In recent months, we have seen an outpouring of emotions regarding the law enforcement community. Responses range from criticism regarding how they do their jobs when dealing with certain members of the community to a belief that they merit unrestricted praise and obedience. In my life, my own friends and colleagues cover this gamut. I understand the instant desire to label all cops as heroes just doing their jobs etc. But, how in the world do you justify this?
As a lawyer one of the most persistently interesting experiences I have is hearing about the various tales of the public’s interactions with police officers. They vary from stories of horrible police conduct to police officers going above and beyond the call of duty to serve the public, not only by risking their lives, but by just taking the extra step to let the public know the police were public servants and not an invading army. These experiences vary from place to place and from officer to officer. Growing up in central Long Beach, California, the police were one of the last people I would have ever trusted. Hell, I still don’t trust the LBPD. Conversely, the officers I knew in Massachusetts and in Shasta County became people for whom I have a great deal of admiration and trust. Having been on both sides of interactions with the police, I have a few tips for the best way to handle that moment when the men and women in blue become an unwanted part of your life. Continue reading “How not to make an ass out of yourself when dealing with the cops”