Watch this video.
The situation in Toronto earlier this week was pretty dramatic – a man, a rented van, and seemingly, a mission to hurt and kill as many innocent pedestrians as possible. While it’s something we’ve seen before, there were two things that stood out to me as remarkably different.
The first, the one that has been justifiably lauded by so very many, is the composure of the police officer who ultimately disarmed the suspect. His actions have already been recognized as being text-book perfect. He was calm, and he controlled and managed the situation in a manner that will surely be used in the future for instructing how to deal with these all too frequent incidents. It was reassuring to witness an officer of the law bringing a horrific episode to an end without a single bullet. Bravo.
The second thing that impressed me was the absolute lack of awareness about the situation demonstrated by three pedestrians who walked through the scene as it unfolded. I use the word “scene” intentionally, because what in the world was those people thinking – perhaps, that they had stumbled upon a movie being filmed? I mean, look at them! There’s a police officer facing in their direction with a weapon drawn and they’re just ambling along? How is it that they were not prevented from walking into the middle of a wildly volatile situation? And, more striking, how clueless were they?
If folks can’t assess the threat of an ongoing altercation between the police and a suspect, I have little faith that they’ll ever be able to prevent more occurrences like the one in Toronto (or NYC, or Barcelona or Muenster…) by seeing and saying something. Eyes open, people.