If you haven’t seen this video, and it’s not for the faint of heart of a Walmart shooting, please watch it for reference on this post.
I don’t post things like this often, and perhaps I should do more analysis of current videos, as I tell everyone to look at the internet for mental modeling of fights. My intent is not to second guess the officers…I wasn’t there. This post is instead to put forth the idea of what is occurring.
Groups of people are living organisms beyond the individuals themselves.
The officer on scene seemed to have the situation under control. It escalated from controlled arguing and a good control position to a complete mess when the second officer came in and penetrated the swarm.
What do I mean by that?
Swarms, what we call situations like this in Pramek, tend to react like bees or hornets or ants. They are a group that is leaderless. Swarms are different than a pack, which has a leader. They are fine as they are, they control their area, but when penetration to the swarm is made it reacts. It stops the confidence of the group and causes complete chaos, as the group confidence is broken and members begin to fight on their own or scatter. This swarm was penetrated…instead of using the swarm as a controlling measure – letting it stay where it is, working around it, controlling it ontop of itself.
A swarm is only penetrated when necessary, example, pulling one member of the swarm away, for arrest, and then a counter swarm to surround the arresting officer and protect him as he puts the offender under arrest. It’s crowd control 101. It’s nature 101, too…you don’t attack the herd, you pull from the herd in a controlled manner. This is how ants defeat swarms or wasps…they rely on the swarm to have no structure, to fight indivudally, and then they inturn swarm the individual members. With enough officers you can do this, and overwhelm and separate the swarm up…control it.
But, once the swarm is penetrated, it sets the swarm off, which is what we saw, and if you have insufficient numbers, it’s impossible to control.
Groups of people are living organisms, with a group psychology and confidence. As stated, swarms are different than a pack, which has a leader. This group seemed to have no leader, it was a swarm…individuals acting independent of a leader or command structure. As you can see, they scatter and fight indivdually for the swarm.
With a pack you can take the leader and pause the group, but a leaderless pack scatters quickly…which means officers get separated, and eventually two or three people are on one officer, getting his gun away from him, and people get, rightfully, shot. Officers should never scatter like that – it has to be controlled. But, if people haven’t been trained in how to deal with groups….you end up with this.
It’s difficult to not arm chair quarter back it, and if you haven’t dealt with a group of people as LE it’s hard to understand how messy and unnecessary this whole thing was. This could have turned into a blood bath quickly. The officer who was down and shot tried to shoot, but his pistol malfunctioned, two different people two separate times. Rightfully so, as his life and the other officers lives were in danger, which is why that one dude got a bullet in the head point blank. But, this could have ended differently, had the swarm reacted differently once the one person was shot point blank. Had the swarm found a fighting leader and rallied behind. But the man shot was not a leader, he was in the swarm as a worker…if the swarm had reacted with rage, instead of immediate remorse as it did…had the women begun fighting instead of staying still…had the two mourning people begun fighting…this situation would have ended differently, and probably with more deaths, if not ending with contagious gunfire and a cross fire as the officers were scattered.
You never expect this to happen, you expect to take the trouble maker down and shit is done….but that’s a pack.
The swarm is different. You can’t expect a reaction from a swarm other than scatter and fight individually.
Groups of people, officers and civilians, are living organisms as a group….it’s easy to forget that, until you see the swarm of officers fight a swarm of civilians.
Hopefully departments take notice.