The Battle Between Warriors and the Public

IMG_8889-2In 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.

If you enjoyed this, check out my latest book

“Shots Fired: The Psychology Behind Officer Involved Shootings.”

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43 Responses to The Battle Between Warriors and the Public

  1. Stan Sandler says:

    Very important message, thank you Chuck!

  2. Thank you for so clearly explaining the reality of policing and decision making in “use of force”. No one wins out of this loss of life.
    (Ex policewoman, secondary school teacher) Clinical Social Worker

  3. Wade Stever says:

    Pretty bold to say that the public has no courage…im part of the public and i have no lack of courage. Not sure who wrote this piece, while most of it made alot of sense, they lost me at the courage part.

    • Dave Payton says:

      I notice that too, and disagree with that statement. But don’t discount the message. I would encourage you to go back and read it in its entirety, the overall message is right on.

      • Chuck Rylant says:

        Wade and Dave

        Thanks for reading and sharing your perspective.

        I don’t intend to offend anyone with that line.

        As a writer I am forced to make some generalizations to make a point succinctly.

        Of course there are always exceptions, but I suspect you would agree that the masses, at least 80% of the public, lack the courage to be a soldier or cop.

        And that is not intended to be disparaging. It just takes a unique person and perhaps you have that ability, but chose a different path.

        I hope you understand my intention.

    • NoOne says:

      When you think you have courage ^^^

    • Tkc says:

      Don’t be so sensitive, he’s talking about the public in general. It’s an example. Now I’m sure you wouldn’t have been able to handle that guy if he was coming at you with a knife But the majority of the public could not.

      • Chuck Rylant, MBA, CFP says:

        Sometimes it seems there is a segment of society searching for reasons to be offended these days.

        Thanks TKC.

  4. William(Bill) Reynolds says:

    No one knows what they would do unless they are face wth the same situation. It’s always easy to tell someone else what to do when you’ve never been faced with a kill or be killed situation. I as a vetren understand the importance of training, and then more training, and on top of that more training. Our police officers have this type of training and are trained not to kill unless there is no other choice, I have never known even one who uses their badge as a license to kill. To tell you the truth, I am proud of our men and women in blue. I pray for Gods Grace to be with each one of these brave men and women every day.

  5. Christian Ochoa says:

    Well said Chuck

  6. Jeannine Wade says:

    Awesome letter. Hits some very sensitive and true aspects of our culture today. Made a mistake though… the United States is NOT a democracy, we are a republic.

  7. James Jepsen says:

    Extremely well written Chuck.

  8. Darla Gilbert says:

    Excellent and true! I wish every American would read this. You’re right: Most people just don’t want to know about the wolves, and very few have it together enough to be a sheepdog. They are our heroes in an almost at times lawless society. We should always pray for them and their safety.

    Thank you for the article — it is completely on point.

  9. Mark Hop says:

    I believe I saw the video of this incident that occurred in Santa Maria. With that said I still believe our police can use better training.

    This is how UK and Chinese police deal with similar situations. https://youtu.be/iUdV-ywj8Sw

    https://youtu.be/cX5CPx4RKWw

    • Chuck Rylant, MBA, CFP says:

      My only experience with law enforcement training is California.

      However, from what I see in videos, etc., CA police tactics are on par, or far superior, to the best cops in the nation.

      That said, I agree that police training is vastly deficient.

      The blame for insufficient training lies directly with the law enforcement administrators, community politicians and tax payers for not prioritizing and allocating sufficient financial resources to make fund the necessary training.

      China video:

      These cops are pathetic in how they handled that suspect. They only lived because they were lucky. This is an excellent example of how not to handle a knife wielding subject.

      UK video:

      The video cuts off right when the action starts. Too hard to tell what happens.

  10. John Quick says:

    It’s not clear to me why shooting a charging man in the legs would not just as effectively stop him.

    • Chuck says:

      John, you are asking a common question.

      Cops are trained to always shoot the center mass of the body — the chest area.

      This is for multiple reasons.

      During the stress that comes in these situations, the body experiences multiple changes. Some of those are diminished fine motor skills, increased heart rate and changes in visual perception which impaire the ability to make precise shots as you are suggesting.

      It is significantly harder to shoot fixed targets than it appears in movies. Then if you add a moving target, accuracy diminishes significantly.

      Cops are trained to always shoot center mass because it increases the likelihood of hitting the target. Secondly, a shot in center mass increases the chances of hitting vital organs that shut down the ability of the attacker to continue attacking.

      In this example, the man was already feeling no pain. He had apparent mental health issues and perhaps drugs in his system. People with injuries to limbs do not necessarily stop attacking like they do in movies.

      Not a single cop in America is ever trained to shoot limbs. That is fiction, not reality.

      • John Quick says:
      • Chuck Rylant, MBA, CFP says:

        John, I am glad you responded, because you are an example of who I had in mind when I wrote this.

        I suspect your feelings are rigid and facts will not change your mind, but please allow me a final attempt to explain by responding to your videos.

        First and foremost, you are ignoring that cops are responding to the actions of the criminal.

        The criminal controls his own fate.

        If the criminal chose to comply, he would not choose to get himself killed.

