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Seminar Title:  
Civil Unrest and Shared Biases

DATES:  3/22/2021 through 3/23/2021

INSTRUCTOR(S):  Paris Spencer

LOCATION:  Drury Inn & Suites Columbus South - 4109 Parkway Centre Drive, Grove City, OH  43123

HOTEL:  Drury Inn & Suites Columbus South - Grove City, OH  
Contact Hotel for State Govt. Rate

COURSE REGISTRATION FEE:  $325.00 Includes all training materials, and a Certificate of Completion.

Instructor Bio

Dr. Spencer is currently the President and CEO of Academic Solutions Initiative. Dr. Spencer attended Texas State University for his Bachelors, Our Lady of the Lake University for his Masters, and Oakland City University for his Doctorate. He graduated with top honors in both graduate programs. Dr. Spencer has served as an Adjunct Professor and as an executive consultant to private colleges and universities across the country. He has built training and academic curriculums for more than 5 years. Dr. Spencer has created over 25 training programs for law enforcement and is known for specifically tailored training to an agency’s needs. Dr. Spencer also spent several years in fugitive recovery and has practiced Martial Arts for more than 20 years. Dr. Spencer has been a trainer to law enforcement for more than 10 years. He is the author of two publications, one of which earned the status of “Dissertation of the year 2016.” The title of the Dissertations was “Classifying Gang Membership, and Gang Activity as Domestic Terrorism.”


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Course Objectives

This Course is designed tocreate a better understanding of the Implicit and Explicit Biases often held byboth: police and citizens.

BACKGROUND

Civil Unrest is not a newor recent occurring phenomenon.  It’salso not an occurrence that always ends in violence or aggression.  For the most part, protest are oftenpeaceful, though some exhibit high emotions and strong verbiage, they are stillnonviolent in nature.  History also shows,that protestors are not always the aggressor. However, over the past threeyears, the worse side of protest has started to rear its ugly head, with LawEnforcement Officers seeming to be the focal point.  When this occurs, Law Enforcement Officersare put in harms way.  Generallyspeaking, nearly 99% of these officers had nothing to with the originatingincident itself. Many leaders, and citizens are facing the inequitable balanceof police intervention and those communities who are most affected by it.  Today, the country is in one of the mostdivided times since the Civil Rights Moment. The entire nation is impacted by is appeared shootings of unarmedminorities.  Though public opinion canoften try and convict prior to due process, the reality is, the sentiment toautomatically find the actor guilty paramount. Unfortunately, there is no remedy in sight.  The cry for police reform is a simple, butmisleading remedy.  Simply put, policereform does not change a bad actor’s decision making, it simply changes policyand evokes training.  The remedy to thisphenomenal time is our current reality is a little more complex than that.  We have to address the biases of not just lawenforcement, but our citizenry as well. You can’t just address one part of the problem (out of fear andbacklash) and not address an equal part of the problem.  If we do it that way, we will create morebias and resentment.  This coursepresents the opportunity for both, police and citizenry, understand the problemas a shared concern.  We will address thecausal factors of unrest, bias, deteriorated police-citizen relationships.  We will also suggest potential remedies toaddressing these concerns as we work together to make equitable solutions. 

Civil Unrest, Triggers, and Scope

Civil Unrest,according to Merriam Webster, is a situation where many people, in a countryare angry and hold protest or act violently.

Civil disorder, also known as civil unrest or civil strife,is a broad term that is typically used by law enforcement to describe unrest caused by a group ofpeople. Civil disturbancecan include a form of protest against major socio-political problems, but alsocan simply be an expression of antisocial values. (Babylon Free Dictionary,2016)

Civility (Civil) – Politeness, Courteous, Respect, Gracious, Consideration, and Good Mannered. 



Unrest –Discontent, Anxiousness, Turbulence, Strife, Conflict, Disturbance, andDisorder

Civil or Civility promotesa normal or usual state of being.  Theassumption here is, that the majority of people follow the expected order-operating within the set of rules.

Unrest refers to adisruption in order or that it refers to civility turned upside down.

Civility returns as unrestis resolved or exhausted.

Triggering Violence – How peaceful protest can become violent; every peaceful protest,which turns violent, is usually precipitated by an event or set of events.  Examples include: use of lethal andnon-lethal ammo, zealous force being used when arresting protestors, inciterswithin the crowd of protestors, and imposters (those who seek to disrupt theprotest from the onset of protest).

Law Enforcement must beaware, that if they are perceived to be the cause of protest, their ability tobring about order is weakened. Even when an incident is justifiable, the ‘badactors’ are far less concerned about the perpetrator’s role in the incidentthan they are concerned about getting at the police, destroying property, anddestabilizing the right to peacefully protest by causing chaos.

Both citizens and lawenforcement must be mindful of ‘the process interrupted.’  One of the goals, of bad actors, is to turnthe protest towards their agenda.  Whenthis occurs, looting, burnings, and injury (even death) follows. 

Why Does Civil Unrest Occur?

Civil Unrest is caused bysignificant events, that appear to be unjust, causing individuals to organize.

