Description of Incident
Workplace violence entails acts about physical violence, intimidation, harassment or even creating threats about disruptive behavior. It happens in the workplace among the workforce. Several forms of workplace violence are applied differently in the work area or line of duty. Workplace violence is a common issue that requires the managers to address it diligently and ensure that prevention measures are put in place. Workplace violence can be planned or happen unplanned. It may arise due to unaddressed workplace conflicts. If not dealt with early enough, it may result in adverse effects on the victim especially if it entails physical violence. Besides, emotional and mental torture may affect individuals’ performance (Bordignon, & Monteiro, 2016). Workplace violence may look natural; however, when it is experienced in police work areas, it may be scarier. the police have firearms, and also, they are hardened and at times, act with no mercy. Police workplace violence can be detrimental and can easily lead to death cases. This paper is going to discuss workplace violence using the example of Micah Xavier Johnson who shot the Dallas police.
The incident occurred on July 7, 2016. There was a protest by the black after the killing of two blacks by white police officers. the two killings had happened in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Falcon Heights. The blacks wanted the protection of their rights and end the unnecessary killings by the police. They had prepared a peaceful match that happened in Dallas and included abut 800 protestors. The protest was assigned about 100 police officers to monitor the protesting individuals. There were close to 30 open-carry gun rights activists involved in the march. The march seemed to be successful. However, Micah Xavier Johnson had a different plan. Towards the end of the protest, he was ready to execute his mission. He was at the top of a building aiming at a street that had already cleared following anticipation of the protest. He took cover at street level and initiated a shooting spree ending up killing three officers and injured other officers and some civilians. There was a gunfight at first without the police knowing where the initial shootings were coming from. He ended up killing five officers at the end of the shooting. When he was seen the fire was directed to him and ended up being killed using a detonating bomb.
Motivation, Background, and Goals Of Offenders
Appreciating diversity is essential in every workplace. There are people from different backgrounds in every institution. While an institution may think of mistreating a particular group unfairly, they may that part of their team comprises of individuals from that group. Race and ethnicity in the workplace ought to be well managed (Najafi, Fallahi‐Khoshknab, Ahmadi, Dalvandi, & Rahgozar, 2017). The motivation for Micah Xavier Johnson to engage in the violent act was out of issues of race and ethnicity. The blacks were being exposed to killings in the US by white police officers. He was upset by the continuing disrespect for the black people in the US. The blacks seemed to be free to enjoy their rights, but injustices were occurring towards the blacks. Being in the police force, Micah Xavier Johnson saw what was happening. He was not happy about the racist acts against the blacks and thus was provoked to conduct the killings.
The action taken by Micah Xavier Johnson was well planned, and thought of his effort did not seem like an intentional act. He knew what he was doing, and his moves were well calculated. It indicates that the situation had hurt him for long. If workplace violence is not detected early enough, it may result in build pain and thus can result in detrimental effects. Micah Xavier Johnson had been watching the issue of white police officers being oppressive to the whites and thus started planning for the act. He did not involve people in his plan since he did it alone as a lone shooter. The offender had been writing manifestos on the shoot and move, shoot and move. This was apparent preparation since that is what exactly happened in the incident. Besides, he had earlier informed some officers more prior that he would kill white police officers. Therefore, his intentions were planned, and his goal was to kill white officers, which he did.
Individuals in the workplace that are intending to engage in workplace violence tend to establish some groundworks. They lay a foundation that will help them succeed in their acts. In most cases, these are the red flags, but if an organization is not keen enough, they may not see them. Micah Xavier Johnson had done a lot of groundwork that guaranteed him the success of his violent act. While working in the police sector, he knew that he was going to use that as an opportunity. He first ensured that he had powerful weapons that would help in his killings. Even though he was allowed to have firearms, it was part of his underground work and planning to have such weapons at that specific time. He ensured that he had a rifle and a handgun, which were powerful for his shooting mission. The rifle was said to be SKS-semi automatic.
It appears that Johnson had done proper planning of his act. The choice of date and venue for his action was not a last-minute thought thing. He had well-strategized for the operation. Micah Xavier Johnson was a mobile shooter. He had practiced this technique for long, and no one suspected his intentions. Besides, he had written manifestos explaining the method of the shoot and move, shoot and move. Surprisingly, this is the tactic that he used as a loner shooter in attacking the white police officers. Therefore, it depicts that while Johnson was doing the write-up, he was doing more researching and building his knowledge on how he would execute his plan.
