Note the embarrassment to good honest officers sworn to protect and serve.
Let's look at some statements:
Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon:
"I'm asking for some patience while we complete a thorough and fair investigation. I am disturbed and troubled by what I see in the video. It does not appear to be in line with our policies and procedures. I assure you, if there is criminal doing on the part of any of our deputy sheriffs or any policy violations, we will take action."
We note the statement begins with the strong pronoun "I"
He was "disturbed and troubled" by what he saw; also with the pronoun "I"
Note the word "appear";
Note the emphatic phrase "I assure you", which, unnecessary, is important and suggests sensitivity about him taking action. Is this justified?
He then moves from the pronoun "I" to the pronoun "we" in the topic of taking action. He had the need, in the context of "taking action" to use the emphasis of "I assure you" and when he spoke of actually taking action, the "I" was no longer used, as it became "we."
Now, compare this to the North Charleston shooting, and its leader's comment:
To this, the Police Chief said: "I was sickened by what I saw. And I have not watched it since."
Note that there are some important elements in this statement:
First, it is his reaction. It "sickened" him, as he uses the pronoun "I";
Then, note what he reports in the negative, what he has not done since: watched it. This correlates to the first sentence.
Note what is absent from his statement: qualifiers.
Next, the suspect's attorney:
"He remembers being beat, and he remembers that he wasn't resisting, that he laid still, he complied immediately. He says that he didn't even move a muscle because he didn't want to be continuously beat, yet it still happened," attorney Sharon Brunner said.
The use of "remembers" is an indication that blows to the head may have caused the loss of some memories.
After the beating, a deputy whispered in his ear: "This isn't over,'" attorney Jim Terrell said.
"And that's why he's scared to death for himself and his family right now," Terrell said.
The flow of adrenaline can be difficult to control:
Ken Cooper, a New York-based use of force expert who trains police, said it appears the San Bernardino deputies allowed their emotions and adrenaline to get the best of them.
"When chasing a fleeing suspect, in high stress, you have to control that," he said.
"The justification for using force is to gain compliance from the suspect, and the suspect seems to be complying. So what this looks like is those blows are not justified, they're not necessary and they're not professional."
Cooper's statement does not show justification for the beating, but explanation and understanding: self governing, in high stress, high hormonal release activities, must be done. It is best accomplished before training begins:
In the interview process.
During this time, liars are not the only ones screened out.
In dealing with a profession that warrants carrying lethal force, it is imperative to weed out those who cannot govern their own passions. These will often reveal themselves in language of combativeness.
This same theme is seen in various other "high hormone" activities, which will enter the language.
In war, especially after hand-to-hand combat, it was very difficult to control soldiers' rage when prisoners were captured.
Also in war, the general lawlessness is always difficult to leaders to control, which was, at times, handled with the most severe of consequences, including battle field capital punishment.
The inability to govern one's own passions, in extreme stress, can be screened in the interview process using Analytical Interviewing, and later, with those who are not given to such outbursts as seen in domestic violence, can undergo training to practice or 'rehearse' controlling one's reaction.
It is something best trained, however, in childhood.
In sports, athletes are taught to utterly defeat, sport specific, using extreme physical force, their opponents. This "competitive" aspect of their personalities, cultivated since childhood, has, when absent early training in self control, led to high levels of domestic violence. Chaplains, for example, of minor league hockey teams, have reported this for years, seeking to help athletes turn off their competitive nature when dealing with their wives and children. One explained it this way:
The athlete dominates, controls and subdues his opponent and gets paid (rewarded) for it. When he is at home in "real life", he "doesn't understand why the kids won't obey their mother the way they do him" and enters into competition of sorts, with his own wife, to see "who is the best parent." It comes out in the language, especially when visiting other parents. Sometimes it is used to belittle: "Do I have to handle everything since you can't?!"
In this post, I have highlighted a cop who shot a man to death; deputies who mercilessly beat a man in submission.
Why now the topic of sports?
Once upon a time in America, "sportsmanship" mattered. There was a very different meaning to the word "masculinity" than what is understood today.
Masculinity was defined, in practice, as the sacrifice of strength.
This is why men held doors for women, and why the overwhelming majority of men on the Titanic yielded to "women and children first." It did not make for recent good Hollywood, nonetheless, this is what the eyewitness reports gave us in truthful language. "Women and children first" meant the sacrifice of strength; that is, the ability to use physical force to get men on to the life boats over women. The resort to brute violence would have meant the physically weakest would have been lost, while the physically strongest would have survived, Darwinism safely in tact.
When an athlete "defeated" his opponent, for example, by carrying his ball past a certain line, with others using their strength to physically stop him, he refrained himself from excess. To taunt his opponent was considered "unsportsmanlike conduct" and in some sports, was penalized. He was to, literally, control himself, in the very moment where the violent clash yielded him success.
Today, professional athletes not only confess, but boast that they rehearse their choreographed taunts of their opponents, in sport after sport, while kids watching ESPN clips see professional athletes grabbing their own groin, dancing, mocking, ridiculing and taunting their opponent. These same children are taught in school: "no one is more important than you. You are the best. You deserve the best. Everyone else is subordinate to you. "
In short, they are taught: "Your self esteem is more important than empathy for others" and when sports agents whisper to their clients, "every 10 seconds you are on Sports Center translates to 1 million dollars in future earnings so ham it up", the lessons are reaffirmed as SC plays to the least common denominator, no different than politicians do.
A young boy learns early that in order to obtain something, he must actually work for it. At 12, he had a paper route, and at 13, he cut neighbors' lawns. When he turned 16, he worked after school and saved every penny to buy that car he had always dreamed of. He washed it weekly, pampered it, changed the oil, and in short, took great care of it in all the small details.
