Understanding Each Other with Josh Ingram
For the longest time, there has always been an invisible divide between the police force and the community. Is there still any hope left for us to bridge this gap? Josh Ingram, the Founder and Executive Director of a nonprofit organization called Caps4Cops, has dedicated his life to bridging the gap between cops and their communities. In an eye-opening discussion, Corey and Josh talk about how successful thinkers really try to see all sides of an issue before they rush into fear and judgment. In the interview, Josh offers practical advice about how to work with the police if you are ever stopped or detained to achieve the safest possible outcome for everyone involved. This is an important episode that works hard to bring communities together.
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Understanding Each Other with Josh Ingram
Bridging The Gap Between Civilians And Law Enforcement
We’ve got a special guest on this episode. I’ve been admiring this man from afar. I’ve been watching what he’s doing on his own show. I’ve been watching his website and his Facebook post and he’s out there probably trying to solve the world’s biggest problem. We have a situation where we’ve got people who are telling us that we should dislike one side or the other side of the groups he’s trying to bring together. I want you to put your thinking caps on and understand what this man has to say. This man is named Josh Ingram. He is the Founder and Executive Director of a nonprofit organization called Caps 4 Cops. He’s getting ready to publish his book Through Our Eyes: Ending the Divide Between Citizens and Police, which is going to be available in paperback and on Kindle. With both law enforcement and military background, Josh has dedicated his life to bridging the gap between cops and their communities. If there was ever a worthier cause, I sure don’t know what it is. Josh, welcome to the show.
Thank you first of all so much for having me. I’m a big fan of your show. I’m a big fan of what you do. It’s a big honor for me to be on with you.
You’re absolutely welcome. I was hoping that you get the ball rolling here by bringing us into your story and sharing with the Successful Thinkers out there how you got from high school to where you are.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m a younger guy. I’m 23 and enrolled in the Police Academy down here in the Houston area. I’m an Army veteran. I graduated high school and I initially went to work for the Harris County Sheriff’s Department. I was a jailer. I did that for a while and then I left from there to enlist in the US Army. I served as an infantryman for a few years where I was stationed out in Fort Carson, Colorado. I got out of the military and felt a calling to go back to my roots essentially in law enforcement. Growing up as a kid, I’d always wanted to be a cop and in high school, I was very heavily involved with Police Explorer programs and things like that. I get out of the Army and I’m thinking I have to go back to my law enforcement roots. I got out and enrolled myself in the Police Academy. I’ve been in the academy since October. I’m in a nine-month program, so I’m scheduled to graduate on July 3rd if all goes well.
I think that’s a tremendous career path for you. What do you think is the motivating factor for you to go back to those roots? What drives your heart?There are things that you are required by law to do when stopped by an officer of the law, but there are also things that you should do for the safety of everyone involved. Click To Tweet
There are many things. The first off that I would have to name is the camaraderie. You think about old war movies when you see people in the Army and the brotherhood they have with each other. I personally felt more of that in the law enforcement community than I did when I was in the military. It was something that made me miss that law enforcement community very much which is how tight-knit they are. In the past decade, we’ve seen a growing divide between citizens and police. It’s gotten very large in the past few years. When you have such a divide like that, when you’re part of the law enforcement community and it seems that there’s this war going on, it feels so good to have this tight-knit group of people who you enjoy being around. They are a second family to you and you can count on them for about anything. That’s what puts my heart in it the most would be the familial aspect of the community.
You mentioned that you’re a younger guy. One of the things that you and I are here to talk about is the misunderstanding. One of the things that I know from working with the community myself is that your generation gets a bad rep. One of the things that is true is that there are always going to be outliers in any generation, but I would venture to say that your generation is doing a lot of good things. Is that something you’d agree with?
I would. I think that my generation is very divided in itself where you have two different styles of minds. You have what you hear on the news all the time, a buzzword that’s emerged, which is the snowflake aspect of my generation. Where there’s a bunch of people who almost feel more entitled and deserving of certain things. Then you have another group of people where they are still very hard workers and hard thinkers. A lot of times there are these good thinkers that are about my age, who are Millennials. There are good thinkers and there are people out there doing good things and just because they are a Millennial, they are misplaced into that category of entitlement. I don’t think that’s the case at all, but I agree with you. I definitely think that’s the stigma that’s been put on them.
