There is an increased flow of videos coming across my social media feeds lately. I like to call them “you can’t” videos. Typically, these videos start with the police being called to a scene and someone hits record about two to four minutes into the interaction.

It’s usually filled with the never-ending list of ‘rules’ that the suspect has: you can’t search me, don’t touch me and you can’t detain me. These ‘rules’ are usually followed up by witness statements like, “I’m recording you, you can’t arrest him, he’s not resisting arrest,” and my favorite, “you can’t hit him.”

It’s just a typical interaction and exchange with a common street thug.

The video never starts as the officer first arrives and they certainly don’t ever show the civil attempts by the officer to control the situation. What they generally show is the officer lunging at the suspect, taking the suspect down or striking the suspect.

Frequently, it shows several people trying to free the suspect, distract the officer or grab the officer as he is attempting to do his job. Now to be fair, I get that the miscreants of our modern society hate when cops actually do their jobs. Makes it harder for them to live their lives of crime. But then again, it’s actually our job to stop this; the job of a police officer is literally to protect society from people like you.

To make things a little bit easier I decided to make a list of things that we as officers can, in fact, do.

No matter what your Facebook or YouTube legal council has told you, these are actually legit. If you have an interaction with an officer and decide to try and control the situation, walk away from him or in any way shape or form touch him, you can expect these things and more.

As an officer, we are charged with protecting the greater good of society. That means that when things happen and you’re violating the law, our duty is actually to those who you are infringing on, not to you and your friend.

While you might only be guilty or suspected of a violation, your active resistance is an elevated charge. We cannot and do not decide what your fate will be; that’s done by a judge or jury. We do, however, decide how the rest of your day is going to go, and in what condition you will be in for it.

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This is what your mug shot looks like when you shoot at police. (St. Louis County Police Department)

 

To think that you can fight me or any of my brothers and not pay the price is a silly thought. When we are attempting to arrest you, you should not offer any form of resistance. This includes both active and inactive resistance. If you do, you will get placed in arm bars, suppression moves and might even get punched in the legs, torso or face. These are actually and fully acceptable steps to take and may prove to be uncomfortable.

But, fear not, because it’s been said more than once “every now and then people need a good punch in the face to ground them,” and I honestly believe this to be true.

There is a possibility that the longer someone resists and the more officers that need to respond will mean you might be struck by a nightstick, PR-24 or ASP to gain compliance.

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Officers pin a suspect to the ground as he resists arrest during an event. (Twitter)

 

If you start to feel short of breath during your resistance it’s suggested that you stop and comply. This is best done by going limp and letting the officer(s) cuff you.

Failure to do this may result in you getting a huge can of pepper spray to your face. It’s been long said that pepper spray, while creating a difficult situation for one’s respiratory tract and overall breathing, is great for clearing out your sinus cavities.

Additionally, it should be noted that when you hear a warning about the use of a Taser, that warning is for your own personal protection. Riding the lightning and soiling yourself is not in any way, shape or form amusing to anyone.

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There may come a time when things elevate beyond what either side had hoped. This is when things can get serious. If you enter this zone, your chances of extinction increase rapidly, as does that of the officer.

If you put officers at a risk of losing their life, you can fully expect to get shot. It’s pretty much a near certainty.

And you will most likely be shot a few times, not necessarily out of intention, but as a side effect of a natural “tunnel vision” caused by the body’s “fight or flight” survival instinct.

An officer’s training, which is to shoot center mass until threat is eliminated, increases these chances, but also increases officers’ survival rate, so it becomes a last resort.

 

We do not play fair. This isn’t an after school special. We play to win at all costs.

It seems to be a widely held misconception that you have a right to resist, fight and protest.

That would be false.

What you need to learn is that we have a job and sworn duty and as such have an authority that trumps your feelings. We will secure any and all scenes we arrive on as long as society keeps thinking their response to us is appropriate.

Actions by the public have created a mood shift in law enforcement. Gone are the days of soft-handed justice. Welcome to the era of “speak softly but have a plan to kill everyone in the room,” as our friend James Mattis put it so eloquently.  

Society has put in place a system for those accused to hold officers accountable. It’s a trial and has worked for ages. It’s this same system that has created a CPL that allows me to take action greater than that being used against me or others to quickly end an attack or bring a criminal into compliance.

The issue we as a society face seems to be more closely tied to a shift in which people want to have equal rights but special treatment, the right to do whatever they see fit but not the consequences of poor judgment.

As officers, we foot the bill for such action. When you decide your wants are greater than that of the rest of society, we will come to you as punishment to such foolishness. Your actions are your call… but dealing with us is your only option at that time.

Remember, life is like a “choose your own adventure book.” The outcome is not predetermined, but crafted by your choices.

 

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