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I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me!!!
Posted by: WaPo ()
Date: August 20, 2014 06:08PM

I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me.
It’s not the police, but the people they stop, who can prevent a detention from turning into a tragedy.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/08/19/im-a-cop-if-you-dont-want-to-get-hurt-dont-challenge-me/

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Dutta-e1408297386913.jpg&h=80&w=80- Sunil Dutta, a professor of homeland security at Colorado Tech University, has been an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department for 17 years. The views presented here are his own and do not represent the LAPD or CTU.

A teenager is fatally shot by a police officer; the police are accused of being bloodthirsty, trigger-happy murderers; riots erupt. This, we are led to believe, is the way of things in America.

It is also a terrible calumny; cops are not murderers. No officer goes out in the field wishing to shoot anyone, armed or unarmed. And while they’re unlikely to defend it quite as loudly during a time of national angst like this one, people who work in law enforcement know they are legally vested with the authority to detain suspects — an authority that must sometimes be enforced. Regardless of what happened with Mike Brown, in the overwhelming majority of cases it is not the cops, but the people they stop, who can prevent detentions from turning into tragedies.

Working the street, I can’t even count how many times I withstood curses, screaming tantrums, aggressive and menacing encroachments on my safety zone, and outright challenges to my authority. In the vast majority of such encounters, I was able to peacefully resolve the situation without using force. Cops deploy their training and their intuition creatively, and I wielded every trick in my arsenal, including verbal judo, humor, warnings and ostentatious displays of the lethal (and nonlethal) hardware resting in my duty belt. One time, for instance, my partner and I faced a belligerent man who had doused his car with gallons of gas and was about to create a firebomb at a busy mall filled with holiday shoppers. The potential for serious harm to the bystanders would have justified deadly force. Instead, I distracted him with a hook about his family and loved ones, and he disengaged without hurting anyone. Every day cops show similar restraint and resolve incidents that could easily end up in serious injuries or worse.

Sometimes, though, no amount of persuasion or warnings work on a belligerent person; that’s when cops have to use force, and the results can be tragic. We are still learning what transpired between Officer Darren Wilson and Brown, but in most cases it’s less ambiguous — and officers are rarely at fault. When they use force, they are defending their, or the public’s, safety.

Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?

I know it is scary for people to be stopped by cops. I also understand the anger and frustration if people believe they have been stopped unjustly or without a reason. I am aware that corrupt and bully cops exist. When it comes to police misconduct, I side with the ACLU: Having worked as an internal affairs investigator, I know that some officers engage in unprofessional and arrogant behavior; sometimes they behave like criminals themselves. I also believe every cop should use a body camera to record interactions with the community at all times. Every police car should have a video recorder. (This will prevent a situation like Mike Brown’s shooting, about which conflicting and self-serving statements allow people to believe what they want.) And you don’t have to submit to an illegal stop or search. You can refuse consent to search your car or home if there’s no warrant (though a pat-down is still allowed if there is cause for suspicion). Always ask the officer whether you are under detention or are free to leave. Unless the officer has a legal basis to stop and search you, he or she must let you go. Finally, cops are legally prohibited from using excessive force: The moment a suspect submits and stops resisting, the officers must cease use of force.

But if you believe (or know) that the cop stopping you is violating your rights or is acting like a bully, I guarantee that the situation will not become easier if you show your anger and resentment. Worse, initiating a physical confrontation is a sure recipe for getting hurt. Police are legally permitted to use deadly force when they assess a serious threat to their or someone else’s life. Save your anger for later, and channel it appropriately. Do what the officer tells you to and it will end safely for both of you. We have a justice system in which you are presumed innocent; if a cop can do his or her job unmolested, that system can run its course. Later, you can ask for a supervisor, lodge a complaint or contact civil rights organizations if you believe your rights were violated. Feel free to sue the police! Just don’t challenge a cop during a stop.

An average person cannot comprehend the risks and has no true understanding of a cop’s job. Hollywood and television stereotypes of the police are cartoons in which fearless super cops singlehandedly defeat dozens of thugs, shooting guns out of their hands. Real life is different. An average cop is always concerned with his or her safety and tries to control every encounter. That is how we are trained. While most citizens are courteous and law abiding, the subset of people we generally interact with everyday are not the genteel types. You don’t know what is in my mind when I stop you. Did I just get a radio call of a shooting moments ago? Am I looking for a murderer or an armed fugitive? For you, this might be a “simple” traffic stop, for me each traffic stop is a potentially dangerous encounter. Show some empathy for an officer’s safety concerns. Don’t make our job more difficult than it already is.

Community members deserve courtesy, respect and professionalism from their officers. Every person stopped by a cop should feel safe instead of feeling that their wellbeing is in jeopardy. Shouldn’t the community members extend the same courtesy to their officers and project that the officer’s safety is not threatened by their actions?




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Column defending cops in Ferguson sparks online fury
http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/20/us/ferguson-column-police-reaction/index.html?hpt=hp_t1


I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me!!!

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I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me!!!

