Over the past two weeks, the nation has heaved with protests and demonstrations against police brutality following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. But George was far from the first person needlessly killed by police. “George Floyd was a spark….but that spark was only able to catch because over the last several years, Americans have become increasingly aware of how Black men in particular are being killed by police in very shady circumstances,” Behind the Bastards host Robert Evans says. But why are cops so quick to pull their weapons on civilians in the first place? On this episode, he and his guest, Jack O’Brien of The Daily Zeitgeist podcast, discuss “the bastard who trains cops to kill,” Lieutenant Colonel David Grossman.
Grossman’s tactics are essentially to brainwash police officers to “make killing a conditioned reflex.” His “Bulletproof Mindset” police training course informs officers that they are “under risk of deadly assault at all waking moments” and that they should “err on the side of violence.” He shows them footage of cops being shot over and over again, creating a view of the world today “as a place where gangsters are trying to set records for killing cops and every kid has murder fantasies.” He warns them about the effect of “combat conditions” and even makes a Biblical argument for killing, all to establish the idea that “police officers in their communities are the same as soldiers in a war zone.”
The facts don’t back Grossman up at all: Lethal shootings of police officers have declined for the past 40 years, down 40% since the 1980s. Retail workers are as likely to be killed on the job as cops, and taxi drivers more likely. But Grossman believes that humans are instinctively against killing their own species, so cops have to be “aggressively trained” so they’re able to do it when necessary. “We are making it possible for people to kill without conscious thought,” Grossman has said. “I can trick your body into killing, but if your mind isn’t ready to come along for this ride, who’s the next victim? You are.” Grossman has been teaching this course for over 20 years; he has trained more cops in this country than anyone. And he’s teaching private armed citizens these theories, as well, saying to them all, “We need to embrace this word: Kill.” Hear more about David Grossman’s theories and how they’ve adversely affected policing in America on this episode of Behind the Bastards.
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