Editor’s Note:  This article was published yesterday by our brothers over at Calibre Press. We are going to talk about the other lives that were on the scene which have potentially been lost in this horrible incident. Those are the lives of our brother cops who were sent to the scene of a man who lacked the guts to put his own gun to his own head and pull the trigger. His actions defined him as an asshole. Pure and simple.

Our comments will be in this color so readers can easily see what we have added. Please read on.

 


 

It’s a cold reality – one that many frustratingly refuse to accept – that there are some situations that simply cannot be deescalated, even in the face of impressive, potentially perilous efforts by police to reach that goal.

Case in point: An encounter about a month ago between Phoenix officers and a 30-year-old man named Jordan Crawford.

Just before 9pm one night, Crawford appeared on his ex-girlfriend’s apartment patio, prompting her to call police after explaining that he had been violent with her in the past. “He’s out there causing me a lot of problems and I don’t want to be kicked out of my apartment,” she told a 911 dispatcher.

Watch the video, then we’re going to discuss:

 

 

Responding officers didn’t initially see Crawford when they pulled up, but minutes later they spotted him walking through a parking lot. When they called his name, Crawford turned to face them, with his right hand—in which he TOLD officers he held a gun – hidden behind his back. With passing vehicles driving by in the backdrop, he began methodically back-pedaling toward the street behind him.

As you watch the footage again, take note of several clues that let a reasonable, educated person know that deescalation is very likely going to be impossible.

Jordan, show us your hands right now, brother! Show me your hands right now, brother!” one officer orders in a firm yet controlled and non-threatening tone.

Crawford refuses and responds, “Who wants to kill someone tonight?

Consider that question. Not, “Who wants to fight?” or “Why don’t you just leave me alone?” No. In his head, Crawford has gone straight to deadly force. It clearly sounds like he’s prepared to die.

What would you do now?

I don’t want him going into that street,” you hear the officer on camera say to a partner. These officers know that the safety of the people in the passing vehicles behind the suspect and those in the surrounding homes can’t be ignored. They need to stay, they need to contain and hopefully, they need to control—if possible.

While jabbing his left hand aggressively at the officers, Crawford repeats, “Who wants to kill someone tonight?” He’s not kidding and he’s not backing down.

Jordan, we don’t want to kill you, dude,” an officer responds.

This is all just a part of my dream!” Crawford yells back.

Think about that statement. Are these officers dealing with a rational person? Someone who can be influenced? Someone who can be reasoned with? Someone who can be deescalated?

As Crawford backs against a wall after crossing the street, his right hand still hidden behind his back while officers plead with him to stop resisting, he yells once again, “Who’s going to kill someone tonight? You decide! You decide!! YOU DECIDE!!!

Odds of deescalating? You decide.

As you continue watching, consider what Crawford’s body language and verbal messaging are reflecting. With legs spread, knees bent, feet firmly planted while he leans forward, does he look like someone open to being responsive to deescalation efforts? Or does he look more like a linebacker ready for battle?

As officers continue to plead with him, Crawford begins a determined, ultimately fatal countdown accentuated by a thrashing left hand and a still-hidden right hand.

FIVE!!! FOUR!!! THREE!!! TWO!!! …

You’ll hear no, “ONE!

Less than a second after his final count, Crawford’s right hand is out from behind his back and pointing directly at the officer recording the body camera footage we see.

Watch that lightning-fast action between 1:38 and 1:39 a few times.

Is it even remotely – humanly – possible to determine whether Crawford is holding a gun before officers need to decide whether to fire?

Science says no.

Logic says no.

Basic common sense says no.

Yet there are those out there who will still say yes and another, “Cops Shoot Unarmed Man” headline will surface.

Those cops who had been sent to deal with one of life’s biggest assholes. The cops knew that the next roll of the dice, i.e. bringing the end to the life of a monumental fuck-up may bring an end to their own existence: physically, mentally and emotionally. It could end their lives and take the lives of their families with it.

There will be those who see a headline like that and immediately conclude that more could have been – should have been – done to avoid it.