It also occurs for wrongreasons like when individuals who pose a threat to Law Enforcement, are seen asvictims, even though their actions/behaviors warranted a significant response.

It also occurs forjustifiable reasons, which usually involves an egregious assailant who hasacted against an innocent individual or an individual that may have violatedthe law but poses no threat to the officer.

 

Stages of Unrest

1.    Public Awareness and Shared Loss.

2.    An idea to gather or the contagion ofgathering.

3.    A rallycry or organization towards direction and purpose.

4.    Gathering and growth of Unrest.

5.    Voice or Violence

6.    The peak of Unrest

7.    Climax and De-escalation

Understanding Unrest

  • Who’s the Targetof the Unrest- who or what caused the event? 

  • How egregious wasthe cause- can you anticipate the behavior or actions based on whathappened?  Whether you are lawenforcement or a citizen, you should have an idea of what you are about to face.

  • Is the remedywithin sight- is this something that is temporary in nature or will this be anevent that could linger and evolve?

  • Is the unrestabout voice or anger or both- some individuals simply protest to bringawareness to a cause, but some are more about vengeance or reparation, do youknow the difference?

  • AnticipatingDistractors- you already know that protestors are individuals with similarconcerns, but as much as they are alike, they are different.  You should be able to identify the potentialthreats. 

  • Mental empathy-whether you agree with the concerns of the protestors or not, you should, atleast, understand that their concerns are meaningful to them, and with that,passions unrecognized can evolve into anger and aggression.

  • Limits ofResponse- as a responder, you are limited in what you can do or even say.  Unlike dealing with individuals on thestreet, protestors can incite other protestors; therefore your interaction withthem could ignite a crowd in a way that doesn’t favor you.

  • Law and Order arenot just the responsibility of law enforcement, citizens do share in thisconcept and practice.  So, theresponsibility for order is shared and expected. 

    Types ofProtestors

    According to the FBI, there are 7 types of protestors(we’re adding an additional one):

  • The Street Fighting Man: Impulsive- These short-temperedpeople are always spoiling for a fight and only need a fancied insult or slightprovocation to excite them to violence or incite others to violence.  These individuals or groups can be the mostdangerous to law enforcement, they are less afraid of the consequences of theiractions because of the overwhelming nature of the crowd and the protest.

  • The Punctual Henchman: Suggestible- These people get into he action early andare easily influenced to follow the lead of the more violent. Often times you will see theseindividuals on the fringes of violence, throwing a bottle or a suckerpunch.  They tend to echo the worse ofchants towards their target.

  • The Give a Man a Mask and He’ll Tell you the Truth:Cautious- These individuals wait for the cloak of anonymity to give them thecourage by hiding their identity.  Theseindividuals do not want to be discovered though they are known by some of theparticipants of the protest.  Theprotection of the mask emboldens them and they are less reserved than theywould be without the mask.

  • The FOMO “Fear Of Missing Out:” Yielders- Those whodon’t join the action until a large number of participants give the impressionof universality. In other words, “Everyone is taking part in this, why shouldn'tI?  These individuals are the ones whoimpact the growth of the crowd.  At themoment where there is enough people, they join in and are followed by thoselike them.

  • The Got Work in the Morning, so I can’t get Arrested: Supportive-People who don’t actively join the mob, but who enjoy the show and may evenshout encouragement.  These individualsare neither in nor out of the protest. They are the ones who are watching the events unfold, and are oftenharmless.  However, these sameindividuals can get caught in the mayhem if the aggression overwhelms their‘safe distance.’

  • The Miranda: Resisters- People whose standards ofjudgments are not swayed by the emotional frenzy of the mob and remain levelheaded.  They can disagree with theactions of the majority. The individuals participate in the protest becausethey support the purpose of the protest. However, they have their limits as towhat occurs during the protest and are often disgusted by the violence andrecklessness of other protesters.

  • The Some Men Just want to Watch the World Burn:Psychopathic- These are individuals with a Pathological Personality Structureand are angry at the world and seek to use a riotous situation as a means ofgetting even with society.  Theseindividuals are the most dangerous of all protesters.  The risk here is: arson, destruction, injury,and death. 

  • The Peaceful Protester. Nonviolent- These individuals are people who see thecause for protesting as a peaceful means of free speech, an opportunity to beheard.  Often times, and depending on thenature of the protest, these individuals represent the majority of mostprotest, but are often drowned out by the other groups who need to be moreexpressive with their intentions. 

     

    Understanding‘Black Lives Matter,’ and Applying Intelligent        Policing

    Though some of the BLMmembership and surrogates appear to be educated, their approach is certainlynot. They are tapping into the very root of ignorance and promotedviolence.  At times, they are seeking aresponse, as opposed to a voice.  If LawEnforcement reacts to the taunting and aggression, with aggression, they win,and they grow.

    Though some believe, that manyof the tactics of the BLM movement are staged, and some are paid-to-playtactics, BLM has become a political force to be reckoned with.  If this organization is continued to be seenas evokers of riots, and ‘haters’ toward law enforcement, there will be noremedy in sight.  Organizations,including BLM, can be a part of the solution. 

