A veteran police officer has some advice for everyone in the wake of unarmed teen Michael Brown being gunned down by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
“Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you,” Sunil Dutta, a 17-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, wrote in a column for The Washington Post.
Dutta cautions against arguing, insulting, or screaming at officers, “and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?”
If you believe an officer is violating your rights or bullying you, Dutta says, don’t challenge him then — save that for lodging a complaint later. “Do what the officer tells you to and it will end safely for both of you.”
Needless to say, his words didn’t go over well online or in social media, CNN reports.
“The outrageous thing is not that he says it. The outrageous thing is that we accept it,” writes Ken White of the blog Popehat, which tracks American legal issues.
“Do we have a justice system? By name, yes. Is it effective in deterring cops from abusing citizens or punishing them when they do? No… If you hope the cop will be charged criminally for misbehavior, you’re going to be waiting a very long time for no result.”