1) You’re a man over the age of say, fifty. You find yourself in a situation where law enforcement is near you and in “crowd control mode.” Do you?
- Ask yourself what on earth you’re doing there and leave as soon as humanly possible
- Continue about your business, respect officers, follow all lawful demands
- Argue with agents from a distance, but not enter their personal space, move with them when and if they move
- Come up to the workers in question, invade their space, potentially impeded their activity and physically entangle with them in some way
- None of the above
I can speak for literally nobody but myself, but for me the answer is E. I can flesh that out a bit by saying something like, “I make it my business to avoid situations in which there may be conflict and even more so, where I may find myself at odds with police. If I see a situation where I may be confronted with such, I work to avoid the general area in which it’s occurring. If I must be in such an area, I carefully follow the instructions of any law enforcement agent that he or she is legally allowed to give. If I cannot follow instructions, I assume consequences will follow.”
You can call me a coward if you want, but I am a man over fifty, and I haven’t come this far in life by making bad choices.
By no means am I saying all my choices have been the absolute best. One can—and almost certainly will—make errors in judgement, that’s not my point.
So what am I saying? It’s really pretty simple. If you choose to put yourself into bad situations, you can count on undesirable results. The worse your choices, the more you continue to pursue untenable situations, the more likely you’ll come into unfortunate circumstances; the more likely you’ll end up lying on the sidewalk out cold, bleeding from your ear(s) with potential brain injuries.
Those of you who’ve seen the video of the older fellow in Buffalo know exactly what I’m talking about here.
I don’t know how this fellow ended up “clashing with” the officer in question. Here’s what I do know.
The cop was obviously part of a crowd control effort. He was doing the job required of him. The older fellow came into his space and, as if that were not problematic enough, started apparently interacting physically with him.
It’s easy to see his actions were probably not harmful on their face. Nonetheless, there’s virtually no reason in the circumstances presented in the video, to do as this fellow did with the policeman.
The man in uniform responded by lightly shoving the fellow. You may think that inappropriate, but what the law enforcer could have done is far worse. He could easily have had him cuffed and hauled in for impeding the actions of law enforcement (probably not the exact charge that would’ve been leveled).
Thing is, the cop was in a no-win situation. If he had done the harsher thing, he would have been demonized. Further, it likely wouldn’t’ve been long before local holding cells were filled with such folks, leaving no room for far worse individuals.
He pushed the older gent, who then proceeded to take multiple steps backward, and fall down, presumably hitting his head.
As stated in a previous article, another individual on the scene (another officer), can be seen on the radio, standing near the prone figure, we imagine, calling for aid.
I don’t know what current emergency medical training says, but the amount of such training I had as a member of the military said essentially, “If you can leave an injured person where they are, and wait for medics without it resulting in further harm, do that.”
There’s always greater risk of causing more harm by moving a subject, than there is in making sure they’re essentially immobile and doing what you can to keep them comfortable, and you must be careful even doing that. If they’re unconscious, there’s less concern about their comfort, and more about the potential for greater harm.
Based on what I know to this point, the surrounding officers did what I would’ve done were I in their boots. I’m open to correction, but I doubt it’ll be forthcoming.
I’ve probably already spent too much time focused on this single incident. The point of this little essay, was to make one thing crystal clear; actions have consequences.
Should you apparently choose to strong-arm rob a convenience store, walk in the middle of a road designed for automobile traffic, ignore the lawful request of a police officer to move to the sidewalk, then tussle with and threaten that officer, don’t expect good results. In case you’re wondering, this was more or less the findings of local, state and federal investigators (under President Barak Obama) in the case of Mr Michael Brown.
If you choose to essentially ambush a security guard—granted, who’s been following you—who happens to be armed, tackling him to the pavement, and beat him while he lies under you, the final result may not be optimal either. Yes, we’re talking about Trayvon Martin.
To be clear, even if Mr George Floyd had passed counterfeit currency and he was high on multiple substances, the way he was dealt with by Officer Chauvin appears for all the world, to have been at the very least, highly inappropriate. That the cop potentially loses his job is probably a bare minimum result. I don’t think it would be terribly unreasonable for him to go through a murder trial.
I could cite more cases, but I think you get the point.
Of course, the cases listed are extreme examples.
I could include things like, “If you choose to play in traffic, you’re likely as not to get run over.” Or, “If you play with loaded guns, you may well find yourself or someone else in hospital, suffering a gunshot wound.”
Then there’s the other side of the coin, “If you choose to stay in school, you may end up with greatly more marketable skills.” And “If you wait until you’re (happily) married to have children, chances are good you’ll have a far easier life.” In other words, good choices typically result in good outcomes (read here, “consequences”).
Did your parents ever say to you, “Make good choices!”? You should understand how wise a thing this was for them to utter, considering its simplicity. The result may not always be good, but most of the time, you can bet it will be. As stated, the converse is also true. Make bad choices, and you’ll typically reap bad results.
Thanks for reading and may your time be good.