Keeping your cool


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beachwalker
July 26, 2011, 10:38 AM
Just read one of the posts and viewed the video of a person being harassed, threatened, and arrested by an unprofessional police officer. It went on for several minutes and the person receiving the treatment handled it well in my opinion. Do any of wonder if you'd be able to keep your cool in that situation?
Any tricks on not letting an _____ get to you?

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fyurstarter
July 26, 2011, 10:44 AM
Just realize that getting angry and perturbed will only make you look like the bad guy. If you keep your cool and learn to say only what you have to say it's a lot easier to make a case against an idiot who is abusing the system.
In short....smile and nod, smile and nod.

Hugo
July 26, 2011, 10:56 AM
Act calm and compliant and discretely/quietly start your tape recorder, ipod/iphone audio recorder, or ipod/iphone video recorder. Gathering evidence for the coming hearings/trial will help change things.

StrutStopper
July 26, 2011, 10:56 AM
All that guy in the video had to do was think about how much money he was going to make by keeping his cool as long as the dashboard cam was working... J/K- I wouldn't be thinking that at all. Id just be as cooperative as possible and hope to get out of that situation as soon as possible, even if it meant going to jail for a couple of hours...

FIVETWOSEVEN
July 26, 2011, 11:01 AM
Act calm and compliant and discretely/quietly start your tape recorder, ipod/iphone audio recorder, or ipod/iphone video recorder. Gathering evidence for the coming hearings/trial will help change things.

In alot of states, its illegal to record a police officer on duty.

Sam1911
July 26, 2011, 11:14 AM
Good advice. Smile, don't fight, do not argue.

The best advice would be to prepare yourself as best as you can for the possibility of such negative encounters. Study what you can, must, should, and should NOT say, and then try to keep your brain engaged and stick to those concepts.

Clamming up completely isn't the very best choice (unless it is the best choice FOR YOU due to your personality and knowledge) but running on at the mouth -- either with hostility or acquiescence -- is much worse.

The classic responses, "Am I under arrest?" "I don't consent to any searches," and even "I would love to help you officer, but I think I should speak to my lawyer before making any further statements," and so forth, repeated firmly and calmly should serve to put the officer on notice that you probably won't make a convenient mistake giving him cause to arrest you, make an extensive search, and/or otherwise hassle you further.

It just might also plant a seed in his mind that you're probably knowledgeable about your rights enough to give him trouble later with IA and his Chief if he really steps over the line.

It is terribly embarrassing, frustrating, and enraging to be treated unfairly and with such hostility by any person of authority, but take heart in the fact that we live in a place where such abuses are about as limited as they can be, are heavily officially investigated and reported upon, and the worst cop out there isn't going to KILL you just 'cause he doesn't like you. (There are parts of the world where that might not be so...)

Keep positive, focus on being the calm one -- the "bigger" man. Comply with everything you MUST comply with, minimize the damage you do yourself, and live to fight the battle more effectively, later, through official channels.

Fishslayer
July 26, 2011, 11:40 AM
Just read one of the posts and viewed the video of a person being harassed, threatened, and arrested by an unprofessional police officer. It went on for several minutes and the person receiving the treatment handled it well in my opinion. Do any of wonder if you'd be able to keep your cool in that situation?
Any tricks on not letting an _____ get to you?

If it's the video I'm thinking of I would probably be scared <deleted>less since it's obvious I was dealing with someone who's completely taken leave of their rational thought processes. IMO it wasn't a case of "Letting an ________ get to you." It was dealing with an armed and highly dangerous lunatic that could probably go ahead and put 10 rds from his Glock .40 into me and walk away scot free like they usually do. The driver didn't know the encounter was being recorded.

I'm thinking 'rhoid rage myself. There's really no dealing with those.

But yeah.... "Yes sir" "No sir" etc.

"I want to talk to my lawyer" is the best... ;)

fyurstarter
July 26, 2011, 12:10 PM
Seems like there are a lot of those types in Law Enforcement anymore. It's sad that somehow the motto of our police went from "To Protect and Serve" to "To Harass and Arrest".

MedWheeler
July 26, 2011, 12:18 PM
It's sad that somehow the motto of our police went from "To Protect and Serve" to "To Harass and Arrest".

I must have missed that memo. I don't see this at all.

fyurstarter
July 26, 2011, 12:20 PM
Glad that you don't have the overzealous officer issue in your neck of the woods.

Loosedhorse
July 26, 2011, 12:27 PM
Any tricks on not letting an _____ get to you?Sure: realize that he has power of arrest, back-up, and a gun.

