Tomi Lahren hired to speak at police training conferences

Jason Kempin, Getty Images Over the past few years there have been many tragic headlines about people killed in police custody, but if...


Tomi Lahren at the conference

Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Over the past few years there have been many tragic headlines about people killed in police custody, but if you’re Tomi Lahreneach of these cases was due to people not complying with the police and resisting arrest – and unfortunately that’s not even the worst message your taxpayers are paying for the police to hear.

In a revealing survey report for the Washington Post, Robert Klemko covered the controversial content and rhetoric present at police training conferences across the country that stand in stark contrast to public support for reforms and training in de-escalation techniques and the prevention of excessive force.

There is “little guidance or oversight on what officers should learn,” wrote Klemko, who researched the article by interviewing speakers and police training experts and by attending (in person or online) at various police training conferences across the country.

He found several speakers who “tell officers that pushback against conventional policing is a media fabrication”, who “demonize civilian protesters and reformers” and who tell police they “should maintain a ‘warrior mentality'” to face the rigors of what they describe as the most dangerous job outside military service.

The reality, as Klemko noted, is that law enforcement is the 22nd most dangerous occupation in the United States, “safer than roofing and garbage collection.”

Lahren fits perfectly into this aggressive mindset. Klemko reported on her speech at the street cop training conference in Atlantic City last October, describing her as the “most anticipated presenter.”

“If I’m wrong, please point it out,” Lahren said. “But all of these major incidents that we’ve had in this country involving law enforcement over the past five years at least could all have been avoided if people just complied with the police, followed orders and didn’t resist. to arrest.”

May your heart be blessed, Mrs. Lahren. Since you asked, yes, I’ll be more than happy to point out how you’re wrong. So very, very badly.

Murder – and it was legally murder, a jury said so – of George Floyd by a former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is arguably the most significant “major incident” in recent years where a police officer killed a suspect in his or her custody, with the international outcry and headlines the case generated.

Lahren can try to point to Floyd’s initial resistance as vindication, and in a factual sense it’s reasonable to argue that George Floyd’s name wouldn’t have become a hashtag had he immediately complied with the police when they arrested him that fateful day in Minneapolis.

But that’s not how we morally Where judge these situations legally. As Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified at Chauvin’s trialalthough there may have been “initial reasonableness in trying to get [Floyd] under control in the first few seconds,” his actions restraining Floyd “absolutely” violated department policy and “should have stopped…once there was no more resistance and clearly when Mr. Floyd was no longer reactive and even motionless”.

Whatever justification Chauvin might have had for using force at the start of the encounter, it was not a permanent general apology for all that followed. And again, Floyd did not pass away because he resisted. the testimony of pulmonologist Dr. Martin Tobin and other experts have pointed out that Floyd died of continuous low oxygen to his brain and heart, occurring after he was no longer physically resilient or even able to.

Let’s remember the larger point: do we want our police to be trained by people who tell them that if someone resists arrest, then all acts of abusive force and violence inflicted by the police afterwards are completely justified? Of course not.

How exactly was Floyd ‘resisting arrest’ when he was unconscious, when his heartbeat was getting slower and weaker with every passing moment? What else could he have done to ‘just comply with the police’ when an officer knelt on his neck during 9 minutes and 29 seconds, continuing long after a detectable pulse could be found? These questions are even ridiculous to ask and illustrate how Lahren’s comments are an absolutely false lesson to teach police officers.

Mediaite spoke to Jason PieDirector of Rule of Law Initiatives at Due Process Instituteabout paying a commentator like Lahren for police “training”.

Pye, whose father was a police officer, was scathing in his reaction to Lahren’s presence at that conference, saying “it’s beyond me” why she would even be invited.

“It’s frustrating because Tomi Lahren has a platform and people listen to him,” he continued, “and that’s the narrative I’m hearing more and more from conservative commentators.”

“Come on, this is no substitute for reasoned political thought or even basic human decency,” Pye insisted, noting how easy it was to find an overwhelming number of cases of someone who was innocent. and killed by the police, or a situation where there was a clear case of abuse of power, such as Chauvin’s conviction for killing Floyd.

Breonna Taylor has been sleepingPye pointed out, clearly exasperated by Lahren’s assertion that “all of these major incidents” were preventable by their victims. He pointed to other older cases, such as Catherine Johnson and Cory Mayeboth of which were innocent no-hit raid targets, or Philando Castilewho was shot dead during a traffic stop while trying to get his driver’s license.

There’s also the matter of Lahren’s complete lack of expertise on criminal justice and policing issues.

The 29-year-old political commentator has built a lucrative brand with her brash and fast-paced op-eds on conservative media including One American News Network, The Blaze and several Fox Nation and Fox News programs.

She majored in broadcast journalism and political science at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. All his work experience is in politics or the media. She is not and has never been a lawyer. She is not and has never been a police officer.

Lahren may have lots of loud opinions on all sorts of thingsbut there are several million loudmouths on Twitter right now arguing about Joe Rogan and M&M’s and correct portrayal in Disney movies and all these tweets don’t make them experts.

“She has no experience” on these matters, Pye pointed out, calling her “clearly a con man who wants to continue the divisions in this country, especially on this specific issue.”

She simply does not have the experience, knowledge or research to qualify to train police officers. But she obviously wasn’t there to practice. She was there to rally the crowd and tell them it was okay, guys, keep doing what you are doing.

Except that everything is most certainly not fine. The hashtagged names of deceased Americans are not fine.

As repugnant as Lahren’s rhetoric may be, she’s far from the worst person to scoop up taxpayer dollars to abet abusive and violent cops. As a criminal justice opinion columnist Radley Balko pointed out, these conferences also featured speakers including police officers who were fired for misconduct and a “killology” police trainer David Grossman.

Reached for comment by Mediaite, Balko replied that it looked like Lahren was just there for “a pep talk”, and while she was “offensive”, he found Grossman’s involvement “much more disturbing”. .

“Grossman gives more tactical training,” added Balko. “He literally tells cops they should kill more people. My tweet about him wasn’t an exaggeration – he tells cops at his seminars that after you kill someone you’ll have the best sex in your life.

Yes, it’s a real thing Grossman says in his workouts.

“He’s the guy who has trained more American police officers than anyone else,” Balko wrote in a item on Grossman’s seminars. “The guy who, more than anyone, educated the cops on the mindset they should adopt in their work.”

And he’s the guy who pockets the taxpayers’ money, so he and Lahren can cheer on the cops who kill.

This is not an easy problem to solve at the national level (even though much of the funding for police training comes from the federal government, and we should pressure Congress to refuse to fund programs that promote dangerous and excessive use of force) because local criminal justice issues in your community are primarily handled by your city and county police departments, including deciding what training programs their officers should attend.

You have the right to know how your taxpayers’ money is being spent and to object to it being spent paying people like Lahren and Grossman to encourage the worst, not the best, of corporate behavior. police.

Good cops exist; they protect our communities in a million everyday ways that never make the headlines. Proven de-escalation tactics exist. There are training programs that focus on the safety of arrested officers and suspects. But the coaches who claim the cops did nothing wrong when people get killed or worse, encourage themare not an acceptable option.

Demand better from the people who take your money to protect your community, and maybe Lahren can focus on what she does best: shouting about politics. And maybe no other names will be commemorated in the hashtags.

This is an opinion piece. The opinions expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author.



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