That’s the core issue of a lot of the things we’re going to talk about is that there are a lot of generalities and a lot of stigmas and a lot of misnomers in our groups. If you watch my show, one of the things that drive me crazy is that we all have to be in a category. You can’t just be a dude anymore and I can’t be a dude. We’ve got to be in a category. One of the things I saw that was interesting when I watched your show is you were talking about what’s the wise thing to do in any situation regardless of your category. When I was watching, one of the things that I enjoyed is you talked about when a person is pulled over, what a person could do versus what a person is legally obliged to do. Can you talk about that a little bit and what motivates you to talk about those things, which I think are vital?
It would be wisest if I hit the latter part of your question first, which is why am I doing this? To give you an understanding on how I started Caps 4 Cop, I got out of the Army in February of 2018. I had signed up for the Police Academy, but my academy didn’t start until October. I have this period where I’m seemingly floating around in the world with a huge drive inside of me, but nowhere to put that drive. My brother is a very talented drummer. He was playing a show with the Houston Symphony for the big 4th of July event. I went out to see him. The reason I’m telling you this is I want you to understand how Caps 4 Cops got started and why I’m spreading this message.
I’m looking around and there was alcohol being served at this event. As far as I can see, there are beer bottle caps on the ground everywhere and it hit me. I was thinking if you take one of those caps and you were to go recycle it, you might get a fraction of a penny for that one bottle cap. I started thinking if we were to gather all the bottle caps that I’m seeing on the ground, which was an ocean of bottle caps, I wonder how much money was on the ground that night. I started thinking if I were to be the person to recycle these bottle caps and get that recycling value in money, what can I do with that money? With my heart being in law enforcement, the first thing that came to mind was I want to educate the public about police officers.
I want to educate people who have a stigma against police officers and let them know why cops do the things they do. That night I went home, scratched my head and Caps 4 Cops was started. Within the first couple of weeks, we were picking up bottle caps from local bars. After about three or four weeks, we blew up. I started getting shipments in from Disney World, from New York, from California and all over the country from people who want to help. Every cent of the money we gather from these recycled bottle caps goes towards doing two things. The first is we award police officers who are going above and beyond the badge to bridge the gap in their own communities. Whether you are pro-police or anti-police, the one thing we can all agree on is that we want better police officers. We used that money to award police officers who are trying to do better in their communities.
Then the second thing, which is what we’re talking about, is that we educate the public about why cops do the things that they do. Speaking in reference to what you specifically asked me about traffic stops. We see a lot of times and there are buzzwords that are thrown out. There’s a sensitivity that can be thrown out, but it’s important that we define a couple of things and that we call it what it is because it helps us understand the issue. To put it very blatantly, we see a lot of black males afraid when they get pulled over by the police because of things you see on the news. It seems like on the news every day, you see, “Cop kills an unarmed black man.” We see a lot of black males specifically and I’m speaking from experience, the people I deal with that tend to have the most problems typically are black males.
That’s not all of them. I’m giving you the majority. They always ask me, “How do I know that when I get pulled over, I’m not going to get shot by the cop? How do I know that I’m not going to move wrong and he’s going to shoot me?” It’s important to know that the media has vastly blown this out of proportion. My answer to that question is always, “Can you give me the name of a single case in which somebody has been shot for doing nothing other than moving the wrong way during a traffic stop?” Because it hasn’t happened. That is not a reality that we live in. There’s always another circumstance. He was a felon. He was in a commission of a crime. We have to expel those preconceived notions that police are out to kill unarmed black civilians. Once we get that out of the way, now we can talk about what you should do during a traffic stop. There are reasons that a cop can be on edge during a traffic stop. One, it’s a very dangerous thing for a cop to do.