You can win this confrontation, but not there on the street. He wins there, and if he's wronged you, you take him to court. Agree with the advice oon using the proper words: don't consent, politely stand on your rights, comply if arrested.

The only reason to get into a fight is to win. Don't start one you can't.

xsquidgator
July 26, 2011, 12:30 PM
If you can handle the pressure of what's going on with such an officer, remember: you being wrong makes him right. If you resist arrest or give in to an impulse to react to what he's doing, he can get very nasty and forceful then, and then you'll maybe have actually committed a crime that you can be punished for.

Not fair and not really right, but I've had a number of LEOs tell me that. Best thing is to take whatever Officer Barbrady hands out, keep your cool as everyone else here says, and then let your lawyer rip him and his dept a new one afterwards. Don't put yourself into the situation of giving them a real violation they can punish you for.

parsimonious_instead
July 26, 2011, 12:30 PM
[QUOTE=Fishslayer;7467951]...I'm thinking 'rhoid rage myself. There's really QUOTE]

Hmmm... during the discussions of the Ohio incident, I heard the term 'roid rage' bandied about, implying that this officer might be taking anabolic steroids and suferring the attendant roughening of his temperament.

You've apparently come up with a new angle - perhaps implying the officer instead has "hemmorhoid rage" - understandable when you think about all of those hours seated in a patrol car...

M-Cameron
July 26, 2011, 12:31 PM
you know, im not gonna lie.......but if that situation happened to me.......i think i would have one hell of a time keeping quiet.

especially when the officer said " you know what i should have done, i should have taken a step back and put 10 rounds center mass..........execute you for being stupid....."


im pretty sure at that point i would have flipped out on him...i dont think ide be able not to say anything..........most likely leading to me being peppersprayed and beaten.

Sam1911
July 26, 2011, 12:31 PM
It was dealing with an armed and highly dangerous lunatic that could probably go ahead and put 10 rds from his Glock .40 into me and walk away scot free like they usually do.Hold on! Back up the hyperbole truck just a bit. ;) No part of the US is such an out-of-control, unaccountable, fascist society that any police officer could "walk away scot free" from any shooting, any time. Every time an officer fires their weapon there is an investigation and a lot of paperwork. And, no matter how much you believe the local cops get away with -- murder is not something that any jurisdiction will turn it's head to, and ignore.

This is a sad, scary scene, but let's not get carried away. This isn't a 3rd World dictatorship. Our police officers are held to a tough standard, and for the most part, they meet that standard.

The driver didn't know the encounter was being recorded.That seems unlikely these days. Dash-cams are pretty universal both for the protection of the officers, and the public.

doc540
July 26, 2011, 12:32 PM
Loosedhorse nails it.

Close thread :D

fyurstarter
July 26, 2011, 12:34 PM
I'll +1 that.

MrCleanOK
July 26, 2011, 01:06 PM
My high school US history teacher (also a lawyer) summed it up pretty well.

"The police have sticks and guns. The only people they are gonna call have more sticks and guns, or an ambulance if they use the sticks and guns on you. You're not going to win a fight with the police unless you do it in court."

RobNDenver
July 26, 2011, 02:03 PM
Not in a "lot of states" only three that I know of, Illinois, Massachusetts and Maryland.

Mike J
July 26, 2011, 02:17 PM
Hold on! Back up the hyperbole truck just a bit. No part of the US is such an out-of-control, unaccountable, fascist society that any police officer could "walk away scot free" from any shooting, any time. Every time an officer fires their weapon there is an investigation and a lot of paperwork. And, no matter how much you believe the local cops get away with -- murder is not something that any jurisdiction will turn it's head to, and ignore.

Sam- I'm not a cop basher by any means but there have been a couple of things that have happened in the last couple of years in Georgia where I personally believe justice was not served. Sometimes police officers do things they shouldn't & often times it gets swept under the rug & gotten away with. I don't have a link handy right now & I don't have time to dig it up but I could cite a couple of things that have happened in Georgia. It is scary really.

JustinJ
July 26, 2011, 02:18 PM
http://policecrimes.com/

The stories of police abuse we hear about are probably only a small percentage although i'm sure dashboard cams have helped in reducing such events. It may not be as bad here as 1930s germany but that's not much of a standard. I would be curious how we rate to other western democracies in incidents of police misconduct. My state actually has laws that specifically say one can defend themself with force if LE use excessive force against them but good luck with that one. Thats not to say this case was excessive force. As others have said the courts are one's best bet although justice is anything but guaranteed. The ACLU is very active in fighting just this kind of thing although certain media outlets falsely portray them as only being active in secularist issues. There are other groups out there as well one can support if they do not like the ACLU.

