Baiting by police is real, ugly, and can end your life. Sandra Bland would confirm that……only if she could.
Bad enough, blacks are being killed at alarming rates by nervous police officers who are in “fear of their lives”, but now we have to answer to egotistical cops on a power trip.
How do routine traffic stops turn into homicide by police?
Should one lose his or her life God forbid their answer reveals slight frustration or dragged out of their vehicle because a cigarette was not put out? Soon, shootings will be justified if you sneezed the wrong way.
I do believe that people should respect rules and authority, but what happens when civilians are provoked into situations that could cost them their lives?
Unfortunately, these senseless provocations seem to have picked up wind and now more than ever are being used as tactics to make unlawful arrests that lead to unlawful convictions and avoidable deaths.
A young African-American woman Sandra Bland, was a victim of this tactic. And her unjustified arrest led to a 3-day jailhouse stay that ultimately resulted in her death – a death that prosecutors and jail guards have treated as a suicide.
My theory is that she was suffocated by a guard who wanted to shut her up, possibly knowing that she knew she had a case to make, in protest of her treatment by law enforcement. Proving this will be an uphill battle because of the depths that the police and district attorney went to in covering it up.
This is a tragic situation and I cannot help but feel anger and sadness, as I realize that blacks are truly under attack and engaged in a losing battle.
African-Americans are constantly put in positions where we have to choose between our rights and our lives. It is so unfair!
Sometimes you have to make the hard decision in choosing your life, putting aside what you believe are injustices for just being able to see another day.
If you are a victim of baiting by police, here are 7 ways you can survive it:
1) In your vehicle, make sure that you have the following items in reach:
License ID, vehicle registration, cell phone, paper, pen
It is important to have these items handy. You should not have to go into your bag or open anything in your car to get to them. “Reaching for something” make officers nervous and can result in your untimely death. Leave them on the front passenger seat or on the dashboard.
You always want to have your cell phone nearby to call a family member or lawyer. If you are arrested, you want someone that you trust to be aware of the incident. Even though you are allowed a phone call, the jail guard may keep you waiting for hours before you are granted that right.
When using your cell phone, make certain to record, not only how the officer is treating you, but also his name and badge number.
If you are able to write down this information, use the middle of your steering wheel or the dashboard in front of the steer to ensure that your hands are always visible.
2) Never make sudden movements.
You want to pretend that you are in the Matrix movies. Any move that you make should be slowed down. Something that may take one second to do, should now take you four. Stay calm! Stay calm! Do not fidget!
Keeping a cool head will also help kick your memory skills up a notch. You can remember things like the officer’s name, physical characteristics, badge and vehicle number if your mind is at ease.
3) Answer all questions.
BUT, you do have the right to answer some questions by saying you have a right to not answer them without an attorney. Do not ignore the officer, by not giving any answer at all.
Do not be rude, snarky, or untruthful. It is unlawful to lie to the police. And try your best to keep your answers free of sarcasm.
Also, look out for trap questions.
The officer who stopped Sandra Bland had her waiting in her car for several minutes then proceeded to ask her if she was “ok” when he approached her again.
Who would not be agitated if stopped by a cop? Why would you be ok?
“Are you ok?” is a classic bait question.
I assume he found a clean driving record when he ran her license, but really wanted to “get her” on something, so he tried a different approach.
After he made a strange demand for her to put out her cigarette, it turned physical. By this time, he now had reason to arrest her because she was resistant.
This is what you want to avoid at all costs!!!
If you can determine that an officer is on a power trip, you must prevent escalation.
Do not engage in a game of “¿Quien es mas macho?” (who is the bigger man?)
Refrain from using phrases like “I will ALLOW you” or “I will not ALLOW you, “I know my rights”, or “you can’t do that”. Unfortunately, these terms have proven to intensify situations. Telling someone who is in authority that he or she is allowed or not allowed to do something, fires them up, like a burger patty on a grill.
If an officer asks to search your vehicle, say something like, “Officer Jones, if you have a warrant, I have no problem with you searching my car.”
And saying that you know your rights indicates to the officer that you actually may not, so he will push the envelope even further.
Lawyers have been stopped by police, but they do not use that phrase – they don’t need to! They behave in a certain manner that makes cops know that they are dealing with someone who understands the law. Lawyers rarely get agitated. You pretty much want to follow suit!
4) There usually exists – the good cop and the bad cop.
Diagnose who they are quickly!
Believe it or not, the good cop may be the one you are approached by, while the bad cop tends to be the more observant one, sussing out if you would actually make a good target.
If the officers “let you go”, that was a decision probably made by the bad cop. You want to appear confident, but not cocky. Smart, but not a smart ass.
An arrogant know-it-all is the best challenge for a bad cop because they typically possess those same qualities.
5) Invest in your own dashboard camera and other vehicle surveillance.
If you can afford it, you may want to set up cameras in your car from two or three different angles that can pick up all activity. This is a more cautious effort if you cannot exactly reach for your phone or record from it.
6) When all else fails, just start to cry! Sob like your life depends on it because it probably does.
You are not being weak if you cry. It is all about preservation!
When you cry, you will appear vulnerable. So it will make it that much harder for an officer to continue being aggressive towards you.
You will be asked why you are crying. (Another bait question, btw)
Say that you do not know what you did wrong and that you do not want to get in trouble. Tell the officer that your Dad is going to “kill you if you are arrested”. Make sure that you add hysterics at this point. You must seem so upset and sad that the words cannot successfully formulate.
7) All the while you should be praying to God to help you out of the situation.
And do not forget to thank Him when He does!!!
I know much of the advice that I have given seems comical at best, but we are in crisis mode. And in crisis mode, you do anything and everything to survive.
For African-Americans and other minority groups, our lives tend to mirror The Hunger Games. In our quest for food and freedom, we have to dodge bullets and arrows aiming for our heads and hearts!
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