Traffic stops are the second biggest killer of cops in the line of duty. The first is domestic violence calls. Traffic stops are leading second in ways that cops are getting killed on the streets. It’s very important to understand that a cop has reason to be on edge during a traffic stop because that’s how a lot of them get killed. With that said, there are certain things the cop is looking for and there are things you can do that you are not required to do by law, but I recommend people to do because it will keep you safer by keeping the cops safer. One of these things you are not required to do by law unless you’re asked is to roll down all your windows. I’ve been stopped by the police. Even though I’m a big supporter of the police and this and that, I still get stopped by the police. I’m not perfect. I still get pulled over and I’ve gotten a warning every single time. A lot of people say it’s because I’m a white male. I have black friends as well that have the same thing happened to them. This is what you do. You pull over to the side of the road. First of all, it’s important to pull over in a safe spot. A lot of people don’t even think that far.There are bad apples in every profession, but we have to understand that those bad apples don't represent the whole. Click To Tweet
A lot of people like to pull over in the immediate shoulder where if the officer were to get out of his vehicle, there’s traffic within two feet of them going by. You don’t want to do that. It puts the officer in a bad spot. If you can find a good amount of large space where you can pull over and give that cop reasonable room between him and traffic, that will lower his tension first. The next thing you can do is roll down all your windows. The officer, especially at nighttime, wants to see what’s in your car. Another thing you can do that you’re not required to is put your hands on the steering wheel. You don’t have to be stiff. You don’t have to be weird about it. Just rest your hands and relax on the steering wheel. Turn your car off and relax on the steering wheel.
Doing these very small things will help the cop to understand, “I can see your hands,” because that’s what the cop is worried about. He wants to see your hands. He wants to see anybody’s hands in the vehicle because it’s the hands that kill. The head doesn’t kill, the legs don’t kill, the hands kill. The hands are what produce a weapon and kill. They want to see your hands. You show him your hands and you’re respectful, these are all things that the law doesn’t specify you have to do. If you do them, your chances of having a pleasant experience with that police officer are much higher. It’s not about respecting his ego and brushing his ego. It’s about helping him perform his job easier and making that job easier for him. Those are a few simple things I tell people, roll down your window, show them your hands, be respectful and turn your car off.
If you’re going to reach for something, just let them know. You don’t have to be weird about it. Say, “Sir, my insurance is in my glove compartment. Do you mind if I reach in and get it?” Nine out of ten times will say, “Yeah, go ahead.” If you are concealing a weapon on you, if you have a CHL and you’re concealing a weapon, “Sir, I wanted to let you know. I do have a weapon on me. I have a CHL, it’s in my waistband. Nine out of ten times they’ll say, “Okay, as long as you don’t reach for it, we won’t have any problems.” I’ve had a cop asked me, “Do you plan to pull it out and shoot me with it?” I said, “No, sir” and I laughed. He said, “Then I think we’re going to be okay.” That’s how you create a pleasant experience. A lot of people, because they’re anti-police, they believe that their rights are being violated. I have to say that’s the biggest problem I see among people my age is that they often say they know their rights. From my experience, 90% of the time when somebody says, “I know my rights,” there’s a 90% chance that they don’t. That’s the biggest problem I see during these traffic stops.
You covered a lot of wonderful information and you created some interesting insights in there. One of the things that always comes to mind when I’m thinking of these discussions and I listened to people talk in public and I watched the news. One of the things that always comes to my mind is that any time there’s a situation where emotions are high and that’s regardless of whether the police are involved or not, somebody has got to have the wherewithal to say, “Let’s do the safest most sensible thing.” For instance, what came to my mind when you were talking was when I was your age, I had a friend who liked to drink too many beers and gets too tough for his own good. I remember one night I was the driver and I had a soda and he got drunk. He started mouthing off this giant biker guy whose head was as big as a football helmet. This is doing something not sensical in a situation where a person could get hurt.
One of the things that I think is important to take away from what you talked about is when you’re being pulled over, the police officer has a piece of information he’s trying to find out. Sometimes you being pulled over has not anything to do with say, arresting you or giving you a ticket. Sometimes you have a tail light out, sometimes like that. I want to say this as a white male and I’m in my 50s, when I see those red lights, I get scared too. It’s important to understand that we all get scared and we all get nervous. The time to dispute whether or not your rights are violated is not in the heat of that moment. You do not want the police officer to get nervous. Quite frankly, I’m guessing the police officer wants to do things to keep the person they’re stopping from getting nervous. Is that true?
That’s very true. You bring up an excellent point. This is probably the biggest piece of advice I give people on this issue. First of all, you said something which is very true, which is that we all get nervous and even me, I’m surrounded by cops. I live and eat and breathe this and I still get nervous when I get stopped by the police. It’s a very normal response. Police deal with this day in and day out. Every person they pull over is nervous. Obviously, there’s going to be a level of anxiety there, but what they look for is a level of anxiety that is more than usual. It’s normal for a person to be nervous when you pull them over. It’s not normal for them to be sweating and shaking and not looking you in the eye and giving you indirect answers.