As a teenager i was slammed against a car by a cop and told to my face i have no rights after simply asking "why" after he said he was going to search me. Its a long story but basically a friend of mine had been in a fist fight and i was there but not a participant. I did not resist or refuse as i had no time to before i was assaulted. To this day I regret not filing a suit given the number of witnesses who were there.

I feel the worst for women who get pulled over at night in uninhabitated areas. I've heard it be recomended that they keep the car running and window cracked and request the cop follow them to a populated area but don't know the legalities of such action. There was a police chief indicted a couple of years ago for raping a woman he pulled over in OK i think.

forgetitohio
July 26, 2011, 02:32 PM
There's alot of good info on how to protect yourself from the police.
This link to Youtube addresses exactly what is being discused.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHCdul-FlhU

This link is to a 3part video; kinda long but worth watching. Part 2 is a cop telling what not to do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhbJd2USUDI&feature=relmfu

The central problem of our age is how to act decisively in the absence of certainty. - Bertrand Russell

Capt. Ct.
July 27, 2011, 06:30 AM
I'm not so sure about the advice to smile. When I got pulled over for a traffic violation I made the mistake of smiling. "What are you smiling at?" " You think it's funny?" Blah bah blah. I took it to court and had it thrown out. So blah blah blah yourself. ;)

Sky
July 27, 2011, 08:07 AM
Youtube is full of videos with Cops acting out of line and then lying about the situation later. No statistics but for every lunatic who wears a badge there are surly 100s that do the best job they can with respect to an individuals rights.

Dunno if it is the modern age of communication or authorities lying, ETC ETC that has made us more cynical; hey maybe television dramas? Either way the Cop in question should be shamed and fired and never be allowed to carry a firearm again, at the very least IMO. Someone or some occupation that repeatedly abuses should not be surprised when they are far enough down the food chain that when their time comes for abuse it will be a doozy ( Karma?).

We as citizens only have the courts for redress; sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't just depends on who has the video record, the Judge and hopefully the truth..

danprkr
July 27, 2011, 08:15 AM
My mom taught me that one way to deal with someone getting up in your face and shouting was to start speaking more and more quietly as respectfully as possible. She said that it would infuriate them. Which on the one hand in this situation isn't a desirable thing, on the other hand if you have a camera/recording device running it will help in court show you being as cooperative as possible. Just something to ponder.

stonecutter2
July 27, 2011, 01:18 PM
I've been in some intense situations in my time, nothing that rises to the level that the guy in OH did, obviously.

I've found that speaking calmly (which is NOT necessarily easy to do!) and respectfully will usually not escalate the situation, it may not defuse the situation, but hopefully it won't escalate things.

In college I was working in the kitchen of a restaurant and my shift had been over for 1/2 hour. I was expected to be elsewhere at a lab within 45 minutes, but the guy who was supposed to be coming in to take over hadn't shown up. I still had to get home, shower (or risk stinking up the lab like bread and pizza), eat, then get to the lab.

So anyways, I'm still working when the dinner rush barely starts, and the guy that's supposed to be working is nowhere to be found.

The assistant manager steps in and he starts helping (well, trying to help) and i'm going super speed to try and get ahead of the rush starting.

At some point, I muttered an inappropriate word about the guy who never showed up under my breath while making a pizza. The assistant manager full force spun around, and shoved me at the shoulder so hard I about fell over sideways and said (quite redfaced suddenly, with really wild eyes), "If you're going to use language like that, then just get out here. Get out!!" Then he got up in my face a few inches away and stared me down.

The physical aspect made me immediately defensive, and almost out of reflex I wanted to shove him away or yell back. Instead I had a moment of pause, and said very calmly, "I'm sorry I said that, I shouldn't have used that kind of language. I'm going to miss my lab and I need to attend to pass this class. I can't leave because you can't handle this rush alone. I'll be fine and keep working."

The guy showed up a few minutes later to cover his shift, I don't remember his excuse for being so late. I just had to get out of there and to the lab.

Thinking back on it, I know it would have been easy to react instinctively another way. But for some reason, instead, I had a cool head to not let things escalate. I would imagine because the assistant manager was an authority figure, it made me pause before just reacting. Had some nutjob on the street just got in my face suddenly, I doubt i'd hesitate very much at all to get them to back off.

