EPISODE 15

RECONCILING LETHAL FORCE

You Can’t Handle The Truth! Going to court and public trust

episode 66 YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!What Police Officers Need To Know About Going to Court, and How Police and Prosecutors Can Restore Public TrustChief Criminal Deputy County Attorney Jonathan Mosher (Pima County, Arizona) and Homicide Detective Josh Cheek share...

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Fitness For Folks Who Don’t Fitness Good

This episode isn’t for hardcore fitness gurus, it’s for the people who realize they need to get up off the couch, watch what they eat, and take those first steps toward getting in shape. We wanted to address fitness from the beginning for those folks who don’t fitness good. These are the basic things you need to understand about losing weight and getting in shape. It starts with getting over the mental hurdles you put in your own way, and then setting manageable goals and expectations. Down the road, we’ll follow this up with more serious fitness talks but if you need a place to get started, start here.

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“9-1-1, What’s your emergency?” Calling for Help: Dos and Don’ts

Mike explains how the 911 systems work in a way that is helpful to both first responders and those who need help. There are a lot of ways we lose information in the call taking process so make sure your emergency call renders the response you need. We also talk about when to call and ways to communicate covertly with a dispatcher.

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A police officer on the east coast was fired for failing to shoot a suicidal person with a gun. We talk about applying critical thinking to discussions like this, because it’s important that we consider the arguments of both sides to such a debate. We’re going to talk about context in use of force, how lawsuits and litigation fit in to these sorts of discussions, and reconciling the fact that sometimes cops have to kill otherwise good people.

Original news incident that we cover

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Intro music credit: Bensound.com

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Additional episode details

Mike and Jim are going to give an overview of an incident involving Officer Stephen Mader of the Weirton West Virginia Police Department. Ofc. Mader is a Marine veteran who was involved in a confrontation with a suicidal person with a gun. Mader opted to not shoot the suicidal man and other officers on scene, seeing a gun in his hand, shot and killed the man. Mader was fired for his decision to not use force against a guy who other officers considered to be an obvious lethal threat. Mader fired a lawsuit against the City for wrongful termination and claimed that they smeared his name to help justify the decision of the other officers.

Mader claimed that his USMC training taught him that a person had to illustrate hostile intent to use force, and felt that this person was not likely to use force against him. We are going to talk about how difficult it can be to assume whether or not someone is going to attack us. Mader won a settlement from the city and we are going to talk about how settlements can often be “won” without actually having a legal claim—simply because it makes more business and financial sense to avoid the legal battle. 

Mike and Jim talk about having clueful friends who are willing to disagree with you, and how important it is to keep people like that in your circle to keep you honest and challenge your way of thinking. We are also going to talk about the use of force decision, related to whether or not we should shoot someone we don’t think is going to harm us. 

One of the things that comes up in this talk was a conversation that Mike had with our friend. It has to do with the fact that sometimes, cops have to kill people. Mike and Jim are going to cover the useful part of Sheeps, Wolves, and Sheepdogs—because this analogy was a useful teaching tool at one point that has kind of evolved into a caricature of police officers and members of the armed forces. We have to make sure we keep that concept in context, and remember that what it really boils down to is helping people like us reconcile the use of deadly force. Sometimes, the people on the other end of police encounters aren’t necessarily bad people, but they make decisions that force us into a corner where we have no choice but to make those difficult decisions.