In part this is satire, but it is also in a sense quite realistic. I was taught how to behave to avoid problems with police and other authorities as a child. My Mom grew up in the South in the era of Jim Crow with ‘might pass for white, or not’ skin so she was well aware of how things DO work whether they are fair, right or we like them.
My skin is light and I am physically quite small and fragile looking so combined with what I was taught I have rarely had problems with police violence-with one notable and deeply horrifying exception where my brother and I were almost killed in front of my Mom.
That very personal example of how some police officers over-react virulently to a young, healthy, muscular man with dark skin impressed me deeply with the reality of the danger.
Despite the permanent injury and scars I don’t regret at all violating the rules I was taught in order to get in the way of an incompetent officer who was trying to shoot my brother.
I’m just so grateful every time I feel the pain, or notice the scar that my brother is very alive and well.
Significantly to me at least-both officers involved in that nightmare were subsequently fired for totally unrelated issues of general incompetence.
It is my belief that structural racism is enforced and encouraged by the system of “good ole boy” corruption and”white privilege” allowing incompetent jerks to rise to positions of power.
I feel that it will change very quickly when that system of “assholes in charge” is dismantled.
Sure there are crappy cops who use their position to abuse people but I strongly believe that MOST people who choose law enforcement as a career do so primarily from good, higher motives.
They genuinely want to help others, improve the world and stop the bad guys. It doesn’t really help us to perceive or depict all police officers as evil, racist or fascist.
The majority are people just like you and I who simply have to work to survive. Most likely chose their profession because it was available to them with the background, education and skills they had.
Unfortunately for the process of change, police departments are like military groups in that solidarity and support of their fellows is necessary to do their job-even when some of their fellows are execrable scum.
So, take the ironic humour of this piece for a chuckle but note the real warning as well and make sure to impress these concepts on all the children in your life.
I was the typical rebellious, politically activist, crazy colored hair “punk rock” teenager skateboarding and cussing like a sailor-except when dealing with police officers.
Then I was polite, quiet and completely respectful and compliant. I might not have been “cool” for that, but it is better to be alive and a dork than a cool corpse.
I pray for all the children to recognize that manners might save their lives-whether that is right or fair, I just hope they know.
Everything You Need To Know To Keep You From Being Justifiably Shot By The Police.
Oct 04, 2014 5:20pm PDT by bluntbit
The reality that African-American and other minorities must realize is that depending on the time of day, or the mood of the officer you encounter, you could end up justifiably shot by the police. If not shot, then you might get roughed up a little bit and sent on your way. If that happens consider yourself lucky because it could have been much worse. With the worldwide attention being paid to the recent events in Ferguson and little to none being paid to the other instances that have happened before and after it, it’s time to give a guideline, or lifeline if you will to the people who need it the most.
How this will work is, I will give you a rule and then apply that rule so that you understand exactly when and how it should be applied so that there is no confusion. We don’t need you out there hesitating on the next traffic stop or stop and frisk because the results, well, you know what they could be. Before we get started we need to clear up a few misconceptions about how to avoid becoming a target. If you believe that doing nothing wrong can save you from being targeted then you need to stop believing that. Stop thinking in terms of right and wrong, instead, factor in if you look like you’re doing or have done something wrong. That look is a judgment call and we know the track record of those judges of character. That look as Charles Belk found out has little to do with how you’re dressed. One might argue that if you’re dressed too nice, in too nice of a neighborhood, that might cause problems too.
The next thing you have to realize going forward is that it doesn’t matter what school you went to. It doesn’t matter how many culturally diverse friends you have. It does matter what kind of car you drive but it doesn’t matter what you do for a living. Unless you plan to carry around a framed diploma of your highest completed level of education, a pay stub, a passport, 2 bills with proof of address on it and a notary public in the backseat to sign the statement you’ve just made to the police about everything you just presented, what you’ve accomplished doesn’t mean a thing. The only thing that matters is the now. So throw all of the “This can’t be about me because I..” talk out of the window. This is information you need too.
1. Do exactly what the police tell you to do but don’t do it too fast or too slow.
This one requires some practice and you might need a partner to do it right. When you are stopped in any fashion be it on the street, or in a car the police will give you clear commands. Get over the fact that you may or may not have been doing anything to get their attention, that’s irrelevant, you have it now. You need to focus on doing what they tell you in a synchronized manner so that they won’t perceive your actions as threatening. To practice this, you will need a stop watch and someone giving you the most likely commands that you will receive. For starters, have your partners ask you for your license, registration and proof of insurance and then start the stop watch. The correct response time to this command is the amount of time it takes the reporter in the field to answer the question asked by the news anchors in the studio. After your partner gives the command, put your hand up to an imaginary ear piece (only do this in practice, do not do this in real life situations, this is just to get you familiar with the speed you need to respond) count 1 don’t shoot me, 2 don’t shoot me, 3 don’t shoot me and then proceed to comply with the orders. You should practice this twice before leaving the house just to be crisp and ready. If you move too quickly you might startle the officer and they’ll have no choice but to rely on training and use an escalation of force because of imminent danger. If you move too slow then that could be interpreted as disobeying an order and again relying on training must mean you have something to hide or you’re a trouble maker and they know what to do with trouble makers.
2. Whatever you’re carrying is a weapon.
This is just a fact of life when dealing with the police. If you are eating a sandwich drop it immediately. If you have a soda can or bottle then you better slowly discard it before guns are drawn and you’re in a standoff, too late to do anything. Cell phones, wallets, gameboys, laptops, fanny packs and cigarettes can all be considered weapons that could easily be mistaken for a gun or knife and thus making the force used justifiable by the police. Assume that you are James Bond and MacGyver able to make that peppermint you have in your hand into a nuclear weapon because that is what they see when you hold it.