That’s why they probe because that means you are probably doing something that you shouldn’t be doing, that you’re nervous of the police officer finding out. What they look for is anxiety that is above the norm. The point that I want to hit that you made is that the time to dispute your rights being violated is not during that traffic stop. This is something I can’t preach enough. Oftentimes, and I hate to say it, but Millennials do this. Millennials from what I’ve seen are vastly guiltier of this than any other age group. They get pulled over by a police officer. They pull out their phone. They start recording the police officer, which is totally constitutional. You can absolutely do that, but then they start giving the police officer verbal resistance and telling the police officer that they’re wrong. They’re abusing their rights.
They refuse to follow commands given by the police officer and they wind up in jail. For example, a question I get a lot of the time is if a police officer tells you to step out of your vehicle, do you have to? The answer to that is yes, absolutely. If you want a reference, there’s a Supreme Court case. It’s Pennsylvania v. Mimms. I believe that was in 1977. The Supreme Court ruled that if a police officer feels like it is necessary for his safety to have you removed from the vehicle, he can absolutely do that. If that means he’s pulled you over on a highway and he feels like you and he would be safer off to the shoulder standing on the side of the road, he can tell you to step out of the vehicle and you have to step out.
This is not an option. This is not something you can say no to. A lot of times you’ll see on YouTube, these people telling the cops, “I don’t have to step out. What do you want me to step out for? I haven’t committed a crime.” It doesn’t matter. When a police officer tells you to step out, you step out. You are lawfully required to. Here’s why that matters. Let’s say a police officer stops you unlawfully. Let’s say that a bad cop gets behind you, stops you for no reason and you are a victim at this point. The cop has abused his power and you are a victim. When the cop comes up to you and tells you to step out of the vehicle and you say no, it doesn’t matter if that stuff is unlawful or not. The moment you say no, you have taken the case that you potentially had against that police officer and you’ve thrown it in the trash.
The best thing you can do is comply. I tell this and that goes beyond traffic stops. Any interaction with the police, whether you think the police are in the right or you think they’re in the wrong, it doesn’t matter. Any interaction with the police, the best thing you can do is comply. If you think that the police are doing something wrong, if you think that they are breaking a law, if you think that they are violating your constitutional rights, comply and then fight it in court. The moment you start resisting them and creating a problem, you have now discredited yourself and you’re probably going to lose that case to an extent. Now, there’s nothing you can do because you have resisted a police officer. You actually have charges against you which you, by statute, are guilty of. The best thing you can do for yourself if you want to fight for your own civil rights is to comply.Even though we may not agree with the actions of one side or another, we have to learn empathy. Click To Tweet
Wait until if the officer’s going to make an arrest, let them arrest you. If they’re going to write a ticket, let them write you a ticket. Comply and then take it to court and fight it at a later point. I will end it with this, which is that most of my friends are police officers. I know thousands of them and an overwhelming majority of police officers when they pull somebody over, if all it is is a traffic infraction, 95% of the time, the people I know will let you off with a warning and that’s how it is. The police officers get a bad rep for only pulling over people to meet a quota, which is illegal. Cops can’t pull people over for a quota. It’s another misconception, but that’s a thing that’s on there.
People say they’re there to get money for the city and stuff like that. The truth is when cops are conducting traffic enforcement, they have one goal in mind and that is the safety of every operator of a motor vehicle on the roadway. If they can stop you and walk up to you and say, “Why are you speeding? You need to slow down,” and they feel like that interaction, you’ve been respectful and you say, “I apologize, I was speeding,” and that interaction is respectful and positive. There’s a very good overwhelming chance that they are going to say, “Slow it down. I’m giving you a warning. Have a nice day.” Because if they can get your compliance from a discussion, they would rather do that than write you a ticket.
A lot of times the reason people get tickets are that they’re rude, they’re disrespectful and the cop doesn’t feel like the message hit home hard enough with a verbal discussion, so they’re getting written ticket. This doesn’t go for all cops. There are some cops out there that love writing tickets. I get that, but I’m speaking on the majority, which is if you’re respectful, you’re positive, you do what I’ve said, you comply, no matter how you feel about the situation, you’ll probably get let off with a warning. If you comply, you have a much better chance of fighting your case in court later on if the cop was in the wrong.
