So there have been a lot of talks involving the shooting in Texas. I have seen people lashing out on both sides of the same argument. Everyone is angry and wants answers. What is alarming is the number of law enforcement I see so quick to judge with limited facts being presented. I suppose I have fallen into that same trap of a discussion. The only people that know what happened are the people that were present. Most of us drawing conclusions about the event have not been there.
We are basing our opinions on information passed onto us from multiple sources. Most of these sources are secondary at best. The primary sources are still tight-lipped since its part of an ongoing investigation. Why is this an alien concept to law enforcement officers? We know better. We simply do not know enough to make the rash judgments that I see being made.
I am not suggesting that we do not dig and consider lessons learned. If mistakes were made then those involved need to be tarred and feathered. But, until we know for a fact what happened we are just yelling into a void. We are cops. We are supposed to be unbiased third parties that draw conclusions based on the totality of the circumstances. We then use the findings we have gathered to decide if we need to make a law enforcement actio; a citation, an arrest, a warning, or we let folks go on about their day.
We don’t jump to conclusions based on what we THINK or “KNOW.” It is based entirely on what we can prove. That is what the law is all about. Even when we decide a legal action needs to be taken, the courts decide if people were at fault. We have a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Why is that not being extended right now?
We are so quick to knee jerk and let emotions take over. The problem is we are professionals that are trained and expected NOT to make knee-jerk-based calls based on emotions. Instead, it is expected of us to use the facts and circumstances surrounding a situation and make a decision based on our training and experience.
So take a breath. Look at the situation for what it is and consider that it is still too early to know precisely what happened. Save your judgments for after you have the facts in front of you. Let the dust settle a bit, and let the people involved report what they remember. This was a traumatic event for everyone involved. They are still unpacking mentally what happened. Be patient and give it some time for the truth to come out.
This is not 1866, so save the lynch mob mentality for the movies.