Well I gave it the college try to encourage looking at it from both sides.
Again, we don’t know what caused the officer to react. Perhaps you would find it reasonable if you saw what prompted the draw. Perhaps not. Perhaps half of the people watching it would find it reasonable. Perhaps not. We don’t know, which I am honest enough to say we don’t know and that his actions could or could not be warranted.
And again, being calm and sticking to procedure is the higher standard. Can I get an acknowledgment that when they go off script is when bad things happen most often?
To put a really fine point on it, I’d prefer that police officers have functioning brains and are able reasonably react to the countless ways that “procedure” can’t fully account for, rather than using it as a rote excuse to behave in ways we wouldn’t accept from non-officers.
You do realize procedure is in order to try to have the best outcome possible, right? Where no one gets hurt?
So the initial thinking reaction was “I sense danger”. Procedure is what one does afterwards.
I really do not understand the idea that these people are non thinking morons because they follow procedure. Again, did you miss my statement about how most police killings I have seen in the news often result in NOT following procedure? Two that I can think of off the top of my head is Eric Garner who had an illegal choke hold and Freddie Gray for not being properly secured during transportation. Certainly if procedure was leading to issues, such as back in the day when choke holds were allowed, we should work on revising it. I am not sure what one would do differently that would be better if they were worried about a threat.
I wish that guy who was a cop was still here to at least enlighten us on why things are done this way. When I have asked cops in he past why one does this or that, they all have logical reason. They don’t just pull them out of their ass.
Because the occupant explained why he was reaching under the seat, and it was a reasonable explanation. At this point, it should have gone back to a normal traffic stop. Unless the officer’s default position was that the occupants were likely to have a weapon, the officer’s position should have reverted to normal procedure for a traffic stop. License, registration, insurance. Warrant check. Here’s your citation, drive safely.
I think you’d be surprised at how many “logical reasons” cops can pull out of their asses. The cops had logical reasons for beating Rodney King. The cops had logical reasons for executing Philando Castile, Oscar Grant, and Alex Nieto. The cops had logical reasons for assaulting children at the McKinney swimming pool party. The list is long, and these “logical reasons” are nothing more than excuses for violence, bullying, and murder.
Jesus Christ. I mean the reason departments come up with procedures in the first place. The shit they teach at the academies and the like. The shit they have to go through when something bad happens and the city gets sued.
You know when people say we need “better trained cops”? PROCEDURES ARE WHAT THEY LEARN IN TRAINING.
You might note that a common feature of non-US policing is that firearms are not drawn unless there is a clear and immediate threat of lethal danger. “I asked him for his paperwork and he reached under the seat” doesn’t come anywhere close to meeting that standard.
The constant use by US police of firearms as compliance tools is highly unusual and blatantly destructive.
In the UK we don’t have to have the car’s paperwork with us, or our own. The police will have run a query on the number plate before they come talk to you and will know that the car has valid road tax and at least someone is insured to drive it and will know the name of the registered keeper of the car. They won’t know if you specifically are insured to drive the car or if you are licenced to drive at all.
If they ask for any paperwork you just say you don’t have it and they give you two weeks to present it at a police station.
Again I acknowledge that police deaths are relatively rare. But they DO happen. My job I have more or less zero chance of someone wanting to kill me because I screwed up their Pantone colors or something. But it IS a reality that they could get killed on a “routine traffic stop”. Coincidentally, this just happened around here.
Their job is pretty unique in that they have to be on guard and alert for possible danger AND not trample our civil rights. Too many of them fail at that second part. I think all of us can acknowledge that. Too many of them are corrupt, overzealous, or blatantly biased. But I’d caution labeling all of them that way. I see the same snark about “it is the bad apples” etc with cops as I do with terrorist or minorities in crime. I think asking why they would be worried about a weapon in the car ignores the realities of the job.
We need cops just like we need a lot of other things that we don’t always like. It is important we keep striving and encouraging for a better police force. I hope none of you ever NEED to call the cops for something, but if you do, you will find their service invaluable.
Nevertheless so far as I know US law does require police officers to have ‘reasonable suspicion’ that the person they have detained (including at a traffic stop) is dangerous and might have access to a weapon.
That means something more than, ‘I could get killed on a routine traffic stop’. There needs to be something that gives cause to think that this particular person in this specific traffic stop might be a danger and have a weapon easily accessible.
Police officers have got by on things like ‘I noticed gang tattoos and know from my experience as an officer that gang members often carry weapons’ but that’s getting towards the dodgy end of justifications.
The links I gave go to a magazine advising police officers on various law enforcement issues including guidance on traffic stops and the law relating to searches.
The advice itself seems basically fine - some of the comments are… um… interesting (as always).
Yes, being a police officer is a risky job. It also comes with significant power and therefore significant restrictions on the exercise of that power.
That potentially means that police officers have to accept risks that any sane person would not.
I think its one of those issues where one has to decide whether one is prepared to do the job as it is required or not.
A lot of police officers appear not to be prepared to do so.
I think the snark is excusable given the number of “rookie” cops apparently unaware of procedure or the law and the level of ignorance of the law which US courts are apparently prepared to consider acceptable for a police officer (see the mostly dissenting judgment in the ‘not at all a SWAT team’ tomato growers fiasco appeal).
I have to say I am constantly staggered by the apparent lack of training or logistical support US law enforcement officials appear to get.
In the UK police forces have huge budgets (and are still underfunded). The US seems to run everything on a shoestring and bake sales.
I don’t know about the US but I can say that all the police officers I know appear to try to do their jobs well and properly.
I agree, and said from post one that the officer may not have reasonable cause. That is the detail we lack. Though one can’t say for sure he didn’t. It isn’t even supposed to be based on the person, per se (what they look like) but actions. Of course one can be nervous or acting off for many other reasons besides being guilty of something.
Some departments are worse than others. John Oliver just did a piece on the last time the Boarder Patrol had a hiring surge and how they let basically anyone in.
That’s ok, they have seizure of assets based on suspicion it is being used for drugs. What qualifies as suspicion? Large sums of cash. No one but criminals carry cash anymore.
And so long as a significant portion of this country isn’t willing to hold officers responsible for whether that sense and their subsequent actions are objectively reasonable, that excuse will continue to be a get out of jail free card for a whole host of actions by officers that we would never find acceptable from non-officers.