THE INTERNET — Army veteran Ryan Smith, who deployed once to Iraq in 2011 and never fired his weapon in anger, has now transferred these experiences into critiquing police use of force within the United States on social media, sources confirm.
Smith, who served one 12-month tour as a trainer for the Iraqi Army, and received a Combat Action Badge as the result of an errant mortar round landing 300 meters from his hooch, has taken to social media to boldly criticize what he views as “a completely out of control police force, with no regard for escalation of force or rules of engagement.” according to his 15th Facebook status update on this subject over the last few months.
“When I was in combat,” begins Smith’s latest tweet. "We had very strict rules of engagement that every single person in the entire military followed at all times.”
He added: “I would know, I stood guard duty at the gate like 300 freaking times.”
Post-9/11 veterans like Smith have a long history of returning from deployments overseas and transforming into experts on seemingly totally unrelated fields to their service in the military. For Smith, his time shooting at paper targets with an M-16 on a flat range gives him all the qualifications necessary to extrapolate missteps in modern American police work.
“See this cell phone video?” Smith writes on Facebook. “The way the officer draws his weapon WAY before a threat was realized? Totally unprofessional and the sign of an undisciplined, reckless unit.”
Although Smith had to draw a weapon on a hostile individual exactly zero times in his four years in the Army, and has never been in an actual fist fight in his life, he has garnered an impressive following of civilians who look to him for the keen insight that only a veteran can provide.
Cynthia Daniels, a high school friend of Smith’s now in her second year of graduate school, frequently commends Smith for his bravery in addressing police brutality over social media. “Ryan, thanks so much for sharing! It means so much more when an actual first responder of combat weighs in on these very crucial issues affecting society," Daniels wrote on his most recent post.
At press time, Smith was reportedly purchasing a “Veterans for Peace” t-shirt on the internet.