The BBC radio programme 'Inquiry" had an episode this week called "Why do U.S. cops keep killing unarmed black men?"
Please do not respond to that question, at least not until you have listened to the whole programe.
The reason I post it here is that at around the 14min mark a Professor called Seth Stoughton is introduced. According to his studies Police Dept training programs in the US have on average only 8 hours of conflict resoloution training, as opposed to an average of 60 hours of deadly force training and over 60 hours of slef defence training.
Prof Stoughtons point is that being a police officer is a highly stressful occupation and when people are stressed they fall back on their training. If their training is biased to react with force, deadly or otherwise, then we should not be overly surprised when they do.
The sad facts are that in 2014 police across America shot and killed 1114 people, of whom over 600 were un-armed, which is different to innocent. In the same year less than 70 police officers were killed 'feloniously' (according to FBI figures) which apparently includes deaths in car crashes during pursuit.
Surely what is true for them is true for us. More so as we do not have the luxury of calling for back up when it looks like it is going wrong. As I have heard Iain ask in the past, does our training include enough de-escalation and are we prepared for the deep pyschological trauma of inflicting violence on another human being?
That being a police officer is a difficult and dangeous job is not in question. What is in question is a training syllabus that in trying to, rightly, protect the officers puts the public in danger. My point for this forum is that this may have implications for civilian self protection training. i.e. if I had spent more time on my conflict resoution trainging rather than my roundhouse I might not have put that guy in a wheelchair.