1. Great video.
    Transparency on the part of government is, once again, seen as vital for the continued trust of the citizens.

  2. Being relational and appearing genuinely truthful are essential to social harmony. There is now unfortunately too much of a public perception that police officers do not have to tell the truth, and so they often don’t, not being held legally accountable, rendering them a form of phony politician in uniform. Lapel cams have some inherent bias. They put the events that are within view on a sort of continual stage, without showing what might be lurking in the wings, while leaving the officer at least visually out of the picture. The cams seem to provoke hamming, passive aggression where it normally might not occur. Maybe the benefits of cams outweigh disadvantages? I just hate the “Big Brother Is Watching” angle. Some places people still think that photography steals the soul.

  3. When you said “Please Listen to this , from my brother”– therein lies the problem .
    It seems that everybody wants to be heard , but nobody wants to stop and truly listen to what is presented as “facts” , before they scream about perceived injustice.
    It only takes a couple “trouble makers” to get things blown out of proportion and get the ball rolling — at that point , words from the police get drown out and the screaming for “justice” is all that can be heard.
    At that point , they don’t have a clue as to what justice is , only what THEY perceive it to be .
    At that point , facts are unimportant to them.

  4. At work, there is often discussion of the recent controversial shootings, and as the ‘resident gun guy’, I’m usually asked to explain (or justify) what did happen, or what is reported to have happened and so forth. Usually its pretty non-confrontational (“Matt, do you think that could have happened the way they say on TV?”) and occasionally I get to educate someone on reality vs TV/Movies (in regards to guns and self defense). Disparity of force is still a hot topic here, and I like to think that I have opened a few eyes at least. I have often found inspiration or a better way to present my thoughts, by reading your blog and books.

    Great video, sobering numbers, and a few good teaching tricks to add to my knowledge. Thanks, Mas.

  5. Mas, getting both sides of the story is one of the most important things you’ve taught me. I find myself constantly being the moderating voice in discussions involving subjects like this. Whether face-to-face, or on some internet message board, I’m the guy urging restraint in the rush to judgement.

    Thanks for being the voice of reason in this crazy time.

  6. A good video. Except for the comparison of simple traffic stops to officer involved shootings to arrive at that ridiculously small percentage. Unfortunately when it is an officer involved shooting the response is “no comment” or ” I can’t answer that because it is under investigation. Obviously the public is going to suspect a cover-up.

    I can remember a few years ago where a local cop is going to the station to start his shift, he stops when he sees a man with obvious mental problems in a drug store parking lot. The man is said to be waving a knife and the cop shoots him. This was an apparent suicide by cop. When asked by a reporter of the investigating officer, “how many shots were fired by the officer the answer was,”that’s under investigation.” I am left thinking that they must have ricochet’s bouncing all over the city and the police are waiting to see if any wounded people show up at the hospital. The officer handling the investigation had to have known by then how many shots were fired by the officer so why not just release it? I believe that officer has been involved in 3 shootings resulting in death and has been fired by the dept. because a psychological evaluation reported that he was no longer fit for duty. Currently he is trying to get his job back, with the help of his union.

  7. A true professional, speaking about what would realistically solve this “situation” that occurs far too often in today’s society. The answer IS courage. We simply must rely on one thing – and one thing only: facts. That is the easy part. The truly hard part is to have the courage, the humanity, indeed, the humility – to do whatever those facts tell us we MUST do. We are all so intent upon being heard that we fail to listen. Mas, thanks for yet another terrific lesson.

  8. I got a bit curious about some of the numbers cited. “Of the in excess of forty million contacts that took place between law enforcement professionals and citizens in this country, the number that resulted in shootings … would equate to point zero zero zero zero two eight six five percent.” Multiplying those together, I get 11.46 shootings if he really meant “percent” (as in divide by another factor of a hundred) or 1146 shootings if he didn’t. The former number seems too low to be true, at least if these are supposed to be per-year numbers. The latter number is not particularly comforting, wherever one puts the blame.

    I assume a “contact” is more than just a cop saying hello to someone as he walks down the street. At the same time, it sounds like it’s less than an arrest. Maybe it’s the contacts significant enough for him to write a report about?

    Anyway, kudos to him (and you) for the main message here.

  9. Brian Willis’ presentation, very good.There are people who incite riots for thrill and for profit. They are “News” reporters. Regardless what you say there is going to be a gaggle of “burn that bitch down” reporters looking for a pay raise

  10. Body cameras aren’t a panacea appear to be useful. Brian Willis’s approach appears to be right on target. We had an officer in my community who was responsible for public news releases. She did an excellent job and her reports on news were often prefaced by an introduction and followed by a “we’ll have more news at…”. Its rare that the reporters have little or nothing extra to report, but, that’s how thorough she was.