    If you desire peace, calm,and civility, then who are you going to create this balance with?  You have to get to a point, that black livesdo matter, not more, and certainly not less.

    We are at a new juncture inthis troublesome journey.  We competingtragedies (Covid-19), so we have to find a way to bridge the gap in resentmentand conflict to create equitable solutions for both: citizens and police.

    The best way to deal withBLM is to stay the course and not break, don’t react.  See them for what they are, opportunistic individuals who have an agenda outsideof what they represent.  (How much of theprivate donations have they afforded to those they protest for?)  Record your own video, don’t rely on themedia, make sure your body cams, and more, is recording your interactions.  Have a plan, don’t simply say don’t react,have a plan, be strategic and forward-thinking to stay ahead of the game. 

    Advice on Dealing with BLM

    Ask the ruthless protester,what would you like for the police department to do?  This is pertaining to their rants in theofficer’s faces.  They are looking for areaction.  So, “How can I help youachieve your goal, or what do you want me to do?  They may say, “Leave!” The response is, youknow I can’t do that.  Some theorists say,“If someone is yelling at you, you should lower your voice.” The silenttreatment seems to be the norm, I think it works, but the duration isexhausting. 

    They may also say, “Stopkilling Blacks!”  The response is verysimple, “I haven’t been in that situation before, so I don’t quite understandwhat you want ME to do differently.” Some experts may say that’s too much dialogue, but if it’s true, it letsthem know that they are barking up the wrong tree.  Sooner or later, the protesters must realizethat the anger they portray is misguided and they are targetingsomeone who is there to protect them.

    Here’s the ugly truth – BLMdoesn’t march or protest against Blacks killing Blacks. The reason for it isbecause there is no enemy here, not anyone worthy of blaming. Racism is a termreserved for White Americans, and the police departments, no matter how diversethey are, they are considered to be a part of White America.  This holds truth because the engagementbetween LEO’s and Black America has always been contentious.  No matter where you stand on the issue,African Americans have a higher incident rate when it comes to theseinteractions.

    PsychologicalReasons Behind Protests and Revolutions

    Keepin mind that these points don't describe people who started protesting, to geta lost right back, but it describes those who joined them for differentreasons: (according to M. Farouk Radwan)

    1)To find an identity: Some people never believed theyare worthy. They did their best to find anything to be good at but theyfailed then all of a sudden they found a golden opportunity to feel worthy.

  • Those people goto protests in order to build the identity they were always searching for andto feel worthy. What can make a person feel more worthy than changing the fateof his country?

  • Of course if youasked any of those people about the reason that made them protest they willreply saying that saving the country was their ultimate goal (seealso Psychological identity problems)

    2)Peer pressure & Pleasing others: In the Solid Selfconfidence program I said that people who have a low self esteem do theirbest to please others just to get their approval.

  • Duringrevolutions and protests people start judging and criticizing thosewho don't participate in the events.

  • Under the effectof peer pressure the ones with low self-esteem find themselves forced to take adirection just to please others and not because they really believed in whatwas going on.

    3)The ones who have external locus of control

  • Some governmentsare really corrupt that they hardly allow people to succeed but even in thesecountries we see successful people emerging.

  • Some people havemessed up lives and as a result they want to find anyone to blame for theirmisery in order not to declare that they didn't hard enough.

  • After all it willhurt less to blame the government than to admit that they were incompetent.

    4)The ones who had nothing else to do: Some people have boring lives.

  • They have nothingto do nor they can find excitement anywhere.

  • When something asexciting as a protest happens those people might join it just to reducethe boredom in their lives.

    5) Opportunity hunters: Some people joinrevolutions right before they turn    successful.

  • Those people arethe ones who wait on the sidelines then decide whom they are going to be withbased on the final result. If for example, the protestors were about to forcethe government to resign then many people might join the protest at this timejust to claim that they were among the ones who did it.

    Practical Solutions in Managing Unrest and Bias   

    Biases in Law Enforcement- Implicit and Explicitbiases in law enforcement exist in everyday practices and are rooted in presentand past experiences.  Training andretraining are necessary to create consist nonbiased interaction.  Just because someone has a bias, it doesn’tmean that that bias has to surface.     

    Biases in Citizenry- Most Citizens,especially people of color, do not believe that they are biased.  However, there is plenty evidence to thecontrary.  Often time, a denial of one’sbiases Is passed down from one generation to the next.  For example, the fear of police, is a truefeeling, but it is also a bias.  Becausethe truth is, that not all police officers target people of color, in fact,most don’t. 

    Consensus on Share Biases- When a communitycan recognize shared biases, then the possibility of healing is realized.  However, recognizing shared biases is only asmall step in the right direction, because the biggest gap is between thedifferences in biases and the authority and power that law enforcement holdsalong with those biases. 

    How to create a forum for discussion andresolution- Police leaders, and successful officers (who are responsible forcommunity policing) can initiate the process, that begins with trust, which iseasier to accomplish prior to a significant event.  Leaders in the minority community, who aremore neutral than antagonistic, can also be pivotal in the healing process.  There must be joint ventures of concern andagreement to initiate this process.   

     



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