The deaths of Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner (among many others) at the hands of policemen has resulted in dozens of protests and riots from people concerned about the use of force by police. In Phoenix, one of the most vocal protestors was Reverend Jarrett Maupin, who led marches on the Phoenix police headquarters following the shooting death of an unarmed man. To his credit, Maupin kept an open mind and agreed to take a figurative walk in a police officer's shoes by participating in a series of "use of force" drills for a local Fox affiliate. The drills put Maupin in a series of situations similar to what a real officer would undergo, such as being ambushed by an armed suspect and cornered by an unarmed suspect.
Troy Hayden, a reporter for Fox 10, also went through the drills, with near-identical outcomes as Maupin. Both men "shot" the unarmed man who was approaching in a threatening manner and not complying with orders to back away.
Video:FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com
"I didn't understand how important compliance was. But after going through this, yeah, my attitude has changed. This is all unfolding in 10, 15 seconds. People need to comply with the orders of law enforcement officers for their own sake," said Maupin.
First things first: I have a huge amount of respect for someone willing to consider other perspectives and re-evaluate their own thoughts about highly emotional issues. Secondly, this video was a fascinating visual of how fast things can escalate from a harmless situation to one that resulted in a loss of life. A police officer's job is not an easy one, and I think the public has a hard time realizing that at times.
It's also very eye-opening how both men resorted to using force in the second scenario. Both were well aware that the bullets and gun were fake, and that at the end of the day they were going to go home perfectly safe. Real police officers, unfortunately, don't have that luxury.
I hope that Maupin's message of compliance with law enforcement = not being shot by said law enforcement is spread throughout the Phoenix community and the nation as a whole. This mentality will save lives. Cops need to be taken seriously to avoid deadly consequences, and this is certainly a step in the right direction.