Another chapter from saying it as it is. These observations are based on candid conversations with law enforcement personnel I’ve trained in crisis deescalation over many years.
Today’s verdict is far-reaching. For one, there will be fewer academy recruits because logical people avoid employment where they can be convicted of murder while on the job.
A more important and longer impactful consequence is officers will be less likely to help, or even to intervene, during hostile calls and encounters. You’ll not see this in a training manual, although it is the core of law enforcement training:
Officer safety first.
This central principle many point to as the cause of excessive use of force violations. Now, this principle also applies to officers keeping themselves safe from criminal prosecution.
With the intense fault-concious scrutiny of mandatory body cams, politicized stigmatization, and threat of being convicted of felony action, many cops believe they are now the criminals and public outcry is the law enforcement.
A most current consequence is officers will second guess decisions in the field (they already have been), and this can and will lead to seriously negative outcomes for all involved. I’ve seen this far too many times with officers I train. It’s real.
The demand for police reform is shaped by decisions like Department of Justice mandates and today’s verdict. There is no doubt law enforcement culture is set for expansive reorganization. It’s advisable to consider ALL consequences of how America goes about forcing these changes.