...On the Michael Brown Shooting and Ferguson Riots

  • I don’t care what color you are but it takes a certain kind of dumb to walk up to a cop in a threatening manner, (and we ALL know what a 'threatening manner' is,) and believe that that cop is going to back down.

    My kid, a black belt in karate, being trained by other black belts in various other martial arts is taught, “When you know a confrontation is going to happen, walk forward WITH YOUR HANDS UP. This allows you to get close enough to take your opponent down.”

    The ‘hands up in surrender’ is a pacifying movement that 'clicks' into the 'reflex' part of our brain, ("Everything is Oooookkkkaaaaay...") but the walking forward part is the threat most people don't notice until too late... Boom! Close enough for a takedown choke hold! These are the placating behaviors that many bullies, bad guys and criminals use and that bystanders see and then scream police brutality because, “Omg!!! That cop just shot that sweet, unsuspecting man who was giving up, hands in the air, surrendering!” A cop can’t take the chance that that devious suspect isn’t just sneaking close to take him down. Whoever is ‘forward walking’ has the upper hand. And this doesn’t even take into consideration that bad guys many times have guns that shoot ‘forward’ even as, like a coward, they are running backwards. A cop is always forward thinking. He may need to take cover, which may be behind him, but he is never just going to run away. It is not within his nature. Cops are not chosen with submissive characters. It doesn't mean they have to be aggressive and mean. Just not submissive. But bad guys, even after their initial bravado or even if they have a gun and are projecting ahead with it, are still always having to think, “How am I getting out of here,” which is a runaway, submissive behavior. It's that initial bad guy bravado that can still kill many a cop if he allows sentiment to get in the way.

    If you study animal behavior, horses, dogs, cats, primates, etc., ANY social interaction between individuals is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS precipitated by either pacifying (You are dominant, I am submissive), threatening (I am dominant, you are submissive) or 'already known social hierarchy so no need to bother’ behaviors. Conflict occurs when two equally dominant individuals vie for the same resources.

    A mother demands respect from her offspring. If she doesn't get it, she punishes said offspring. But that same mother may defer to a more dominant individual of a herd or pack ... or household. When a person walks into a room, and that person ignores everyone else in the room, and everyone else thinks, "What a stuck up snob," it's because the other individuals have already put themselves below that individual (insecurity)because that individual didn't even bother to 'notice' them or use any 'pacifying' behaviors toward the dominants. Now, those individuals who were looking for behavioral clues from the 'stuck up snob' could either 'accept' their social standing with the new person, (maybe wait for a few more social interactions to see if their first supposition was correct) or go up to the 'stuck up snob' and find out. And they could find out with pacifying behaviors, "Hi, how ya doing?" with a welcoming handshake, or go up to the individual with aggressive behaviors, "What are you doing here?" and crowd them, walking into their space, with their chests high, and arms back, like a puffy rooster.

    The intent of 'walking forward with hands up in surrender' is a mix of two opposing behaviors and gives a very different 'feel' than walking backwards with hands up. One is still threatening, the other really is submissive and ‘gives ground’ to the dominant.

    Now, the problem is, should a cop allow an individual, who has shown defiant aggression, to just ‘run away’? Walking down the middle of the street, like Michael Brown and his cohort were doing, shows defiance of authority. Maybe not ‘aggressive’ defiance, but defiance, nonetheless. So, the cop pulls up and tells the two ‘sweet little angels’ to get out of the middle of the road and onto the sidewalk. The lambypie boys, one with skull tattoos across his throat sporting dreadlocks and the other at a hulking six feet tall vantage point tell the cop, they will,… in a minute. Really? Really? The cop pulls away, then comes back and there’s a tussle through the window, yaddaa yaddaa yaddaa, tussle tussle, run away, shots are fired, runs back…more shots fired… man down, riots in the streets.

    So, why were these two 'really down to earth, church going sweethearts' walking down the middle of the road? Were they checking the weather? The condition of the road? Looking for small animals to save from being run over? (The latter would be the ONLY reason me, myself, would be walking stoopidly down the middle of the road, because that’s where cars go. Not small animals or people… Duh!) No, Michael Brown and his friend weren’t saving small animals. They’d just boosted some smokes from a convenience store a short distance away and were feeling quite cocky of themselves, rooster pun intended, and were ‘showing off’ by walking down the middle of the street like a couple of obnoxious punks. Defiance of authority. They got away with something illegal and felt awesome. Our six foot ‘gentle giant’ suspect grabbed and shoved what looked like a five foot tall midget shopkeeper out of his way for trying to keep him from getting out the door with his contraband and then made a threatening move towards him like he was going to hit the poor guy, which, considering the size difference may have killed him. I wonder if maybe our poor shopkeeper should've 'taken one for the team' and gotten smacked, punched, knifed, or shot, and THEN maybe there wouldn't have been all those riots afterwards? Would it then have been a justifiable killing instead of the bad implementation of citizen protests and governmental power flexions? My irritation abounds...

    If you were that five foot tall shopkeeper, would you be fearing for your life? I know I’d be. I’d raise my hands and give ground to the criminal who just made his intent clear, my bodily harm. Because we don't hear the verbal abuse I'm sure the 'poor misunderstood suspect' is spouting, we only get half the emotional state the actual poor shopkeeper was put through. I doubt Michael Brown was asking politely, "May I please have these cigars? For free? Thank you very much." As the shopkeeper should, he 'gave ground' and then called the cops to take care of the problem. It’s what cops are paid to do out of the taxes we pay. That shopkeeper shouldn't have to chase down the criminals taking his stuff. That’s the cop’s job.

    Unfortunately, we put cops in an untenable position. Get the bad guys, but if they threaten you, don’t hurt them. Don’t let them run away because they may cause more mischief, mayhem and death, for which you, the cop, will be blamed. But don’t hurt them. Be able to read a volatile situation with perfect clarity, know what the suspects are planning on doing before they do it, and do all this with no one ever getting hurt. Even if the suspects have no problem hurting you … don’t hurt them. Ever.

    A cop can ONLY get this job done with the complete and utter compliance, and physical SUBMISSION of the suspect. Last I checked, criminals are rarely easily submissive. And not very good listeners, either. I can absolutely guarantee that if Michael Brown and his friend had not been out walking the middle of that street, all puffy chested with fluffy feathers, cock-a-doodle-doodling about their score, then that particular cop would not have had to tell them to get out of the street. And even if the cop had told them to get out the street, and they had responded, “Yes, sir. Right away, sir,” then this whole fiasco would not have gone down the way it did. But that wasn’t the type of people Michael Brown and his friend were, no matter how his mother and friends and neighbors say what kind, sweet boys they were. They were arrogant bullies who didn’t want to get caught with their stolen merchandise or arrested for threatening the store owner.

    Bad listening and not good rule following all around! LOL

    So, when a cop says, "Put your hands up! Stay where you are!" they are telling you EXACTLY the submissive behaviors they want to see. They even give you FURTHER instructions to look even MORE submissive by saying, “Get down on your knees! Get down on the ground!” How much more non-threatening is laying flat on the ground 6” tall instead of 6’? If you're the idiot that keeps walking towards the cops after that, you’re, “Too stoopid to live!” and deserve to get shot.