Would you think he would easily loan it out to friends who don't work for what they have, and don't take good care of the things given to them?
Thus a lesson of respect can be applied in other areas of life.
In chronic domestic violence, I have been involved with victims and perpetrators for more than 25 years in everything from investigations, affidavit, analysis, volunteer, counselor, and so on. The perpetrators I dealt with were not those who exercised small, proper manners towards his wife or girlfriend. Their words revealed bullying, control, insecurity, competition and disrespect, often calling his wife or girlfriend names that'd make some locker rooms blush.
In a nation that no longer seems to know the difference between a man and a woman, there are still those who believe in teaching their sons that hitting a girl is "unmanly" and that although their self esteem is important, it is equally important to empathize with others. It may seem "old fashioned" that my son holds Heather's chair at the dinner table, night after night, but he has been doing this since he got out of the baby seat, himself. This, along with lessons such as not seating until his sister is also seated, and that it is distinctly not masculine to strike a woman, even while condemned as "sexist", will help assure that in our society, he will never perpetrate violence against a woman.
It matters not how you teach your children to show respect, but that they are taught respect for life. Whether one removes all violent video games, or another limits exposure to music, or still another may find another way, the conclusion of the matter is respectful in little things can lead to respect in larger things, more times than not. It is not a cure all, but principle is not established by exception. Teach boys early respect for women, and reduce violence later on.
Every day, online, videos of violence are posted. Every day. In Brazil, it has become 'popular' for gangs to video phone their executions.
More and more violence is being reported between females and in this daily parade of 2 minute iPhone clips, I watched men on the scene, yelling "world star", "ratchet girl", employing profane language, and either encourage the female combatants, or assaulting the one who seems to back away from the fight.
A few days ago, I saw a video of two mothers getting their three or four year old children to fight. It was from Central America, and the villagers gathered around for the "fight", actually pushing the one reluctant child, into the fight, while she cried and held her head.
Not a single villager intervened.
In black rap music, women are often denigrated with vile names and reduced to objects for indiscriminate sex.
In the Koran, women are reduced to lesser humans, with prescriptions to "strike them" so that they might "learn" from their husbands. Even in the UK, there is an unwillingness to tell Muslims to "stop" abusing their wives, as they fear being labeled "racist" or "islamophobic", with yet another gay man murdered this week (replete with photos of the stoning), little media attention was paid. It is interesting to note that Islam is not a race but is prescriptively violent and it is degrading to women, overall.
Back home here, the lack of civility is way beyond outward manners.
Cameras will help the public and will help honest police officers. It has come down to this and it is necessary. One does not need much imagination to think of what the South Carolina police officer's written report looked like.
Statement Analysis of such reports would yield information vital to the case. Cameras will help everyone.
Yet as we saw with the one racist cop who cared little for the running video, the camera is a band-aid; a good band-aid, but still just treatment of a symptom and not the disease.
I overheard a parent criticizing a 12 year old hockey player. She was displeased that the player did not "appear" happy after scoring a goal, intimidating that his parents were "killjoy" types. He scored and received "high fives" and "helmet bumps" from his teammates, but no further.
A game before this, the critic's son had 'celebrated' a goal. Well, kind of. He shot the puck, thought it went in, and skated over to the audience, away from his team mates, and feigned a dance routine in which he pretended to 'rock the baby to sleep' in his arms. Many of the parents cheered him on.
He had to be told "no goal" by his team mate. The "rock the baby" routine was to insult the opponent. The boy had been practicing this in the locker room and although team mates had told him to "knock it off" and "don't you dare try that in a real game", he could not resist.
The taunting of the vanished is no longer considered "unsportsmanlike" conduct. Instead, it is a highlight reel.
The top selling video or electronic games compete, one with another, on which has the most graphic violence.
Rap musicians are upheld in spite of vile misogynistic lyrics often directed, with anger, towards women.
Islamic violence, female genitalia mutilation, "honor killings" and domestic violence, as prescribed in Islam, is said, by the president, to be not Islamic.
Hundreds of students are killed in obedience to the Koran, because they could not recite the Koran, but this is not "religious" violence and anyone who says contrary, is "racist."
In our military, professional soldiers are taught to kill, but can get in trouble for insulting someone before killing him.
We cannot even watch a video of an Easter egg hunt without seeing parents committing acts of violence, one towards another, in defense of their own child's "right" to have something above another's child.
That we see the absurd violence explode in this video should not come as any surprise, percentage wise, as we can expect such things from any profession. That it comes from those who possess lethal weapons, however, becomes a game changer.
Now, law enforcement professionals must all cringe, though had race been part of the California beating, it would have been worse because, perhaps, our president would have used the opportunity to portray all police, again, as dangerous.
What motivated the South Carolina murder?
To this point, we do not have an answer, though we might as we learn more about his record, and others speak up. I want to know what he was thinking when he pulled the trigger, again and again and again.
That quick, unequivocal reaction was seen, much more trouble may have been avoided. The shooter was arrested and charged with murder, and the camera solution was quickly embraced. Behind this, there were likely rank and file police officers insisting upon body cams, yet met with the typical response of funding problems.
This is another opportunity to realize that good law enforcement professionals are underpaid, and sometimes leave law enforcement to better provide for their families. We sometimes lose the best and brightest, and morale, after these recent incidents, will be sorely impacted for good officers.
Better screening and better pay; hiring the best and brightest, with blinders on as to anything outside of qualification, is a beginning.
As to the deputies who inflicted 37 punches and 17 kicks, in a period of two minutes following the fleeing suspect's surrender, you, the reader, may ask yourself:
"Would I be comfortable knowing that this officer was pulling over my teenager in a traffic stop?"