Now, you would not be breaking the law if you took your hands off the wheel and had no permit (making the permit just a burdensome result of BS gun control litigation). The fact of the matter is, had this man not been a law abiding citizen who had his permit, he would be alive with a tail light ticket. He could’ve had an army of guns in his car…but had he not had his CCP…this situation would not have happened. The officer already knows, from the computer, if the driver (providing the driver is the cars owner, or after taking the license) that the driver has a CCP. This instantly puts police on edge, for good reason, but not for a logical one. I have maybe had the police ask me to grab and hand them my gun, twice. Usually they are extremely stern about any movement at all once they know you have a gun in the car. I was dragged out of my car for “failing to tell the officer about my CCP (although I did tell him, he didn’t listen)”, I was then pinned against my trunk and held there for 20 minutes or so while they tried to drum up charges on me…all this was because I was honest when the cop asked me if I had a weapon, and he only asked because I had my permit…illegally concealed gun, I would’ve had no problem. My guess in this situation is that the driver either said he was going for his gun permit and the officer thought gun, or he was innocently trying to grab his gun to show the officer, as that is not an unreasonable reaction to a stressful pull over. The cop thought he was going for the gun, kept giving orders that were not followed and then panicked. I place no blame on the victim, but I do feel that had he followed the laws regarding his CCP and kept his hands on the steering wheel until told otherwise he would be alive today…same as if he had no CCP in the first place. During pulls involving drivers with CCP cops do not hesitate to pull their gun…and as a driver it can be difficult to see the barrel of that gun pointed at you and simply comply without making a mistake…It was pulled on me before I was dragged out of my car. This has become a rant, and I’m sorry for that, I am also praying for the family of the victim, the officers, and their respective families. This seems like a misunderstanding that spiraled way out of control really quickly. It is indeed, a terrible tragedy based on what we kno

     

  9. BlairBurton says:

    @Surly: J.D. Vance just published a really important book–and the cultural damage he describes– both on the part of working class whites and how similar their behavior is to sociological descriptions of African American urban populations is worth reading.

    Thanks for the recommendation, Surly. I just ordered this. I grew up in southern WV, in a family that was more “resident of Mayberry” rather than “the Darlings and Ernest T. Bass from the mountains”. But I see this every day where I live now in north eastern WV. My sister is severely disabled, and is cared for by women, both white and African American, whose dysfunctional lives might surprise you. Out of wedlock pregnancies, domestic abuse, and drug and alcohol addiction in their immediate families(not in the caregivers, who must pass background checks) are the rule rather than the exception. Many of these women are devout Christians and regular churchgoers, yet they often are not married to the fathers of their children. I am sure some on these comment threads would sneer at them as non-Moral Therapeutic Deists, but in reality, the work that they do with the severely disabled is the epitome of Christian compassion. It isn’t easy work, and a lot who might sneer at their life styles and bad choices could not do the care giving that they do. It should give us all pause as to being judgmental.

     

     

  10. james says:

    Brief response to Rod’s question about whether such videos are helpful or not. I think this is one of the only ways many (if not most) white, middle and upper class Americans will ever come to recognize the amount of harassment and “driving while black” problems all people of color face on a daily basis. If it serves to enlighten those who have never really believed or understood the scope of the problem, these videos will serve a valuable purpose.

  11. Reinhold says:

    “The idea of mailing out tickets for busted tail lights and eliminating routine traffic stops seems perfect. What is the downside?”
    Minimizing armed police intervention in minor infractions seems to me an urgently necessary policy.

  12. Axxr says:

    More on polarization, policing, and tribalism:

    When I was in graduate school, some friends and I rented a car in Chicago and drove due south until we reached the bottom of the continent. We spent a few days touring the deep south. We were all white.

    We were pulled over several times for no apparent reason. The climax of the trip came in rural Mississippi, where we were pulled over, physically removed from our vehicle, and held at gunpoint on the side of the road for over an hour while our rental car was torn apart. They never told is what they were “searching” for.

    Throughout it all, we heard again and again from the officers about the fact that we were “city kids from Chicago,” and the fact that we admitted that we were graduate students, which also apparently made us anti-American commies.

