A Retired Officer’s Perspective of McKinney Incident

Today a video was brought to my attention of a retired police officer from Plainsboro, New Jersey by the name of Eric Potts.  This video is an angry rant about members of the, “FaceBook Police Academy” unfairly judging Officer Eric Casebolt for how he handled the situation at the McKinney pool party incident 2 weeks ago.

Mr. Potts spent 31 years in law enforcement before retiring and has since followed it with a new career in stand up comedy.  Before serving with the Plainsboro Police Department, he served 6 years in the United States Army as an MP.  Several internet searches returned zero hits for anything from his service in law enforcement involving complaints or reports of any misconduct as an officer.  I felt this important to do investigate, so as to see if there was anything that would bring his character into question.  Not to discredit him, but rather, to see if his views came from someone with a checkered past or not.

As I got ready to watch the Pott’s video, I was prepared to be angry at his opposing views of the situation in McKinney.  I was ready to jump up and down and scream about another officer that backs an officer’s actions regardless of whether those actions were right or wrong.  With that being said, I think that Mr. Potts made some valid points that we should take a step back and think about.  While my thoughts and beliefs differ with his assessment of what took place on the McKinney video, he does give the viewer some things to consider before making a judgement on a situation.

potts blockI had to watch the video several times to make sure that I fully understood what he was saying and to ensure that I left my personal prejudices at the door for this blog.  I did this because something that he said in the video really struck a chord with me.  At 4:00 into the video he says, “You always want to see the wrong things.  You always want to see the officers doing what’s wrong instead of looking at the situation.”  The example he uses after this statement is what gave me pause to think.

Mr. Potts gives us his view of the incident through the eyes of a veteran of law enforcement.  What he does here is gives us an inside look into how many in law enforcement think during a situation they are faced with.

I will say that I personally disagree with his views regarding the actions of Casebolt and how he handled things.  My opinion is that he created and escalated the situation through his body language, use of profanity, and his aggressive actions.  As stated previously in my original article detailing these events, every other officer seen in the video was conducting themselves in a calm and professional manner while investigating and questioning those present.  Let’s also not forget that Casebolt was the supervising officer and that the other officer present were his subordinates.

After watching this video that Mr. Potts made, I have more to consider when writing future blogs.  I admit that I let my own anger and personal prejudices get in the way at times, especially when writing about something that is naturally emotional in nature.  In the reporting of injustices and police abuse, I have a responsibility to my readers to present the facts without letting my own emotions get in the way of the truth.  On the same token, when I write an opinion piece, I am simply giving my personal opinion about a subject and you are welcome to take from that opinion what you wish.  Those opinions are going to be based on a wide variety of things ranging from the information at hand, my personal experiences, and yes- my emotional response to what I am writing.

In closing, I pledge to make more of an effort to check my emotions and concentrate on the facts at hand when presenting a story on police and their actions.  I not only owe it to you as the reader, but to myself as a person that wants to make a difference in this mad world.

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