The seminar was called “The Bulletproof Warrior,” and the instructors urged the law enforcement officers in the hotel conference room to make the decision to shoot if they ever feel their lives are threatened.
Videos of bloody shootouts between police and civilians emphasized a key point: Hesitation can kill you.
In the audience at the May 2014 seminar was a young St. Anthony police officer, Jeronimo Yanez, city records show. He’s now known around the world as the officer who killed Philando Castile minutes after making a traffic stop in Falcon Heights last week.
Amid intensifying demands for changes in police training in the wake of the shooting deaths of Castile and others, such “survival” courses for officers are flourishing nationally. But some in law enforcement are distancing themselves from the approach.
The Houston Police Department, for example, won’t pay for its officers to attend the Bulletproof Warrior seminar, which is put on by an Illinois for-profit company called Calibre Press.
And the leader of an international police training association said he thinks some seminars like those offered by Calibre and other firms foster a sense of paranoia among officers.
Oh, you think? As if the militarization wasn’t bad enough, there’s shit like ‘bulletproof warrior’, which is little more than an expensive exhortation to shoot! shoot! shoot!, but not white people if you can avoid it.
“Police training became very militaristic and it caused a lot of the problems that are going on in the nation,” said Michael Becar, executive director of the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training, with offices in Idaho and Washington, D.C.
Ah, there it is. Nice to see this acknowledged, but are you going to move past that?
Jim Glennon, a co-owner of Calibre who co-taught the seminar Yanez attended, said it’s wrong to link the course to the officer’s actions last week. “Everybody’s going after this kid,” Glennon said Wednesday. “Nobody should be judging what he did yet without the evidence.”
Well, you see, we have evidence. Evidence of murder. It’s right there, for everyone to see. Perhaps if you hadn’t invested so much time in making cops hyper-aggressive, this might not have happened.
The Bulletproof Warrior is one of 15 sessions offered by Calibre and its parent company, LifeLine Training. The courses are well-known and popular in law enforcement circles. Facebook photos show conference rooms and auditoriums filled with officers to hear the Bulletproof Warrior message.
Fans say it provides a valuable “wake-up call” in police safety tactics for the street: how to read the body language of someone preparing to attack, for instance. Training professionals note that Calibre was a pioneer decades ago in teaching basic police safety.
The body language of someone preparing to attack. Right. Interesting how the body language of PoC is always “oh no, gonna attack!”, while that of white people, even when firing at police, is not, so you end up with dead PoC, and white people arrested. Something is seriously fucked up with your warrior training there.
Yanez took the 20-hour seminar on May 21-22, 2014, according to a summary of Yanez’s training that the city of St. Anthony provided after a public records request. A year earlier he attended “Street Survival,” another of the company’s seminars, records show.
Yanez also took 20 hours of training in 2012 in “Officer Survival” from a different organization. In May of this year, he took two hours of training titled “de-escalation,” the only instruction in his four years with the department that appears to focus on that approach, the records show.
Over 40 hours of “training” in how to be a bigoted profiler, hyper-aggressive, and a killer. Great. And a whole 2 hours in de-escalation. Wow, I am just so impressed. I don’t want to be funding cop shops, when they are doing this sort of shit. Who in their right mind would? (I said right mind.)
William Czech was also in the Bulletproof Warrior class in the Ramada in Bloomington those two days in 2014. Czech isn’t a police officer. He’s a 47-year-old electrician from Mendota Heights with a keen interest in police training because of incidents involving a mentally ill family member.
Czech posed as a student to get into the class. He said he was horrified. He said he expected to see a presentation about understanding both how to avoid using deadly force as well as how to realize when it’s unavoidable. Czech said the course consistently emphasized the risk of hesitation.
Still, there are some in law enforcement training who question the courses.
Becar, who leads the international law enforcement training group, said his organization has no position on LifeLine Training and Calibre. But he said he has attended Calibre classes.
“Everything they were doing made the police officers very paranoid,” Becar said. “At some point they wouldn’t even stop a car without three backups.”
The Houston Police Department will not pay for officers to attend the Bulletproof Warrior seminar, said Houston police spokesman Kese Smith. Officers can go on their own time and expense, he said.
Smith said he couldn’t elaborate, saying only that “some of their instruction is not what we instruct.”
“No position.” “Can’t elaborate.” Why in the fuckety fuck not? If there are good cops, who think all this shit has gone much too far, why don’t you have a position? Why can’t you elaborate? Why in the hell aren’t you speaking out and denouncing this absolute crap? Why aren’t you doing your damn job, to protect and serve?