Community activist Quanell X is famous in Houston for blasting law enforcement officials during protests connected to police-related shootings. In order to get a perspective on what an officer goes through when facing life-and-death situations, the head of Houston’s New Black Panther Party agreed to attend Missouri City Police Department training.
KHOU reported that Quanell participated in four-live action scenarios. All of them were based on incidents that have happened in real-life. Reporters accompanied Quanell to see if his perspective might change after the training exercises.
“Wait, wait. Show me your hands,” Quanell yelled during a scenario that involved a routine traffic stop. In the actual incident, the man would not obey the police officer’s commands.
“Show me your hands!” shouted Quanell. “I’ll use this, I will use it, show me your hands!” Before he knows it, the suspect reaches for his gun and fires. Quanell fires back as the air fills with “simunition” paintball-like shots.
During all the scenarios, he had to make choices that police officers have face every day.
“To be honest with you, his hands were straight in the air,” said Quanell after one scenario.
“How close were you to shooting him in your mind?” asked Missouri City Police Captain Paul Poulton.
“To shooting him in the leg?” Quanell answered. “I was very close, because he kept coming.”
Quanell said race never crossed his mind. However, he admitted, “If I’m in a high-crime area that I’ve worked, and I know it’s a high-crime area and I know the kind of calls we get, I could easily see me pulling my gun quicker, on a simple call, I hate to say it.”
“Please brothers and sisters, if they tell you to do something, do it,” said Quanell said, pleading with people to comply with the police. “When the suspect started being combative or argumentative, I want to pull my gun.”
Facing situations that an officer might, Quanell thinks more backup would greatly help out in the streets.
“I think police shootings would go down if you had at least two cops assigned to every vehicle,” said Quanell. “You’re trying to see everything and guess everything at the same time.”
When asked how he might change his approach to a similar scenario, Quanell answered, “You gotta gather the facts. As an activist, we want to respond to the family’s hurt and pain immediately, but we could possibly respond very incorrectly, if we don’t take our time to gather some facts, because these situations, they go from zero to 100 in a split second.”
Police said Quanell performed well for a civilian. However, there are some things the officers would have done differently because of the extensive training they have received.