Every year, The Washington Post compiles statistics on officer-involved shootings and categorizes each by certain elements of the incident, including those involving “unarmed” individuals—like this one.

That’s fine, but it’s done without depth, detail or context. Unfortunately, many immediately conclude that a shooting listed in the “unarmed” category automatically equates to “unnecessary.”

Not true. As we see here.

Yes, Jordan Crawford was unarmed. That’s a fact and in The Washington Post, that will become a raw statistic in their database. But was he harmless? Was his shooting avoidable?

Think about the experiences of the cops involved in this incident. Imagine them standing there, hearts racing, trying to talk him out of behaving in a way that can only end badly, knowing that they’re going to be judged on their performance in a no-win situation.

Imagine them enduring a barrage of taunting; “Who’s going to kill someone tonight? You decide! You decide!! YOU DECIDE!!!” just one second before they DID need to decide.

You can bet the answer those officers WANTED to give when asked who was going to kill someone that night was “no one.” But that question wasn’t actually theirs to answer.

It was taken out of their hands and placed in the empty right hand of Jordan Crawford.

This article could end there. But, we won’t let it. We won’t let it because the cops who were dispatched to that fateful call won’t be able to let it go, either. For them this article will remain vividly alive for a very long time.

Every day of these cops’ lives will be riddled with pain, anguish, an uncertain future, facing the possibility of the administrators of their own agencies may turn their backs on them along with the political leaders in their communities.

The media will show the asshole’s mother telling the world about what a ‘good boy’ he was. I bet they won’t get the same endorsement from his former girlfriend as they put cameras in her face. So of course, they won’t ask her.

These cops – our brothers – will ponder their years of service. The endless hours of training in a classroom and in real-life scenarios to teach them how to handle a situation like this. But, they now realize that there is no “right” response – except the one that gets you and your brothers home at the end of their shift.

Thank God that the asshole doesn’t appear to be black, less it would be turned into a race-baiting circus.

But you can bet that this incident will be shown endlessly on TV to provide first hand evidence that we cops are nothing but a bunch of knuckle-dragging, gun-toting, blood-thirsty jerks.

There will be no mention anywhere of the poor women (with kids) that our crew threw in last December to bring Santa to the homes where he otherwise wouldn’t have shown-up.

No one would talk about the little children whose breathing you re-started as he was turning blue. There won’t be so much as mention of the Saturday you and your buddies spent cleaning up five years of over-grown trees, shrubs, bushes and grass for that poor woman over on Hazelton Street.

Do you suppose the reporter who interviewed each of the neighbors of the “wonderful kid” whom you just, “murdered I cold blood” won’t talk to the poor woman at Publix.  Remember: you were standing in line behind her at the checkout?  Her food stamp grant was short of what she needed to feed her kids for the next week – and you made up the difference – from your own pocket.

Did the media ask if you had enough cash for your own needs that week after spending so much on a poor, single mother?  Probably not.  Why would they do that?

Is anyone concerned with how you will pay your attorney’s bill when the family of said asshole sues you for wrongful death?  No, again.

 

DOING YOUR JOB

It is very unlikely that anyone will thank you for the concern you demonstrated for the asshole who only want to fuck you – real good. He took his problems and dumped them all, squarely in your lap.

In the process, he wanted to make the world believe that you were the villain by shooting an ‘unarmed’ man. In a word:  BULLSHIT !!

For me, you are my heroes.

You did exactly what you were trained to do.

You protected an innocent young lady from the would-be aggression brought-on by an asshole.

It is your kind who has repeatedly saved the world – doing God’s work.

Every one of us who wears (or has worn) a badge in defense of others understands some of what you are enduring.

As these endless days and nights unfold, remember this:

We are here for you.

Day and night.

You will never be alone.

You are our heroes. 

May God bless every one of you for so precisely carried out the instructions from the General Orders and the Life instructions in the Bible.

 

“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “

We couldn’t agree more.

 


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The folks at CalibrePress contributed to this article.

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