HOW NOT TO GET SHOT
(Avoiding Police Gunfire)
Recently, around the country, an inordinate number of police-officer-involved
shootings have taken place. As a result, several suspects have been
fatally injured. Newspapers in the area, quoting local "community
activists," have editorialized that, with all these shootings by
police, "any citizen" could find himself dodging police bullets,
for no apparent reason at all!
Responding to the newspaper editorial, a Los Angeles Deputy District
Attorney, who is obviously community minded, submitted a five-point
plan. The plan is designed to assist citizens, who might otherwise be
randomly shot by police, in staying out of the path of police bullets.
The newspaper never printed it, but I thought you might appreciate it,
even if they didn't.
"I've devised a five-point plan to help citizens avoid being shot
by police. This plan may not prevent all shootings, but very few will
take place when the plan is rigorously adhered to. So, here are the
1. DON'T COMMIT VIOLENT CRIMES.
It seems elementary, but this rule is lost on many. They do the crime,
get shot, and then wonder how it could possibly happen. They whine that
it is so unfair. Well, Slick, violent crime, like jumping in front of
moving cars, is just a high-risk occupation, and, in case you missed
it, committing violent crime makes police officers think you might not
be a good person.
2. If you ignore rule No. 1, and the police confront you, DON'T RUN
AWAY FROM THEM.
I know it's hard to believe, but that may make them think you're guilty
of something. Hiding in bushes or closets makes some cops (mostly older
ones) very nervous. They might even foolishly conclude that you're up
to no good!
3. If you disregard rules 1 and 2, and the cops catch up with you anyway
and inform you that you are under arrest, DON'T MAKE FAST MOVEMENTS
WITH YOUR HANDS.
I know it sounds silly, but grabbing a shiny beer can, a dark-colored
wallet, or one of those snazzy and real-looking replica guns may make
police officers mistakenly believe that you are about to hurt them.
4. If you disregard rules 1, 2, and 3, and manage to get what looks
like a deadly weapon into your hands, DON'T POINT IT AT THE COPS. We
all know that you're basically a nice person, but that may be lost on
the police officers confronting you. In their paranoia, they may even
believe they need to protect themselves.
5. If you disregard rules 1, 2, 3, and 4, DON'T BE ASTONISHED IF THE
COPS DO NOT INSTANTLY TURN INTO YOUR PERSONAL CONFIDANTE.
They may be too preoccupied to realize that you're normally a splendid
person and that you're just having a bad day. They may be too preoccupied
to see that when you point a weapon at them in a threatening manner,
it is just your way of crying out for help. We both know that the whole
problem can be traced to the fact that your mother didn't breast feed
you, but some police officers are so cynical they just don't see it.
So, there you have it. If you really apply yourself and obey even some
of the rules listed above, I bet you'll avoid the vast majority of police