Friday, May 13, 2016
High Speed Video and Assault
How can something like this happen?
Consider the lack of self control exhibited at the end of the video. This is something that, culturally, was very important to American parents: delaying gratification and satisfaction in life by small, seemingly insignificant things while growing up taught boys self control. This was taught in school, in sports, and in morals, including sexual and even appetite, as self control was considered a virtue. Culturally, this is no longer held by many, in high esteem. These small lessons, learned in childhood, particularly when parents refuse to become indulgent, allowed for the adult to have a 'fighting chance' at restraining oneself both physically and emotionally.
Here is an extreme test that ended up in failure but must be understood in context.
For about 1 hour, the MA cops were involved in a high speed chase. This means that for almost one hour, they were in constant and incessant personal danger: the hormonal increase is severe, similar to combat studies from World War II where high combat situations escalated to personal, hand-to-hand survival. After the foe is killed, soldiers sometimes exhausted themselves in stabbing the dead body, in a 'blind rage' from the high level of hormonal activity to the brain.
This high level of 'fight or flight' hormone, particularly, cortisol, is behind PTSD and the imprint upon the brain. The imprint from even a few moments of elevated cortisol can lead to a life time of symptoms, including hyper vigilance, sleeplessness, depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. Rape victims, sexual abuse victims, close contact victims of violence, and some domestic violence victims who frequently go on "high alert" can suffer these symptoms, just as combatants can. Recall the volume of explosives, in World War I, that led to "shell shock", where the body shook uncontrollably. In Viet Nam, there were many reports of children who would shake, lose control over their bodily functions, and even freeze at the extreme noise level of an incoming bomber.
We have seen many examples of reliable accounts of rape, for example, where the victim moved into present tense language, signaling possible PTSD like symptoms entering language.
This offers no excuse for the lack of self control but allows for insight into the context, and later, the language of the officers, should they make a statement.