08/18/2011

Sponsored by:
Charles Remsberg10-8: Life on the Line
with Charles Remsberg

A humorous approach to reducing police shootings

The Chicago Sun-Times recently ran a two-page spread trumpeting the sharp spike in police shootings in the Windy City. At that time, the cops had shot 40 suspects, the highest tally as of that date in the last four years and nearly as many as in all of 2010. There have been more since then.

One survivor, Ofcr. Danny O’Toole, who experienced two shootings in two weeks, offered his insight on the upsurge: “The younger generation (of offenders) is brazen. They just don’t care.” An FOP spokesman added: “There’s no fear of the police.”

But the director of CeaseFire — a civilian organization that purports to “mediate” conflicts between street gangs to “prevent shootings” — seemed to hold the cops responsible, claiming they’re “too quick to pull the trigger.” Tio Hardiman told the Sun-Times: “You have this ‘license to kill’ mindset. The mindset is: ‘We are going to get the crime down no matter what it takes’.”

He said the PD needs to do a better job of “communicating” with inner-city youth. “The police get training on working in crime hot spots, but young people don’t have any training on how to deal with the police,” Hardiman lamented.

Well, here’s a suggestion for a simple educational project he could launch for the oppressed youth he serves. Watch the classic Chris Rock comedy routine about “How Not to Get Your Ass Kicked by the Police” and play it for them. Just substitute the word “shot” for “kicked” and the lessons will be the best bullet protection they could ever get.

1.) Obey the law. Avoid armed robbery, car-jacking, arson, selling drugs, buying drugs, stabbing, shooting, and other crimes that invite encounters with the police.

2.) When you see flashing police lights in your mirror, stop immediately. Stay in your car with your hands on the steering wheel. When an officer approaches your car — or you as a pedestrian — be polite.

3.) Before you give a friend a ride in your car, ask some questions. Do you have a gun? Do you have drugs? Do you have any warrants? If the answer is yes, stay away from him.

4.) Use common sense. Really. Just use common sense. 

Rock mentions a couple of other valuable pointers, with core truths among the laughs.

Training on “how to deal with the police” and not get shot doesn’t get any easier.

About the author

Charles Remsberg co-founded the original Street Survival Seminar and the Street Survival Newsline, authored three of the best-selling law enforcement training textbooks, and helped produce numerous award-winning training videos. His nearly three decades of work earned him the prestigious O.W. Wilson Award for outstanding contributions to law enforcement and the American Police Hall of Fame Honor Award for distinguished achievement in public service.

Buy Charles Remsberg's latest book, Blood Lessons, which takes you inside more than 20 unforgettable confrontations where officers' lives are on the line.
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