Des Moines Public Safety Officer 911

Is There Any Common Sense Left Out There

By Sgt. Dave Brown (Retired), Kenosha Wisc.

Is There any common sense left out there?


I have been retired from the police department for 17 years.  Longer than a lot of the people who are demanding the defunding of the police have been alive.

But even after 17 years of being away from the job as I watched the video out of Kenosha Wisconsin, the red flags and warning bells were rekindled in my brain. 

As I watched the video I saw a scene where the police had been called to deal with an out of control situation.  A great deal of police work is dedicated to just that, dealing with out of control people and out of control situations.  The people who caused them can't seem to reach an agreeable solution on their own so they call the police.  Which to me sounds like what happened there. 

So we pick up with the video which shows the police trying to get the man who ended up getting shot to comply with their orders to stop.  All the time they are doing this he continues to walk away from them and obey their orders to stop.  As he does so however, he reaches up under his baggy t-shirt toward his waist band area at least twice.  This to me would have been an immediate sign of danger.  People who carry guns or knives often carry them in the waist band of their pants or shorts.  He still refuses to comply with their orders and continues to the driver's door and opens it and leans into the car.  He doesn't try to sit on the driver's seat in anticipation of driving away, he leans into the car as though he was reaching for or trying to get rid of something.  Warning flags and bells again go off in my mind. 

 For whatever reason, training, instinct or maybe even something the officer who shot him saw, the officer opened fire and fired supposedly seven rounds.  It doesn't make any difference if it was one round or fifteen rounds.  The officer's training alerted him to a potential life threatening situation and he did what he had to do to neutralize the threat.

There is only one person to blame for what happened in Kenosa, and that is the man who was shot.  All he had to do was one simple thing, COOPERATE!  Even if he had a gun or a knife on his person, so what?  He might have gone to jail.  Going to jail is better than being shot and crippled or being dead.  But he and he alone set the tone for the outcome of this incident.

I wonder how many people who are supporting the movement to defund the police ever watch 48 Hours on the A&E network.  Their shows always start off with playing a call placed to a particular cities 911 system to report a violent crime.  Usually a shooting or stabbing.  Toward the end of the call, after conveying to the call taker what the problem is, the caller will invariably say something to the effect of "GET (not a pimp, or a crackhead, or a crack dealer, or a protester, or anarchist or even Jake from State Farm), out here".  They want the POLICE! out there.  They want people who have the intestinal fortitude and training to come out to the location of the problem, not only to handle and solve the problem, but to protect them from further violence.

People in situations like this know who to call.  To the rest of you, have a nice life.

David F. Brown

Retired D.M.P.D. Sergeant

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