In a single column, a veteran police officer has catapulted himself into the national debate over the death of unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
"I'm a cop. If you don't want to get hurt, don't challenge me," the Washington Post headline blares. The piece was written by Sunil Dutta, a 17-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department.
"Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don't want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you," he wrote.
Dutta cautions against arguing, insulting, or screaming at officers, "and don't even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?"
Radio caller: Brown 'bum-rushed' officer Attorney General heads to Ferguson Civilians quell late night tensions More clashes between police, protesters
If you believe an officer is violating your rights or bullying you, Dutta says, don't challenge him then -- save that for lodging a complaint later. "Do what the officer tells you to and it will end safely for both of you."
It took no time for the anger over his message to explode.
"The outrageous thing is not that he says it. The outrageous thing is that we accept it," writes Ken White of the blog Popehat, which tracks American legal issues.
"Do we have a justice system? By name, yes. Is it effective in deterring cops from abusing citizens or punishing them when they do? No... If you hope the cop will be charged criminally for misbehavior, you're going to be waiting a very long time for no result."
Dutta's message is to "shut up and take it, because even the slightest bit of intransigence is grounds for the cops to unleash a world of hurt," writes Benjamin Freed of the Washingtonian.
"To say that putting up a verbal argument warrants bringing out the billy clubs, stun guns, or actual guns only stokes what's been seen coming out of Ferguson in the past week -- images of peaceful demonstrators being met with a lines of officers rigged with military-grade equipment, marchers being fogged with canisters of tear gas, and people being slugged with rubber bullets after not moving quickly enough," Freed complains.
Authorities in Ferguson say force has been needed to stop the minority of "agitators" who have fomented violence, through gunshots and Molotov cocktails.
CNN.com users weighed in on social media.
Raw video of convenience store robbery

"So, 'Do what I say or I will hurt/kill you?' How does that even remotely correspond with 'To Serve and Protect?'" Carter Gaddis wrote on Twitter, citing the police motto.
But Rhonda Heim wrote on Facebook, "I think an officer puts his life on the line on a daily basis. He wants to go home after his shift like everyone else. No one should challenge him."
Mike Knox, a business owner and father of four in Ferguson, told CNN "people are just tired" of being pulled over when they did nothing wrong, so it's common to give police attitude in the area. But he teaches his children not to.
Respect the police. If you let your attitude take over, that can be you laying on that ground.
Mike Knox, father of four in Ferguson
"When you see police, respect the police," he tells them. "Say 'yes sir and 'no sir.' It'll get you a long way." And since loitering can lead police to think you're up to no good, he adds, "keep it moving."
"If you let your attitude take over, that can be you laying on that ground," Knox adds.
In Dutta's column, published Tuesday, he writes, "Cops are not murderers. No officer goes out in the field wishing to shoot anyone, armed or unarmed."
Still, he does not defend all police. "I know it is scary for people to be stopped by cops. I also understand the anger and frustration if people believe they have been stopped unjustly or without a reason. I am aware that corrupt and bully cops exist. When it comes to police misconduct, I side with the ACLU: Having worked as an internal affairs investigator, I know that some officers engage in unprofessional and arrogant behavior; sometimes they behave like criminals themselves."
Complete coverage of Ferguson shooting and protests
Dutta notes that people don't have to submit to illegal stops or searches, and can refuse consent to search a car or home without a warrant. "Always ask the officer whether you are under detention or are free to leave. Unless the officer has a legal basis to stop and search you, he or she must let you go. Finally, cops are legally prohibited from using excessive force: The moment a suspect submits and stops resisting, the officers must cease use of force."
Police-community relations can only start to improve when individual officers who abuse civilians' rights are held accountable with a zero-tolerance policy for police brutality.
Iris Baez, Justice Committee
But protesters throughout the country say submitting to an officer doesn't always avoid police brutality. They point to the case of Eric Garner, killed by New York police in a chokehold in July. And in California, a 51-year-old woman was seen on video being repeatedly punched by a Highway Patrol officer.
In a CNN.com column last week, Iris Baez of the Justice Committee in New York wrote that her son died nearly 20 years ago in an illegal police chokehold. "These tragedies and injustices happen year after year, and people of color -- primarily black and Latino -- are usually the victims."
"Police-community relations can only start to improve when individual officers who abuse civilians' rights are held accountable with a zero-tolerance policy for police brutality," she says.
Ferguson police at protests Tuesday night
Ferguson police at protests Tuesday night
Dutta wants all police to use body cameras and video recorders in their vehicles, which "will prevent a situation like Mike Brown's shooting, about which conflicting and self-serving statements allow people to believe what they want." The events that led up to the teen's shooting remain unclear, with very different descriptions emerging.
While Dutta comes off as "reasonable," he is demanding "unresisting submission to police without argument or even legal protest," J.D. Tuccille writes at Reason.com. "Just how do you 'refuse consent to search your car or home' without running afoul of the no-nos Dutta warns may get you 'shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground?'"
Journalists who were arrested amid Ferguson protests have reported they did nothing wrong.
View my Flipboard Magazine.
Dutta, a professor of homeland security and criminal justice at Colorado Technical University, could not be reached immediately for comment Wednesday on the uproar over his column.
In a tweet linking to his response, the Washingtonian's Benjamin Freed wrote, "I challenged Officer Sunil Dutta. Hopefully he won't come hurt me."

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me!!!
Posted by: Hrundi V Bakshi ()
Date: August 20, 2014 06:11PM

He's right.

Only dumb people like negroes would challenge a guy with a badge and a gun.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me!!!
Posted by: ROBOCOP ()
Date: August 20, 2014 06:45PM

"No officer goes out in the field wishing to shoot anyone". That's not what Spike Lee said.

Options: ReplyQuote


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