Click here for a free download the incredible page-turner: “People’s History of the United States” audiobook to help support this series.
Audiobooks.com is awesome. Like Netflix for books.
Transcript of the video — it’s not exact as there’s some improv and editing throughout the process. Many sources can be found within the video itself although hoping to have the resources in the future to include sources for every fact mentioned in word-for-word transcripts.
My name’s Matthew Cooke and this is HOW TO BE AN OFFICER OF THE PEACE. Public confidence in police is at a 22 year low. For months, brutality and abuse of power have been making the rounds on our national commercial news media. And yet horrific incidents of police abuse are continuing across the country… Sandra Bland threatened … and ordered out of her car for “failure to extinguish cigarette” which I don’t think has been a crime since 1836 when the Republic of Texas officially legalized slavery.
Sandra who’d recently expressed excitement about starting her new job allegedly committed suicide 3 days later while in jail. 70% of black America has unsurprisingly lost any real confidence in our so called justice system and many speculate she was murdered.
But even if she did commit suicide… Consider that means after being kidnapped by the state, and confined for 3 days over a turn signal she lost all hope and preferred to die than live another day in the custody of the state — that alone a crime against humanity.
Then there’s the case of Deven Guilford, a 17 year old pulled over for the crime of warning an Officer his high beams might be on. The unarmed teenager dared to question this crazy making and within 4 minutes this boy — who according to his family had never even been in a fist fight, was shot 7 times, including the head.
In both cases local authorities deemed the officers behavior lawful. And so for now, our laws governing “use of force” make sense to only 1 race in America or species I should say: the crocodile, which attack anything that moves with no provocation — the following presentation is for our HUMAN brothers and sisters in blue…
Please read a book. I don’t mean that insultingly. I want to help and actually this is one of my favorite books. And it’s something everybody should read. It will bring you into a state of peace and wellbeing you need for any job. The job of life. You can download it for free and listen to it on our smart phone in our car or wherever.
It’s called The 4 Agreements. The link to the download is in the description above or below the video. And you get a free trial membership to download any audio books along with it.
The 4 agreements raised the quality of my life. It’s a fast listen. And worth repeating if you’re already familiar.
Because right now, it’s not about whether you’re legally ALLOWED to use force and impose your will over others. It’s whether you SHOULD. You have some freedom of choice.
So let me introduce you to a few of your comrades. They’re probably the best people to demonstrate: … This is an Officer I happen to know personally (let’s call him Officer D because I’m not sure he wants public attention).
So here’s officer D literally talking a man off a ledge… Notice what we don’t see. We don’t see Officer D shooting the man who wants to kill himself because suicide is illegal or because the man’s being belligerent and disrespectful. And we have ourselves a hero.
Next we see Officer D in a stand-off with a shooter who’s already injured one officer and has taken two other’s hostage. Officer D will spend the next 8 hours building trust with an armed maniac who ends up calming down and turning himself in peacefully. Notice what we didn’t see. We did not see a SWAT team storm in, drop a flash grenade into a child’s crib nor were any family pets shot for no apparent reason. What we saw was an officer of the peace…
Then there’s Elton Simmons. A true miracle worker. Some might call him Saint Simmons. So amazing CBS did a story on him… How did he do it?
Many would assume he discovered the secrets of mind control after meditating on the flame of a candle for 20 years, or that he studied the wisdom of the ancients in Tibet as a child. But no… his trick is actually quite simple: [he doesn’t put himself above others]
One last example, for those who hope to earn the title Keeper of the Peace.
This is Antoinette. She faced an armed 20-year-old who was off his medication for a mental disorder and ready to shoot up an elementary school. But nobody got hurt that day. How did she do it? Not with massive firepower learned from years of playing Call of Duty. Nor did her years of as a school librarian play into it. She just spoke from her heart.
So what tools did these masters of peace use to obliterate the enemy of violence, conflict and disorder. patience, respect, compassion.
Things that we can all start to learn by reading a book like the 4 agreements.