You made some brilliant points there because the real thing about it is you don’t want to commit a crime protesting a crime. The reason why we’re having this discussion is that what you’re talking about is how to successfully think through a tense situation. That’s what most people miss in any personal interaction. We talked earlier when I was on a different podcast and one of the things we talked about is, “Is this the best time for me to have a confrontation?” You and I or in any situation, I need to check myself and say, “Is right now, while I’m upset and my nerves are high and I’m scared, is that the best time for me to have any confrontation?”
You laid that out beautifully for us. This is not the time, emotions are high. What you want to do is keep emotions from getting even higher. The other thing is that when we talk about misrepresentation, one of the things that I’ve always believed is the vast majority of police interactions with civilians are let’s say non-life-threatening or people don’t get hurt. They go the way they’re supposed to go. Is that somewhere in the realm of truth?
Yes, and to prove that point, I’m going to ask you a question, Corey. I want to know if you have around about guess. “If you had to guess, do you know approximately how many police officers are sworn and working right now in the United States?”
“I would guess something like 100,000.”
That’s what a lot of people guess. They usually low ball it. It’s actually about 900,000. Let me ask you this. “If you were to take one of those 900,000, one police officer, how many people do you think that one police officer comes in contact with each and every day on a regular shift?”
“20 to 25.”
It depends on the area. In some areas, it’s twenty and in some areas, it’s 100. If you go up to NYPD, sometimes those guys are working with 200 people a day. Let’s go lower even that because honestly, it helps the opposition. Let’s go lower and say that one cop comes into contact with ten people a day. We’re talking 900,000 police officers coming into contact with ten people a day each. Each day, that’s nine million police and citizen interactions. Let me ask you this. I promise you the number is much larger than nine million, but let’s low ball it. Let’s assume that now, nine million people have come into contact with law enforcement. Of those nine million people, have you heard of any that were shot for no reason?When emotions get involved, people make bad decisions. Click To Tweet
If I were to ask you over the last week, nine million each day for a week, have you heard any?
That is the problem. We have an overwhelming majority of day in and day out, millions of people coming into contact with the police, but the thing is those contacts aren’t on the news. The news only reports the 0.0001% of instances that go bad and they take this marginal number and play it out to be the majority. Law enforcement gets a bad rep, but the truth is over 99% are doing a good thing because 0.0001% is exponentially small, the amount of interactions that go bad between police and citizens.
One of the things that I think about when you use those types of figures is airline travel. Human beings make decisions emotionally and not necessarily rationally. When I equate it to airline travel, I know no one who is afraid to get in their car and drive somewhere. I know tons and tons of people who either can’t get on a plane at all or take a couple of drinks to do so. As a pharmacist, I’ve dispensed thousands of prescriptions for medications that people needed to take to get on an airplane, but the statistics on airline safety versus traffic safety is mind-boggling. The chances of being killed in an airplane are almost nothing. Even if you were flying on 9/11 when four planes went down, you still had a four in 40,000 chance of being in an airline crash that day.
If I gave you those odds on a lottery ticket, you wouldn’t probably take it. It’s important that we as regular people take a look at what’s going on and not let mainstream media bend our approach to life. It affects a lot of things because one of the things that sadden me is when something happens and we immediately attack all the people involved. You and I were talking before this. One of the things that I was saying was that when we have a high emotional situation, everybody has to make the best decision based on the information they have at the time. That’s the police, that’s the people that they’re with, then the media comes along and the investigators come along. Now they can use all these forensic clues all the time in the world to decide what should have been done at that time. It’s important to realize that we’re talking about people dealing with people.
The media have a job to do. I understand that. Their job is to spread the news and doing that, they have to boost their ratings. They have to get headlines out that will get attention. I understand that and I don’t necessarily have a personal bad feeling against the media, but I do think they misreport intentionally in order to boost their ratings. The thing that media has that’s such a distinct advantage, when you see something, a police relay, when you see body cam footage on the news and they’re dissecting it, saying what the cop did wrong. The thing that the media has at such an advantage is the gift of hindsight. They’re able to take that footage and rewind it twenty, 30 times and watch it over and over again. They attend what I like to call the YouTube Police Academy, where because of seeing a 30-second clip of footage of an incident that actually lasted three hours, they look at this 30-second clip of footage and they assume that they understand everything about what happened and talk about what the cops should have done.