Detection, Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery
When the incident happened, there were no set controls to detect the violence. He was within the police force while planning to harm the police. Unfortunately, his planning was viewed as a strength to the workforce. Micah Xavier Johnson seems to have been hurt and planning for his violent act for a long time. The police force did not detect his intentions. There was a gap in the workforce concerning violence detection. The management did not have insights on matters surrounding Johnson. Nobody suspected the act. Even though he did it alone, no one in the police force thought or detected the motives behind Johnson. the management also failed in the prevention of the incident. Therefore, Micah Xavier Johnson was able to succeed in the planning and execution of his plans.
The police were caught unaware when johnson began executing his plans. When he had started shooting is when the other police noted it and reacted responding to the violent act. At first, they were not sure about the source of the shooting. The intervention was not effective at the first encounter since Johnson had already managed to kill three white police officers and injured others including civilians. However, even after police intervention, he also managed to kill two more police officers. There was no plan used in the intervention process. The police intervening was not adequately prepared for the exercise. It made it challenging to be successful for the first minutes of their intervention. They were also not sure of the intense of the problem they were trying to solve. They even did not think that it was one of them executing the violent act against them. After they got hold of Johnson, the recovery process begun by clearing the scene, they killed Johnson the following morning using a detonating a bomb. It was an effective way of reducing such incidences in the future.
Steps I Will Take to Prevent, Detect, Intervene and Recover from An Incident
To detect, intervene, and prevent a case whereby police officers shoot each other as the officer in charge of the Dallas police department, I would employ several steps. The first step would create an open relationship with the police officers so that each can feel free to speak up about an injustice that might be going on within the department. It would help in also uniting the police officers by letting them know that they hold the same capacity despite their skin color. Another thing that I would do is to have profiling done on each police officers. This is to keep track and be able to detect some issues such as anger management. Profiling helps in assessing a person who can become violent with time. I will also use this profiling technique in the recruitment of new police officers to know if one has ever had a criminal record in the past. With this in place preventing such incidences of violence is guaranteed.
Another step that I will consider is having psychological tests done on the police officers. This also just like profiling. It helps in knowing the state of mind of a police officer to predict whether he or she can become violent in the future. The tests will help in detecting and prevent a police officer from creating an incident whereby he or she injures his or her colleagues or even killing them. I would as well consider the training of my police officers on the issues of workplace violence. The manner that this can be avoided before it becomes a hazard within the police department. Training is also essential as it also helps in creating awareness that indeed there is workplace violence and that the police officers should be in the forefront to protect themselves in case it occurs.
I would as well introduce zero-tolerance policies, and these policies would prevent the police officers from making some comments that may offend others, thereby prompting violence within the police department. I will develop strategies as well as set guidelines that will not tolerate unacceptable behavior, especially assaulting each other physically or even verbally. This will create a harmonious relationship between blacks and white officers since some of the policies will touch on the issue of racial discrimination. This policies also would ensure that the police are carrying out their job as required and are not misusing their powers to manipulate or target a particular group of people in society. This will help ease or cool the situation whereby a police officer feels offended that his or her ethnic group is being targeted and prompt them to retaliate. The policies should be tough to ensure that everything within the Dallas police department is in order.
As the head of the department, I will also request for a threat assessment team so that I may have the zero-tolerance policies enforced, and also assess the situation of my police officers sometimes anonymously to determine there is a threat within the department. The team will be able to identify there is a threat of violence and recommend the possible procedure that can be employed to prevent it from happening. Sometimes, this assessment teams consist of a representative from different human rights unions, managers, and also mental health professionals.
I should also be able to ensure that the police officers keep an eye on each other while on duty to maintain professionalism whenever they carry out their duties. This will help, especially if you assign a white and a black to be partners. It will ease the situation and create an understanding between the police officers, rather than separate the white officers and the blacks officers who will create a boundary that is not healthy. I would also ensure that when assigning duties to the police officers, its fair that no one can complain about being given a task that is endangering his or her life.
The other step that I would take is to have the police anonymously report about the incidences. Either through unanimous emails or even leaving messages that highlight the issue within the department. This is because most of the officers might be afraid of reporting each other and be identified as well as risk themselves to being victims of the violence. Another step that I would do is to speak to my officers one by one on different occasions. This to see how every officer is handling the pressure at work. It would also help is assessing the police officers and being able to keep an eye on the suspicious ones. If I employ all these steps in the police department, I will be able to keep everything in order, thereby preventing, detecting, and recovering from an occasion of violence at work.
Bordignon, M., & Monteiro, M. I. (2016). Violence in the workplace in Nursing: consequences overview. Revista brasileira de enfermagem, 69(5).
Najafi, F., Fallahi‐Khoshknab, M., Ahmadi, F., Dalvandi, A., & Rahgozar, M. (2017). Human dignity and professional reputation under threat: Iranian Nurses’ experiences of workplace violence. Nursing & health sciences, 19(1), 44-50.