Only You Can Prevent Being Murdered By a Police Officer

I thought this might be a better headline for Sunil Dutta's op-ed piece in The Washington Post, in which he posits that civilians have a responsibility to do everything police officers ask, lest they be met with force.

The key takeaway that's been making the rounds:

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.

This is so hilariously fucked up. Hard to imagine why someone like Mike Brown might get murdered by a police officer when they carry that sort of mentality with them.

Dutta tries to make a case for officers, claiming that the vast majority of interactions are resolved without the need for violence, and that no officer wants to go out and fire his or her gun on civilians, but his entire argument hinges on telling people that they should treat officers with the same amount of courtesy and respect they expect. That's all well and good, and something I completely agree with, but you can't expect me to believe that every single person is going to feel the same way. The part that bothers me is that police officers go throw vast amounts of training in proper ways to handle situations that the normal everyday person does not. There are a lot of different ways to handle being mouthed off to, and you're trying to explain to me that your hurt feelings or pride warrants violence being used against the less courteous among us? Are you fucking kidding me?

An officer's goal should be to never use their firearm or be violent with someone. Under certain circumstances, where their lives, or the lives of others, are under threat (and only in those circumstances), exceptions need to be made. However, being called a "pig" or being argued with is not a threat to your life, only your feelings.

Grow up.