When I showed up for my next shift at the restaurant, the owner called me down to his office. He asked what happened, and if I was doing okay. Then we had a chat about how college was going. I told him I was fine and he and I were just having a bad night, I'd get over it. The assistant manager also later apologized to me and said he'd interpreted my attempt at making the pizzas fast as me being irritated/aggressive, and just wanted me out of there if I was going to be like that. Doesn't justify almost throwing me over, but I'm glad I didn't make a bad situation worse.

I think the guy in OH did the best he could to do the same - not escalate, apologize, be respectful.

Bravo Sierra
July 27, 2011, 02:46 PM
If you are a suspect being investigated by a LEO, remember one of your most important rights protecting the individual from the government, is your right to remain silent. Even in a traffic stop, your statement to an officer's question "do you know why I pulled you over" will be used against you if you admit that you were speeding. Law enforcement is a difficult job, and most officers do their job well, but none of them will suffer fools gladly.

Don't say anything, except to identify yourself as required, and to provide license, insurance and registration if you were driving. Certainly don't argue with an officer. Treat them with respect no matter what, and by respect, I mean lose that attitude, and don't make things worse than they already are. A lot of people get roughed up for resisting law enforcement by mouthing off, and then the trouble really begins.

If you have an officer taking his time, using your discomfort to soften you up so you start talking, ask the officer to either cite you, arrest you, or let you go. Those three things are the only options available to the officer. The officer will not like being told what to do, but this is different than outright hostility towards the officer. If you do get arrested, don't resist, and don't offer any more information. Help yourself out by not assisting the officer with the investigation. If you get arrested, you are not going to talk your way out of it. Deal with it later. This is how you keep a cool head.

JustinJ
July 27, 2011, 05:26 PM
stonecutter2, you're far more forgiving than i. I would have insisted he be fired and looked into suing for assault. Nobody has a right to strike another person merely out of anger and nobody should be allowed to get away with it.

Deltaboy
July 27, 2011, 05:39 PM
This is a case where the man keeping his cool kept him out of a heap of hot water. The LEO in this case needs to have his 6 chewed out good by his boss, 90 day off with no pay and a retraining cycle through the Police Academy and 3 years of supervison with a you can lose your Job for raising your voice to someones Grandma clause.

MedWheeler
July 28, 2011, 12:20 AM
This is turning into a cop-bashing thread if there ever was one. What I'm reading, though, is not unlike a bunch of hype over how potentially unsafe air travel is after a crash occurs. For some reason, safe and uneventful landings don't make the 6:00.. and neither do professional cops.

NavyLCDR
July 28, 2011, 12:33 AM
For some reason, safe and uneventful landings don't make the 6:00.. and neither do professional cops.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=962_1311725173

psyshack
July 28, 2011, 01:20 AM
Sam1911

There is a state with LEO's out of control. My home state of Arkansas. Arkansas State Troopers are above and are Gods. And most of the local and county operations follow suite.

I can give you some examples.

I and a co-worker were on our way to NW Ar. one day from Tulsa. We cross into Ar. and hit a major traffic jam. Come to find out a Ar. Trooper shot a man in the median on HWY 412. Within a hour it's known the man was unarmed. Within 2 hours the vic. was a local man in that area that was mentally handicapped. had the mentality of a 5 year old or so. Was shot dead laying on the ground because he would not show his hands.

That afternoon as we were coming back all heck broke loose in Springdale. Police are chasing a man with a handgun. Thats not good. He pulls into a Wal-Mart jumps out of his car and throws the pistol down and is running fore his life. He knows,,, he's a dead man. People are yelling at the cops "here is his gun, he through it down!" Cops blow all that off and don't secure the weapon for a few more mins. They have a job to do. The man burst out the back door to meet a firing squad. Yep he's dead and unarmed.

That was just one day in one area. Nobody ever got in trouble.

One of my very good friends had his home shot up by the Sebastian County Boys one night. 6 cars pull in his and his parents drive and open up on his home. Him his wife and 4 children were in the home. Just shot his home all up. His father did return fire from his home farther back on the property with a .44 mag. Once fire was returned they got in there cars and left. Next day we found one of the cars in the county wrecked car lot with 6 bullet holes in the front right corner panel and door from the .44 mag. Cops never admitted anything. DA would not investigate and Little Rock was no help at all.

Best anyone can figure out is there is a home about 2 miles down the road a lot like his that was suspected as a Meth cook house by the locals. But even if it was a meth cook house you just don't drive in and shoot it up and drive off.

