This morning I spoke with an deputy employed by the LA Sheriff’s department who was black and, from what I gathered, a good father. I was having my car detailed in a parking lot when he slowly approached to inquire about the car detailing business. Later on the guy detailing my car, Key, told me that he makes sure his sons work hard. From talking to the deputy, he sounded like someone who himself works hard and takes his job seriously.
I couldn’t help but ask him what he thinks is the cause of police brutality and the conflicts cops get into. He said it depends on how seriously a cop takes the job and their training. He firstly began by saying you have to remember everyone is human, which I was glad to hear. He then went on to say that when they get into a certain situation, they have to remember what they were trained to do. They have to recall the tactics for de-escalating a situation that they were taught. If they didn’t take the training seriously, or don’t take the job seriously, then any number of things can go wrong.
Much of what he said reminded me of what I’ve learned about teaching. If a teacher only wants to get paid, or doesn’t truly care about their students, then the minute something goes wrong they may either quit or overreact and mishandle the situation. The same thing can be said for many situations. But the chief point is that at the center of any conflict, there are people who have decisions they have to make. Much more can be said, but nothing will be understood unless that much is comprehended.