    This was in 2006, but I say it apropos of “Moore talks in his essay about the danger of the moment that we’re in socially and culturally, with everybody being so polarized.”

  13. Hector_St_Clare says:

    Walter Berns’ famous criticism of pornography was “Dying is nothing to be ashamed of either, but would you watch live footage of a man dying?” Regardless of your views of porn, he was right about death. I did watch that video, but it was the wrong thing to do, and I’m a bit ashamed of it. I’d strongly suggest everyone else not watch it. Philando Castile was by all accounts a good man unjustly murdered, and his dying moments don’t deserve to be gawked at.

    [NFR: You’re right about gawking. I consider watching it a form of solidarity with him, though. But I see your point. — RD]

  14. BillH says:

    Further updates to this story are going to be necessary after information released this afternoon. The car was not pulled over for a busted taillight, it was stopped because the driver looked like a possible match for one of the suspects in an armed robbery in that neighborhood a couple days previously. That info is on the police radio tapes of the officer notifying dispatch he was going to stop the car to check IDs. There is a good possibility that Mr Castile did not have a valid drivers license (extensive record of vehicle violations) and Mr Castile did not have a CWL issued by the Sheriff of his county. He did have an unsecured weapon apparently under his t-shirt.

    The first video appears to be a case of “tell my version first”. Just like the false narrative of “hands up don’t shoot”, there appears to be a lot of false narrative in this case as well. Have we learned nothing? Let’s all step back and wait for the real and complete info before we all go off half cocked and blame the cops, or blacks.

    Rod, on another thread you wondered about how this compares to 1968. I remember “Off The Pig” spray painted on walls. Riots. Assassinations. And today ? Cop killings and shootings in four cities now just in the past 24 hours or so… If we aren’t to 1968 yet we are hastening in that direction and the summer is still young. How much is being spent already lining up disruptors for the two conventions? Close, very close.

  15. Ben says:

    To the point about various probabilities of being killed as a function of either being a cop, or at the hands of a cop: I think (much like the recent SCOTUS case on abortion access) it’s a question of denominators. Some of you are saying that the probability of being a cop and being murdered in the line of duty is higher than the probability of dying at the hands of a cop. That misses the point that in basically every interaction involving a cop, there’s someone who’s not a cop. So, conditioning on the correct variable—that is, per-interaction—you can see clearly that deadly interactions involving cops are overwhelming more fatal for the non-cop. This isn’t a value judgment and I’m sure the majority of those deaths are justified; however, skewing the statistics using numerical sleight of hand doesn’t do anyone any good.

    Regarding the question of actually viewing the video: I watched about the first two seconds, and immediately realized that it wasn’t something I should be watching. It was, indeed, too intimate. I did feel a certain conflict, that perhaps I should force myself to watch it precisely because it’s uncomfortable and ugly. But in the end, I think I can grapple with Mr. Castile’s death cognitively and emotionally without needing to actually see the footage. To watch it feels invasive and voyeuristic, without adding much of anything to the visceral effect I feel when I consider his death.

  16. Dan says:

    I’m a Brit looking in on this form outside so take or ignore my thoughts as you will. Two issues seem to jump out at me.

    Police are arguing they need to be armed and willing to use their arms at all times because they are at risk of being shot themselves even on a routine traffic stop or knocking on doors in a neighbourhood asking for witness’s. If that is true why are they not wearing body armour at all times? Yes there is a risk but the training seems to be built around ‘force protection’ I.e. Do not risk losing your own life, shoot the other person first in all circumstances.

    Police are part of a strange overlapping democratic structure of America, we have Federal Law Enforcement agencies, FBI, DEA, ATF etc we have State Law enforcement, we have local law enforcement. Some of the ‘local’ law enforcement is very small very local and by its nature very underfunded, some locations seem to use over active enforcement of minor infringements as a revenue raising issue, and some clearly hire inadequately screened people as police and then give them inadequate training. That is clearly not the whole issue as incidents occur in big cities as well as small towns. Not sure how you could make things better but just a view from outside.

    In context in UK the number of separate police forces is reducing with force mergers to get economy of scale and standardisation of training.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
%d bloggers like this: