Walter Scott was seen running from the police, when he was shot in the back and killed by officer Michael Thomas Slanger of South Carolina. Eric Courtney Harris of Oklahoma was seen running from the police, as the officer gives chase, catching and taking Harris to the ground. Once on the ground, officer Robert Bates shot and killed Harris instead of using his Taser. Both of these stories have one thing in common; the individuals were shot after running away from the police.
The message is very clear and in my expert opinion, the individuals who were shot and killed after running away from the police would be alive today if they did not run and/or resist arrest. I want to echo the importance of not running away from our police and at a minimum, follow the simple do’s and don’ts I have published in my previous article. Using these simple guidelines can help to protect you and more importantly, could save lives.
Now, how can we instill and inculcate this very important message in the mind of everyone. I do understand most people are afraid and/or nervous when dealing with the police, but the answer is certainly not to run away. Regardless of the situation, the odds are better to remain and not resist arrest versus attempting to outrun the police or thinking the police won’t pull out his or her weapon and fire at you. Being afraid that you may go to jail, isn’t a reason to put yourself in a situation where you could be killed. Is your life worth taking that chance? Let us not give a police officer the option to decide whether to shoot or not to shoot.
As a law enforcement veteran who has trained thousands of law enforcement personnel, I strongly believe some of our police officers have not been taught “how” to properly “think” through a situation and therefore, they are overacting. The first step to improving “how” police officers “think and react” is to use new innovative law enforcement management techniques and procedures that will allow them to see the big picture and the complexity of law enforcement situations.
We can all play a role in reducing and/or eliminating unnecessary shooting by adhering to and following the simple rule, Don’t Run From The Police.