In early May 2021, Snopes readers asked about a comment made by a man described in social media posts as “top police trainer” Dave Grossman. A retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, Grossman is a prolific speaker at police training seminars, and heads a company called “Killology Research Group.”
A remark Grossman made during a lecture in 2015 gained widespread attention on social media in April 2021, nearly one year after the murder of George Floyd by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin sparked massive racial justice protests nationwide.
Why do we have a systemic problem with law enforcement? Because trainers like Dave Grossman tell them that one of the “perks of the job” is that after you fight with or shoot a suspect you will have “the best sex” you’ve had in months. pic.twitter.com/kMtVzXzNKN
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) April 22, 2021
These comments were pulled from a 2015 lecture by Grossman, parts of which were filmed and included in the 2016 documentary film “Do Not Resist,” which details the increased use of military hardware and tactics by local police departments in the U.S.
Grossman’s comments included in the documentary sound like they were pulled from a martial arts movie. At one point he said: “You fight violence. What do you fight it with? Superior violence. Righteous violence. Violence is your tool. Violence is your enemy. Violence is the realm we operate in. You are men and women of violence. You must master it. Or it will destroy you.”
The film then cuts to another part of Grossman’s speech in which he states:
“Look I’ve been on the road for 18 years, people know me, they trust me. I get a depth of information, I ask questions other people won’t ask.” The video then cuts again to Grossman saying this:
Cop says, ‘Knock down drag-out fight, cuffed ’em and stuffed ’em. Finally get home at the end of the shift, and?’ Cop says, ‘Gun fight. Bad guy’s down, I’m alive. Finally get home at the end of the incident, and?’ They all say, ‘The best sex I’ve had in months.’ Both partners are very invested in some very intense sex. There’s not a whole lot of perks that come with this job. You find one, relax and enjoy it.
The resurfacing of those comments prompted the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police to cancel a training session given by Grossman for local police chiefs in the metro Detroit area, which was set for late May 2021.
We reached out to Grossman for comment. Grossman responded by email, telling Snopes that his comments were taken out of context. “In the longer version of this clip, they cut it, 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.”
Grossman said that the comment above, which is being widely shared on social media, was part of a longer passage in the lecture about the physiological responses people may have to the adrenaline dumped into the system from experiencing a life-or-death situation:
As to that “viral video” of my talking about sex after a stressful event?
That clip took my entire, full day presentation, and took it completely out of context.
-They left out the part where I say that this is a normal biological, hormonal 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.
-They left out the part where I say that there is nothing wrong if it doesn’t happen, and absolutely nothing wrong if it does happen.
-They left out the part where I say it happens to fire, EMS and even victims of violent crime.
-They left out where I say that it scares the hell out of people.
-They left out where I talk about it (and remember it is common in survivors of violent crime), as kind of a beautiful affirmation of life in the face of death; a grasping for closeness and intimate reassurance in the face of tragedy.
Any book, or any one-day class, can have a portion of one sentence taken out of context, and make it say something completely opposite of the intent of the author. And that is exactly what has happened here.
Grossman said that contrary to what is being said about him online, he doesn’t teach people to kill.
“Criminology is not about teaching people to be criminals. And killology is not about teaching people to kill. It is about understanding the factors that enable and restrain killing in our society,” Grossman said.
He added, “I teach about the science and research of what the mind and body goes through, in a life-and-death event. Then I teach my audiences a form of self-care by explaining what will happen after the event, how it can become PTSD, and how to prevent that from happening. Perhaps most importantly, I teach them that these responses are normal, and there is nothing ‘wrong’ with you when these things happen.”