When the Next Officer Involved Shooting Happens…

When the next officer involved shooting happens, could we all please….

1. Wait until the facts come out

*Read the initial report with a grain of salt because in most cases the news doesn’t get it right and further investigation yields a clearer picture.

2. Read the story without the “race”

*It’s amazing how much reading the race of those involved in the incident changes our view and slants our perspective. Try reading the story without it to eliminate bias.

3. Accept the fact that information in the public record does have some bearing on the case

*If the accused has a rap sheet, that is part of the equation. If the officer has prior negative reviews or numerous complaints in his file, that could reveal a pattern of behavior.

4. Realize that being angry is not an excuse for overreactions

* Two wrongs don’t make a right. Don’t lose the moral high ground by lowering yourself to the level of the person who committed the injustice.

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5. Give the families space to grieve and know that heartbreaking interviews do not trump facts.

*Leave the families of the victim and the officer involved out of it. That includes sticking cameras in their faces, posting home addresses, name calling, and cyber bullying. They didn’t ask to be thrust into the spotlight. (Golden Rule)

6. Stop scaring the children

*Adults need to deal with these issues. Kids don’t have the coping mechanisms and discernment to watch these videos. Let them be kids. Teach them to respect others and address these issues when they are older.

7. Be concerned but not consumed

*Enough said. God is in control.

8. Don’t dismiss the concerns of the affected community

*Although millions of officer interactions with the public don’t end up on the news, resist the urge to dismiss someone’s negative experience or the injustices in the system. They do exist. (Ex. Affluenza kid)

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9. Accept that justice does not equal getting the verdict or outcome that you want

10. Realize that each case and the factors involved in them are different.

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