What do you call a journalist who learns from his mistakes?
The media once again have absolutely no clue what’s going on, and are basically relying on what they’re reading on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to regurgitate a mass of mistaken opinions as actual reporting. So let the Czar explain to you media types what’s actually going on in the world, as you seem incapable of remembering this from month to month. Jeez, it’s like reporters can’t even go to lunch without needing to be retrained.
Here are the facts:
- Police officers are trained to take a resisting suspect to the ground and secure him right away. Sometimes, suspects grab officers’ weapons during the scuffle and use it against them, themselves, or others if the officers don’t prevent them. Because a police officer needs to use at least one hand to reach for handcuffs, cops need a way to hold a resisting suspect against the pavement while holding him with only one hand while the other one goes for the cuffs.
- One effective way to do this is to kneel on the suspect’s neck. This puts your body weight on his cervical vertebrae. A suspect has a very hard time turning his neck, using his shoulders, and turning his hips when your do this. This holds him for a few seconds while you grab your cuffs and snap them around the wrist your other hand is holding. With one of the suspect’s hand’s secured, you can let of that one, grab the other one, and force his wrist into the other cuff. With both of his wrists cuffed tightly, you lift off his neck and pull him upward by the cuffs. This is fairly painful, and forces him into a kneeling position. You can then move behind him, keeping your weapons away from him, and then force him into your police vehicle if it’s nearby. Once he’s in, you’re fairly safe. If your vehicle is not nearby, you can hold him in a kneeling position until help arrives.
- If the suspect is writing on the ground while you are applying the cuffs, your knee can squeeze against his carotid artery. If he relaxes, the pressure stops. The more he struggles, the worse the pressure gets. If he is particularly violent, the officer can quite possibly press his tibia or kneecap into the suspect’s carotid artery hard enough to starve the suspect’s brain of glucose. The loss of sugar to the brain causes extreme dizziness and can even cause the suspect to pass out. This can happen within 3-to-5 seconds. A pass-out suspect is quite easy to cuff, and you can get him into a vehicle very easily and quickly and safely. Once pressure is off the carotid artery, normal blood flow resumes instantly and the suspect regains consciousness in 5-to-15 seconds with nothing more than a pounding headache and perhaps a stiff neck.
- There is no reason to continue to kneel on the carotid if the suspect passes out. The suspect is effectively unconscious. Continuation of the technique is not only unnecessary but undesirable for two reasons:
- The officer, for his own safety, needs to break contact with any suspect as quickly as possible. The longer you stay in contact, the greater the risk of serious injury to the officer.
- Continuing to deny the brain its supply of glucose causes brain functions to shut down in a fairly predictable sequence. After 30 seconds, the suspect can suffer memory loss (potentially permanent) and petechiae in the eyes. After 60 seconds, it is possible for the lungs and heart to stop, requiring immediate CPR to prevent death.
- Cops train on these “speed cuffing” techniques in classes called “defensive tactics,” or DT. This training generally happens with skilled instructors, monitoring the takedowns and controlling techniques, as well as how to quickly get the cuffs on a training partner. Instructors make sure you’re doing it right. Sometimes, only two cops train in DT while others watch, and sometimes (if there are enough instructors), four, six, or eight cops can practice these techniques at once while instructors point out mistakes or provide recommendations for improvement.
- Sometimes, and even quite often, older cops find this a waste of their time. As the classes are going on, they mill about the mats, chatting and making insults to the participants. Sometimes they don’t pay any attention and look at the clock, hoping the mandatory training program ends so they can get on with whatever they have to do. Because many departments participate in large classes, instructors can’t really fail or reprimand cops for doing this. “Hey, it’s on them if they don’t want to participate.” There are a lot of uniformed offices who blow off training, both on DT as well as on weapons training, just as you sometimes goof off in your company seminars because they’re a waste of time to you.
- George Floyd was unarmed, but was physically large, powerful, and quite drunk when police arrived to arrest him for trying to buy cigarettes with counterfeit money. He was resisting offices. The media can please stop with the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” bullshit, as they get this wrong every single time. George Floyd was a serious safety risk, based on his size and his behavior. The “gentle giant” claim is without any credible source; Floyd was large, and as a professional bouncer (which officers probably did not know at the time), he could have posed a serious physical threat in his condition.
- Responding officers correctly treated Floyd as an imposing subject of considerable risk. They cuffed him without incident. He continued to comply with the officers until he arrived at their patrol car; at this point, he intentionally fell to the ground in order to resist insertion.
- At this point, a third officer—Derek Chauvin—knelt on Floyd’s neck.
- Handcuffs were already applied correctly. Chauvin and the other officers had numerous techniques at their disposal (such as described above) to leverage Floyd into a kneeling position and then propel him toward the patrol car. There was no reason for Chauvin to select a cervical control technique of that nature; there was simply no reason to hold Floyd on the ground when the goal was to get him into the car.
- Floyd made it clear to Chauvin that the officer was pressing on Floyd’s carotid.
