I thought I would put my two cents in concerning this recent video, where about 6 Evanston, Illinois Police Officers rush and Tackle to the ground a legitimate car owner,. This can happen anywhere considering the information the Police had, unless training allows Officers to proceed the right way in contrast to what we witnessed . These Evanston Officers showed us how not to proceed when making a vehicle stop like this, Everything they did was perfect until they blitzed the owner driving him to the ground, with no chance for a field goal. I am thrilled that No Officers and more important the vehicle owner was not seriously hurt. We must review these incidents for training purposes, to be a better , respected professional.
The Washington Post – dated 1-14-2017 wrote this story, providing the dash cam from the Police radio car. I watched the video a few times. I heard the Sergeant of Evanston Police walk us through the call and what occured. I heard him say, ” The car owner ignored Police orders to get down and tried to get in front of his car because he had a camera and wanted this interaction to be filmed. I thought if that happened, then the tackling of this man by 5 to 6 cops was justified.
Then I watched the video. This version was the video produced by the Evanston Police to be released to the public. After the first viewing, I watched it again. This is what I heard and saw. A concerned citizen called 911, she stated she was watching a Black male and it appeared he was trying to get in a car, she described the car, plate and direction.
A radio car spotted the car, initiates overhead lights and siren. The vehicle immediately complies and pulls over into a safe lot off the road. Back up is on scene, you can hear them. The driver of the vehicle exits the car, turns and faces officers with his hands up. Command voice is a very important tool for a cop to use when pointing a gun demanding the person comply with his/her orders.
This cop loudly gave an order again, I noticed the male who exited the car raised his hands even higher. The officers were screaming ” Get down, Get Down. The male then started to turn , bending in what looked like an attempt to comply.
We have to assume the quarterback changed the play because suddenly 5 to 6 cops blitzed, laying out the legal owner of the vehicle. We know this because this poor guy was even telling them what dealership he bought the car. The cops were starting to realize they fucked up, admonishing this guy for not “getting Down ” , He tried.
This incident while not serious relative to anyone physically hurt ,very concerning from the Police response. Excessive force does nothing toward better relations with the public, which Police across the country know could save lives. I studied and spoke on Low Risk/High Risk Motor Vehicle stops and the Police response during my career. Obviously, We had many car stops too.
The Police did everything right until they overreacted. These same set of circumstances should have
been handled much more professionally.
The car owner knows someone was suspicious of his actions and expects to be pulled over. He acted properly . I would have stayed in the car and displayed my hands out of the window, after hearing the command from the officer and realizing they were pointing guns at me. But exiting the car is not against the law.
The officers see a man exiting, telling them he is the owner. His hands up high and go higher with the loud orders of the Police. You can order him to walk toward the rear of the vehicle, hands on car, and pat him down for weapons OR guns are drawn and fixed on him, you can walk up to him, direct his arms away, pat him down, clear him and hand him off to other officers for identification. Knowing the complainant thought he was doing something to the car, I would be looking for forced entry, a broken window, burglary tools, a punched ignition, and a registration to compare to his ID.
Once the paperwork was verified, I would explain the stop to the owner and wish him a good day. This N.W Grad Student would have respected this stop since he knew someone thought he was doing something wrong and the Police were not just picking him out. This incident cries out for re training on use of force, low risk/high risk stops. I would also review more thoroughly the tape and identify any officer who threw a punch at this victim when 5 other cops had him secured or at least on the ground. This guy did not resist. Punching him while 5 cops are holding him down, as he is constantly telling them he is the owner is an act that requires a disciplinary response.
These are the types of Police responses that lessen our credibility and make a tough job tougher….