[VIDEO]How Should We Interact With The Police?

So many recent events have ended in tragic loss of life for both every day citizens and the police themselves. Here are just my thoughts on what we can do and how we can act to prevent future deaths.

Video Transcription

How should we interact with the police? In the past few weeks near Fredericksburg, there’s been at least two incidents where someone died after a police and citizen encounter. Neither of these had to happen, two people at least should be alive today, but they aren’t. The first one was a pursuit here in Fredericksburg where a gentleman ran when being told to pull over by a Fredericksburg police officer. He ended up being shot by that officer and later died from that injury. I’m not saying the he should have been shot, the details of that investigation is still forthcoming, but if he hadn’t have ran, he probably would be alive today.

The second one was Trooper Dermyer in Richmond who was recently killed at a bus station while interacting with a citizen during a training exercise. The detail of that investigation will be forth coming I’m sure. At this point it seems inexplicable why the citizen decided to fire into Trooper Dermyer and killed him and leaving behind his wife and children. Neither of these incidents had to happen the way they did. Why? Why do they happen that way? Part of it I think is that we as a society, need to treat our police better. I’m not saying that all police are perfect, however, I think we need to have a better mentality of how we should interact with the police.

I’ve got few ideas that we should all think about. A. It’s not us versus them. The police always they need to keep that in mind, and we as citizens need to keep that in mind. They’re not out to get us, they’re out to protect and serve. I’m not saying that every officer has a perfect idea of what that means but most do, most are there to protect and serve us, and that means that we need to be careful we need to treat them properly. It’s not us versus them, it’s us, we’re in this together. The police officers have kids who go to our schools, they go to our churches, their families are our coworkers, they’re our neighbors, we’re in this together, and they’re trying to keep us safe and we have a duty to them as well, to keep them safe.

B. We need to respect the police. They are sacrificing their time and their very lives to keep us safe and to do their jobs. They aren’t doing it for the money. Police officer pay is not certainly not worth the time and trouble, obviously not worth their lives that they put forth to keep us safe and do their job. They’re doing it because they had a calling to do it, and they want to do it, and they want to keep us safe, so we should respect them in return.

That means even if you feel the officer might not be showing you the respect you deserve, you don’t know where he’s come from that day, maybe he just saw a dead body in the side of the road, you don’t know. Maybe he’s having a really rough day and you’re unfortunately the next person he has to interact with and he’s just not able to show you the amount of respect that you deserve, but maybe you could give him a smile, and a “Yes sir”, or “Yes officer”, and not have caused problems and let his day be a little easier from that point.

Finally, you’ll note in my videos, I never encourage people disrespecting the police or exercising their rights in a way that would endanger the police. Yes, we should exercise our rights, there are limits on what the police can do and what we can have to do as citizens. We can refuse certain tests, we can do certain things to protect our rights, but we always must do it in a way that’s polite and respectful, that’s imperative, the police deserve that.

They deserve us to be polite and respectful, do not make their jobs more difficult. That doesn’t mean you have to roll over and give them everything they want or consent the searches or any of the number of things that I talk about on my videos, but that does that we shouldn’t do it in a disrespectful way, and specially it doesn’t mean that we should do it in a way that would endanger the lives of a police officer.

They deserve our respect, they deserve our admiration, and they deserve our support. More importantly, there’s no reason that either of these people had to die. The citizen did not need to die here in Fredericksburg, the police officer Trooper Dermyer did not need to die in Richmond. These both deaths were both preventable if people would interact with the police in a little more consistent and respectful way. What do you think?

I’m not trying to lecture everyone, I’m trying to put forth my thoughts and I’d love to know what your thought are on this topic.

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and Avvo. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.
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