Not too long ago I wrote a post questioning if we lived in a police state. This generated a lot of comments on the blog both for and against the ideas I presented, which is good because it shows that people are paying attention.
Some said that I was anti-police in the post, which isn’t the message I wanted to send; however, I won’t get into it here. You can read it yourself and make your own decision.
In today’s post we’ll look at arrests from the viewpoint of the police. First, these guys and gals are out there every single day dealing with people who are… how shall we put it? Less than savory. My ex-wife decided she wanted to be a cop a few years after we were married and it was remarkable how fast her attitude towards the general public deteriorated after she graduated to patrol. And that’s here in Midcoast Maine where the crime rate is relatively low. Imagine what it must be like in New York City or any of the other big towns out there?
We’d drive through a neighborhood and I’d see kids playing and people watering the lawn and she’d see dopers and scumbags. Her experiences over time gave her a mistrust towards the general population that I found appalling, but understandable.
Tip Number 1
First of all, if you don’t want to be arrested DON’T BREAK THE LAW! That should be easy enough to remember, but a remarkable number of people can’t seem to follow that one simple bit of advice.
Second, if you DO get pulled over or are otherwise have the full attention of a police officer, do what you’re told. In the military they train you to obey orders. The last thing they want are a bunch of people standing around asking, “Why? Why should I do that? I think we should do it this way,” or “You can’t make me.” Wrong. If they have the gun they CAN make you.
Now it may be true that you aren’t in the military, but if you’re pulled over on the side of the road and the police officer says, “Get out of the car and put your hands on your head,” just do as you’re told in a nonthreatening manner. You might not be doing anything wrong, but if you start giving the officer a hard time it’s a good possibility his sense of humor will sour quite fast. An officer who feels threatened may feel it necessary to restrain you for a brief time while he talks to you. Be nice! If you start giving attitude and put up a fight – even if you’ve done nothing wrong – you’re still apt to get beat, tazed, or tear gassed for resisting.
Hey Jarhead! Have you ever been arrested? *Ahem.* Let’s just say I met the wrong end of a billy club once in Scotland after a night of hard partying with some Royal Marines and a crazy Russian guy. The police over there are just like the guys over here. If I’d been polite and minded my P’s and Q’s I probably would have been thrown in the drunk tank for the evening and after cooling my heels been sent back to the ship. Uh uh. Not your favorite Jarhead Survivor. I had to run my mouth and after punching one of the cops in the head his partner returned the favor with a nightstick. It made a lasting impression (emotionally – not physically.) They bruised their knuckles on me for a couple of hours at the jail and after getting hold of the duty officer I was sent back to the ship in cuffs. Let’s just say the ships captain and my commanding officer weren’t all that impressed with me.
What did I learn from this little incident? Do what you’re told! If I hadn’t gotten belligerent there’s a fair chance they wouldn’t have kicked my ass. Not 100% of course, but if you’re nice to the police they’ll at least look at you in a kinder light.
When I was doing research on the post about the police state I ran across a lot of videos of cops just trying to do their duty in a pleasant manner. But there were vids of guys holding a camera and refusing to answer any questions and generally making a non-situation into something totally uncalled for. The cops had my sympathy on those particular videos.
One thing you have to remember is that when a police officer shows up on a scene and he’s alone he has to assume control. That’s his job. If you get all up in his face with an attitude there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to wind up in cuffs or jittering and jiving on the wrong end of a tazer. Be polite and do what you’re told until the officer has a chance to get things sorted out. It’s not fair that you’ve been ordered to sit on the ground or stand with your hands on your head while the officer deals with a bunch of rowdies? Guess what? He doesn’t care! He’s just trying to do his job as efficiently and safely as possible.
Is it important to know your rights? Absolutely! But that doesn’t mean you have to be a jerk about it to the officer who’s just trying to do his job and go home at night in one piece.
As a matter of fact I intend to do a post about your rights as a citizen shortly, but for now just be aware that if you’re asked to do something it might well be in your best interest to comply.
Tip Number 2
If you don’t want to be arrested, tazed or maced you might consider staying away from situations where it’s likely to happen. If you’re protesting, for example, you should expect that at some point you’re going to have a run in with the police. Plan accordingly.
Carry some water to wash the mace out of your eyes and wear a hockey helmet so that when they taze you and you fall to the ground you don’t knock yourself out.
Are you in the middle of a bar fight at 2:30 AM and you hear sirens coming? Hmmm, you might want to go out the back door because things are about to go from bad to worse.
Summing It Up
I still stand by every word I wrote in my post about the police state, but this is the other side of the coin. Are there cops out there high on a power trip or looking to give someone a beating? Sure, but that’s not every cop walking a beat or riding around in their car.
To sum it up there are just a few rules to play by if you do have a run-in with a cop. Do what you’re told. Be respectful of the badge if not the person behind it. Be nice. Don’t act in a threatening or belligerent manner. (Be nice in other words.)
Here’s an excellent training video from Chris Rock. He talks about it from the Black Man’s perspective, but anybody could benefit from his wisdom here. (Rated R for language.)
I hope this short post helps you when and if you ever have to deal with the police.