And one of the worse ever was my best friends step father. Decorated Ar. Trooper and one of the most evil men I've ever known. He would pistol whip and shoot folks at the drop of a hat. With the most evil glowing blue eyes you have ever seen. He had hurt so many people he could not be protected anymore by his own. After finding explosives under his car and folks taking shots at him from the woods with high power rifles. They finally transferred him to the Eldorado Troop. And then ran him out with his pension.

Nothing changes over there. And it's very sad. :(

And now Oklahoma is getting some real bad State Troopers. But I figure these okies will only put up with so much before it gets out of hand like it has been for decades in Arkansas. :(

mljdeckard
July 28, 2011, 01:33 AM
I THINK, that if you carry, you need to renew your comittment to controlling your temper no matter what. It doesn't matter if it's a bad guy or a cop messing with you. If you lose your temper, the stakes are higher than with the general public.

I actually view verbal debate as a kind of game, which I'm very good at, and I have had to learn to make conscious decisions about who I will and won't engage with. I offend people I like, and enrage people I don't like. I have had to make a decision at the beginning whether or not it's worth it, and just shut my piehole. Still not easy, but I'm a lot better at it now than I was when I was 25. :)

Single Action Six
July 28, 2011, 03:29 AM
MedWheeler said in part..

This is turning into a cop-bashing thread if there ever was one.

No. As some posters here have shown us through various links, it seems like more and more Cops now days are using the power of their badge for misconduct on a daily basis. I'm having a hard time wondering why you can't see this.

Injustice Everywhere (http://www.injusticeeverywhere.com/)

Single Action Six

Readyrod
July 28, 2011, 04:07 AM
Just remember that when someone comes at you real hardass he may be doing it on purpose to get you to escalate the situation so he can act worse. If a cop wants to arrest you he can get you to react badly by being a d___ and bust you for your reaction. It isn't just cops. I once had a street preacher type act rude to me and when I told him to p_ss off he set up his soapbox beside me and started screaming at me about how much of a sinner I was. I couldn't escape as I was in a lineup. He had some beefy guys next to him for protection. What a setup. People who want to fight in bars are the same. Road ragers too. You always gotta keep your cool and figure what they are up to before you act.

rbernie
July 28, 2011, 07:51 AM
This thread has nothing to do with THR.

Sam1911
July 28, 2011, 07:59 AM
psyshack,

I appreciate what you're trying to say, but the first two anecdotes -- without citations, nor information on the investigations, any disciplinary actions taken, any official department statement explaining the events and the officers' decisions to fire, or really anything at all to support your belief that these were unlawful shootings -- really can't be enough to validate your overall assertion.

I can imagine decisions and actions taken by the officers in these that would have been completely lawful and justified -- even though the results were tragic -- as well as ways they might not have been. Just like a private citizen defending himself with lethal force, a police officer simply must have a reasonable belief that someone is armed and attempting to harm him in order to shoot. The fact that the belief wasn't supported by all the facts, once the facts are completely established, may not be the compelling factor. (Maybe that was a phone in his hand, not a gun. Maybe it was a gun, but was unloaded. Maybe he had nothing in his hand, but the way he moved it appeared he was trying to fire a weapon. All could be reasonable justifications for shooting. We can't say as we don't have the evidence or the testimony, and haven't been given the duty to decide the case.)

The third anecdote is so improbable that -- as I'm sure you understand -- no one is going to take it at face value. A firefight between six cars worth of law-enforcement officers and a barricaded man with a .44 revolver, resulting in massive damage to a home, significant damage to county vehicles, NO ARRESTS or evidence retrieved ... that's either a conspiracy of legendary proportions or the kind of tall tale rural folks like to tell each other over beers. Of course, I'm not accusing you of making it up -- or even saying that it ISN'T true. But you have to expect that without something tangible coming of it all, no one anywhere is going to believe it. It's the kind of thing you have to be wary of telling people because they'll get this frozen half-smile on their face and start backing away from you very slowly... :o

As for the bad cop you knew... who was he? Name and department? What is his disciplinary record? I'm sure he had cold blue eyes, but what else is verifiable? And is he still on the force? Probably every jurisdiction in the world has had a few problem officers from time to time. Maybe he was one. But how are we to accept your description of him as compelling and damning of all law enforcement in that state?

Do these four ... well, two and a half ... incidents and this guy you knew establish a systematic pattern for the entire body of law enforcement in that state?

We live in a period of history where there is more accountability and more transparency of public servants to their bosses (the citizens) than ever before. I maintain that -- even in extremely bad cases like the fellow in Ohio ran into, the actual danger is minimal as long as the citizen does not escalate the situation to the point of giving an officer a need to defend himself.

[Sorry...posted while rbernie was closing...apologies.]

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