LAPD cop says the people they stop are equally responsible for making sure things don’t end tragically.
Terrell Jermaine Starr
A Los Angeles Police Department officer says that the people they stop are just as responsible for ensuring that things don’t turn ugly as the officers are.
In a recent Washington Post column, Sunil Dutta said that people misunderstand the role police officers have in society and exaggerate the motives behind why officers use force to respond to those they detain. He says police officers aren’t killers who wake up with the intent to shoot and kill people. Dutta recalls the times he “withstood curses, screaming tantrums, aggressive and menacing encroachments on my safety zone, and outright challenges to my authority.”
But this is the most powerful point he makes in his piece:
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?