A police training session in Detroit, Michigan, has been cancelled after video emerged of the planned speaker telling officers that their colleagues tell him “the best sex” happens after they have killed someone.
The cancelled speaker, Dave Grossman, a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, author and former West Point Psychology professor, saw his training sessions, which are described as killology seminars, go viral earlier this week.
In the widely shared clip filmed at one of Mr Grossman’s police training sessions, the former Army Lieutenant Colonel says: “Killing is just not that big a deal.”
He then talks about an officer describing that they had the “best sex” after fatally shooting someone, before adding that it is a “perk of the job”.
Following an outcry after the video was shared on social media, the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police cancelled the training session that was due to be attended by police chiefs in the metro Detroit area.
Robert Stevenson, executive director of the police chiefs association, confirmed to The Detroit Free Press that it cancelled the event after the organisation and the planned venue, a Novi evangelical church in the area, received several complaints each.
Mr Stevenson said that the training session was meant to address the effects of PTSD on officers after they fatally shoot someone while on duty.
He mentioned a recent incident as part of the group’s reasoning for the seminar, when a Michigan police officer died by suicide after fatally shooting a man in 2015.
Mr Grossman, who is the director of the Killology Research Group and has written peer-reviewed articles for several prominent journals including the Harvard Journal of Law, has delivered training sessions to police officers across the country and to several departments in Michigan.
A bio on the research group’s website states that Mr Grossman has “been on the road almost 300 days a year, for over 19 years, as one of our nation’s leading trainers for military, law enforcement, mental health providers, and school safety organisations.”
It adds that Mr Grossman also “has five patents to his name, has published four novels, two children’s books, and six non-fiction books.”
In a statement to The Independent, Mr Grossman defended his training sessions, writing: “killology is not about teaching people to kill. It is about understanding the factors that enable and restrain killing in our society. The concept of killology was introduced in my book, On Killing.
“I do not teach people how to kill. I teach them a form of mindfulness, including a breathing exercise to stay focused and to control stress. I started teaching this police over 20 years ago, long before ‘mindfulness’ and ‘breathing exercise’ was even on the public radar screen. (And I teach it to firefighters, EMS, educators, mental health professionals, medical professionals, academics, and all branches of the US Armed Forces – to include all of our Tier-One Spec Ops.”
Writing about the video of his training session that was shared on social media, Mr Grossman added: “As to that ‘viral video’ of my talking about sex after a stressful event? (ie: The normal biological backlash from fight-or-flight (sympathetic nervous system arousal) to feed-and-breed (parasympathetic nervous system arousal) that can happen to anyone in a traumatic event, include crime victims, and scares the hell out of people).
“That clip took my entire, full day presentation, cut it, and pasted it, and shuffled it, over and over again. Everywhere you see the camera shift from me to the audience, they are cutting and pasting. When they cut from the audience to me again, they are cutting, pasting and shuffling.”
The training session was meant to take place on 26-27 May, just more than a month after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering unarmed Black man George Floyd.
There have also been several protests across America over the past two weeks, following the separate fatal shootings of Black men, Daunte Wright and Andrew Brown Jr, by officers in Minnesota and North Carolina respectively.
The Independent has contacted the Killology Research Group for comment.
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