  11. Great video! I do not envy any Police Media Communications Officer. Law enforcement is at a severe disadvantage when the media can produce (and promote) emotion and innuendo, sourced from un-involved “witnesses” instead of facts. Proper investigation takes time and due diligence but unfortunately the media demands immediate answers. The “No Comment” comment placates and convinces no one. Senior officers worry that premature disclosure of what are thought to be the facts may lead to embarrassment when full investigation may find otherwise. It is so much better received to explain that the case is under investigation and is complicated.

  12. Mas, I think body cams should be mandated for all officers. It’s not just the few seconds of the violent interchange that requires them, but the minutes of police and civilian interaction leading up to the event. Those few minutes show attitude, aggression, and possible provocation on the part of either actor that by itself could explain why the event occurred. The body cam should now be required because the public has lost faith in the integrity of its law enforcement officials. Twenty years ago, an officer’s testimony in court was accepted as fact by practically everyone.

    It is also disturbing that many officers attempt to prevent others from filming their interaction. Why would they do that unless they are indeed trying to tilt the playing field in their favor for a coverup, if needed?

    What justifies Illinois in passing the recent law that makes it a felony to record a police officer? They of course want to have the ability to coverup as needed without being held accountable. I would say the politicians are not really concerned about the officers. They are concerned about the lawsuits!!! The politicians are basically sending the message to their officers that it is OK to lie and coverup in order to save yourself and us too.

    The camera will at least provide an unbiased witness to the event. The recording will still be subject to interpretation, but at least you have one witness instead of only the officers testimony. If I were a police officer I would want a body cam in order to show that I performed correctly and lawfully.

  13. Body cameras for the badged thugs? Spare me the waste of tax dollars. Those cameras will NOT film the wrongful actions of those we once called “peace officers”. While police and their lapdogs embrace the use of body cameras for themselves, they decry the use of cameras by citizens filming “law enforcement”. How righteous of those with a badge and a gun. So while today’s militarized, American cop shoots first with no questions asked, and SWATs dairy farmers, the common folk can welcome more fedgov encroachment with fedgov tax dollars buying bodycams to protect the corruption and criminal actions of the “thin blue line”.

  14. There we go with TW’s mentality of the militarized attitude of American law “enforcement” AGAINST Americans. He calls us CIVILIANS as though he himself is a soldier or Marine ! Well guess what there TW….we are NOT civilians nor are we subjects. We are your felllow citizens. Although it is becoming increasingly apparent that those with badges are not the friends of the citizenry. Those with badges have become nothing more than enforcers of .gov tyranny. You serve and protect only those who rule over us, the “civilians” or the serfs, in your mentality. Correct TW ?

  15. Yeah, transparency. Like when the assistant district attorney tells you flat out that the police gathered in the conference room are laughing and think it is funny you are being charged wrongly, and are there in court for the very reason of raising there “conviction rates” to better their resume.

  16. I must say first off I support the police. Second I strongly support filming the police as a constitutional first amendment right. Once you have a gun and the ability to kill somebody , you are subject to extra scrutiny. If we have body and dash cams , we need to protect the right of the public to film the police for everyone’s safety, including the police.

  17. Police need to have the courage to report what they think happened and not “No Comment”?

    I think this may not help for events like recent ones. While I agree that “No Comment” can be an agitator, commenting is not going to fix this problem, unless the chief’s comment is “we did wrong, there’ll be a lynching tonight of the officer, bring your rotten tomatoes.”

    Consider the Trayvon Martin case. The police *correctly* cleared Zimmerman of any wrongdoing the week after the shooting. There was no hidden agenda, no withholding of information. It did not stop the mob. Even when a prosecutor and DA ON THEIR SIDE, hurled everything against Zimmerman that they could, and could not find any wrongdoing, it did not stop them. Even when the Justice department cannot find any racism in the case, it does not stop them. When those who are out for reveng…. er.. justice, no comment will satisfy. No investigation that clears the accused will appease. Even the police chief resigning did not soothe any tempers.

    In the Eric Garner case, what possible comment could the police chief have that stopped the mob when the video of his arrest plainly shows what happened? Even with a black sergeant on the scene, and with the widow saying it has nothing to do with race, the cries of the plight of the black man and racism are hurled into the collective by the Sharptons of the world.

    The Rice video shows something extremely troubling, but I don’t think illegal. But again, no comment isn’t going to un-show the video.

