“Either you’re for or against us” is a False Dichotomy

“Some people have the ability to handle this type of situation. Many do not. Regardless of training. You cannot simulate life and death situations. Which is why preconditioned biasis can wield so much power in those moments. These are not moments of thought and logic, they are moments of preconditioned judgments and responses.” – borrowed and truncated from my friend Adam

It’s an unfortunate fact, but bad people exist, and they find employment in every profession. No profession is safe. There are bad teachers, bad priests, bad doctors, bad soldiers, and yes, even bad cops.

You can counter hate with hate until we’re all standing waist-deep in it, you can stand behind your “Here come the experts” memes and pat yourselves on the back, or you can offer something of substance – ideas and potential solutions. Discussion. Statistics. Literally ANYTHING constructive.

I am, admittedly, no expert, but I am a strong advocate of tamper-proof body cameras that are always on, and whose intentional removal or tampering-with should be treated as a firing offense, for the protection of both the police and the civilians.

I am, admittedly, no expert, but I am a strong advocate of less-than-lethal alternatives like pepper spray, tasers, and rubber bullets/sandbags being used as first, second, and third tier responses, long before lethal force is employed as an absolute last resort.

I am, admittedly, no expert, but I am a strong advocate of deescalation training, and training to reinforce the aforementioned continuum of force.

I am, admittedly, no expert, but I am a strong advocate of police being more regularly held to the same level of scrutiny for misbehavior as are the citizens they are sworn to protect and serve.

I am, admittedly, no expert, but I am a strong advocate of respectful, solution-based discussion, and not immediately and blindly jumping to the defense of your team, whichever it might be, to the detriment of honest and sincere discourse, and to the detriment of potential solutions.

“Either you’re for or against us” is a false dichotomy.

ps – It saddens me even more deeply that the presence of marijuana, a statistically harmless plant already legal in many states, in the vehicle or in the possession of the victims, will be used by so many desperate keyboard-warriors in the coming days as a justification for murder, or as evidence of the victims’ questionable character (a roundabout justification for murder). If it were your friend/partner/family-member, would you use the same argument? I usually try to remain vague and speak in generalizations to keep myself from getting too mired in the details of specific events when discussing my beliefs or philosophies, but if you (yes, YOU) happen to use this argument, or in any way include a victim’s possession of marijuana in your defense of bad cops, I have no problem telling you that you’re ignorant on the subject. Fear not, because it’s not too late to abandon the sinking ship you’re on, educate yourself, and join #TeamCoolPeople .

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