Wednesday, May 27, 2015


What do you do? You're on a subway train and two men start fighting without regard for the safety of you and other passengers. These four Swedish tourists, who happen to be police officers, subdued two men and held them for NYC transit police. If this was viewed out of context...four large White men holding down one Black man and calming another...there could be looting, burning and general mayhem as an overreaction by those who feel disenfranchised. However, those same rioters would probably be the last people on a train to unselfishly calm a situation like this.
What do we really see? We see four young men from an educated social democracy with a firm national identity based in centuries of evolving culture. We see four policemen who speak English perfectly, despite its dissimilarity to their native tongue. We hear a crazy man on the floor who tries to get released by feigning injury one moment and struggling the next. We see another combatant who seems appreciative of the intervention. Finally, we see harsh NYC transit police ordering people off the train in voices which contrast greatly with the voices of the Swedish policemen. 
Intervening to subdue demented violence, something I did professionally for nearly a decade, requires engagement, training, self-confidence and physical strength. These are not qualities I see readily displayed by our local American police. I see anger, entitlement, obesity and blunt disregard with few exceptions. Looking at this footage says volumes about how our society is missing the mark and falling behind. It is isn't all about race.

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