3. If you do not have anything in your hand then you must also realize that your hand is also a lethal weapon.
Every single minority in this country has their hands registered as lethal weapons. I know that you did not know this but judging how the police respond to unarmed black men it must be true. So when you have your hands up and open in the air, to the police you’re getting ready to attack. If you have your hands to your side then you are getting ready to execute a death grip and must be met with a proper deterrent. Understand that even if you are simply walking past and get confronted by someone else and forced to defend yourself, the perceived threat will more than likely be you.
4. If you are asked to get out of the car, automatically put your hands behind your head.
This is in case your license, proof of insurance and the notary public was not good enough. If you are asked to get out of the car by the police this is exactly how it should be done. The first thing you need to realize is that they are not asking you to get out so they can get to know you better. They are not asking you to get out of the car so that they can shake your hand and commend you on doing so well in life. They are more than likely going to handcuff you while they do whatever it is they’re going to do. Cut the middle man out of the situation. Get out of the car slowly. Move at the exact speed that a cartoon character would tip toe in any given situation. Skip the formality of being asked to put your hands behind your back and in one slow steady motion turn around facing the car and put your hands behind your back. If you’re unlucky and get a cop already on edge who loves giving commands this might backfire but research shows most will be pleasantly surprised as if you were reading their mind. Speed is also crucial here. Don’t move fast, it might look like you’re about to run from them and you know what happens next. If you do it too slow, then they will wait and take you to jail because obviously you’re high.
5. Questions you need to be prepared to answer.
Each encounter might vary but most will go something like this. The 1st question if you’re driving will be, if you know why you were pulled over. Play this cool, this is just like every other motorist that gets pulled over. The next question is where you need to be prepared and not caught off guard, thus admitting your guilt through some cosmic vibes you give off that police can pick up on. It doesn’t matter what kind of car you are driving, they will likely ask if this is your car. If it isn’t your car, shit… If it is your car don’t be offended. Calmly answer that it is and move on. Another question you might encounter is asking if you have any warrants for your arrest. Whether you’ve ever been arrested or not, you probably have been to police officers so answer honestly. If you do, shit… if you don’t just answer truthfully. That question applies whether you’re walking, driving, or sitting down in your own house. Have you been drinking will come up. It doesn’t matter if it’s 3am or 10am it will be asked and you need to be prepared to answer. The last question you’ll surely encounter is one that is designed to check on your well being as a concerned friend. Where are you going? It should not matter where you are going but it absolutely does to the police. Even if you’re going to the store to get some milk answer quickly because if you answer quickly it automatically means you’re telling the truth. It may not make sense to you but it does not have to, this is how you play the game and keep yourself from unintentionally threatening the police with the possibility of you heading somewhere you don’t belong.
6. The correct volume to speak and accent to have when answering questions asked by the police.
You’re wondering how can this help? It makes a world of difference. If you sound like Laverne Hooks from Police Academy the officer could become incredibly frustrated because they can’t understand you. If you sound like Samuel Jackson in Die Hard 3, you could be looked at as defiant and therefore threatening, making lethal force necessary. The accent you have makes a big impact as well. If you have a southern drawl, unfortunately this means that you’re up to something. If you have a heavy east coast accent, unfortunately this means you’re up to something. If you sound like you’re from the west coast, unfortunately this means you’re up to something. If you have an island accent or an accent like someone from Europe or Africa then this ultimately means that you’re up to something. It’s a tough spot to be in. For women, the best volume, tone and accent to speak in is the calm Claire Huxtable or the Calm Jessica Pearson. Strong but not too strong. Polite but not nervous and most of all graceful. You need to put their minds at ease. Any other tone of voice means that more than likely there is a body in the trunk and you’re trying to hurry up and get to Home Depot to buy acid and other things needed to dispose of it. For men there is only one correct voice to use and that is the calm Braxton P. Hartnabrig. Aha! No voice can soothe like Braxton’s. It isn’t threatening. It isn’t too strong. It quivers just enough so that the police can feel as if they are in charge and all of your words will be enunciated to perfection. It is the absolute best choice to use in order to get through the encounter as smoothly as possible.
7. Good answer vs bad answer.
Now that you know what to do and how to do it. You know what you should have and shouldn’t. You also know what questions to expect and the proper tone of voice and accent to answer them in, it’s time to go over what’s a good answer and what’s a bad answer. Your answer will save your life. The key to a good answer is that it must never sound like a question. Questions mean that you feel you have a right to ask the officer something as if you’re a peer. Questions, question authority and it’s never good to question an officer’s authority. Questions mean that you have something to hide since you didn’t give a direct answer. If you have something to hide it is the officer’s job, well, it’s the officer’s civic duty to get to the bottom of it at all costs. Direct answers that bend to the will of the officer is good. Anything else is extremely bad and can set things off that end up with you being on the wrong end of justifiable force.
In conclusion, the threat you pose is real people. You could be a terrorist or a thug. You could be on your way to ruining someone else’s day even if you’re just simply walking to the store or out enjoying the sun. You could be gathering people up to join a group that is planning to overthrow the government, like voters. There is no telling what you’re up to so the officers out to protect the communities have no choice but to engage you and figure out if you’re one of the good ones. Even if you feel you’re one of the good ones they still need to keep verifying your good status every now and again, don’t worry it’s just part of the protocol. The only way to ensure a safer encounter is to understand why it is happening and to be prepared when it does. These 7 keys when executed to perfection, wait, that phrase might not be appropriate right here. These 7 keys when followed correctly, will drop your chances of being harmed and or shot by the police a whopping 2%. You just can’t do any better than that. Remember your training and good luck.
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