Anyone who has watched a few hours of COPS or PD Live has seen the chaotic and confusing scenes that unfold whenever Officers fear a suspect has a weapon. This happens countless times every day across our nation without incident.
But, sadly in the moment where a tenth of a second can mean life or death the outcome is sometimes needlessly tragic.
I've watched countless situations where the suspect is ordered out of the car, to open the door from the outside with his left hand. Of course the suspect instinctively uses his right hand.
With sirens blaring and a K-9 Officer aggressively barking, three officers are shouting conflicting commands. Put your hands on your head, interlock your fingers, get down on the ground, don't look at me, back up towards my voice, move to the left, no move to your left. Cross your legs, get down on your stomach, put your arms out like an airplane.
Put your left foot in, take your right hand out and shake it all about - What the heck is going on? Do we really need felony stop suspects trying to follow along with the Hokey Pokey?
I'm not sure how we got this way but as Derrius Franklin showed us confusion can be deadly.
Let's stop the madness:
Nationally we need to adopt "One Command Only" - HANDS UP DO NOT MOVE!
From that point on a compliant suspect should understand that he is safe as long as he doesn't move a centimeter. Law Enforcement needs to make if clear if you move, lower your hands or even speak you will be killed.
Officers need to take the risk with a compliant suspect and be willing to approach regardless of where the suspect is located, be it in a chair, sitting on a curb, standing, or even crouching as Franklin was beside a car.
HANDS UP DO NOT MOVE!
The object of this One Command Only effort is two fold:
First to get the public to comply by having nationally understood command thereby eliminating countless OIS deaths.
Second to give Police Officers clear guidance and eliminate the question of was the death of the suspect necessary.
As with the old westerns where "stick em up" became the mantra of all robbers victims understood that hands go up and not to move.
We need to make it simple because the level of drug use and anger is put of control. This way if an Officer needs to end a life there will be no question. The suspect had one command only to obey and he chose to not.
Anyone care to comment?
As the public and elected officials demand more accountability of police officers there needs to be some solid ground and a firm line drawn. The boots on the street deserve something to back them up since their judgement seems to be no longer valid. Hands Up - Do Not Move does just that. A clear unquestionable command with clear un questionable consequences if not followed. As simple as "stick em up" in Hollywood Westerns of the 1950's and 60's.
If you don't put your hands up, if you move, you will be shot dead. Period we cannot let the violent offenders dictate the situation.