I confess that in the last few days I have had a burning anger in my heart over what happened. I am long gone from the profession but I still teach those guys and what I am going to write here is going to be controversial as hell. Some will say "its too soon". Look...I have my people out in harm's way tonight...it is never too soon and we discuss this not to castigate a man, but to point out what happened...and most important...why I think it happened.
Watch the video, then watch it again and again.
I read a confidential debrief on the Terrorist Micah Johnson. And yes, that is what these BLM-motivated killers are. A criminal is a robber, or a rapist. Guys like this along with Mateen and Farooq and their like are Terrorists. In any case, while he did some marksmanship work none of his shots were anything remarkable. It is being speculated by "officials" that what Johnson had spent most of his time on was MilSim.
MilSim is a martial version of Paintball. In essence...force on force work.
Say what you will about Johnson, but he prevailed against one of the largest US agencies when they were at their most strongest. We need to learn the lessons of this event...and this particular exchange.
You can see he has movement, he has aggression, and he has taken the initiative in the fight quite decisively. He is being as proactive as it gets, pressing the attack and seeking dominance. The unfortunate officer is being the opposite. Largely due to his past training and institutional attitude, he is being protective, defensive, and is seeking to control things. At least that is how it appears. Again, nothing herein is to denigrate the officer so don't even go there. But if don't write this, neither will anyone else and the same thing will be repeated by another BLM Terrorist on another officer...maybe tomorrow.
When I read a semi-official debriefing, I replied to my contact is the issue of the LE "defensive, hunker down mindset" versus a "find, fix, and kill the adversary" mind set. I have seen it firsthand, and recently when training officers in the institutional environment. The motivation is fear. Fear of administrative repercussions for being too aggressive, fear of public opinion, fear or the courts, fear of everything except following the policy to the letter. Those policies, sadly enough, are written to be so vague that they are open to interpretation and that interpretation will be based on how popular the officer is and how unpopular his shooting was...for the most part. The fear-based mind set is planted in the academy, cultivated during one's early street training and comes to fruition on days like this. The terrorist had a go hunt them mind, whereas the officer had the opposite.
We can debate the hugging cover and diminished of situational awareness, but that is only a symptom of a greater problem.
First, must be the eradication of the fear-based mind set. Police work is a job. Being fired from the job is better than being dead because of it.
Second, a change in the combat vs. control attitude. Steinbeck said, "The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense."
The police are there to enforce the law. Period. They are not there to raise your kids, fix your social problems, or fix what government policies have screwed up. That doesn't mean they are going to be rude to everyone or heavy handed, but the notion of the Officer/Social worker is a ridiculous one and it has gotten people killed.
I think modern American LE has, institutionally, gotten so far away from fighting that the notion that you are in a gunfight, is hard to grasp for most. There is an excessive focus on being Officer Nice Guy almost to the exclusion of everything else, and the notion that the guys will "rise up to the occasion" is not what will happen.
I think the individual officer needs to understand this, and they need to be able to switch gears from contain and control, to press the fight and kill the bad guy. This is a change in gears that the guys that killed him had no problem doing. The "switch" needs to be closer at hand and exercised regularly in training and in mental rehearsal.
One can speculate how this may have gone if the officer attacked Johnson with all 17 rounds in his pistol, aimed at the face as he ran toward him...but it certainly would not have been worse than what the traditional training brought to pass.
I for one am tired of seeing these terrorists get the better of the good guy nice guys. I want to see the bad guys get killed with aggression and skill right when they kick something like this off. And I will keep writing in the hope that the next guy in those boots will have read this, and elect to attack and kill the armed terrorist bad guy, rather than seek to control the situation.