The truth is, even police officers will not look at body cam footage and make those type of determinations. We understand that there’s this little thing we like to say and that’s the totality of the circumstances. We understand that unless you know the totality of the circumstances, you can’t make that call. The only officer that knows the totality of the circumstances is the officer that was there when that incident happened because they forget the human factor, which is the police officer who was in that incident didn’t have a rewind button. He didn’t get to go back in time and look at what happened. He had to make a split second decision in that moment of something that he could have potentially felt was life or death. You talk on something interesting, which was when bad things do happen and they do.
I spoke earlier about how 99% of police work is not on the news. That’s what’s interesting to realize. We have to understand that the industry of law enforcement is very much a fishbowl profession. What I mean by that is you have everybody on the outside looking in. You have the media, the public on Facebook. When you turn on your phone and look at social media, you see these cops doing stuff. It’s this fishbowl profession where everyone has gone to the YouTube Police Academy, got their certificates and they’re all telling the cops how they should do their job. What they don’t understand is that 99% of those cops’ jobs are not on the internet. This is what’s overwhelming for people. The largest amount of oversight that police officers receive is not from the media and it’s not from the public. It’s from within their department.
As bad of a rep as internal affairs get for covering up police actions, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. The largest amount of oversight comes from within their own department. To give the example of this, January 28th, you probably saw it. It was on the news all across the country. There was an HPD shooting, in which five officers were shot and injured and two suspects ended up dead during a drug search warrant. At first, the response was, “These people shot cops. These people are so bad. These cops were just trying to do their jobs.” It came out that the police officers lied on the warrant, that it was a bad warrant all together and now these two suspects are dead.Regardless of your political beliefs, we're all human. Click To Tweet
Now it’s turning into a whole different type of investigation, which is a potential murder because the police officers didn’t have the lawful right to be where they were because that warrant was not valid. What’s interesting is this is blown up and people have said, “The police are so bad. This is a sign of how the police are corrupt.” What people don’t understand is that those discoveries were made during an internal affairs investigation. This was not an outside entity that investigated the Houston Police Department and made these discoveries. This was Houston Police Department that investigated their own officers and found out this was a bad warrant. They are now moving forward to hopefully hold them accountable and do a proper investigation to make sure that all the I’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. It’s very interesting to me because people have this bad stigma against internal affairs.
Here’s an example of when internal affairs were doing their good job at calling out bad cops. We’ll see how that turns out. This is one of many examples where police officers are holding each other accountable each and every day. There are bad apples in every profession. We have to accept that. I’m very quick to call out bad cops. I do it frequently on my channel and when my book is released, you’ll read in my book that I’m very quick to call out police officers that are doing the wrong thing. I think there are things that can be fixed within the police department. I’m not blind to that, but we have to understand that those bad apples don’t represent the whole. There are still good cops and the good cops that are out there hate it when a bad cop comes around and does something bad because it hurts all of us. When a bad cop does something, it puts that stain, it taints that image of all of us who are trying to do good things. Now people don’t trust the good cops because of what they see on the news. That’s where I have a big problem.
No one ever entered the police force thinking, “I just want to go out and shoot people,” or “I want to see how many bribes I can take in.” A lot of that is probably movie industry-driven as well. We live in two worlds. We live in a reality world and we live in a fantasy world. I think as successful thinkers, we should be doing our best to stop and try to take the emotions out of it and put some intelligence into it using statistical analysis and looking at what do the numbers show. Something that you didn’t mention but I’m thinking also exists is role-playing and practice. Whenever any situation goes down that’s of any seriousness, I’m sure that police departments review and discuss. Even if it went okay, was there a better way to do it?
There’s always an after-action briefing where you get together and you talk about the tactical training aspect of it. How can we do this better in the future? I know we’re cutting it to the end, but I do want to hit on two things, which is one, just to mention what you talked about with the role-playing. There was a very large supporter of Black Lives Matter. I forget what state this was in, but he was I believe the head of his Black Lives Matter chapter. They were protesting the police killing of unarmed black males. The local sheriff’s department by him invited him to come out and go through a role play training scenario. He accepted the invite. He came out and they gave him a training gun, which is like a real gun, but instead of shooting bullets, it shoots little paint pellets.
