While I understand how people of color can feel like they are being singled out, I can’t understand stupid moves. When a police officer draws on you, every move you make must assure the officer you are not a threat. If you need to reach for your wallet, you don’t reach for it until given permission. Even then, you follow instructions.
Instructions to Avoid Getting Shot
Avoid getting shot. While I understand how people of color can feel like they are being singled out, I can’t understand stupid moves. When a police officer draws on you, every move you make must assure the officer you are not a threat. If you need to reach for your wallet, you don’t reach for it until given permission. Even then, you follow instructions.
I watched a recent video. The suspect kept moving away from the police (bad idea #1), and then went in to the driver’s side of the vehicle with both hands and his head (bad idea #2) prior to being shot. They were stupid moves. Why can’t people understand that?
Having had some law enforcement training, here are some instructions on how to avoid getting shot if the officer has his/her gun drawn. This comes from some of my cop friends back in the day…
- Immediately put both hands high above your head.
- Don’t move move unless instructed to do so.
- Do not run away
- Don’t try to get away, or avoid being cuffed. That always ends bad, and usually for you.
- Announce what you are going to do from the time they draw until the incident is over.
- To set the officers at ease, yell back, “I am going to keep my hands in the air, and drop to my knees. I intend to cooperate fully.” Then, drop to your knees and keep your hands in the air.
- Stay there until you are either cuffed or told you can stand or put your hands down, etc. Just do as you’re told.
- If you have a gun, knife or other weapon, while keeping your hands in the air, tell them where it is. Example: “I am carrying a Glock 9mm. It is in a concealed holster. I will remain still until you can secure the gun.”
- If there is something important they must know, tell them, but don’t lie to them.
The same is true for a road-side stop. Every officer has the fear that they can be shot at any time. A CHP Officer once told me this is what you should do when stopped…
- Before the officer gets out of his car, get your wallet out and on the dash if you can.
- Roll down the window.
- Keep both hands on the wheel between 10 & 2 the entire time.
- If the officer asks for your registration, tell him where it is and slowly move to get it. Example, “I keep it in the glove box. I have no weapons in there, but I’ll move slowly.”
- Keep all your moves slow and verbalize what you are doing. Example, “I put my wallet on the dash. I’m going to get my driver’s license out of my wallet.”
- When not needing your hands for anything else, always place them between 10 & 2 on the wheel.
- Be honest (that’s the best way to get out of a ticket they say). It also builds trust and trust will keep you safe.
- Be polite. Rude people set officers on the defensive. Even if you are one of those people who dislike and distrust the police, be nice.
- Don’t get out of the car unless instructed to do so, and then, follow their instructions.
- When told you can go, pull away as you normally would.
- Finally, if you did do something wrong, at any time you can ask for your lawyer.
I’m so sick and tired of the media making this an issue. I watch the videos and think, “What did the guy expect them to do?”
This isn’t a T.V. show or movie where a cop draws his gun and then spends the next 60 seconds waiting to see if the guy is really going to shoot. That is a stupid notion. When a suspect draws a weapon, for the safety of everyone, the officer must assume they will use it. At that point, they must fire.
Yeah, yeah, yeah… there are times when the person was reaching for his wallet. I remember a case back in the 1970s in Sacramento, California, where a deaf man was shot and killed. His fatal mistake? He reached around to his back pocket quickly. What was he reaching for? His “deaf card”. Had he simply remained with his hands in the air he wouldn’t been shot.
The media is divisive in making us think there is nothing we can do to avoid getting shot. That in itself is frightening. That sets certain groups of people at odds with law enforcement. Whether it is Charlotte, SC, Tulsa, OK, or Oakland, CA, the police aren’t out to get blacks, but watch the news and you’d think otherwise.
On a Brighter Note
Elizabethe and I saw Sully. I highly recommend it. It is a movie about confidence, integrity and honor. It is a movie about a man who knew chose the right, and didn’t let others bully him in thinking otherwise. He also demonstrates a great deal of humility. Even when he tells his co-pilot he feels proud, he tells him he feels proud that his co-pilot was by his side — a truly humble thing to say from a man who pulled off the greatest landing in aviation history.