Civil Rights Leaders Get Big Lesson In Police Shoot/Don’t Shoot Situations

It’s very easy for people not in situations to say how the police should have handled them. It’s rather different when you yourself are put in those situations

(Fox News) It was a split-second decision.

A distressed man with a baby in tow was pacing back and forth in a manic state and shouting incoherently. The responding police officer calmly addressed the man in an attempt to calm him down and defuse the situation, but the man suddenly pulled an object from his side and lunged toward the officer. Instinctively, the officer raised his Taser and squeezed the trigger. It turned out the man was armed with a knife, but the “officer,” who was actually the firebrand African-American activist known as Quanell X, acknowledged he would have fired whether the assailant had a knife, a spoon or an empty hand.

“I didn’t even see it,” said the leader of the Houston area Black Panther Party, who was taking part in a training scenario in an attempt to understand what police officers go through during high-pressure situations. “It could have been anything in his hand, and I still would have used force to stop him.

“It all happened so fast,” he added. “You don’t know what they could have in their hand.”

Quannell X and Arizona activist the Rev. Jarrett Maupin took part in these exercises, and learned quite a bit as to what happens in situations where officers may use force, up to the use of deadly force. Quannell took the test with the police department of Houston, in situations where one may pull a gun (they used paintball guns), a taser, or hold fire. At one point, Quannell pulled his gun and fired it 6 times during a routine traffic stop scenario where the suspect reached behind his back.

“I walked away with a few things,” Quanell said “Many of these officers do not have adequate training and they should not be patrolling by themselves. Having backup would stop them from being skittish and firing their weapon.

“Also, we have to teach our community that, even if you disagree with the officer, do not try to litigate with them on the spot,” he added. “Live to see another day. Don’t let our pride get in the way. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up.”

Having backup would certainly help. Unfortunately, that is often not an option, as situations develop quickly. Officers are often skittish because they essentially deal with crime most of their day, and use of force situations so often happen in neighborhoods which are not the safest.

Muapin joined the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office for exercises, and learned quite a few things himself, and opened fire during a situation where a suspect rushed him, even after he gave them a very respectful greeting

“I encourage all civil right leaders to take this training,” he added. “I know there’s truth to the other side.”

Sheriff Joe Arpaio has a standing invitation for Al Sharpton to come down and give the training a whirl.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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