Friday, January 28, 2011

Lessons For Citizens To Learn From The Detroit Sixth Precinct Shoot-Out Video

This afternoon, Detroit Police Department (DPD) Chief Ralph Godbee released the video which detailed the one-man armed assault, conducted by Lamar D. Moore, upon the Sixth Precinct last Sunday afternoon.

On that fateful day, Moore armed with a shotgun, shot four police officers before being fatally shot and killed justifiably by retaliating police officers. The four injured officers are expected to recover from their injuries.

Godbee, who apparently has never heard the acronym 'FOIA,' stated that the video was released in the interest of transparency, to display examples of heroism within the Department, to show citizens the real dangers that police officers can potentially face while on duty, and to provide law enforcement departments around the country with a real life training aid.

As a Firearms/Personal Protection Trainer, it was not "lost on me" that Godbee failed to list another worthy and credible reason to release the video: to educate citizens locally and nationally of the dangers they face in our free and open society.

Of course, taking such a stance might lead to a discussion about what area residents can do to make themselves safer - just mere weeks after the Department's last gun buy-back which was billed as an activity to make Detroit safer.

Further, DPD was also recently proclaiming that their statistics prove that homicides and non-fatal shootings are significantly down relative from last year. In my view, DPD's statistics have perennially lacked credibility, even before ex-DPD Chief Warren Evans admitted that as much as 25% of reported calls - those which happened at shift change - were not being documented.

In Detroit, where DPD "top brass" is decidedly anti-gun, that conversation - empowering citizens - will never have any meaningful substance. Firearms, in their view, are best left to the professionals - police officers.

In fact, I recently had an informal discussion with a high ranking female, associated with DPD, who actually told me - in her personal view - that it is better for a woman to be raped than to be forced to shoot a rapist, who could die as a result. Her view is that the woman, after a time, would recover from the sexual assault.

In spite of DPD's thoughts on the lawful ownership and possession of firearms by law-abiding citizens, I have viewed the released video and want to share what non-police officers should learn from this incident.

Lesson One: A Violent Outburst of Violence Can Occur Anywhere

After viewing the released video, it is safe to assume that everyone has been put on notice that violence can occur anywhere - even in a police precinct which is heavily populated with armed police officers.

It is ironic that this event happened in a moment of time in our state at which two bills - HB 4009 and HB4010 have been officially submitted to the Michigan House for consideration. These bills, if eventually enacted into law, would abolish so-called "Pistol-Free Zones" (PFZ).

The basic premises behind these two bills is that police officers can't be everywhere and that criminals do not obey the law and will illegally carry firearms in PFZs anyway. Thus, it only makes sense to allow law-abiding citizens the opportunity to defend themselves against predators.

Lesson Two: A Predator Can't Be Persuaded With Dialogue To Stop His Attack

A predator with evil intent can't be persuaded to stop his attack. He has a goal to meet and you (i.e. the victim) are "the means" to his ends. If you are selected for victimization, the attack - whether it is a rape, robbery, or a murder - will happen unless the selected victim can make him stop.

When Moore went to the Sixth Precinct, he had bad intentions. His plan was to walk into a populated police precinct and shoot officers on duty until they fulfilled his "Death-by-Cop" agenda. Once Moore demonstrated his violent intent, there was only one to make him stop. Brave armed officers stopped Moore.

If a predator attacks you, you have the option of using self-defense to make him stop. The real issue, in such an event, is whether you are equipped and have been trained to do so.

You Will Need To Have The Defensive Mindset To Stop A Predator

If you are ever selected for victimization by a predator, you will need to possess a certain mindset to wage the battle for your personal protection. Your mindset must be one in which you acknowledge that although you did not ask for the confrontation, you will prevail by doing whatever is required.

There are no guarantees in a gunfight. For principally that reason, the usage of a firearm is a tool of last resort. In the defense of your safety or your life, you may be injured, up to and including death.

While watching the video, the actions of Cmdr. Brian Davis could be summed up in one word: Warrior.

At one point during the confrontation, he was literally inches away from a shotgun wielding Moore while armed only with a pistol. Instead of folding, he fought for his life and the safety of his fellow officers. Ultimately, he was injured but he lived and never quit. The mindset, exhibited by Cmdr. Brian Davis, is one that you need while fighting for your life.

He should be given a medal.

What Did We Learn? What Will We Do?

In the end, I hope that much will be learned from the released video. I suspect, however, that it will be used politically by the DPD. I hope that I am proven wrong. For indeed, it would be a travesty if DPD used the depraved actions of a single madman to literally and metaphorically erect barriers between it and the public it serves.

Furthermore, I hope that the general public takes note of the lessons that I shared in this post. Detroit police officers do face real dangers in the streets but I refuse to believe that they are more vulnerable to violent crime than the average citizen who reside here. Residents would be wise to assume a greater role in their personal protection during these perilous times.

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