        Why do you support and ignore the actions of the criminal by deflecting responsibility onto the cops?

        Next, I will reply to this comment:

        “Maybe our police training could learn lessons from Germany.”

        There is not a single qualified law enforcement trainer on earth that would teach shooting to the legs.

        If there is someone teaching shooting the legs, he has zero experience or and has no business training cops in any country. I already explained why in my prior comment.

        By citing an example of a cop shooting in the leg, you are citing an example of a missed bullet.

        Citing examples of poor tactics and/or missed shots where the cops were not killed, is showing examples of luck.

        Just because they got lucky, does not mean cops should train to do it wrong and hope for luck.

        A plan based on luck is foolish.

        The England video is a very poor example because those cops do not carry guns. The horrific tactics those cops display is simply because they have no other options.

        I doubt facts will change your mind, but here is the entire point of my article.

        If you do not like the laws in America, attack your legislatures and not the cops. The cops simply follow the rules your elected politicians write.

        If you want the laws changed where police do not carry guns and/or are not allowed to use appropriate force to save their own lives, you will have mass exodus of police officers and anarchy.

        Do you want a lawless society where criminals lives are put ahead of the people protecting you?

  11. Gary says:

    The cosequence of that shot not stopping the threat is that we have an injured or dead officer.we then have to explain to his or her mother father sister brother wife and children why their family member was injured or killed because the leg shot did not do the trick… Thank you chuck for your support and thought provoked perspective

    • Chuck Rylant, MBA, CFP says:

      I agree completely Gary.

      For some reason the life of the cop today is dispensable. I cannot understand why many value the life of the criminal above the officer.

  12. Richard White says:

    Chuck,
    Awesome article and I sure wish more people could read this and comprehend what they are reading. I am also in agreement with your statement about 80% are sheep and just want to go thru life never knowing about the evil that is out there. I spent 28 years in defense of my country. I wore a uniform that was liked, disliked, loved and hated. I wouldn’t change a thing about my time defending this great nation. I would have spent even longer in uniform but was wounded while deployed to Iraq in 2004. I have had to change my whole life because of this. I got shot in the leg and live with chronic pain everyday. I have nerve damage to my lower leg. And then I get treated like crap when I go to a VA hospital because the workers there think they don’t owe us veterans anything. And it is easy to see why they think like this when you look at our CINC and see how he treats veterans. I was promised the best care in the world and I get the worst some days.

    • Chuck says:

      Richard

      Thank you for sharing your story and I sincerely appreciate the sacrifice you made for your country.

      Even though the vocal minority may make it seem unappreciated, I do believe their is still a silent majority of good, honest people that value the commitment it takes of our men and women in combat.

  13. Tracy says:

    Very well written!!! God bless all are men & women in uniform that never no if they will come back home to their children & family when they leave for their shift to protect us every day & deal with this crazy world that we all live in!!! Thank you for all you do!!!

  14. Shawn Fuggs says:

    Excellent article with well thought out and detailed responses. It’s awesome to have an advocate for law enforcement to help educate the public on the various challenges an Officer faces in the line of duty. The sound and timely decisions one has to make given the time of adversity many don’t understand. I thought you were fair in outlining the disadvantages many agencies face regarding training, equipment, administrative control, as well as community support and direction. We all want the right answer at the end of a crisis. Unfortunately involving humans always raises the risk for error. I hope we can all agree we don’t want to see mistakes on either side.

  15. Lori says:

    This is absolutely spot on for me. I am willing to admit I’m a sheep. And I’m glad someone else is willing to be the sheepdog because that’s just not me. Most of all, I always ask what event (rob a bank, attack an officer or other) took place to get to a police officer needing to use any weapon. A police officer doesn’t attack a random “innocent” passerby for no reason. Today’s society completely ignores what led up to the event and focuses on the cop….risking their life for the safety of others. Bless you chuck for this eye opening insight. I hope EVERYONE reads this to at least give it a thought.

    • Chuck Rylant, MBA, CFP says:

      Thanks for the honest and thoughtful comment Lori.

      “A police officer doesn’t attack a random “innocent” passerby for no reason.”

      You wouldn’t believe that if you believe the media and liberal narrative.

  16. Cesar says:

    I enjoy reading your pieces. They are thought provoking and well played out. What I enjoy more is, your attitude towards people’s opinions and your kind regard for understanding that they are entitled to have one. I feel that I share a similar attitude and have come to realize that, like yourself, some people just don’t care to have an open mind. Keep doing what you do, and those of us that can see things both ways will keep reading.

  17. James Jepsen says:

    Well written Chuck!
    I was there (my video was one of the videos used by news media). One man standing near me was loudly talking about how the man had a gun first, then a knife, then how he was dangerous. When police shot the guy, however, this man immediately did an about face and became the first to scream that the cops were murderers and that the guy had been harmless! Of course, who did the news media interview on camera? Yep, the loudmouth. Go figure.

    • Chuck Rylant, MBA, CFP says:

      Thank you.

      Front row seat James. Crazy. Does the media pay for those videos? I always wondered.

      Interesting how that spectator changed perspectives so quickly.

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