After what happened to Michael Brown and Eric Garner, thousands of people have raced to protest the actions of the police involved. They were quick to judge without ever knowing what they were talking about.
One of those people was Rev. Jarrett Maupin, a high-profile community activist in Phoenix, Arizona. Maupin organized a number of protests in the Valley of the Sun calling for justice against the police who shot an unarmed man in the area.
At the invitation of the local Fox News, Maupin and news reporter Troy Hayden went through use of force simulation with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department. Maupin assumed the role of a police officer in a variety of different scenarios. Some of the scenarios were recorded on the video camera he wore. Fox News 10 in Phoenix then aired part of the training exercises that Maupin went through, which opened the eyes of the protest leader. (Please watch all three parts to the video series.)
One of the scenarios that weren’t shown was one with the guy at the suv. In this case the guy kept hiding behind the suv and before Maupin could do much, the guy shot him. Maupin realized then just how fast a typical situation that police face every day can turn deadly and how little time officers have to think before they react.
One of the lessons that Maupin took away from his experience is the importance of compliance on the part of the individual(s) being confronted by the police. In the one scenario that you saw, one of the men that was fighting rushed Maupin and when the guy got too close, Maupin shot him in self-defense. Had that man complied, he would not have been shot.
In the case of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, had they only complied with the police from the start, they would both be alive and none of the protests would have taken place. Their failure to comply led to millions of dollars of vandalism and hundreds of needless arrests. It also led to the murder of the two New York Police Officers.
The airing of Maupin’s training experience has brought a lot of positive attention and support. Other law enforcement agencies have been tweeting about the news story to their followers.
In the wake of how this use of force training impacted Rev. Maupin, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has invited Al Sharpton to come and experience the same training to see if it would make a difference to him. Frankly, I don’t expect Sharpton to take him up on the offer as that might mean that he won’t have as much of an excuse to protest and stir up more racial hatred and unrest. Sharpton makes his living keeping the fires of racial hatred burning brightly in America. Anything that would lead to more understanding and peace would hurt Sharpton’s wallet and he can’t let that happen.
Perhaps Arpaio needs to extend invitation to the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and others to give them a chance to walk in the shoes of police officers. If it has the same effect on them as it did for Rev. Maupin, just think of the positive ramifications it could lead to.