What is a Felony Smoke?
Who would have ever thought that one move by a low life is virtually 100% proof positive that you’ve got a wanted subject on your hands? Somebody who’s violated parole, probation, et cetera, et cetera. And it’s not running from the police. It’s not fighting the police. It’s not limping off to the police. It’s a largely unconscious act that most criminals don’t even know they’re performing. It is the felony smoke you smooth felonies smoke, a term I’d never even heard until I interviewed Sergeant Adam Plantinga of the San Francisco P. D.
Who has written multiple books on policing: 400 Things Cops Know and Police Craft. Recently I watched Southern California officers who are in a long pursuit with the jerk who had rabbit ID after police tried stopping his plates didn’t match the vehicle. Instead of stopping in, cooperating with the cops, this knucklehead ignored red lights, drove on the wrong side of multiple streets, nearly hit an elderly pedestrian crosswalk a while is seen tossing objects from the vehicle. It was yet another highly charged and dangerous police pursuit in an area of the country where these things have become spectators sports on a daily basis.
Insightful transcript from an episode from NBC Los Angeles
NBC REPORTER: …Driving at a high rate of speed where you’re hearing the driver door opening passenger opening. There’s the driver Male, come and running out the female with a bag. She’s gonna run across the street as well. And here he goes. We run into a building here, he’s gonna try to go look it out. He finds a truck, it’s open. Let’s see if they left the key in there and now he’s gonna he’s gonna steal this truck…
It was what transpired after officers had finally grabbed the driver and a passenger who had run off, tried futilely to steal an SUV and at last were corralled on nearby railroad tracks.
What the driver asked from the cops:
NBC REPORTER: Okay, So now he’s going to smoke. So this is, you know, they’re not so much compliance. See how he’s walking away there are ordering them to get down on the ground, and you move away from that opening. We’ll see, though, you know, so far, he’s got his hands over his head. He wanted to have that last smoke, I guess.
A textbook picture. Perfect example of the felony smoke. It’s just that until Sergeant Plantinga came along, you never read about it. In any textbook, the exact definition of the felony smoke according to plantinga
“Felony smoke is… It’s most common when you have pull the vehicle over, and maybe you’ve gone up to the car ready. Or maybe you’ve just taken the driver’s license and are running it through your computer. But the driver has a little time to wait. Well lit up a cigarette, and more often than that, that’s because the driver knows that he has a warrant or there’s something in his car there’s not supposed to have for his car is gonna get towed. Basically, he is going to go in handcuffs and he knows that he’s not allowed to smoke in jail, so he just wants to get one good last one in before the race.”
So many Maur Officer’s safety and awareness tips from the planting a goodie grab bags in both books (mentioned above), available on Amazon.com. Learned, excerpted in our series – Special Issues #42 & #43 exclusively from in the line of duty.
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Thanks for letting me bend your ear and listening to That stuff you never ever learned at the academy from in the line of duty.
I’m Ron Barber.