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‘Use of Force’ Training Videos of Phoenix Activist Exposed as Police Propaganda

Phoenix, AZ – A Phoenix, Arizona activist who has been an outspoken critic of police abuse of force, Reverend Jarrett Maupin, recently underwent a change of heart after being invited to, and taking part in, a use of force exercise with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office.

Maupin agreed to go through a force on force training segment with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. He went through three scenarios where one has to decide to shoot, or not to shoot, according to FOX 10.

This is what Maupin had to say in the aftermath of his training exercise.

“I didn’t understand how important compliance was, but after going through this, yeah my attitude has changed. This is all unfolding in 10-15 seconds, people need to comply with the order of law enforcement officers for their own safety,” said Maupin.

But what was billed as a change of his feelings toward police use of force, due to experiencing the alleged “real-world” scenarios police regularly face, left many feeling as if they had just watched a propaganda video meant to forward a specific police agenda with Maupin as the innocent dupe.

As you watch the videos of Maupin there are some things that are immediately apparent and call this entire endeavor into question.

My first thought was where is his backup? While certainly there will be rare instances of not waiting for backup, protocol would dictate these as abnormal circumstances from the start.

Going into potentially volatile situations without backup isn’t a very safe or intelligent move for an officer to make, especially in non-urgent interactions such as the given scenarios the activist faced.

The second thing that comes to mind is; where are his options for less than lethal force, such as a baton, pepper spray or tazer?

Officers in the street have a wide range of options at their disposal; so why was Maupin only given a gun?

In essence, they took a citizen off the street with virtually no training, offered them no backup or less-than-lethal force options with which to stop someone, but want to sell this to the public as “what officers are facing.”

The more critical thinking one does about the video and the scenarios the more disillusioned one becomes at the farcical nature of this propaganda piece.

In contrast to a Reverend activist off of the street, officers should have extensive training in the use of force spectrum, hand to hand combat, in addition to many other advantages their months of training should provide them, above that of a layman off the street with no training.

In an interview with The Free Thought Project, whistleblower cop Alex Salazar gives important insight into this video when he explains,

“These scenarios are designed to make any person fail and to cause them to believe there are no other options. He had no taser, baton or other less than lethal weapons. What about kicking the big guy in the nuts, waiting for backup, or tasering him.

The profession of law enforcement is difficult at times, but the excessive brainwashing on a daily basis taking place, that you may die, is too extreme and gives many the belief it is OK to use deadly force. In many of these situations, Tamir Rice or Andy Lopez comes to mind, these officer’s just wanted to plain shoot and kill.”

Salazar went on to say,

“It’s a brainwashing mechanism to get you over to their side, to start thinking about killing. In what they call the ‘FATS simulator’ (firearms and training simulator), you are automatically designed to DIE… Yes it’s a game and useful for training. But here they put a citizen off the street with no training and a newscaster in pre-designed scenarios, which are psychologically made to make you think and perceive things differently. It has nothing to do with training. Every recruit, I don’t care if they’re an ex-badass Navy Seal… everyone dies.

Think about that for a moment. There is no way to “win,” either you die or you kill. The outcome in these training exercises is always death.

Salazar made clear that the manner in which the entire training session and video was done, shows that it was simply pro-police propaganda and conditioning meant for public consumption.

“YouTube FATS training presented by the Pasadena PD, the officer’s have less than lethal weapons at their disposal. They don’t have to kill the people like the Phoenix channel led people to believe. There are viable alternatives. Numerous years of working undercover in South Central Los Angeles and I only had to use my 9mm once.

Most of the time I would kick the person strategically or pepper spray. There is very rarely a reason to kill, and many police officers go their entire lifetime without having to draw their weapons,” said Salazar.

This entire activity is an exercise in psychological warfare as there are only two possible outcomes in these training activities given the aforementioned factors.

Outcome 1: You shoot and kill the suspect, which then shows how police violence is necessary.

Outcome 2: The suspect ends up killing you, which shows how dangerous the job of law enforcement is.

In either case it is a false dichotomy, meant to facilitate a false sympathy towards law enforcement by showing the job they do in a very misleading light given the major advantages an officer on the beat has vs. a citizen off the street participating in this exercise.

Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, freethinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has previously been published on BenSwann.com and WeAreChange.org. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.

  • Harry Underwood

    Was looking for a critical response to this video, thank you.

    • Nick

      Any thoughts on the lies in the response? He was given fake pepper spray. It’s on his belt in the front. Claiming he wasn’t, that he was only given a gun, is “propoganda”just like they accuse the video of being.

      I’m not saying the scenario was perfect. But you are a perfect example of confirmation bias. You wanted it to not be real, so you latch on to the first thing you can, ignoring flat lies in the headline and supporting paragraphs.

  • Patrick Michael Imlay

    This critical analysis of the video is unfairly biased and misleading and is itself an example of “propaganda”

    Lets start with the inaccurate “click bait” headline. The headline claims that the video is “exposed” as police propaganda. In our current culture the understood meaning of the term propaganda is a factually biased and intentionally misleading form of public communication meant to unfairly promote a certain view. You can quibble about that definition, but the point is the common understanding is that propaganda equates to lying and intentional misleading. I will explain the flaws and misleading bias of this propaganda piece/analysis of the video below.

    This article quotes a “whistleblower” former cop is quoted on his clearly biased view in which he indicates(as interpreted by the author) that there is “no way to win”. This statement illustrates the failure to grasp one of two(possibly both) concepts. The first is that police should have a morally unassailable right to defend themselves when they are under an imminent threat of serious injury or death. Justifiably shooting a suspect who has placed them under an imminent threat of serious injury or death, would by definition be a “win”. The second is that less than lethal options are irrelevant when there is an imminent threat of serious injury or death. There is a time and place for tasers, batons, and advanced grappling techniques, but no serious instructor will recommend deploying less than lethal options when there is an imminent threat of serious injury or death(and that goes for civilian and police training). Anyone who has had serious training should understand this. The fact that there was a scenario wherein nobody was shot and the suspect was arrested without serious(simulated) injury exposes the lie to this propaganda that in these exercises you “either die or kill”

    The article also complete glosses over the point of the news segment. The focus of the segment isn’t the scenarios or the training. The focus is the takeaway the Reverand had after going through these scenarios. “I didn’t understand how important compliance was, but after going through this; yes my attitude has changed, this happens in 10-15 seconds. People need to comply for their own sake,” If you want to criticize the scenarios themselves take the time to actually do so, by watching and analyzing the raw video which was made readily available by the station on their Youtube channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5PuLeR7Wt8&index=1&list=PL6ANh2xfMDZbTM42IBRDo3-SoE7wUCjZe

    • Nick

      The article flat out lies, too. He was given more than just a gun. He had fake pepper spray. Puts it on his belt at the beginning. Terrible article.