Trooper charged after shooting man in traffic stop

I watched this video after a friend posted it. Sadly, I could almost see this coming. I’ve heard (and it is just hearsay) this is not this officer’s first rodeo. And it seems his agency may recognize a pattern of behavior…so they are cutting him lose. Victim is alive by luck alone.

When you ask why places why Sanford and Ferguson erupt the way they did, it is because, right or wrong, there is a perception that incidents like this are the rule rather than the exception. I know that perception well because some part of me has it. I grew up hearing of officer involved shootings on a nearly daily basis and being warned to walk the straight and narrow to avoid the same fate. Only problem was, sometimes straight and narrow isn’t good enough to avoid contact. Without passing judgment, the fact is good people still occasionally get shot because they innocently made the wrong move at the wrong time.

The words “furtive movement” were all but drilled into my head. I learned to move only as directed and, in the kindest terms, demand that the officer tell me what he expects. If something requires me to reach into my pocket or into my vehicle, I tell the officer but, I often wear my ID in a wallet around my neck to avoid the need. I’ve gotten into the habit of having my ID handy BEFORE the officer can ask for it. Again, trying to avoid being a “furtive movement” victim.

In this case, I’m sure the issue is partly a training issue with respect to the officer. The guy was doing as told by the officer but didn’t react or move in a manner the officer expected. In turn, the officer has a pavlovian response influenced in no small part by hundreds of training videos officers see every year that start the same way but, end with a dead cop. The result, cop operates as trained because he wants to go home at the end of his shift.

-GM

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