Cop apologists love to point out that police officers are trained professionals and that their training makes them more trustworthy than the people who complain about their actions. Why is it then that untrained civilians are expected to deescalate the police:
The system is designed to exonerate police officers, not provide justice for their victims. My incident, however, gives me new insight into just how much the law values police lives over the citizens they are supposed to protect.
Chief Rausch said that when investigating complaints, it is essential to understand an officer’s mindset to determine the facts. A mindset is not a fact.
Here are the facts that Janish appeared to focus on – the unmarked cab, a black person, the duffel bag and the license plate.
Then here are other facts that he ignored – he knew his mother-in-law was selling the car, it was broad daylight, and I knew her first name, but not her last name. I offered to show him the keys, registration and bill of sale signed by his mother-in-law.
Those are the actual facts. Officer Janish’s mindset was the scenario he created in his head. His fears weren’t facts.
The moment I arrived at Officer Janish’s mother-in-law’s house I became a suspect, and under the law, it seems that Officer Janish became a victim. He could have stayed at his house, called 911 and waited for the sheriff’s department to arrive. Instead he grabbed his weapon and came outside to confront me.
Had I not reacted calmly, Officer Janish likely would have been within his legal rights to shoot me although I wasn’t doing anything illegal. My mere presence with a duffel bag was deemed a threat.
Had the author, Tonya Jameson, not reacted calmly he could have been another Philando Castile and it’s likely Officer Janish would have suffered no consequences. This is yet another situation where an untrained civilian was required to deescalate a supposed trained law enforcer.
Cop apologists have a lengthy list of appropriate responses during police encounters. If it’s a traffic stop make sure to have your proof of insurance and drivers license in hand before the officer gets to your vehicle. Make sure both of your hands are firmly placed on the steering wheel. Ask the officer how he wants you to proceed and follow his instructions to the letter. Don’t make any sudden movements. If you’re stopped by an officer on foot make sure your hands are visible and nowhere near your pockets. As with during a traffic stop, ask the officer how he wants you to proceed and follow his instructions to the letter and avoid sudden movements. Oh, and remember that if an officer is abusing their authority or using unnecessary violence against you that you must shut up and take it. The only appropriate place to deal with that kind of situation is in the courts.
According to cop apologists law enforcers are trained professionals but must be treated in a similar manner to wild animals. This attitude is nonsense. Since law enforcers are trained professionals the burden of deescalating situations should be on them. However, the legal system is setup to require the opposite, which is one of the reasons why police remain mostly unaccountable for their actions.