In light of the recent controversy over the use of deadly force by the police, I decided to do some research.
Accurate and verifiable statistics are hard to come by, but for the year 2013 according to the FBI, there were 461 people killed by the police. There is a website, killedbythepolice.net, which reported 748 people killed by the police for the same year.
Now, it seems obvious that a website called killedbythepolice.net, has a specific agenda (I am certain they would claim the FBI does as well) but assuming for arguments sake that these numbers are valid, let’s split the difference and say the police killed around 600 people.
First, that is 600 too many. However, with that said, we now turn to how and why.
There are certain conditions under which officers may use deadly force.
The officer must believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.
The use of force must be “Objectively Reasonable.”
This standard arises from a Supreme Court ruling in 1985, Tennessee v. Garner.
In almost every case, a Grand Jury reviews the use of deadly force by an officer to determine the justification. That most Grand Juries do not indict, while frustrating to some, is a reflection that fits with the statistics.
Most Police shootings are justified.
Despite this justification, all cases involving the use of deadly force by the police are controversial. However, the controversies and the emotions of those that disagree with the use of deadly force does not make it unjustified.
I did come across some truly stunning information, something that should give pause to everyone concerned with police use of deadly force.
Going back over the past thirty years, analyzing thousands of arrest records, there is a group of people who enjoyed a 100% survival rate in an encounter with the police.
Many of these people possessed firearms or other deadly weapons.
Many of these people had killed or gravely injured someone.
Many of these people had a history violence.
Sadly, some of these people were innocent of any crime.
There is one common thread within each of these cases.
They complied with the instructions of the officers.
They put down their weapons, they did not resort to violent confrontation, and they did not try to run. They followed the officer’s instructions and survived the day.
For those that were innocent, most were released immediately. If not, they found an attorney, or an attorney found them, and they sued everyone.
For those that were involved in a crime, they went to court.
Nevertheless, they ALL survived.
Instead of spending millions on new, idiotic, and politically expedient federal training programs for police, just have a short lesson in all our existing schools and teach civility and respect for the law. Oh wait, don’t we do that already?
Do you want to survive a police encounter? The lesson here is clear, do what the officer says. Adopt a DO NOT philosophy.
Do not commit a crime, do not point weapons, do not decide to reach for your cellphone to video this perceived injustice, do not fight with the officers, just do what they say and you will survive.
Here is a good idea, let’s recycle all those idiotic T-shirts bearing the slogan, “Don’t Snitch.” We can take out the words “Don’t Snitch,” and change it to DO NOT.
Here is an easy way to remember this advice.
Cops like DONUTS
Cops like DO NOTs.
Maybe I should print T-shirts. Order yours today at www.dowhattheniceofficersaysandliveanotherday.com