by Holly Matkin and Christopher Berg
Minneapolis, MN – Nationally-renowned law enforcement trainer, Tulsa Police Major Travis Yates, sent a powerful video response to Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey's recent ban to stop cops from attending "warrior-style” training (video below).
Frey first announced the prohibition during his State of the City address on Thursday, and boasted that Minneapolis is the first city in the country to completely ban such training for police officers, the Star Tribune reported.
Warrior-style trainings teach students to remain vigilant about their surroundings in order to identify and quickly react to potential threats to their lives and the lives of others.
Such trainings encourage officers to act decisively, and places a high value on officer survival above all else.
“When you’re conditioned to believe that every person encountered poses a threat to your existence, you simply cannot be expected to build meaningful relationships with those same people,” Frey said, according to WCCO. “What fear-based training teaches is not inherent to the human psyche. It’s learned.”
Effective immediately, Minneapolis officers can no longer participate in such training even on their own time, Frey declared.
“Chief Medaria Arradondo’s police department rests on trust, accountability and professional service,” he continued, according to the Star Tribune. “Whereas fear-based, warrior-style trainings like killology are in direct conflict with everything that our chief and I stand for in our police department.”
“Fear-based trainings violate the values at the very heart of community policing,” he alleged.
Major Yates disagreed.
"This is a little personal to me," Major Yates said in his video. "Because a man that wants to ban this type of training, who has never been to this type of training, also expects his officers to run toward gunfire to protect the lives of the citizens of Minneapolis."
"He defined warrior training as training that tells officers to be scared of everything," Major Yates continued. "This is absolutely 100-percent a lie!"
Critics began decrying “warrior” trainings in the wake of the justified officer-involved shooting of Philando Castile, who was fatally shot by now-former St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez as he reached for a gun during a traffic stop in 2016.
Officer Yanez told him several times not to reach for it, not to "pull it out,” dashcam footage showed.
Castile told Officer Yanez, "I don't have to reach for it," and reached in the area where the gun was, despite multiple commands not to.
Officer Yanez shot Castile after he ignored orders and reached towards his gun.
A jury acquitted Officer Yanez of all charges involving the shooting of Castile after 27 hours of deliberation. Shortly afterward, the city of St. Anthony announced that Officer Yanez would never be allowed to return to work.
“The City of St. Anthony has concluded that the public will be best served if Officer Yanez is no longer a police officer in our city. The city intends to offer Officer Yanez a voluntary separation agreement to help him transition to another career other than being a St. Anthony officer,” the city said in a statement after the acquittal.
Police sources in the area told Blue Lives Matter that Officer Yanez agreed to resign after he learned that the department wouldn't allow him to return to work.
Officer Yanez attended a two-day seminar, “Bulletproof Warrior,” two years before the altercation with Castile, The New York Times reported.
The training focused on de-escalation techniques, as well as survival skills.
Students learned about “pre-attack indicators,” and the “anatomy of force incidents,” as well as “combat efficiency” and “perceptual distortions in combat,” The New York Times reported.
Critics also blasted instructors for showing actual clips of officers being attacked and wounded.
“Courses like this reinforce the thinking that everyone is out to get police officers,” Police Executive Research Forum executive director Chuck Wexler said dismissively. “This teaches officers, ‘If you hesitate, you could lose your life.’ It is the exact opposite of the way many police chiefs are going.”
Major Yates said that he has attended such training for 30 years, and not once has an instructor said "be scared of everybody."
"That is absolutely ridiculous," Major Yates said. "And the reason the mayor had to lie is because it's the only way he could justify banning his officers from getting safety training on duty and off duty."
"Nobody was complaining about warrior officers in San Bernadino when those terrorists were running around," Major Yates said. "Nobody was complaining about warrior officers at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando when an active shooter was running around. Nobody was complaining about warrior officers at the Parkland school when evil was running around killing kids."
Failures by law enforcement in the Parkland shooting actually involved a lack of warriors.
Now-retired disgraced Broward County Sheriff's Deputy Scot Peterson was at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School the day an active shooter murdered 17 people.
Peterson stood outside and listened to gunshots as the killer murdered children, and even warned other deputies to stay away during the shooting.
When Broward county's commander arrived on scene, things didn't get better.
Broward Sheriff’s Lieutenant Stephen O’Neill told investigators for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission that Captain Jan Jordan was “ineffective” during the school shooting.
He added that she spoke with a “dream-like” tone throughout the incident, the Miami Herald reported.
Lt. O’Neill also told investigators that Capt. Jordan “was not engaged” with finding 20-year-old Nikolas Cruz, who was inside the school murdering and faculty.
“There are other [first responders] who described Capt. Jordan as being over her head,” commission chairman Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said during the meeting.
On May 31, Coral Springs Fire-Rescue Deputy Chief Michael McNally released a special report that detailed how Capt. Jordan prevented paramedics from getting to the victims inside the school.
All six times, the captain denied his request, and said she needed to get permission to save children from being murdered.
It wasn't until Coral Springs Police arrived on scene, and ignored Broward County's inaction, that police started hunting the gunman.
Even then, Capt. Jordan continued to refuse to allow Coral Springs paramedics, desperate to help, into the school building even after the shooter had been arrested a mile away from the school, the Miami Herald reported.
You can see Major Yates' video response below: