SO the other day, I met a young man I had met when he was training to be a Sheriff’s deputy.
(I have a good relationships with many policemen, and they tend to use me as a training aid on how to interact with someone who is well grounded in law and constitutional issues and who is strong willed and who has no levers like probation or other issues for a cop to use to intimidate a citizen or suspect)
Now this is a very nice guy. A young 20 something kid who really wants to do well. He really believes that it is his duty to right wrongs and lock up bad guys in order to protect the other citizens. His family wasn’t very supportive of his choice of career. His family has a tradition of the male members joining the military and serving for 20+ years. He chose another path against the tradition of his family. He really is a good, decent well meaning person…or at least, he was.
He stopped in the other day….no longer a trainee, but a fully fledged Sheriff’s deputy. We chatted and I asked for his take on this video…Since he has always felt that the citizens don’t give enough respect to police who protect them….Despite my suggestions that until and unless the police EARN their respect, both individually and collectively, there sill never be the level of respect that he would like to see.
Anyway, as we discussed the video, I came to the conclusion that he didn’t see any wrongdoing on the part of the officers…..I asked how he could justify the detention of the man with the dog, when he wasn’t in any way impeding them….and asked for justification of the shooting of the dog when he wasn’t threatening the officers until provoked?
His attitude was that the dude with the dog shouldn’t have been there at all….Was “Looking for trouble”. The dog…well, that was a tough call, but (and I cannot argue with this entirely) if the officers felt threatened, then they had the right to use force to protect themselves. He pointed out how quickly a dog can move and attack. When I pointed out that the dog wasn’t acting in an aggressive manner, he dismissed that part….Officers can’t (and shouldn’t be required to) take any chances…If there is a perceived threat, they neutralize it.
But it is sad to see the bright, shiny young man, who entered the force to Do Good….To Protect The Citizens……change as he it taught and schooled by the instructors….
More on this later…..