In the middle of the morning, the 911 calls flooded in reporting a man at busy shopping center frantically waving a butcher knife.
When the officers arrived, the Hispanic man was yelling while holding the knife against his own throat.
The cops stood back and tried to talk the man down.
Hostile crowds started to form and they launched into the usual anti-police rhetoric.
The police did not create the incident, but they were forced to deal with it. They were in a no win situation.
Ignoring the man would leave the public at risk, but to communicate, the officers had to enter the deadly 21 foot range – a distance the untrained public knows nothing about.
The public dismisses the dangers of knives, but cops know the fatality rates of stabbing and shooting victims are similar.
The police were always split seconds behind, forced to play defense as they aimed a mixture of firearms and less-lethal bean bag weapons.
The officers patiently negotiated until he started wildly stabbing himself with the large knife.
To save the man, the cops shot him multiple times with the less-lethal bean bag rounds.
That had almost no effect. He stumbled to the ground then quickly stood up and charged the officers with the knife extended.
In a fraction of a second, officers were forced to make the split second decision to shoot the man and save their own lives.
The crowd immediately chanted that the officers were racist murders. They lined up in front of the opportunistic news cameramen and reported witnessing the officers had unjustly killed an innocent man.
The public would prefer warriors did not exist.
By nature we resist authority. Children complain about rules, but they subconsciously feel safe when there is structure.
Adults are no different, we do not like rules or the men who enforce them.
When they are rational, the masses recognize that we need warriors, but they remain in denial about the warrior’s role.
The public does not want to be reminded that evil exists. That’s why Americans are squeamish about a cops in swat gear with rifles slung under their necks.
The public hires warriors to do a job they do not have the courage, nor the training, to do themselves.
A consequence of this outsourcing is that the public is completely ignorant of the law and tactics warriors obey.
But regardless, the masses never run out of opinions of how warriors should perform their jobs.
In a democracy the public should have a voice in the actions of government. The public voice serves the balance between anarchy and tyranny and today’s technology has made that uninformed voice greater than any time in history.
Not only are the masses ignorant of the law, but they are also lied to by media and politicians who have an incentive to keep the public angry.
In one study, less than 1% of 44 million law enforcement contacts resulted in physical force and the overwhelming majority of police use of force incidents are deemed legal and appropriate by a system with numerous checks and balances.
Those that complain of an epidemic of police excessive force can usually cite less than a handful of incidents, but U.S. doctors for example, make mistakes that kill 251,454 people every year.
That number is staggering compared to the handful of law enforcement and military mistakes.
Do #PatientsLivesMatter? If so, where are there riots in the streets?
Humans have a primitive instinct to judge outsiders and we find comfort in sharing a common enemy.
Police are an easy target for the public to get their high of self-righteous superiority.
Most in society are honest and compassionate people, so we try to see good in everyone around us – but that is not reality.
There are bad people in the world. There are also decent people that make very bad choices.
One researcher estimates that there are 12 million sociopaths in the U.S.
That number is frightening, but the public cannot stomach thinking their friends or family could possibly be the wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Instead, they attempt to rationalize away the fact that there are wolves among us.
The masses project their personal values onto villains, fantasizing that the criminals in their neighborhoods do not exist.
Anytime there is an allegation of police excessive force, rarely does anyone question the actions of the person being arrested.
No one ever asks, what if the suspect did not rob a bank, carry a gun or fight the police.
We have an entire generation that was raised with virtually no discipline and no respect for authority.
Rather than tell these entitled brats that they are wrong, it is easier to attack the common enemy.
The same thing occurs in classrooms when students earn bad grades and parents challenge the teachers.
There is an entire generation that was sheltered from discomfort or hardship.
If the masses grew up in a bubble, it’s not surprising they do not realize that evil exists.
Warriors know differently, but the public does not understand the warrior’s mindset.
Dave Grossman wrote the analogy of the sheep, the wolf and the sheepdog.
Most people are sheep – they are kind, gentle, productive creatures that can only hurt one another by accident.
A minority of people are wolves – they have no empathy and feed on the sheep without mercy.
A smaller minority are sheepdogs – they live to protect the flock from the wolf. The sheepdog [warrior] has a capacity for violence, but also a deep love for the public.
The warrior despises injustice.
The warrior is always driven by a deep desire to help the weak.
The warrior is confronting the reality the masses do not want to face.
The warrior is NOT the enemy.
If you do not appreciate the warriors that risk their lives every day to protect you, then suit up and try doing the job yourself. You will quickly learn the public is asking them to do the impossible.
But if you are honest, admit that you are a sheep.
Before you cast judgement, invest the energy you spend complaining and use it to learn what these brave men and women do.
Go on ride along, take a criminal justice class, read the criminal statutes and use of force policies. Attend a citizen’s academy where they will put you in training scenarios so you can experience how difficult use of force decisions are.
After you are informed, if you are still not satisfied, vent your complaint with those who write the laws.
It is unfair to direct your animosity at the people you hire to enforce the laws that your representatives in government create.
And finally, if you are unwilling to become informed, shut up and bury your head in the sand like the rest.