You know what’s way more bad ass than pulling a gun on an unarmed person? This cartoon from Nickelodeon: [clip from Avatar: The Last Airbender — the best kid’s cartoon ever]
Which looks like this in real life: A peace officer rescuing a KKK member who’s passing out from the heat of the sun and the hatred in his own heart.
So… for all the police, sheriffs, rangers, marshals, troopers etc — who want to be loved, respected and truly bring peace and security to the communities you serve, remember 3 things:
1) life is short. If being a whistleblower on immoral behavior means you lose your job, the job wasn’t worth it. We’ll have your back. And so will your higher power. Be that God or the common Good.
2) If you abuse your power, you shame not just your self, but the badge of honor that nearly 1 million men and women wear. You disgrace us all. And do great damage to the country.
3) Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Anyone in a state of distress, anyone who’s the cause of violence, in the throws of addiction, homelessness, mental illness is not in a state of peace.
So for you to be of service you have to in a state of peace. And I mean an impenetrable calm that people can feel in a 50 foot radius.
That takes work. Not just at the gym or the firing range but at the therapist’s office, on the prayer rug 5 times a day or in the church, — wherever you fuel up on your state of peace. If are that type of human being you are already a hero. To maintain that, you are going to need some serious backup.
And now I’m talking to everybody else…
If we are to entrust any human being to be a keeper of the peace and ask of them a deeper patience, higher consciousness and greater wisdom than the average person, we can’t put them on the front lines of addiction, mental illness, child poverty, domestic turmoil, unemployment, social decay or into war zones which are combination of all of the above working overtime with zero backup.
Any criminologist — will tell you addressing this list is the only thing that reduces crime. Not fear. Not beheadings. Not more prisons. Not zero tolerance. Not shotguns or massive surveillance. None of that.
So instead of voting for judges, sheriffs, mayors, congresspeople or presidents that want to invest 80 Billion dollars a year into a police state… do not settle for voting anyone into any office that doesn’t flat out represent the opposite.
And we cannot sit by and wait for effective self governance to be handed to us like every day is Christmas.
We’ve done a few things this last year. We got together and with the help of the lawyers at the ACLU ended the torture of solitary confinement for teenagers in Riker’s island. It’s over. No more solitary. It’s a baby step. But lives have been saved.
After the suicide of Kalief Browder who spent 3 years without even getting a trial the people rose up — and starting next year, NY is reducing the number of Americans who have to sit in jails before trial. Another baby step.
Imagine what happens as criminal justice reform becomes a mass movement.
Here’s the good news: a majority of liberal and conservative Americans no longer believe our criminal justice system serves the common good. So our time is now.
Imagine a cop sees an addict buying an 8-ball of cocaine, and what does he do? He drives the addict to the local rehab and gives the dealer the sign up sheet for a job-training program, that going to give dude a better salary than street dealing, brought to you by the Los Angeles Peace Department.
And you better believe if drugs were decriminalized the price of an 8-ball would be 35 cents and that dealer would be grateful as hell. Just don’t let Monsanto start marketing it…
Imagine a country where to get a gun, you can’t have a clear history of mental illness. And imagine a day where you can safely have a discussion and even a disagreement with a police officer without fear of attack, or drive down the street as a black person and not be arrested for being irritated at being arrested.
And if you think that sounds crazy or impossible to accomplish just remember. We turned the world from this. [image of horses and buggies] To this. [image of Times Square, NYC] In 100 years. So we can do anything.
All we have to do is something. Contact a representative. Go to a city council meeting.
Here’s what I did today: I joined an organization. I made a donation money to help someone start earning a business. I told my local sheriff’s dept I wanted to do ride alongs to understand better what they’re dealing with. I made this video.
And I’m listening to the audio book, The 4 Agreements Again (the link for a free download to that, is in the description).
So Peace Officers. Please step up. And the rest of us, we got work to do.
A collage of some comments that came in after I posted this video that really moved me. Wanted to share in case they make you feel inspired and encouraged the way they did for me…