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Cut and Dry?

I’m going to describe an account of an encounter between a police officer and a citizen. I’m going to analyze it step by step. I am not going to tell you any details about either person until I am finished describing the account.

A plainclothes officer was investigating a robbery case when he pulled over a citizen for driving erratically on the interstate.

After telling the citizen to stay in the car, the officer went over towards his car to radio for uniformed backup. The officer told the citizen to stay in the car.

The citizen got out of the car and aggressively confronted the cop. It is unclear whether “aggressively” means it was initially just an angry confrontation or if it looked immediately like it was going to be violent. The citizen was unarmed.

Either way at this point the citizen has disobeyed the officer’s order and is coming towards him so the officer has every reason to believe he could be a threat and has every right to defend himself and engage him if he feels it is necessary or appropriate.

According to, an officer’s duty belt usually holds handcuffs, a firearm, spare ammunition, a taser, mace or OC or pepper spray, a flashlight, a radio device, a baton, a knife or multifunctional tool, keys, basic first aid items, and disposable gloves.

So typically besides a firearm, a typical police belt contains four other self-defense items, three of which are non-lethal. In addition to these, an officer can also engage in hand-to-hand combat or use their body as a weapon.

I don’t know how many or which items this officer had on their belt, but he chose to pull out his gun in response to the citizen’s aggressive approach.

Against an unarmed citizen a gun is hardly appropriate if you happen to have a taser, an incapacitating spray, a baton, or your own physical abilities at your disposal. But again I do not necessarily know if the officer had these things. But if he did the gun was not the first thing he should have reached for.

However, the officer decided not to fire his weapon, showing restraint.

But the citizen made him pay for his restraint.

It is unclear whether the citizen was responding out of fear to having a gun pointed at them and acting in perceived self-defense because he feared for his life or if he just felt like beating up a cop, but the citizen took the pistol out of the officer’s hands and pistol-whipped and beat the officer over the head with it, knocking the officer unconscious and leaving the officer with multiple lacerations. The citizen then fled the scene.

The officer is an unnamed white male and the citizen is a 34 year old black male named Janard Cunningham.

The officer said that he did not shoot out of fear that shooting an unarmed black man would lead to him suffering the same fate as Darren Wilson.

There is outcry that had he killed the man there would be demonstrations, but that there are no demonstrations resulting from the man beating him unconscious. Many say he had every reason to shoot the man.

While I agree that the officer had every reason and right to defend himself, I do not believe that defense should have involved a gun if he had other options available. If he did not have any of the other utilities I listed and he felt that he could have taken the man in hand-to-hand combat I believe he should have done so, but perhaps the man was either bigger than him or the officer doubted his fighting skills, and if that was the case and he had none of the other tools at his disposal his only other option was to pull a gun. But if he were to shoot he should have shot to wound or disable or disarm, not to kill, because Cunningham was unarmed. Deadly force should always be a last resort.

However, I agree that even if he didn’t use lethal force and defended himself, there is a good chance that there would have been outcry and demonstrations for defending himself against an unarmed man, which I think would be unwarranted. This officer had every right to defend himself because Cunningham chose to engage him the moment he got out of his car and refused the officer’s order to stay in his car. We can’t expect our police officers not to defend themselves.

The point I am trying to make is this: we are reaching a point with this issue of incidents between police officers and unarmed black men where our emotions are getting in the way of our judgment and we are beginning to take sides. And that is the worst thing that we can do. We need to look at these things on a case by case basis, and not let our emotions get in the way of our judgment. Taking sides will only divide us further. The only hope for us solving this issue is if we stick together, not continue to divide ourselves. Things are not always so cut and dry and we need to give people some wiggle room when they are involved in situations like this and understand that oftentimes when people are forced to make split second decisions sometimes they make the right decisions and other times they make mistakes.


Sexual Deception and Ignorant Consent

Today I saw a Dr. Phil episode (yes occasionally I watch Dr. Phil and I’m aware it’s sort of trash TV) about people who tricked their significant others into marrying them through pregnancy. I don’t know if it was a rerun or not, but it left an impression on me.