- Instead of releasing Floyd after a few seconds of carotid pressure, Chauvin continued to kneel on Floyd’s neck for several minutes, in violating of any known training principle.
- Chauvin appears to not have understood how to apply the technique, did not have any reason to do so, and seems to have not considered any more appropriate technique despite the victim making the danger obvious. Chauvin appears to have had no proper training or may be one of the many officers who thought proper training in physical restraint in DT was a waste of his time.
- Officers in the video are standing next to the seemingly baffled Chauvin, and offer no suggestions to him, render no assistance, and make no attempt to remove Chauvin from Floyd’s neck to complete the vehicular insertion process. The Czar presumes they, too, were not properly trained in DT.
- Protestors gathered shortly thereafter, composed largely of Floyd’s family and friends and community acquaintances who independently seem to agree with the Czar’s opinion that the officers were negligent in the safety of a suspect in their immediate custody, to say the least, or were so overstepping their authority that qualifies as malice. Protesters in other cities joined them, as evidenced by their decision to hold up signs, engage in chants, and march in numbers designed to call official attention to what happened.
- The protests worked, as officials in the Department, the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, and the State of Minnesota responded swiftly with a series of investigations resulting in criminal charges against the officers. This won’t stop there; likely, the rest of the Department is going to undergo a severe review of training accreditation and mandatory retraining in DT for all officers as will be treated as a joke by other Departments across the country. This will be of little comfort to the Floyd family, of course, but Chauvin and the other officers will have ruined the Department’s reputation for professionalism for decades. Cops don’t let go of stuff like this, and the Minneapolis Police Department are probably gritting their teeth over how incompetent these guys were.
- Rioters showed up from all over the country, and even likely from outside the US. The Czar has written in great detail about professional rioters and what you should know about them many times before. Rioters burn buildings, smash storefronts, flip cars, and promote socialist and communist symbols, all controlled by individuals far from the scene. The media has even noted that the rioters, whom they call protesters, all seem to be white and therefore “supremacists.” They’re not right-wingers, folks, they’re anarcho-leftist as evidenced by their symbolism. Here are some thing the media should know about the rioters:
- They’re probably not from Minnesota
- They may not even have any idea who George Floyd was
- They wouldn’t give a shit if they do know
- Looters often arrive at the same time. These are typically local assholes who show up, steal electronics and booze, and go home. They’re not down-to-earth neighborly folks who want to make their mark on a historical event. The typical looter isn’t Auntie Jennie from Norfolk Avenue; it’s Eddie, and Vuzz, and Crashmo, who are 20-to-30 years old, shoplift, do drugs, and basically hang out on front porches getting in fights with decent people over partying late. They’re not nice guys. They know they are breaking the law, and know that local law enforcement is so sick of their crap they don’t even bother to talk to these guys unless they absolutely have to. And guess what: they don’t know George Floyd any more than you reporters do. They’re just there to steal shit.
- So in review:
- Protesters are generally concerned, active, and loud but totally law-abiding and want acknowledgment: GOOD.
- Rioters are Very Bad Guys who take advantage of the protesters to trigger dangerous violence and have nothing whatsoever to do with the original cause. NOT GOOD.
- Looters are criminals of opportunity who need to be arrested and prosecuted for felony theft. NOT GOOD.
So here’s are some other salient things for the media to get right:
- This is not Ferguson or Compton. This is Seattle, Copenhagen, and Vancouver. Research.
- George Floyd was not Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown, and his death warrants serious investigation, not sensationalized editorials about systemic injustice.
- George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, and Michael Brown were criminals engaging in illegal behavior. They were not innocent churchgoers helping senior citizens across the street. Be honest in your reporting: Americans like complex stories, not over-simplified ones.
- You can and should report on the protests around the country to see what the protesters are saying, what the communities think, and what law enforcement believes about what happened.
- The media can assist the protesters by reporting on the Minneapolis Police Department investigation and response.
- The media can assist the Police by reporting on who Floyd was, what he was doing, and why the police can see him as a threat.
- The media can shut down the rioters by explaining who they actually are, investigating who is paying their expenses, and on the cost to the community as a result of their violence.
- The media can stop the looting by recording names and faces for later criminal prosecution, as well as warning the community that looters can be arrested or even killed.
- The media has no responsibility to see justice play out, only a responsibility to see the truth come out.
- You’re doing badly on interpreting justice when you don’t seem to know the difference between protests, riots, and looting.
- You’re doing badly on finding the truth when you’re not going any investigating, only on-the-scene reporting with facts culled from Twitter.
- The Minneapolis Police is worthy of investigation for potential gross incompetence and negligence, not institutionalized racism.
- The only institution promoting racism in this story is technically the news media.
Another thought for the media: the arrival of COVID-19 finally stopped the Trump economic dreadnought, given Biden the smallest chance of a political recovery. The way you’re handling the covering of the George Floyd case is showing American voters that the outrageous responses by Democrat politicians, promoted on your media, is a promise of more to come…meaning that you’re making Trump’s reelection chances pop up all around non-urban and suburban America. Don’t doubt there are millions of people relishing this possibility.