Showing restraint is an integral part of being a Law Enforcement Officer. Not only physical and emotional restraint, but judgment as well.
Our job is hard enough. We are evaluated and judged on the split second decision we make. Sometimes instinctive, sometimes reactive, sometimes malicious. One thing you can guarantee, it will always be judged. Whether that is by your peers or by a court of law.
The one thing where I feel we should show more restraint is when we pre-judge our peers is when it comes to an open investigation and when we do not have all the facts.
Being prejudice without all the facts is dangerous. It invokes presumed emotions.
As Officers we have a duty to not be prejudice as it could affect our judgement. It’s not supposed to matter if a convict had done it before. It only adds to your case when it’s coupled with other facts to prove that he is guilty, or enough probable cause exists for the arrest. But that’s not always what occurs is it?
It appears we didn’t learn much from Wilson vs Brown. Here we are again basing our thoughts and outcomes without all the facts. Well if you don’t already know, I am referring to Slager vs White.
Right now as I write this article a portion of the black community is near militant. They are divided amongst racial lines that were wrongfully drawn between Law Enforcement and the community. People are so emotionally committed and charged by this that they are driven from their normal routine lives to make their opinions heard. Their opinions are not fact based but biased to prove that not only is Law Enforcement targeting black citizens, but circumvent our court system by demanding swift justice. They and some of you have already judged this Officer. You may be right, who knows. I guess it is a 50/50 guess, right?
Topics like, “Good shoot vs Bad shoot” riddles Facebook and the Law Enforcement community. We need to get away from that.
I get it, you want to talk about it, sure. Talk about it. Topics like, “What dropped on the ground in the video?”, “Is this the only video?”, “How many seconds between him being engaged with the Officer and the first shot?”, should be what we are discussing. What if this was the 3rd time this person had engaged this Officer in a fist fight only to run and retreat and then reengage? I am even ok with comments of, “It looks bad” because I have never seen even a justified shooting “look good.”
What we need to do is show restraint. An independent agency is investigating this incident and they have already charged the Officer with murder. Jumping to conclusions is unfair for us to do to a convict and it most certainly still applies to a former Officer who is protected by the same rights. “Innocent until proven guilty.”
Tell me your thoughts..
– Frank Three