Quanell X, leader of the Houston area New Black Panther Party, and Rev. Jarrett Maupin, an Arizona activist, recently participated in police training tests. For both the men, it provided an insight to the scenarios police must face every day.
According to FOX News, both leaders came away from the training with a newfound understanding of the pressure put on police officers. It has inspired them to create a new message for black youth who come in contact with law enforcement.
“We have to teach our community that, even if you disagree with the officer, do not try to litigate with them on the spot,” Quanell said. “Live to see another day. Don’t let our pride get in the way. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up.”
In one training scenario, Quanell calmly attempted to calm a distressed man holding a baby and pacing back and forth. The man was shouting incoherently. As Quanell tried to get the situation under control, the man suddenly pulled an object from his side. As the man lunged toward him, Quanell raised his Taser and squeezed the trigger. It turned out the man was armed with a knife, but Quanell admitted he would have fired whether the assailant had a knife, a spoon or an empty hand.
“I didn’t even see it,” he said. “It could have been anything in his hand, and I still would have used force to stop him. It all happened so fast. You don’t know what they could have in their hand.”
Quanell, who is a known for voicing his opinion and being critical of police in Texas, took the test with the police department in a suburb of Missouri City. During four tests, he had to make quick decisions, determining if he should use a (paintball) gun, a Taser or hold his fire.
“I walked away with a few things,” he said. “Many of these officers do not have adequate training and they should not be patrolling by themselves. Having backup would stop them from being skittish and firing their weapon.”
Rev. Maupin, who led a protest in Phoenix after a police-related shooting, went through a series of scenarios last month with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. He said he found the experience to be eye-opening.
In one scenario, he was surprised by his response when he was forced to open fire on a “suspect.” During another scenario, Maupin responded to a call of two fighting man. This time one man rushed him and he was forced to open fire again.
“It was tense,” Maupin said. “They had eliminated backup as an option. I tried to navigate it as best as I could.”
Maupin added stressful situations still don’t justify excessive force by police. But obeying cops is “a matter of survival,” he said.
Agreeing with Quanell, he said, “I walked away with a renewed sense of compliance in any situation. There’s no shame to it.”
FOX News reported that law enforcement officials credited both men for taking the simulations and putting themselves in the shoes of police officers.