A small insight into my current brain…

Last night I saw footage from the July 4th killing of James Garcia, the video is on tiktok and it will make you just as sick to your stomach as anything.
I’ve been kept awake over and over lately by this wondering if what seems to be true is actually true: that average police forces are not trained like the full time military are trained in the rules of engagement, assessing a situation and the proper use of deadly force.
It feels like I’m missing something in the narrative, because all killings by police (of all demographics mind you) that are determined to be unjustified (or even some that are ruled justified, correctly or incorrectly at this point is irrelevant for what I am looking to for) seem to have a common narrative assumption: the cop was “afraid for his life” or possibly afraid for the lives of his or her fellow officers.
Now, I have a list of experiences with these rules, including my jobs as a security guard and as a Civilian on Battlefield (a civilian assisting in military training operations by acting as “COBs” or “POCs” (meaning “person of consequence”, as in a potential bad guy) and having been a military spouse who always wanted to stay informed and aware of how things worked (ask Tira Kelker-Mason who witnessed me full on nose to nose with an officer who had it out for my enlisted husband, thinking I didn’t know “my place”). I also have first hand knowledge of very dangerous racially charged police behavior and with a very humbling knowledge of more than one incident in my life that could have resulted in my death at the hands of police or others had I been a person of color.
I read for hours trying to understand. What I found was abysmal at best. I was hoping to find that the reported incidents that fan the flames of our anger with the establishment of the police forces in the United States were simply the fault of the prejudice of the individuals who perpetrate them. I knew I was reaching. Was I hoping to disprove systemic racism? No, that is impossible because that is not a theory to disprove, it is a matter of factual evidence. I was hoping that I would find that these individual police officers who committed these murders have been going against their training and relying solely on individual and situational fears and prejudice when they decided it was okay to shoot and kill anyone teen or a little kid or to shoot and kill a man or woman because they look like the might be maybe possibly going to shoot them first or they “look like the suspect’s description”.
That didn’t happen, that isnt what I found. Instead, I found that over and over the training of entire police departments is in question, as well it should be. These are people who are sworn to protect and serve, who we sometimes call for situations they were never meant to deal with, but who are so often given so little, so little initial training, so little positive attention, even the paychecks are small. Many patrol cops get treated with disrespect by their own departments, similar to the disrespect many military MOSs show eachother (one Marine Vet called my Army Infantry Husband “Cannon Fodder”), as if they are just glorified and armed security guards. In essence, without advanced training, a new cop is just that, with one exception from and armed security guard, a license to kill.
Then I found this story.
This is a very long and very sad story of a 9 minute span of life and death situation for 3 people that resulted in 1 death and one firing of a police officer (not the one you expect) and the broken hearts of more than one family. If you take the time to read the entirety of this article to completion and the updates and edits, you will find something that reads like a movie, almost unreal the way it sheds light on what goes through an officer’s mind that is military combat trained and one who is not.
Do I believe the situation would have been different if the man with the gun had been 100% white? It is VERY likely, but what is CERTAIN to me, is the fact that the situation would have been different if all 4 police personnel involved (please note the dispatchers words or lack thereof) had been trained to observe, report, and used force in an entirely different manner. This would have also changed the aftermath.

https://features.propublica.org/weirton/police-shooting-lethal-force-cop-fired-west-virginia/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s