Baltimore City detective Brian Stevenson was killed on Saturday night while off duty by Sian James during a dispute over a parking space. I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened but it doesn’t take Holmes or Poirot to put together some pieces. There are a couple of lessons to be learned here.

In more than 24 years of experience as a police officer I saw more anger over parking spaces than anything else barring only domestic disputes. Maybe. Seriously, people get pissed over the idea that someone else has taken a space they believe belongs to them.

via The Warrior Class: Lessons.

People laugh in my classes when during a drill I play an attacker and start berating them for taking my parking space. But this is why. Most of us are good guys and don’t go places where we are likely to meet hard core thugs. But everyone is in parking lots, good guys, bad guys, and weirdos (like me) and you have very little choice about being in contact with them.

When walking in a parking lot I am at my highest threat level. Last night when leaving a resturant with my family at 9pm. Now to you big city folks 9pm isn’t that late a dinner hour, but around here on a weekday most restaurants are winding down operations, so the restaurant and parking lot were largely deserted.

I got to the door and do what I always do: Look through the window and scan as much of the parking lot as I can see then crack the door a bit and check the corners to the right and left. I can close the door and deadbolt it if there is a threat faster than I can shove my entire family back through the door. That night there was a guy in the parking lot, not near any cars walking through taking on a cell phone. There are no houses near there, but there his a hotel. Not much reason for foot traffic unless he was staying at the hotel. I stopped my entire family at the door. Waited for him to go out of sight behind the building and then redid the threat assessment. No one there so we then went to the car. Me facing the direction the guy walked off and my wife leading the kids strait to and into the car.

There probably wasn’t ever going to be a problem that night. But parking lots are dangerous fringe areas and should be treated that way.

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