Posted by: reformedmusings | August 2, 2010

Life or death – How to interact with police

I wrote about the concealed carrier executed by Las Vegas Metro police in this post and this one. If you haven’t read those, please do so. Those posts and the words below could save your life.

Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, an organization all Virginia firearms owner should join and support, offered some sage advice though his email newsletter on avoiding being executed by the police. I quote Mr. Van Cleave:

My comments on handling a  confrontation with the police:

When a police officer is given a call, he really doesn’t have any idea what the REAL story is.  He only knows what he has been told by the dispatcher.  From first-hand experience, I can tell you that I was often shocked at how different the situation was at the scene from what we had been told by the dispatcher.  And it could go either way:  from an urgent call turning out to be a minor incident not even justifying a report to a minor call turning out to be a violent life-and-death encounter!

If approached by police in a manner where you are clearly the target of their efforts:

*  Remember that the police have NO idea who you are or if you are a good guy or a bad guy.  ACCEPT THAT FACT AND MAKE NO ASSUMPTIONS THAT THE POLICE KNOW YOU ARE A GOOD GUY WITH GOOD INTENTIONS.

*  COMPLETELY comply with their instructions.  DO NOT argue, keep your hands visible and away from your pockets and body, move slowly and cautiously, and DO NOT EVER reach for anything, ESPECIALLY your gun in an effort to show them where it is or to turn it over to them!

*  Let me say this again:  COMPLY with their instructions, keep your hands visible and away from your gun, move slowly.

*  If they want to disarm you, let THEM take your gun.  Do NOT reach for your gun to hand it to them.  In no way should you touch your gun during such an encounter. PERIOD.

*  While you may be in disbelief that you are being treated as if you are a criminal, it is most likely that you are a case of mistaken identity, mistaken information (as in the story below), or something similar.  There will be time to straighten out such a mistake later, but NOW is NOT the time.  When things have calmed down, advise the officers that you are a CHP holder (if that is the case) and where your CHP is located.

*  Be polite and as calm as possible.  Your attitude can make a huge difference in how quickly the police figure out that you are a good guy.

*  Unless the police immediately realize their mistake and turn you loose with an apology, ask for a lawyer and wait for legal council before making any statements

Read, head, and don’t be the next casualty. Oh, and avoid Las Vegas Metro’s jurisdiction.

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