They gave him a gun and a duty belt and they put him in training scenarios with actors to see if he would shoot or not shoot. What they found was out of three different scenarios all three times, he shot unarmed people multiple times. He even went through these scenarios more than once. Each time, he ended up shooting unarmed people himself. Here he was protesting that very same thing. It was interesting, he came out after that experience and apologize to law enforcement and said that he didn’t understand what all went into the job and that he would do a better job of spreading the accurate information in the future. What was sad about that was the black community disowned him and called him a sellout for being willing to be open-minded. The second thing that I’ll finish with is that I definitely refer to statistical analysis more than anything else.
That’s because when you see an unarmed black male shot on the news and you don’t know the details, it’s easy to feel passionate about that. It’s easy to be angry at the police and it’s easy to have agonizing pain over the loss of that seemingly innocent life. I totally understand that. The truth is how you feel does not impact the truth of the situation. The reason I put facts out there is that the facts don’t care about your feelings. The facts are the facts and it’s the truth. We have to move forward not based off how we feel about a situation, but what was true about the situation. We can’t put a false narrative out there that police officers are acting with racial disparity, that they’re all racist and that they’re out there to kill unarmed black males or that they’re out there to kill people in general that are unarmed. We can’t put those false narratives out there if the facts don’t back it. I go with the facts because that is the biggest truth we have. It’s on record. I choose that over emotions because like you said, when emotions get involved, people make bad decisions.
The point that we want to make, you and I together, is it isn’t so much that black lives matter or blue lives matter, everyone’s life matters. The reason that you and I are having this discussion is that we want to quiet some of those fears that cause people to make actions that cause police to get nervous. If it’s 0.0001%, we want it to be like to the hundredth power.
That’s something that both sides would agree on. I have a friend of mine who’s a rapper, but he’s a police officer. He’s a cop rapper. I know it’s crazy to imagine, but he’s a full-time cop and in his spare time, he’s a rapper and does hip hop music. In one of his songs, the lyric that sticks with me is that people on both sides die while you and I argue who mattered. To me, that’s so powerful because when we lose a police officer, it’s an agonizing pain. It’s losing a brother. When a black kid dies at the hands of the police, their family is equally hurt. We have to learn empathy for the other side that even though we may not agree with the actions of one side or another, we have to learn empathy. We’re both feeling the same pain. Until we start to realize the aspect, which is humanity and restoring humanity, that regardless of your political beliefs, we’re all human. Police officers aren’t robots, they’re humans and not every citizen is out to commit crimes and kill people. They’re human too. Both sides have to have that understanding for us to restore humanity and move forward together.
That’s beautiful and I hope that the audience took that message to heart. What we’re trying to do is restore humanity to a world that needs to take a collective deep breath. Josh, can you tell us a little bit about how we can support Caps 4 Cops and exactly what we could do to make your mission successful?
Caps 4 Cops is very easy. As an organization, we’ve never asked for a dime. All we ask for is your bottle caps. Our website is where you can find most of the information, that’s Caps4Cops.com. We just want your bottle cap. Send them to PO Box 2113, Spring, Texas 77383. The biggest thing we got going on is me getting ready to release this new book. I’m sure you know publishing a book can cost money and that’s where we’re lacking a little bit. We did create a Go Fund Me to help with the book publishing costs. Any donation helps, but if you donate $20 or more, your name will be in the book under a special thank you page for helping develop this project. The biggest thing about this book is that when it’s published, I am not taking a cut at all. Every bit of profit and proceed is going straight back into Caps 4 Cops. Every cent will be used to help in the divide. Thank you so much and thank you again for having me on the show. I’m a big fan. I’d love to have you on my morning show sometime.
Thank you so much and thank you, Successful Thinkers, because you are part of making our society a humane, sensible, thought leadership society. I want you to know that we truly believe in all of you, on both sides of this issue and we want the best for you. Thank you so much and God bless. Remember, I believe in you.
About Josh Ingram
Josh Ingram is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit organization, Caps 4 Cops. He is getting ready to publish his new book, “Through Our Eyes: Ending the divide between citizens and police”, which will be available in a paperback version on Amazon and ebook version on Kindle.
With both law enforcement and military background, Josh has dedicated his life to bridging the gap between cops and their communities.
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