Thinking About Philando Castile

“As a nation, we should be working to prevent these deaths from happening. Both the recent Task Force on 21st Century Policing and the Police Executive Research Forum (of which I have been a longtime member) have recommended steps toward this end. Communities need to implement these recommendations now.”


I wrote a piece this week in The Progressive about how things could have turned out differently when St. Anthony (MN) Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez stopped Philando Castile for driving with a broken taillight.


  1. Preservation of life is definitely key. It takes not only well-trained officers but also courage. It’s all good to speak about mindfulness and empathy but it doesn’t mean anything when someone is gripped by fear and that fear doesn’t allow them to access their tools and suppresses their emotional intelligence. I would like to see more police candidates realizing that they are joining a profession which not only requires critical thinking and problem solving but also requires that you do so while remaining cool under bureaucratic pressure.


    1. That’s why I am such a strong advocate of traditional asian martial arts training because it puts you into combative situations in which you must control your emotions! That can also be done with frequent hands-on grappling training in the police gym.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Emotional intelligence is big now, very big. It’s the currency of the future for businesses and without it, cops will only get into trouble. I agree sir, martial arts is an excellent way to master emotions. It’s fine and dandy to preach it, but its a whole different ball game when someone is trying to harm you.


      2. Sounds like a good argument for training that is on-going and hands-on. Just as many depth. use theatrical enactments to get reality into managing conflict (even though it’s not “real”) it improves officers’ performance in this area — so with some mat work! And I say this as having taught police defensive tactics for a good part of my early career.


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