Police officers are supposed to make people feel safe and protected, but instead, their presence often makes individuals feel uneasy and afraid as they don’t know which way their encounter with an officer will go. The fact is, there have been many accounts where an individual was pulled over for what they thought was a routine traffic stop but turned out to be a deadly encounter. Because many citizens have become more fearful of police officers rather than rely on them for their ability to defend and protect them, a large number of people don’t know what they should when they come in contact with an officer of the law.
It seems as though no matter how you handle an encounter with an officer, whether you comply with their demands or defend your rights as a U.S. citizen, the situation can escalate into something more serious. For instance, an officer might begin to get physical with you, even when you agreed to do what they have asked simply because they are permitted to use force when they deem necessary. So, what can you do to help reduce the chances of your encounter with a police officer from turning into a violent confrontation?
Below are 10 survival tips provided on behalf of PBS.org you might consider implementing the next time you are stopped by a Baton Rouge, police officer.
- Always be polite and respectful to the officer even when they are being rude or discourteous.
- Keep in mind that your number one goal is to get to where you need to go safely. In the event you feel your rights have been violated following your encounter with the officer, don’t try to address the issue right then and there. Instead, wait until you are back on your own and either file a complaint with your local police jurisdiction or even hire a Baton Rouge, LA police brutality lawyer.
- Refrain from getting into an argument with the police. Not only can this cause the situation to escalate into a violent confrontation, but it could lead to you being charged with various crimes.
- Remember, anything you say or do can be used against you in court. In most cases, police officers either have a body camera recording and/or the camera inside their vehicle on which means one is likely to capture all that transpires between you and the officer.
- Always keep your hands in plain sight and make sure the officer can see your hands at all times. This is especially important to remember as there have been many cases that have resulted in unarmed individuals being fatally shot simply because they were reaching for something or put their hand in their pocket. Back in 2016, police shot and killed Alfred Okwera Olango after he failed to comply with officer commands when told to remove his hands from his pockets [Source: ABC News]. And when he finally did, he pulled out a vape smoking device in which officers thought was a gun. That resulted in one officer firing his Taser and another his gun.
- Avoid physical contact with the police. Do not make any sudden movements and keep those hands out of your pockets.
- Do not run, even if you are afraid of the police.
- Despite the fact that you might be innocent, it is best to not resist arrest as it will only make the situation worse.
- Don’t make any statements about the incident until you are able to meet with a LA criminal defense attorney, whether you are guilty of committing a crime or not.
- Stay calm and remain in control. Be aware of your words, body language, and emotions.
What should I do if a police officer became violent and assaulted me?
In the event your encounter with an officer in Baton Rouge turned into one involving violence and abuse, you will want to contact a local police brutality attorney in Baton Rouge who can assess the situation and devise a plan of action. There are many ways in which these types of instances can be handled but it all comes down to the circumstances surrounding yours. Therefore, it is best you consult with a police misconduct attorney as soon as possible so that the matter can be addressed and the officer can be held accountable for their inappropriate and unjust actions.