Cop apologists often say that the proper place to fight back against a bad officer is in a court. But what if the bad officer is threatening to put two bullets in the back of your skull? That’s a question the people of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota should be asking themselves right now:
In a three-paragraph statement issued Wednesday afternoon, Gannon said his department was alerted to the Facebook video capturing the Tuesday encounter between the officer and the suspect in the parking lot of Wal-Mart at 1200 Shingle Creek Crossing.
In the 61-second video, shot about 2:20 p.m. from behind a car in the lot, the officer approached a vehicle and ordered Foye-Finch to get down on the ground as he exited out a passenger-side door.
“Don’t move,” the officer told Foye-Finch, who appears to be facedown on the pavement.
“Don’t reach for anything!” the officer yelled, his gun still trained on the man, who appeared compliant during the entire time of the video being record. “You wanna get shot? Don’t reach for anything. Don’t move. I’ll put two in the back of your head if you move again, you understand me? Don’t move.”
According to Chief Tim Gannon the suspect had been evading law enforcers. This is probably the part cop apologists will latch onto but they’ll then ignore the part where Gannon said that “threatening language is never appropriate or acceptable.”
In the video the suspect seems to be lying facedown on the pavement. Even though he appears to be complying with the officer the officer doesn’t appear to be entirely satisfied and is threatening to perform a summary execution. My question is whether or not one should consider this a self-defense situation.
While the aggressor had a badge he was expressing a willingness to exceed his authority by murdering the suspect. The officer also had the means to go through with his threat. In this case the officer didn’t go through with the threat but there was no way for the suspect to know that he wouldn’t. I would argue that had the suspect defended himself he would have been well within his rights. I’m sure somebody will accuse me of simply hating cops but I believe I justified my conclusion in a way that would still show the situation to be self-defense if the aggressor wasn’t a cop. There’s little ground, regardless of who the aggressor was, to claim that the suspect didn’t have a reasonable belief that his life was in immediate danger.
If a law enforcer is beating you to death or threatening to kill you even if you complied with their commands, you may not live long enough to face them in court. That being the case, telling people that the proper place to deal with a bad officer is in a court is often not realistic advice.