It is a fact that police officers shoot people.
99.9% of the time it is warranted, justified and the correct thing to do. But tragically, sometimes it is not, and almost always it is the fault of the person being detained that has caused the officer to react with deadly force. Don’t let that happen to you. Here’s how to be arrested the right way. If you are stopped or detained for any reason, here are the things to do and the things not to do every time.
The very first rule is this: If you are detained or stopped by a police officer at any time, keep your hands where the officer can clearly see them at all times. This is a must. If you don’t follow any of the other rules, please follow this one.
Rule number 2: Do what you are told to do. Show your hands. If you’re told to get down on your knees and lace your fingers behind your head, or to lay down on the ground face down, hands out to the sides, just do it.
Number 3: Be polite. “Yes sir,” goes a long way.
Number 4: Don’t be belligerent.
Number 5: Sit still.
Number 6: Don’t make rapid or spontaneous movements.
Number 7: Don’t be scrambling around for the registration or trying to reach behind your back for your wallet while the officer is approaching your car.
Which brings us right to rule 8: Ask the officer’s permission before you do anything. For example, “Officer, my registration is in the glove box. Is it okay to get it out?” Or, “My wallet’s in my back pocket. Can I get it?”
Number 9: be polite. “Yes sir,” goes a long ways and, Number 10, don’t be belligerent. Did I repeat these two? Yes because it’s important.
Rule number 11: Understand that while you are being detained it is not the right time to scream, holler, bitch or fight for your, “rights.” Your actions will most likely fall on deaf ears and may lead to charges of resisting arrest, assault on an officer, or maybe failure to comply or follow the orders of a duly appointed officer of the court. File your complaint later if you think you need to.
Number 12: Remember, a police officer has a gun, and there’s usually more than one of them. Resistance is futile.
Number 13: Never, repeat, never, repeat, never give an officer a reason to pull his gun. The chances of a deadly accident are virtually zero before that happens and they sky rocket after that happens. When an officer pulls his gun, that means either you, the circumstances you are found in, or the circumstances that you’ve created have caused him to have serious concerns about his safety or the safety of others. What if his fingers strays onto the trigger and you happen to sneeze, cough, or perhaps trip and stumble towards him? Boom, you’re dead.
Yeah, what he did was wrong. You were completely innocent. You’re still dead. Whatever you did to push it to that point were actions that were what was wrong, no matter how right or how, “wronged,” you thought you were. Yeah, you’re still dead.
Being a police officer is one of the most difficult jobs that exists. Think about this, a soldier deployed in a combat theater knows one thing before going into battle. He’s going to encounter bad guys who are going to be shooting at him. He enters this arena ready for combat with guns drawn, and he knows beforehand that if he has to assault a house or an enemy position, that he will be shooting to kill.
And yes, I am fully aware that our, “new enemy,” doesn’t wear a uniform and hides within the midst of the civilian population. This is exactly why the role of the modern soldier in combat has become so much more difficult. Still, soldiers know that in a combat theater they are very likely to encounter bad guys with guns that are going to be shooting to kill them. So they’re primed and ready to shoot back. They have already reconciled that decision and are quite literally, “looking,” for bad guys.
However, a police officer doesn’t wake up in the morning thinking he’s going off to be in a gun fight.
When an officer encounters someone, he does not know if that someone is a good guy or a bad guy, and he does not know if someone is armed or not. Civilians don’t usually walk around with an RPG or an AK-47 slung around their necks. But he does know this, anyone (civilian), whether that person is a good guy or a bad guy, if they are armed is most likely carrying a small concealed handgun, many times in their pocket. That means unless someone has a gun out and brandishing it about, the officer doesn’t know if you are armed or not. So it’s only natural for an officer to be a little suspicious as he approaches you.
You need to know that as he does his approach he is assessing whether you are a threat or not, and your actions will decide his answer. Now here’s where the police officer’s job becomes the most difficult one in the world. When a bad guy does pull a gun on an officer, it is almost always not until the police officer is within arm’s reach. At that split second in time, that officer has to decide to shoot or not to shoot. His life may hinge on that decision, as may yours. Is it a gun, a knife, a cellphone, or a wallet? In that blink of an eye, even a reflexive muscle contraction can cause a finger to pull a trigger. You don’t want to be on the receiving end of that weapon and you do not want to ever even come close to having anyone point a weapon at you.
If it is a bad guy, you probably have no choice. If it’s a police officer, your actions were probably a part of that equation. Don’t ever give an officer of the law a reason to do that. After all, police officers are humans just like you and me. They can make an incorrect choice, and yes, as good as they are they can still make mistakes. Don’t force them to make that choice and don’t give them a chance to make a mistake.
The next time you’re stopped by a lawman, if you didn’t do anything wrong be polite and respectful. You’ll soon be on your way. If you did do something wrong, bite your tongue, be polite and respectful. Take your medicine like a man and you’ll soon be on your way. If you did do something bad, well, John Wayne said it best, “Life is tough, but it’s real tough if you’re stupid.”
PS, thank you to all our men and women in blue for doing one of the toughest jobs on earth so well. You are the ones putting your lives on the line for all of the rest of us. You deserve our highest praise and gratitude. Stay safe out there.
Ernest Emerson is the owner of Emerson Knives, Inc. He is a tier one Combatives instructor, Master at Arms, noted author and lecturer, Black Belt Hall of Fame member and a connoisseur of fine whiskey.
Click here to visit EmersonKnives.com. Mr. Emerson offers a 10% discount on his knives to Daily Caller readers. Use the discount code – tdc (all lower case). Click here to visit the Emerson Training Center.