One of the cases was a woman who stopped taking her birth control without telling her boyfriend at the time and lying to him when he would ask if she was taking it so she would get pregnant. She succeeded, and her boyfriend married her. The other case was a man who convinced his girlfriend to let him go without a condom and use the withdrawal method instead. He did not withdraw because he wanted to get her pregnant and sure enough, she did and they got married. They would go on to have a second child. The third pregnancy was a surprise to the wife because as far as she knew they had not had sex in months, but it turned out that her husband had had sex with her while she was asleep unbeknownst to her, an act that many would consider marital rape, but the wife just said that she felt that he had violated her and wouldn’t use the word rape. They also had a fourth child later on.

This should be a crime. It should be a crime to deceive someone in this way. First of all, the second case is just straight-up marital rape.

But the first case is not a crime and the withdrawal incident in the second case isn’t a crime. It is not technically a crime to trick someone into a pregnancy. To me this is a disgusting action, and only a step below rape.

Think about it. In the first case, do you think the man would have given his girlfriend his consent to have sex without a condom if he knew that she was not on birth control? No. He consented to a false situation. He did not give his consent to the real situation because he, to no fault of his own, was ignorant of all the facts. He had been lied to. This is what I call ignorant consent: consenting to something under false pretenses. And I do not believe it is a valid form of consent when it comes to sex.

The same goes for when someone has an STD. If someone has an STD that is not outwardly visible. But you consented to the sex so there’s nothing you can do about it and that person gets off scot-free. If that person had told you they had the virus/syndrome/disease/infection, would you have consented to the sex? Perhaps not. So in a way, isn’t that kind of like rape? I’m not saying it is exactly the same thing or that it’s on the same level, but the parallels are there.

This crime should be called sexual deception. And the basis for a guilty verdict should be whether the victim gave ignorant or fully informed consent. If someone gets someone to consent to sexual acts with them by using deception or by withholding information that may impact their partner’s decision, it should be a crime. Sexual deception should be a crime, and the grounds should be ignorant consent. It is a step below rape. No man or woman should get an STD because someone lies about whether they have one or not. No man or woman should be deceived into a pregnancy that they don’t want. All of these things should be illegal. These things can happen to someone who carelessly sleeps around or someone in a committed relationship with someone they think they can trust. And we know that marital rape can happen. But that is a whole other issue altogether. Or is it? Perhaps sometimes these things overlap. So let’s reserve judgment over each other’s sexual lifestyles and all just agree on the fact that sexual deception by ignorant consent is totally wrong.

And when it comes to getting trapped in pregnancies, let’s not forget about the impact it has on the kids. Any kid that results from a trap pregnancy has the burden of holding a relationship together from the moment it exits the womb. The child is merely a pawn in a game. And there may even be some resentment towards them. And oftentimes the relationship between the parents is strained which leads to further stress for the child.

And whoever the victim is should be allowed more leniency when it comes to child support payments when it comes to trap pregnancies.

Sexual deception by ignorant consent is a horrible act. Let’s fight to make this illegal.

Please Comment!

To anyone who reads anything on my blog, please comment and tell me your thoughts! I have received an okay amount of blog views, but only 10 comments in the 4 months I’ve had this blog. Part of my hope in writing my posts is that they are thought provoking and I would love to hear the opinions of anyone who reads my posts. I also hope that it may lead to discussions among different commenters. So please comment! If you can’t find where to comment, I will help you. If you are reading my posts on the homepage, there will be a spot near where all the tags are listed that you can click on that says “LEAVE A COMMENT.” It might be hard to see I’m not being sarcastic or snarky I promise. If you are reading the post on the page of the post itself there will be the “LEAVE A COMMENT” clickable in the same spot but if you keep scrolling down beyond that and the list of tags there will be a banner that says “ANY THOUGHTS?”. Below that you there will be a space to type that says “Enter your comment here…”. Sometimes it only takes one person to get the ball rolling. I want my posts to provoke discussions and start conversations, so please, COMMENT! Thank you to all who read and have read this blog I really appreciate it.

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