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I Agree With Ice Cube
Ice Cube: "cops have a ‘win and make it home’ philosophy"
It won’t surprise you that I believe that leadership is the most pressing issue in law enforcement today but if I was to point to the one issue within leadership that needs to be corrected immediately, it would be eliminating leaders that place anything over the safety of their officers.
A common theme that I hear weekly from officers across the country is their fear that doing what it takes to survive an encounter will get them cancelled both publicly and by their own agency. Granted, many leaders ‘talk’ about the importance of officer safety but far too many reveal the opposite though their policies, comments and actions.
For that reason, law enforcement leaders need to heed advice from the great philosopher, Ice Cube.
After listening to his recent interview with Tucker Carlson, I was so surprised by the former NWA rapper (F--- The Police) that I had to listen again.
Ok, calm down…I agree with MOST of what Ice Cube said.
At one point in the interview, Carlson asked Ice Cube what his view was on the police.
When he replied "It's the same," it was not a surprise but his detailed account of modern day policing was.
Don't get me wrong, Cube was not 100% on point in the entire interview because he is viewing police encounters as a citizen with limited information on the context (and case law) but much of what he said is exactly why I have been on the road teaching "Seconds For Survival" for many years.
In fact, without knowing it, Ice Cube told Carlson what I believe every cop should know and do.
He may not be a great inservice instructor but he is on to something.
GO HOME AT NIGHT
"I think cops have a ‘win and make it home’ philosophy. Win whatever battles you have on the street, make it home at night. And that’s actually the most important thing."
Going home at night is indeed the most important thing but that is also a philosophy that some officers are hesitant to put into practice. I hear too many fears about being the next online sensation rather than being buried six feet under. It is the job of every leader to make sure their officers know that legal and justified force WILL BE SUPPORTED.
"Everything else, people’s rights, doing things the right way, being totally fair and square all the time and not being a little aggressive, all that comes second to win the encounter, make it home at night. And you can’t really fault somebody for thinking that way as a police officer. But that’s the philosophy. So everything else comes second to that."
To say that law enforcement doesn't care about citizen rights is not accurate. No police officer wants the scrutiny, both criminal and civil, that can come with that but once again, he is viewing right and wrong from a lens that the police officer may not have at the time while making his own assumptions of what he doesn’t know even today.
Graham v. Connor (1989) makes a clear case that law enforcement is judged based on objective reasonableness along with the fact that "a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, and its calculus must embody an allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions about the amount of force necessary in a particular situation."
Remarkably, Ice Cube didn't discuss race or racism but made a compelling case to protect the rights of citizens while ensuring that law enforcement does whatever they can to protect themself.
It's a strange feeling to agree with Ice Cube but for the majority of his comments, I do.
Every law enforcement professional should make it their top priority to go home at night and any leader that promotes a policy or agenda that runs in opposite of that mantra should be ran into the retirement home.
Watch The Entire Interview Here: Police Discussed At The 7:28 Mark
Note: I mentioned a course that I have been teaching for many years called “Seconds For Survival.” While it is not a traditional seminar on leadership, it is the most important part of leadership (providing officers with life saving resources). The course is research based and draws on hundreds of police encounters. I’ve instructed our sales team to discount the course in 2023 for anyone mentioning this article. I want to make it as easy as possible to provide agencies these life saving tools.
Dr. Travis Yates retired as a commander with a large municipal police department after 30 years of service. He is the author of “The Courageous Police Leader: A Survival Guide for Combating Cowards, Chaos & Lies.” His risk management and leadership seminars have been taught to thousands of professionals across the world. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy with a Doctorate Degree in Strategic Leadership and the CEO of the Courageous Police Leadership Alliance.