My Six Point Plan to Reduce Baltimore’s and Urban City Violence
Ron Martinelli, Ph.D., CMI-V, BCFT
Certified Medical Investigator
Copyright © October 16, 2015
The other day the mainstream media reported that members of several coalitions, including the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement protested the hiring of Baltimore’s incoming Police Commissioner Kevin Davis and briefly attempted to occupy City Hall. The protesters presented a list of six “demands” for changing how police interact with the public and respond to protestors. I have heard and discussed the unreasonableness of the majority of these BLM-style demands before.
As a professional who has been involved in the science of crime and violence for over 36 years as both a police officer and a criminologist, here’s MY 6 Point Plan for reducing Baltimore’s horrendous violent crime rate and the community’s negative interactions with police. In fact, my plan works everywhere if people follow it.
My 6-Point Plan
• Stop committing crimes. If you don’t commit, or involve yourself in criminal activity, your chances of being stopped, detained, searched or arrested by police are almost ZERO with the exception of traffic violations.
• If you do get stopped/detained; be respectful with authority. Don’t cop an
“attitude.” Be polite and respectful with the officer(s) who stop you. Listen to the reason(s) they provide and have a studied response instead of an emotional reaction to those reasons. Don’t aggressively argue the stop. Now is not the time. Court is the venue for such arguments; not the street. Always remember that although you might have the last word; cops have the last act(s). Think about how many serious uses of police force began because the person stopped unnecessarily became angry, unreasonable, abusive and ultimately resistive.
• NEVER RESIST a detention or arrest. You have no legal right to do so. In fact, even if the detention or arrest is unlawful on its face; if you resist the officers, you are breaking the law and will be convicted for it. Argue the detention/arrest in court with a competent attorney. Have you noticed that EVERYONE who is ultimately injured or killed during a police encounter resisted being detained or arrested? This is not rocket science. Remember that no matter how you feel about your encounter with police; there are ALWAYS unintended consequences to acts of resistance. If citizens would not resist detentions and arrests, the violence level between citizens and police would drop to nearly ZERO.
• Stop using, selling and/or encouraging the use of drugs. In most if not all communities in this country, drug encouragement, use and the sales of drugs is a major root cause of violence in communities. Drugs ultimately enslave the human spirit and physical being. People who encourage drug use and sell drugs are slave masters. Drug sellers and enablers poison our communities and destroy lives. Those who enable and/or glorify those who sell drugs for whatever reason are you real enemies; not your friends or people you should admire. If you use illegal or misuse legal prescription drugs, you are enslaving yourself and you have no one else to blame for your poor life decision(s). If people did not encourage, sell or use drugs, incidents of violent and exploitive crime would be significantly reduced in our communities.
• EDUCATE YOURSELVES and encourage others you know and love to prioritize education in their lives. Education and knowledge is a direct path to success, empowerment and social independence. Education brings “context,” as well as personal and social awareness. Education is the foundation of critical job skills that creates opportunities for employment and advancement. Independent, educated, self-aware and motivated people pull themselves up out of environments filled with poverty, despair, hopelessness, apathy, abuse, exploitation and violence. Independent, educated and motivated people rarely make poor live decisions because they now have context and can “see” the light at the end of the tunnel. They are intelligent enough not be become enslaved by teenaged pregnancy, drug addiction, prostitution, and living on government entitlement programs which ultimately destroy the human spirit and any desire to move forward.
Don’t waste the opportunity to educate yourself and then blame others because you make poor life decisions; don’t have any marketable job skills, and no one will offer you employment. Why should they? You have nothing to offer. No one has a right to employment; it is a “supply and demand” only environment. No education and no marketable job skills; equals unemployment and continued economic “slavery” by the government entitlement encouraging slavemasters.
Always remember that educated, motivated, job skilled and independent people are rarely susceptible to committing criminal and/or violent acts. Education and personal independence do not create the environment where crime, violence and exploitation reside.
• Prioritize, practice, encourage and mentor family values in your life and in the lives of those you touch. Make good life decisions early on. Don’t get pregnant, or impregnate others as a teen. Choose your close friends and life partners wisely. Be a good parent and a mentor to your kids. Be available to them. Provide direction. Practice “tough love,” even when it is a challenge. Teach your children to value education and to step away from negative influences. Show them daily that they matter. Teach them to have respect for others and themselves. Teach them to give back and not be selfish or entitled. Teach them to respect authority, even when it is difficult to do so. Teach them that ALL lives matter. Crime and violence never resides in any environment filled with love, respect and religious and family values.
See us and learn from us – The BLM-style protestors in Baltimore need to understand that you could get rid of every corrupt cop on the beat and still have a high crime rate in their city and in others just like Baltimore. Police-community relations are a two-way street.
This means that it is difficult to distrust or hate people close up. It’s not just “all about you.” Citizens need to make a serious effort to “see” that police are responders to and not the creators of their problems. When you call the police for help late at night, they are the people who run towards the danger without regards to what color, religion, or economic status you are. They are there to help you and have no other motivation than to protect and serve. They venture into dark places of extreme danger that would shock and awe you. They instantly sacrifice themselves without care of personal safety, their families, or their possessions – all so that you will live. The protestors and media who criticize police would never consider doing this. Yet, they want to instantaneously and speculatively disparage them. Learn and understand before you criticize.
As citizens and the media, you have an ethical obligation to learn about the police. You need to “see” who they are, what they do and why they do it. They are required to learn about you, but there are no legal requirements that citizens learn about them. That’s patently stupid and unfair. This is also what exacerbates the fissure between the police and their communities. There should be mandated training at all levels of education about civil rights and the police.
Finally, remember that life isn’t always fair and it’s worse when you are uneducated, unskilled, entitled; and/or a government dependent slave to drugs/alcohol, or government subsistence programs and have no hope or motivation to move forward. It’s also rough and nearly impossible to make it in life when you are a gang member; an absent, thoughtless, abusive, neglectful, selfish, “all about me; give me the free stuff” uncaring person who would rather assess blame upon others then take responsibility for their own poor life decisions which they could have prevented.
People and politicians in our collective urban communities and nation need to get their collective acts together. They need to stop making stupid life decisions. They need to pull themselves away from government entitlement enslavement where they think that everyone owes them something and they don’t have to produce. They need to have and follow a plan like the one I have so directly laid out. It’s just that simple. So what’s difficult you ask? The challenge is that it takes heroic courage to start following and sticking to it. If people can’t find it within themselves to do that, they will be hurting and killing each other forever.
About the Author
Ron Martinelli, Ph.D., CMI-V, BCFT, is a forensic criminologist and Certified Medical Investigator who directs the nation’s only Forensic Death Investigations and Independent Review Team. Dr. Martinelli is a retired police detective and a Federal/State Courts qualified subject matter expert in the investigation of violent crimes and death. He has investigated over 200 police-involved shootings and in-custody deaths. His law enforcement/forensics site is found at http://www.DrRonMartinelli.com.