In his Twitter profile, Reverend Jarrett Maupin describes himself as a, “Progressive Baptist Preacher. Civil Rights Campaigner. Radical Political Activist.”
He’s led numerous civil rights protests in Arizona, including recent protests of the death of Rumain Brisbon, a suspected drug dealer, at the hands of Phoenix police.
The details of Brison’s death aren’t surprising. Like the overwhelming majority of those killed by police officers, Brisbon was violently resisting arrest when the officer shot him:
The officer gave the suspect several commands to get on the ground but he refused to comply, yelling profanities at the officer, according to witnesses. A struggle ensured.
During the struggle, Brisbon put his left hand in his pocket and the officer grabbed onto the suspect’s hand, while repeatedly telling the suspect to keep his hand in his pocket, Crump said.
According to the police report, the officer believed he felt the handle of a gun while holding the suspect’s hand in his pocket.
A woman who was inside one of the apartments opened the door, which caused the suspect and the officer to stumble into the interior of the apartment, Crump said.
The officer wasn’t able to keep his grip on the suspect’s hand during the struggle and fearing Brisbon had a gun in his pocket, the officer fired two rounds, striking Brisbon in the upper part of his body, Crump said.
Reverend Maupin didn’t think justice was served when the non-compliant Brison ran from the officer, and then physically fought the officer’s efforts to take him into custody.
His perspective now is just a little bit different, now that he’s had an opportunity for a “cop’s eye view” in three force-on-force training scenarios.
You’ll note that after going through just three scenarios, Reverend Maupin has a whole new respect for just how quickly a situation can go from a minor encounter to a lethal force confrontation.
In the first scenario, the actor was able to shoot and “kill” Maupin before the the Reverend got his gun out of the holster, even though he’d had his hand on the butt of his gun from the start.
In the second scenario, where Maupin portrayed an officer arriving to break up a confrontation between two unarmed men, on of the two unarmed men started walking aggressively towards him, refusing commands to stop.
As the man continues walking toward him and closes to within feet of him, the civil rights activist who protested police officers for shooting the unarmed Brison, opened fire.
In the third scenario, Maupin was an arresting officer with a suspect on the ground that he was attempting to search, where the suspect refused to give him his hands. Maupin does not shoot. It is later revealed that the suspect has a large knife hidden in his waistband.
Up until the moment Reverend Maupin put on his holstered airsoft gun, he had a false preconceived notion of how police officers interactions with the public take place. He had a false understanding of just how fast a seemingly non-violent encounter can turn into a deadly-force situation, and he didn’t understand that it is how the suspect chooses to respond to an officer’s commands that drives the encounter.
His eyes have now been opened.
“I didn’t understand how important compliance was,” he stated. “But after going through this, yeah, my attitude has changed.”
“This is all unfolding in ten to fifteen seconds… people need to comply with the orders of law enforcement officers for their own safety.”
I’m sure many who watched the video want to triumphantly yell, “Hypocrite!” But there is no hypocrisy here. This was a teachable moment, and a man who was willing to learn had his eyes opened.
It’s simply too bad that more protesters and protest leaders are ignorant of how real-world scenarios play out.