Former LAPD officer and professor of homeland security Sunil Dutta explains that cops aren't murderers, but boy you will fear and respect them or they will end you.
Working the street, I can’t even count how many times I withstood curses, screaming tantrums, aggressive and menacing encroachments on my safety zone, and outright challenges to my authority. In the vast majority of such encounters, I was able to peacefully resolve the situation without using force. Cops deploy their training and their intuition creatively, and I wielded every trick in my arsenal, including verbal judo, humor, warnings and ostentatious displays of the lethal (and nonlethal) hardware resting in my duty belt. One time, for instance, my partner and I faced a belligerent man who had doused his car with gallons of gas and was about to create a firebomb at a busy mall filled with holiday shoppers. The potential for serious harm to the bystanders would have justified deadly force. Instead, I distracted him with a hook about his family and loved ones, and he disengaged without hurting anyone. Every day cops show similar restraint and resolve incidents that could easily end up in serious injuries or worse.
Sometimes, though, no amount of persuasion or warnings work on a belligerent person; that’s when cops have to use force, and the results can be tragic. We are still learning what transpired between Officer Darren Wilson and Brown, but in most cases it’s less ambiguous — and officers are rarely at fault. When they use force, they are defending their, or the public’s, safety.
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. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, 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?
Believe me when I say that 98% of cops believe the same as Dutta here does. They are police officers, and you are not. When they tell you to do something, you do it or else, regardless of what that may be.
So when these guys swing their weight around and go after black men and women and Latino men and women, they expect obedience, respect and fear. If you are black or brown and the President of the United States, for that matter, and a cop like Dutta pulls you over, it's because he knows he has 100% of the power in the encounter. It's because he knows he has the power to take your life if he sees fit. You only continue to draw breath because he allows it.
So yes, black fathers and Latino fathers have "The Talk". That you assume all cops are Officer Dutta, and you do 100% of what they say, or they will end you.
How difficult is it to cooperate for "that long"? For a black man, "that long" is his entire lifespan.
Or that lifespan may end.