A Texas sheriff admonished parents in a recent Facebook post that police are not responsible for raising their children, and criticized “armchair police” for second-guessing the life-and-death decisions that officers must make within seconds.
“In the news cycle over the last few weeks have been stories of young people being shot by police in some type of altercation or another,” wrote Throckmorton County Sheriff Doc Wigington on Friday. “The public is quick to jump on the officers involved stating a need for more training, better de-escalation tactics, and possibly shooting the subject in the leg.”
Addressing what he described as so-called solutions derived from Western movies, Wigington explained that people claiming officers should first shoot at extremities before aiming for center mass do not know what they are talking about.
“When the use of deadly force is warranted that is exactly what it is DEADLY FORCE, not flesh wound force, not any other words to describe it just deadly force,” he wrote.
“Officers have to make decisions of life and death in a matter of seconds that [attorneys], judges, and the general public can debate for years and possibly forever. It easy to post an opinion on social media as to ‘how I would have handled it,” Wigington added.
Wigington went to say that “instead of armchair quarterbacks we now have armchair police. If a person thinks they could handle the situation differently I encourage them to join an academy and become an officer.” He added that officers are continually trained throughout their careers, and sometimes have so many training obligations that “in some cases it is hard to find the time to complete” everything expected of them.
“On de-escalation tactics, these only work when the subject is willing to listen and not in a rage,” Wigington continued. “Just like when we as parents had a child throwing a fit, they would not listen well the same goes for adults.”
Wigington concluded by emphasizing that police cannot be held responsible for lawless young people who don’t know how to appropriately interact with law enforcement.
“IT IS NOT THE JOB OF THE OFFICER TO RAISE YOUR KID,” he wrote. “Parents need to take responsibility for the actions of their FAILURE to raise their child to be respectful, responsible and listen to authority figures. Little tip…sometimes your kid is wrong and needs to be disciplined. Jumping on teachers, coaches etc. All their life gives the kids a feeling they can do no wrong and they do not have to comply with authority figures.”
“Parents need to be parents to their kids not their best friends,” Wigington said. “So help your child, be a parent, teach them manners, responsibility, how to work, respect for themselves and respect for others. We have gotten away from treating others as we wish to be treated we need to go back to that soon. By the time that Law Enforcement has to get involved in your child’s life its usually past time to be a parent.”
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