Monday, August 08, 2016

Thoughts on police violence


See “Minnesota Police Officer’s ‘Bulletproof Warrior’ Training Is Questioned”.

I do know personally that expectations of what someone might say can lead to a gross misunderstanding of what a person actually said.

Between my junior and senior years in college, I took a job at Ohio Oil in Findlay, Ohio.  My intention was to learn more about computers.

Unfortunately, I had a difficult time finding a room for the whole summer.  I stayed in two or three private houses before I found an apartment above the bank that owned the whole building.  About a week or so after occupying the apartment the bank asked me if I would swap my apartment for a smaller one occupied by a couple.

I left word at the bank president’s office that I had moved enough for the summer and would stay put until school started.

A day or two later, the bank president knocked on my door.  He was somewhat of a curmudgeon and I expected a bit of chewing out.  The first words I heard from him were “How’s the bastard doing?”  This from a pillar of his church!  I said, “Excuse me?” and I heard him say again, “How’s the bastard doing?”  I said “Excuse me?" again.  This time I clearly heard him say, “How’s the bachelor doing?”

Now we had a friendly discussion about my staying put and he accepted my wish.

How often do people in tense situations completely misunderstand what another person is saying?

I speculate that Philandro Castile simply said in a normal voice, “I have a gun.”  He was stating a fact to avoid conflict.  Officer Jeronimo Yanez, pumped up from his “Bulletproof Warrior” class, heard, “I HAVE A GUN!”

I do hope many police departments are seriously thinking about paying for their officers’ training at for-profit classes that have no accountability to either the government or the general public.

Every killing diminishes all of us, whether it is terrorists who think a whole class of people should be killed, whether it is a government that drops bombs the kill innocents, whether it is madmen that shoot indiscriminately into crowded venues, or whether it is a hyped-up police officer with an itchy finger..

See also “Quote on violence”