When is the last time you went out for a good run or even a decent jog?
Here’s my educated guess. See if you think it’s anywhere close to accurate whenever you went out for your last run or jog or even a brisk hike. My guess is that you didn’t do it the last time a cop stopped you for anything… a broken tail light… you forgot to put your new license tags on… or seatbelt… the kid’s not in a restraining device or chair… you’ve got too many bird droppings on your windshield. Anything.
You didn’t run, because you knew you hadn’t done– what? Committed any other infraction other than the relatively minor one the officer had stopped you for in the first freaking place. No parole or probation violation, no priors that could suddenly land you back in the slammer. No rape, robbery or carjacking for which you’re presently being sought. Nothing but too many bird droppings on your windshield.
How do you think your average garden variety working stiff cop feels when he or she makes a traffic stop… and as if your subject has been hit with a cattle prod, he just starts running like a bat out of proverbial hell.
Well, I’ve done a wee bit of research and come to the conclusion that as much as anything else a subject can do, running is pretty much 100% proof positive he’s committed some sort of no, no. And it can run the gamut from a tad of weed in a pipe, to a multiple murder and everything in between.
Yes sir, as much as a subject asking for a smoke or asking to smoke, the so called felony smoke, to forgetting his name or date of birth to the 1000 yard stare. The simple act of running in the opposite direction of where a cop is is generally a rock solid guarantee an officer needs to do what… chase after your bad ass, that’s what!
The last time I checked, I never knew of a single law enforcement officer who, while on the dead run, was ever able to consult tarot cards or tea leaves or his iPad and determine exactly WHY a runner is running.
All a good officer can determine is that in all likelihood, the rabbit is scurrying away at a high rate of speed because there’s an issue of some sort he doesn’t want to deal with at the given moment. And he sure as hell doesn’t want to deal with it in the presence of a cop.
Also, be aware that once apprehended, unless the marathoner fesses up with the truth, not terribly likely, the two fall backs an officer will hear until Seattle wins the World Series are “Man, I was scared. I didn’t know who you were.” or “Man, I was scared. I thought you were gonna shoot me”.
Of course, the fact you were in a marked cruiser with flashing red lights had used your siren, were in full uniform and talked the talk meant nothing. You might as well have stopped Helen Keller.
And, let’s see, what are the chances of anyone getting shot by the police in this day and age of body cams, Cruiser Cam’s, cell phone cams, digital cams, Facetime, Skype… If a subject does one little bitty thing, cooperate.
So, when I saw the whining and moaning of the brayers after a cop had shot a running subject– a prime murder suspect, known to carry a gun, continually reaching for his waistband… did the officer have time to consult tea leaves before determining that this numbnuts was a)reaching for the waistband to hold his pants up or b)reaching for the waistband of his pants to access his Glock.
Again, I will always maintain consulting tea leaves on the dead Run is an art no mere mortal has yet mastered.
Visit us online at lineofduty.com for all your online training needs. I’m Ron Barber and that’s Stuff You’ll Never Ever Learn at the Academy from In the Line of Duty.