Before I get into this post, I want to make it very clear that I support law enforcement personnel in doing their job. I understand it is a dangerous job and reasonable precautions have to be taken. Where I differ is how ‘reasonable’ has been defined lately. I am not advocating any violence toward law enforcement officers; far from it. I’m trying to foster an understanding from where the average citizen sees this issue. I also completely understand that it is a minority of officers who cross the law into legal behavior. What is troubling is so many officers and agencies are pushing the boundaries of the law and seeking to create new laws that makes it easier for them to cross the line.
Ever wonder why so many police across the country in separate cities, departments and even agencies display much of the same behavior?
Part of it is because of articles like this from Policemag.com. In article, supposedly on how to spot people carrying concealed weapons, I found this gems. (All emphasis though out mine)
That means that the best way to survive an encounter with an illegally armed individual is to exert complete control over everyone you stop, everyone you confront for any reason, and everyone you meet until you can confirm that they are not a threat to you.
Basic human decency and courtesy? Oh the door in the name of ‘officer safety’. Because just how can an officer confirm that someone isn’t a threat?
I understand officers wanting to go home but that does not justify them treating me as a threat until I show myself to be one.
Your job is to ensure that you always remain in a position to exert complete control at all times. In order to accomplish this you must inform all subjects involved in any stop or enforcement action that they must not move, they must keep their hands where you can see them, and they must not place their hands inside their clothing or inside any compartments for any reason unless you instruct them to do so.
And again, instant and complete obedience demanded by those hired to protect us. So once the police show up, for whatever reason, I’m supposed to become an automaton only following his/her orders?
Everyone’s seen the videos, I don’t have to post them here, of the police slamming people to the ground, on to cars or floors for the slightest reason. This writer is encouraging that behavior.
Sorry Sir but we don’t loose our rights just because an officer is on the scene. We can move, we can fidget, we can do things you don’t like. Please stop treating, stop telling every officer to treat us like we are all criminals waiting to murder you; it simply isn’t so.
It also makes sense to ask everyone you stop or challenge to tell you if they are armed with any firearms or weapons. Naturally, you should use a tone of voice befitting the circumstances at hand whenever you inform citizens of the rules of engagement and you ask if they are armed.
Rules of engagement? WOW! Law Enforcement isn’t the military; stop acting like it is. We already have a list of the “rules of engagement” — it is the Constitution (including all of the Bill of Rights) and the applicable laws !! You don’t get to make up ‘rules’ on the spot, you don’t get to supersede the Constitution and the laws just in the name of ‘officer safety’.
This mentality of “rules of engagement” is one of the main contributors to the ‘us versus them’ attitude so prevalent among law enforcement. Look, you deal with some bad people. I get that. I also know you deal with people like me, probably more often then the ‘bad people’ — just the average citizen who is either a victim, seeking information or guilty of a minor infraction of the law (I’ve been caught speeding a few times).
Above all, listen to your instincts and be prepared to react when you perceive danger. Remember, outside of getting ambushed, cops get killed and get injured when they lose control.
And how do innocent people get killed or injured? When the police demand complete and utter control. Innocent people also get killed and injured when the law enforcement officers ‘lose control’ of their anger, their emotions, their rationality. And seems to be happening more and more often.
Think this mentality is just the author’s? How about this comment?
ERTLing007@hotmail.com @ 11/9/2007 9:12 PM
You owe it to your Family and anyone who cares about you to be prudent at all times and to never, ever let your guard down even when everything seems to be under control. If it feels weird then it probably is, so grab that bad guy and search him, secure him and keep an eye on him; he screws around, make him pay for his mistake because you’re going home tonight!!
Never mind rights, never mind due process, never mind the law, never mind the rules — make him pay for his mistakes — Holey Stinking Mackeral! Is it any wonder people are losing trust in law enforcement?
This comment really sums it up:
bk @ 6/8/2013 11:34 AM
I remember when the po-po were more concerned for citizens than for themselves. Our country is on a dangerous path that always leads to a police state.
Please join the discussion.