When does a bodyguard need to shoot into a crowd?

A story out of Mumbai,India caught my attention today. A politician’s bodyguard shot into a crowd of people and killed a man.

While professional Executive Protection Agents no longer refer to themselves as “bodyguards”, if we nonetheless examine that “handle”, we can break it down as; “a person who guards (protects) the body of another”. If I was tasked with the investigation of this shooting incident in India, one of the very first places I would look at would be the training manuals of those involved. If they were Policemen, I would demand to be allowed to inspect that Department’s training guides that were used when training their “bodyguards”. Same thing would apply if they belonged to a private company/entity.

I very seriously doubt that I would find any directive anywhere authorizing those assigned to the protective detail to fire haphazzardly into a crowd of people. To me, this suggests that the bodyguard either panicked or was placed in the position without any professional training (most probable explanation). Anyone who has spent more than 15 minutes in E.P. training knows that the responsibility of the Protective Agent(s) is to evacuate their client (Principal). Shooting into crowds of people would be out of place, even in far-fetched Hollywood. I am quite sure that Indian society is nothing near as litigious as it is here in the Western world, but I still suspect that there is a smart lawyer somewhere in India trying to contact the victim’s family. I believe the case will be his for the winning.

Ironically, I contactd a company in India a couple of months back with a proposal to train their Executive Protection staff. Without ever hearing a price, they contacted me back and said they were sure they couldn’t afford us (eventhough they are one of the largest employers in India). Which makes me wonder, how do you put a price on a human life and what would you consider a fair price to have your people professionally trained so that you were not sued by the family/next of kin of someone killed by one of your employees? By the way, this question can be asked of any employer anywhere in the world who is in the business of either safeguarding their own employees, or protecting the life of others.

In Real Estate it is about; “Location, Location, Location”. In security, it is about; “Training, Training, Training”. I sincerely hope that many get to know of this incident (including nearly all of the Hollywood stars who allow their Protectors to assault people on a regular basis)and begin to realize the importance of having a professionally trained person taking care of them. Hiring some big guy with a couple of years military experience is not good enough.

That would be like hiring a person for a plastic surgery procedure whose only experience was carving the Thanksgiving turkey. Who’d be the turkey then?