    I think the Brown case would never have just resulted in the protestors admitting “Oh, ok, I guess Brown was a thug.” There is no stopping this except by removing the race hustler’s credibility. And this would take a monumental change of opinion. Many people see parallels to the civil rights protests of the 60s here. And I agree — it parallels the white protestors expressing their racist disapproval of integration. You see signs describing how white people should behave. Basically, we are only allowed to protest at the back of the bus, or be in violation of their arbitrary racism rules.

    I don’t think this is going to be solved by comments or logic. I think we need a severe culture change, and I don’t think there’s anything we can do about it, it has to come from those who are feeding off of anger from battles won long ago. We must continue to rely on truth and facts, and patience. And continue to rebut the constant claims of racism that simply don’t add up.

  18. I’ve lived a long and full life. I’ve seen more violence in my life than most. I’ve been involved in more than my share of “aw, sh_t” life threatening situations than I care to remember. I’ve been shot at, physically attacked, and survived. Yet, I have been able to keep my sense of humor, retain my faith in God and my belief in the good to be found in the majority of my fellow men. I still find it hard to hate someone, I might hate someone’s actions, but not them personally. I don’t lump people into categories to hate.

    To those who choose to vent your hatred on Mas’s blog, where others come to to discuss civilly, with maturity and a desire to further their knowledge, it must really suck to be you.

  19. Sounds like we getting very close to Robo-Cop, who records everything it sees, and hears, for later replay in court, assuming the perf. is still alive by that time?

  20. Dan, T W decried the practice of discouraging or outright banning the filming of officers by others, just as you did, and went so far as to call out Illinois in its corruption. So what if he used “civilian” instead of “citizen” while doing so? You’re both in agreement. Why attack him?

  21. Mas,
    After watching the video, I am left wondering more about body cameras. If the camera were hat or helmet mounted, it would record more of what the officer sees. Is it a technology issue that makes them to be lower on the body? Or is it psychological, in that the citizens the officer interacts with become tenser, staring at the lens of a camera?

  22. My take on this video, is that could be me one day standing before 12 explaining why I pulled the trigger, why I was in fear of death or grave bodily harm. This video needs to be seen by anyone who carries a firearm. Mas my definition of love is to Protect and Provide for the ones in my family. My wife and kids know if they are placed in harms way I will be the one that will be the Protector. And it is my duty to be able to clearly explain why I have trained, always carry, read and watch everything I can get my hands on so that when and if I am ever placed explaining to 12 my actions they would be what any other person put in that situation would have done themselves. The courage to carry a firearm and use it to Protect is becoming a lot easier now than to be sure you are around after that to Provide for your love ones.
    Thanks Mas for more knowledge, but it is left up to us to make it wisdom.

  23. Great video! The only thing that bothered me was his use of the term ‘personal weapons’ when discussing ‘unarmed’ persons. Presumably, by ‘personal weapons’, he meant hands and feet. That is still confusing and open to misinterpretation.

    Thanks again for the video, though. I will post this to Facebook for both my LEO friends and those upset by recent events.

  24. Aces, the headcam mount makes a lot of sense in terms of near-ideal point of view. Unfortunately, helmets are reserved for special assignments; many patrol officers and most detectives work hatless; and headwear can be knocked off in the course of a fight or other strenuous activity.

  25. Dennis – I typed, re-typed, and deleted so many responses to “DAN III” that I lost count. Thanks, once again, for being the mature voice and still getting the proper meaning in print. Your words clearly show you were “raised right” and have indeed, had a full life.

  26. Mark me down as one calling for required body cams, and car cams. No off switch.

    I know we need laws to protect what is released, first. An officer informing someone their loved one has died is not something to release on a Freedom of Information Request. Nor would the video segment of a cop using the rest room.

    I believe that most of the recorded interactions – even 99%, even 99.99%, would show that the LEO was acting professionally.

    There are other things officers can do to help their reputation.
    Such as not putting up with the bad apples. The union protects its members, it needs to protect them from themselves, too. Retraining, Assignment to a better billet for that officer.

  27. Mas, more recent helmet designs are quite secure in both mounting to the user and mounting a camera to the helmet. Team Wendy, Ops-Core, and Crye Precision all have excellent designs for one or both types of helmets.

    They are expensive, though…around $350 MSRP for a vented bump (non-ballistic) helmet and $900-1000 MSRP for a level IIIA ballistic helmet, including the Picatinny rail mounting hardware for each.

    Also, despite the substantial safety and utility such helmets provide, they would surely increase the cries of militarization of police.