Cowards and Deniers: The Black Lives Matter Movement M.O. Observations of the Chicago Police Protests

Cowards and Deniers:
The Black Lives Matter Movement M.O. Observations of the Chicago Police Protests

Ron Martinelli, PhD
Copyright © 11/26/15

The Forensic Examiner-January, 2015

If you have been watching the recent citizens’ protests of Chicago police by members of the black community and the Black Lives Matter movement, then you will see that the star is Lamon Reccord, a 16-year-old teen whose face and comments have been plastered all over TV, as well as social and print media.  Record is basking in his fifteen minutes of fame for his bravery in angrily staring down a number of Chicago PD officers assigned to keep the peace during demonstrations, protests, and picket lines.

When interviewed, Lamon justifies his aggressive, provocative, and in-your-face behavior by saying he wants police officers to know the pain he feels when police shoot another teen.  His statements and actions are in reference to the shooting of suspect Laquan McDonald by police officer Jason Van Dyke a year ago.

The question I pose to media and the public is: are Lamon Reccord’s actions entirely brave?  My opinion as a retired police detective and forensic criminologist who researches violence and independently investigates police shootings is that they are not.

I have scars on my body from encounters with violent suspects, and they are older than Lamon Reccord has been alive.  It doesn’t take bravery to exploit the presence of the national news media and get in the faces of innocent police officers posted at picket lines to keep the peace.  People like Reccord violate officer safety space and provocatively stare officers down, knowing that the cops will not do anything about it.  That’s not bravery.  Where were his parents, who might have taught him to respect authority?  AWOL, from what I saw, and that’s a problem.

It’s natural to feel pain about injustice done to the black community, but problems arise when the priorities surrounding this pain become confused.  Here are some further painful facts.

Some may prefer the in-your-face response over rolling-up-your-sleeves and making a positive impact beginning at the roots of injustice. If we focus only on police brutality, then we ignore the origins of the problem, and no solution can be found. 

Police officers are out there in the community each day, seeing, hearing, and touching the victims of violence. Their experience is visceral, and the types of pain, and the dangers they face, should also not be denied. Many sacrifice their own personal safety in order to save others’ lives. Those who do this exhibit courage and bravery, too.

About the Author

Ron MartinelliRon Martinelli, PhD, CMI-V, BCFT, CFA, is a nationally renowned forensic criminologist, police expert, and certified medical investigator.  Dr. Martinelli is also a retired detective who now directs the nation’s only Forensic Death Investigations & Independent Review Team.  He has personally investigated over 200 officer-involved shootings and in-custody death cases.  Visit his site at:

Publisher Dr. Robert O'Block, American College of Forensic Examiners.