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How not to get shot by the cops

By Walter Geiger I am not now nor have I ever been an officer of the law. However, in my line of work, I have met a lot of cops and have only met one who was a really twisted individual. He lost his badge after firing from his car into the car of an estranged girlfriend on the highway years ago. He vanished and is probably dead. In my experience, virtually all cops do the job because they love it, period! They are certainly not in it for the money, benefits or cushy work environment. Do they occasionally have bad days? Sure. We all do. Do they occasionally screw up? Definitely. We all do. Are there a few bad apples? Absolutely. All professions have them. But, the vast, vast majority of cops out there do what they do just for what it used to say on the TV police cars ‘˜to protect and serve’. Occasionally, cops have to shoot people. It happened right here not long ago. The perpetrator in our case was an idiot who was endangering the lives of many law abiding, innocent people and he got shot in a last ditch effort to protect them. Only that stopped him. Cops call it ‘˜a good shoot’ and it was good there were no lives lost. There are far more civilian on civilian shootings. Just look at the hellhole that is Chicago where, by the way, Obama’s former attorney general is mayor. I assume he did not run as a ‘˜law and order’ candidate. So, how do you avoid getting shot? Here are some pointers. When you see the blue lights behind you, slow down and pull over as soon as it is safe to do so. Keep your hands where they can be seen and comply with all instructions given you. If you have to reach into a glove compartment or console for your license, make your intentions clear. If you try to run from the pursuing cop car or flee from police on foot, your chances of getting shot go up exponentially. Don’t run and don’t make any sudden movements. If you reach into a pocket without making your intentions clear, you may increase your chance of getting shot. That’s on you. If, once stopped, you become verbally abusive then you have raised the tension level. Once the tension level goes up, the chances of you suffering bodily harm go up. Don’t dress like a thug. Wearing a hoodie when it is 90 degrees outside is thuggish. Dress like that and ‘˜thug’ is probably the cops’ first thought. Amish people very seldom get shot by cops because they dress like Amish people. People in business suits or regular clothes rarely get shot by cops. Do you see the correlation? If you have something in your hand ‘“ phone, Bible, knife, biscuit, slushie, skittles, AK47 or rock ‘“ and are instructed to drop it, by all means drop it. Otherwise, you just might get shot. If you happen to be carrying a toy gun or BB gun, it is not a good idea to point it at anyone and certainly not at the police. You will get shot almost every time. If you are about to get arrested, it is best to take the path of least resistance. In fact, take the path of no resistance. You are much less likely to get your skull cracked or taste lead if you are completely compliant. Never touch or hit a police officer. They have the right to use force against force. Do what you are told and do it slowly and deliberately. Avoid joining angry crowds or mobs intent on violence or the destruction of property. Years and years ago, I saw the magnificent if ribald comedian Richard Pryor live at an establishment in Underground Atlanta. My roommate and I took dates and we were the only four white people there. Pryor went after us with one white joke after another. He winked at us and it was obvious it was all part of the act. When he was done barbecuing us, he did his spiel on the relationship between blacks and cops and how it differed from that of whites with cops. It was hilarious and he managed to poke fun at all parties while urging cooperation with the police at the same time. Then, he turned serious and ridiculed the idea of riots like those we have seen after police shootings lately. He portrayed an angry black male entering his home indignant over some trivial event and telling his wife/girlfriend, ‘We rioting b***h. Burn the house down!’ The place erupted in laughter but his sarcasm was not lost on the crowd. Rioting is never a good idea. Rioters sometimes get shot. Walter Geiger is editor and publisher of The Herald Gazette.

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