I’ve noticed the same comments on social media that I suspect many other have about the capture of the man* responsible for the shooting from (not of) the Planned Parenthood location in Colorado Springs. Three people were killed and nine wounded in the attack, including one police officer who was killed and four more injured attempting to save citizens who were taking fire.

Very opinionated but very ignorant people have claimed that the shooter was taken alive because he was white, and also claim that if he was a minority, that police would have gunned him down. These idiots—let’s call them what they are—think cops see color.

I’ve trained with cops from across the country, including officers who have shot numerous suspects over the course of a career. Each incident has one thing in common. The officer was focused the suspect’s actions and overall demeanor, with a particular focus on the suspect’s hands.

If the suspect had a weapon in his hand and was attempting to bring it into action, he was going to take fire.

If the suspect looked like he was reaching for a weapon, he was going to take fire.

If the suspect was a strong, fit attacker going after an officer with personal weapons (hands and feet), he could very well expect to take fire.

Color was and is irrelevant.

All police training is keyed on action and reaction. 

If you listen to police commands, and show empty hands, and move slowly as they tell you to, you will be taken into custody.

It doesn’t matter what you did earlier in the day, or even two minutes before. Officers attempting to bring in a suspect focus second-to-second. What a suspect does in those seconds is what matters, not what he did minutes or hours before.

It is not an officer’s job to judge you, but to take you into custody so that you have your time in front of the judge. Whether or not you get there depends entirely on your actions.

I listened to the final two hours of the Colorado Springs standoff on the police scanner. HRT (Hostage Rescue Team) members had the suspect pinned down to one room, and had a sniper positioned to take him out if he gave them them a target, once they cleared the rooms behind him of more than 20 people trapped in the building. They slowly and methodically worked through the building extracting people, until only one person was thought to still be in the building with the shooter, in one of three rooms.

HRT formed up, deconflicted as best they could, and were about to storm the gunman’s position when he surrendered and came out slowly with his hands up. Again, his actions dictated how police responded.

He didn’t charge a cop attempting to take his weapon, as Michael Brown did (twice). He didn’t reach toward his waistband, as did Keith Harrison McLeod or Tamir Rice, or turn with a realistic AK airsoft gun towards an officer as Andy Lopez did.

Nonetheless, stupid people are going to say stupid things, and so the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police (which has had to deal with more successful and attempted mass shootings than perhaps any other state) decided to address the issue.

This morning we saw a post from Ohio FOP admonishing some who have posted that the only reason the shooter in yesterday’s tragedy was taken alive is because he is white. We responded with the following statement:

“Sadly there are race baiting delusional ignorant fools with an agenda of hate that use any tragic event to peddle their corrupted opinion. What they don’t understand is our job is topreserve life not take it. You see for us all lives matter. That is the primary reason we join this profession. The standard we live by.

We here in Colorado do know the circumstances at the conclusion of the incident in Colorado Springs. In yesterday’s heroic police action the shooter was given the opportunity to surrender. The choice to live or die was his. He chose to live, laid down his weapon, complied with all commands and peacefully surrendered.

What the race baiting morons who believe that he was spared because he was white fail to acknowledge is that just this year alone there have been numerous shootings of police officers where the suspects were taken into custody. Many of those suspects were persons of color. They were not executed. They were taken into custody.

The delusional fools that would have the world believe otherwise promote their hatefilled agenda on the foundation of a national lie rooted in the Michael Brown incident. “Hands up don’t shoot” is their mantra and a false narrative surrounding the events in Ferguson. They are not worthy of the right to post on your page. Let them peddle their hate filled, divisive rhetoric elsewhere. Thank you for your support brother.

Feel free to copy and paste this statement from the Colorado FOP as a response to any such post.”

I’ve received training officers who’ve served in the NYPD, LAPD, St. Louis County Police, the Illinois State Police, and others.

They don’t care about a suspect’s color, because they come in every color of the rainbow, too.

They care about the suspect’s actions.

When a suspect complies with police commands and surrenders, he will be taken into custody without incident.

If a suspect refuses to comply with commands, and makes a move that that can be interpreted as an attempt to deploy a weapon or acquire an officer’s weapon, he or she is going to have a bad day.

In either event, it’s the suspect driving the action, and their choice to live or die.