INTERACTING WITH POLICE IS COMMON SENSE.

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WPCNR POLICE GAZETTE. News & Comment from John F. Bailey. December 6, 2014:

In view of the protests against the deaths of minority teenagers and adults in an epidemic of police shootings and grapple-to-death incidents, I think some perspective has to be applied here.

For the person who is of color and not white who is stopped by police, but even if you are a white teen or adult stopped by police or told to stop some behavior, you have to realize that your reputation has been fixed in the minds of law enforcement in a negative profile by decades of poor choices by minority community members who have chosen anti-social and criminal behavior, not unlike the robber barons who steal big time in carpeted crags in concrete canyons.

This profiling of minorities ,has created an attitude on the part of police that you as a minority walking around in a group might be acting like a criminal and breaking the law and up to no good.

The difference between throwing bricks into store fronts and looting and creating “creative investment instruments” and losing the occasional $6 Billion and not being held accountable for it, is that the latter crimes are committed by folks in three piece suits, white shirts and are mostly white.  Multi Billlion Dollar fraud is not something the street police have to deal with on a regular basis. And nobody cares strongly about stopping Gazillion Dollar Frauds because that’s “just business,” it’s “clever.”

Never mind the fact that it is very easy to steal from a person that trusts you. Being a criminal is not glamorous. It takes no great skill you just betray a person’s trust.

However, indulging in criminal-like behavior or appearing to threaten a police officer, is what it is and if you’re participating even peripherally in a situation where this is going on, you could get hurt.

So I have this to suggest to protestors reacting and our young people righteously aggrieved about the amazing police violence incidents that have piled up recently:

You have to adjust your behavior to avoid the least possible chance you will antagonize a police officer’s self-protection instinct.

If you are in a protest, where folks around you are doing things slightly irresponsible like setting police cars on fire, you have to get on out of there.

This rioting and looting is really stupid, so I suggest that it cannot possibly be the work of actual residents of the neighborhood. The burners and looters should be rounded up, jailed and prosecuted.

But of course, that would be brutality if any of those wonderful vandals were hurt by the police.

Most of those people, and I am generalizing here, could not give a wit about the death of an individual they do not even know.

They see it as a chance to do pyschopathic  “God knows what” destruction, letting appetites for excess run wild with protest as an excuse.

I mean, who does those things anyway like setting police cars on fire, breaking glass in neighborhood stores, looting — trashing the economy of your own neighborhood.

Is there a service business of goons whom national protestors call up to escalate these riots to assure television coverage and impact opinion?

Where is the NSA, the FBI, and the CIA on these well-organized trashing orchestrations?

Detroit still has not recovered from the 1967 riot. South Detroit is a disgrace of overgrown fields, abandoned houses and boarded up stores to this day.

That being said, young readers and you older protestors, too, The least belligerence or defiance escalates the chance officers will view you as a threat to them.

To that end, and in view that I have a tanned complexion, look somewhat “terroristy” and drive a disruputable looking black Animal House  car I offer some strategies that have worked in my very limited engagements with police.

Instead of unleashing righteous anger. Defuse your situation. I suggest the following conduct:

1. Be polite when the officer detains you. Say, “Yes, officer?”

2. Ask permission to reach into a pocket of a jacket or coat, or if driving, the glove compartment of your car.

3.If approached by an officer because of what you are doing, stop doing it   Freeze, show hands in wide display and say, “Yes, officer?”  In fact always show open palms in plain sight. If the officer indicates he’s cuffing you, let him or her do it. 

4. Show identification if asked for it. Volunteer name and address and where you’re from.

5.Do not open your mouth and object to what the officer is asking you to do.(Very key behavior to avoid escalation of officer attitude.) Also do not tell an officer who you are and how important you are.  Cooperate.

6. Do not engage the officer physically, push him or her, threaten or be belligerent in any way, or worse, use foul language and call the officer “expletives.”

7. This is a key thing: do not under any circumstances draw a weapon, or what could be construed by the officer to be a weapon.

This is threatening an officer and you are wrong. (The 12 year old, killed when pointing a toy gun at police in Cleveland, is an example of how threatening an officer even in jest can turn into horror.)

8. Do not use foul or abusive language to the officer. That could be construed to be disorderly conduct. (Ask yourself how you would react if someone called you an expletive deleted in anger?)

9. Do not throw rocks, objects or anything at an officer. That’s assault.

10. Obey instructions to the letter. That includes stopping when the officer tells you to do so.

Bare in mind you have rights but you do not have the rights to threatening behavior or to do the officer harm, just because you are engaging in behavior unbecoming any person black, white, swarthy, bearded, or in a three-piece suit.

11. You have a right to protest, but no right to push, shove, threaten other citizens or police officers.

12. Try being polite and respectful to a police officer, treat him or her as you would your pastor, priest, or Pope.

Now, Grand Jury failure to indict does not give any community the right to destroy private property.

Imagine if everytime a Wall Street “creative” executive was not indicted, if consumers losing money attempted to burn the stock exchange or the bank. We can’t have THAT, right?

But minority neighborhood businesses the salt of the earth, are allowed to burn? Stop it and arrest those vandals.

The circumstances involving the deaths of recent blacks killed as the result of police officer actions are a direct result of their failure to comply with police instruction and reckless behavior. With the exception of the shooting of the young man simply exiting a building, the inexperience on the part of the officer having his gun drawn appears to have contributed to that horror.

The Garner death in Staten Island is interesting because Mr. Garner has had long experience with the police, he disobeyed instructions and the officer overreacted, clearly. Do not disobey instructions. If you do, ensuing actions to get you to comply really depend on the cool of the police officer and his or her ability to control their actions.

Another thing, if a person pulls a knife and charges at officers, and an officer shoots to wound and protect a fellow officer, and a rechochet off bone kills the person — THAT should be written about and explained by the media, when that person is cited as an example of police overreaction. All that person had to do was go along with officer instruction when first asked.

I do have a suggestion though next time any community desires to stage a spontaneous demonstration to protest a police incident, hire lawyers to observe and calm down the situation.

Have the legal observers  where big slickers reading “LEGAL” on their backs. It would tame matters down.

Another factor that escalates these protests is television coverage.

NBC Television in Ferguson actually did what I would characterize as “preriot” cheerleading that had a reporter telling Brian Williams, “tension is rising,”  (almost saying, without saying, what are you waiting for — riot), then the cameras showed a police car being burned.

Come on. The reporter should have asked the police car torchers if they ordinarily bring igniting fluids when they go out on a protest. The media presence was egging the crowd on, in my opinion.

Since I do not have police officer training, I cannot really comment with authority on how police can adjust their behavior to handle the unexpected or interaction.

I would be afraid to do their job.

But I invite any law enforcement sources to write me and advise of how police are trained to reaction in these confrontations when trying to stop behavior that is getting out of hand , or arriving on the scene at investigations.

 

 

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