Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Let's look at this situation . . .

Let’s look at this situation. Obviously there are more relevant facts to be released before these questions can be fully answered by anyone. And we can be sure that when all of the facts come out we may need to change the questions we are asking but we should be thinking about these questions and when they are answered we should take action if necessary.

1. Was excessive force used?

2. Is it possible to create a peaceful resolution using war tactics?
Were the non-lethal methods used humane? Torture doesn't kill you, at least for awhile. What is the expected outcome when you harass, tease and torture an already distraught man?

3. Who is it acceptable to wage war on? A suicidal man? A criminal? Someone with allegations against them? Someone with hostages?

4. Is the training our officers receive appropriate? Do they get frustrated if they have a lot of training and don’t get to use it in the field?

5. What if the officers had just waited him out? I am not talking about just not shooting him, I am talking about from early in the morning. What if they had not tear gassed, pepper balled, flash grenaded, tazered him and just waited. Eventually he would have had to eat, drink or sleep. He wasn't going anywhere - at least he couldn't drive anywhere, he was blocked in.

6. Was the protocol followed in this situation? Is the protocol appropriate? If it is not how do we go about getting that changed?

7. Do the current protocols encourage or discourage situations like this to escalate or come to peaceful resolutions?

8. Do the police departments have proper checks and balances? Do they have the power they need to solve these complicated situations?

9. Can /did someone local remain in charge who understood the situation or is control given away to someone else?

10. When more facts come out will I be willing to change my perspective if necessary?

11. Are forums like this useful? Do they just stir up drama and passions that no one does anything about? What is the best way to create change when we believe it is necessary?

12. Was Brian ordered to be shot? What was his physical body position when he was shot? Where was he shot? Was he saying anything at the time he was shot? Why did they let us believe for 24 hours that he had killed himself, when that must have been clear to the police within 15 minutes?

12. Is it possible to question something without being viewed as a ____hater or a conspiracy theorist?

13. Is the protocol appropriate that did not allow friends or family to speak face to face with Brian? If we wanted to risk our lives, sign waivers and approach him to talk to him, why couldn't we?

14. Did any police ask to talk to Brian ? (I do not think that this is their responsibility, but wondered if any asked and if they did were they allowed?)

15. What do you think other important questions are?

**Be sure to make it clear which questions you are responding to.


Brotherton Memories said...

First Let me say that this blog is very well thought out and well written...thank you for your powerful statements and insight. Perhaps comment to any one of these questions by me would be less than effective and time intellegent. Let me just say that I have known Brian pretty much most of my life, I know his family and there moral standings in this crazy world. I am sickened by the so called protocal of any police department that will not allow a family member speak to someone in this position. I am certain that his siter, mother, father, or any close friend could have spent some time talking to him and resolved this ugly situation. Like I stated earlier, I know his parents, I know his sister, and some of his close friends. I KNOW BRIAN, this did not need to happen. Brian has always been a great person, not with out his short comings but a above average person non the less. He has on many occassions spoke with me about his opportunities/percieved short comings, he has stated to me that he looked up to me for many reasons and I am flattered that that someone as giving and caring as him can find a reason to look up to me and that I can impact someones life as he says I have. No one makes great decisions 100% of their life. Cetainly I have not. His decision was poor but not poor enough to warrant his life ending in such a violent way. It was not neccessary at all to do this...I can say with confidence that even I, as far away from Farmington as I am could have talked him out of that dark place he found himself in. I have seen him struggle, I have given solicited advice, he has always responded well to others insight. This is sad and extremely hard to write. I miss him and our talks, I have not heard from him in 9 or 10 months due the distance we find our current living situations. Damn I am frustrated, confused and very sad. Please if the family is reading this please undertand my absence from his funeral and know I am praying for him and thinking of you in your time of sorrow. Please feel free to contact me on my personal e-mail...I would love to pay my respects personaly. My e-mail is This is Kevin Brotherton. Sorry about the spelling and the rambling on, this is an unbelieveable loss, and I am beside myself with grief.

LClark said...

I wonder what would have happened if nobody showed up and someone called him in for lunch or dinner a few/several hours later.

Often when we are in trouble we try to draw others into our drama. Any parent or teacher familiar with "Love and Logic" will understand that you don't let the person draw you into their problem. You give them time to think it out and make a decision. It is their problem and you can offer help, but ultimately I feel Mr. Wood could have sorted things out with a little help or encouragement from family. He obviously wanted a showdown and the local authorities eventually obliged. Full-on engagement only gives the individual and the police one option- force. Only one person will "win" at that point.

I really think that the methods currently used by law enforcement need to be rethought. What would have happened if nobody came. Give the wife and family time to leave. Observe the person from a distance without them knowing it. Express love, concern, and offer help periodically.