Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin challenges the attorneys general of all 50 states to review the training of police officers in light of the recent shooting deaths of several African American suspects.
“As an American, a black male in this country, I’m suggesting, calling — I’m demanding that all 50 state attorney generals call for a review of their policies and training policies for police and law enforcement to eliminate militaristic cultures while putting a higher emphasis on de-escalation tactics and crisis management measures,” Baldwin said. “The situation that’s upon us right now and that’s going on in our country is devastating. But now it has to reach a point of intolerable. We cannot tolerate this. Lives are being lost.”
But what about suspects cooperating with the police and not escalating matters by being combative? Wouldn’t that help cut down on police shootings? Breitbart Sports asked Baldwin, after Sunday’s Seahawks-Jets game, if any of the blame for police shootings lies with non-cooperative suspects who endanger police.
“That is a non sequitur,” Baldwin responded. “You are not even following the premise when you ask that question. The reason why that is not even a conversation is law enforcement are given consent. You can Google it. Basically what it says is that they are agents of our government. We give them authority to govern us. So, if an agent of the government is not following the laws and policies or is not well-trained or not getting sufficient training to handle citizens who are not professionally obligated to protect communities, are not professionally obligated to protect communities like law enforcement are, that is where the issue lies.
“Yes, we can talk about crime in general, but it’s not my neighbor’s job to protect me. It’s law enforcement’s job to protect me, so I want to provide them with the best resources, best tools, best training, so they can go out there themselves in a better manner, protect the communities they serve and ultimately protect their reputation.”
But what about life-threatening situations in which a cop making the wrong split-second decision with an armed suspect could lose his life?
“It’s a very difficult job; I’m not taking away from that,” Baldwin said. “It’s a very difficult and dangerous job, but that’s what they signed up for. When you sign up to be a police officer you are consenting to be in those situations. You might not always be in that situation. You might not ever be in that situation, but you are consenting, you know it comes with an inherent risk, so when you are in those situations, you have to lean on your training, lean on your understanding to get yourself through those situations, so you can come home in a safe manner.
“Now, I’m not saying it’s easy to do that, but what I’m saying, what I’m more concerned about is providing better training, better resources, better tools for our law enforcement, so they can make those split-second decisions and make them in a manner where not only is the criminal or the person they have the encounter with can go home safely, but also themselves can go home safely.”