We’re not against the police. We’re not against the police department, but we are against police who commit misconduct (and those who help cover it up).
On Tuesday I took some time out to go and visit the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Biscailuz Center Training Academy in East Los Angeles. The point of my visit was to check out their 300-degree police firearms training simulator VirTra V-300 that immerses a single deputy or multiple deputies in real-life scenarios that they might face in the field.
This was my third time doing something like this—the first two times were with my beloved Los Angeles Police Department.
Like with the first two times with the LAPD, I completely failed my LASD scenario. My partner ended up being stabbed because I choose to use a Taser instead of my gun. What can I say? I don’t like guns and I am not law enforcement material. I know that and that’s why I do what I am good at. I’d like to see some of these police officers criticizing me for failing try and do what I do.
Fox 11 organized the event and I believe they were hoping to get (Black) critics of the police department to have some eye opening life changing aha moment where we fall on the ground worshiping the ground police walk on after experiencing a few minutes in their shoes. I couldn’t fulfill that role for them—in fact I told them before I agreed to do it that I probably wasn’t the best person for this segment but alas they wanted me and so I did it. Honestly, I think they’d have been better off getting a member of Black Lives Matter to do it because I didn’t need convincing.
So a couple of things…
Jasmyne’s criticisms of the police have more to do with what happens before an officer-involved-shooting happens (Ezell Ford for example and probable cause) and afterwards in terms of the lack of transparency and public information. Oh and command staff shenanigans which there never seems to be a shortage of and hardly no one is paying any attention to.
I try to wait for as much information to come out as possible before making up my mind on if I thought a shooting was justified. Sometimes my personal opinion differs from the whole of the community sometimes it differs from my law enforcement friends and foes. I am not one of those people who believe the police should never shoot anyone because I know society is not full of angels and history has shown—sometimes we do have guns in our possession. I also don’t think just having a gun in your possession should give the police an automatic license to shoot and kill you either. Again, I try to approach each situation cautiously but the problem with many police officers today is that they hear one Black person say something and label all of us as feeling the same way.
Oftentimes people confuse my explaining the opinions of the community when it comes to police shootings as my own person feelings. As I have said before—everyone Black is not a member of Black Lives Matter just like everyone who’s white and who wears a badge isn’t a racist police officer who loves to kill Black and brown people.
I know that it just pisses some people off that they can’t put me in the box they want me to fit in but that is case and I don’t have a problem saying it to a room full of police officers or members of my community.
With all of that said, I didn’t need “convincing” of how hard of a job policing is. It’s hard being a civilian dealing with other civilians so I can imagine how difficult it is being a police officer.
I also know that policing is not for Jasmyne. I don’t like guns. I don’t like holding guns or playing with guns. It’s just not my thing. So to that end, a police officer I don’t think I could ever be because you have to have a certain mindset as it relates to guns that I just don’t have. In my lifetime I hope that I will never find myself in a position to have to take someone’s life or lose my own. Although, with the amount of people walking around with guns at the ready, there is a real possibility that I could find myself faced with having to make a decision like that. But let’s hope not.
I appreciate the time I spent with the sheriff’s this week. I still hold my opinion as it relates to the death of Mitrice Richardson and their role in it—but I do appreciate them taking the time to work with me and for Fox 11 inviting me along.
I do think that everyone who wants to, not just a chosen few, should have the opportunity to experience it. It might change the mindsets of the folks who scream the loudest when it comes to officer-involved-shootings.
Oh and ahem…
Really? GTFOH with that Jamie McBride and cohorts. Instead of trying to shame the community for daring to experience life in your shoes, you need to be saying thank you. You’re welcome.