Was the Shooting of Jacob Blake Justified?

George Floyd was murdered. There is no doubt in my mind of that. The police officer that knelt on his neck causing Floyd’s death should be tried and convicted and sent to prison.

But the Jacob Blake incident looks different to me than the George Floyd incident. When I watch the video of the Jacob Blake incident I see a man refusing to comply with police officer orders, acting in a hostile manner (by refusing to comply), and walking to his vehicle, opening the door, and possibly reaching for a weapon contained inside. This is a man that should be punished for not complying with the police officer’s instructions. He should NOT be shot, but he deserves punishment, such as a night in jail or $100 fine. By opening the door to the van where he very well could have been looking to retrieve a weapon, I think his punishment should be increased. He should NOT be shot, but deserves a month in jail, and perhaps a $10,000 fine.

The police officer involved had mere seconds to try to decide if Jacob Blake was going to increase his hostility toward the police officers (Blake was already hostile by refusing to talk to the police). It is possible that Blake was going to grab a weapon to shoot at both police officers and anyone else standing near by. The police officers involved had no way to know, and we want police officers to error on the side of protecting themselves and the public.

Perhaps new information will come to light to provide clarity and answers. But for now, I think the police officer should be put on administrative leave pending an investigation, and that protests of the officers actions are unjustified at this time.

Trump. Neither a Good Leader, Nor a Good Manager

A good leader would have asked the nation to prepare for the possibility that covid-19 might cause death in our society and significant disruptions in our way of life.  A good manager would have started gathering resources and putting plans in place to deal with the risks of covid-19 just in case they came to fruition.  Trump did neither of these things, for he is neither a good leader nor a good manager.  In fact, he exacerbated the problems because he is a bad leader and a bad manager.  Instead of accepting there was a risk, he said the threat of the virus was a hoax.  He did this because he feared that any concern he expressed that the risk of covid-19 might be real would cause a sell off in the stock market, which would greatly affect his pride and possibly his re-election chances.  He also did not have his staff begin stockpiling equipment or making plans because he, and most of his staff, are incompetent and simply don’t know how to manage large operations.  They lack the self-discipline to focus on tedious tasks and see projects through to completion.

When covid-19 became real in the United States, Trump again failed as both a leader and a manager.

A good leader would have asked the people of our country, and the world, to come together to take the actions necessary to slow down the damage caused by the virus.  Instead of doing this, Trump, fearing that this would reflect badly on him, spent his resources trying to push the blame on the Democrats, China, Obama, the World Health Organization, the CDC, governors of Democratic states, and others.  Trump refused to wear a mask and down-played the possible increase in cases and deaths that could occur.  This lack of leadership led his flock to follow his example and adamantly and violently refuse to wear masks and practice social distancing.  Millions of his followers ignored the advice of all health professionals due to the distrust of all caused by their failure to agree with Trump.  A good leader would have asked the people of the country to come together, to each sacrifice a little for the good of all others.  A good leader would have spoken words of encouragement about how, working together, we could all get through this together.  But we heard no such talk from Trump.  Instead Trump spent his time casting blame.  Sadly, he spent much time stirring up resentment against Democrats and Liberals, much to the delight of foreign countries like Russia and China that love to see Americans spend our resources tearing each other apart instead of making America stronger.

A good manager, in this time, would have set up a central organization to share and manage information, PPE, guidance, and plans and practices.  Although Trump’s administration started to do some of these things they lacked the managerial competence to see the actions through.  Essentially they got bored with trying to deal with a coordinated response.  They gave up and told the states that they each needed to deal with this on their own.

During all this time Trump’s actions caused additional harm from the fact that everyone in the country expected our national government to take the lead.  Valuable time passed while states and cities and hospitals waited for the U.S. government to take the lead and provide guidance and coordination.

Finally, a good leader would have showered praise on the good works of others.  He would have done this continually.  He would have spoken from his heart when doing so rather than reading it from a piece of paper as if he were reading his 5th grade book report.  Any person that has read and studied the traits of good leaders and good managers, and the traits of poor leaders and poor managers, will see that Trump exhibits the traits and actions of poor leadership.  His only tools for motivating others is to threaten, bully, and instill fear.  Likewise, you can see he lacks the patience to manage anything properly.  He doesn’t want to waste time on anything he doesn’t enjoy, despite the value it may provide to millions of people.