Our attorneys, Erick Gracia and Camara Mintz, were recently invited to appear on Fox News to discuss the recent rash of police shootings around the country. As a former Deputy Sheriff and current defense attorney, Attorney Mintz is uniquely qualified to speak on this disturbing trend. Attorney Gracia also shared perspective from his unique legal background. Although our lawyers did not wish to assign responsibility for the case in question, they did provide sound advice for young men and women of all races, to help them avoid potentially fatal encounters with the police.
Are Recent Police Shootings Racially Motivated?
This is the hot-button question, and the possibility of racial motivation as a cause of these shootings has sparked national outrage. Regardless of the motivation, the statistics shared by Attorney Gracia state that black people make up 40% of the unarmed individuals who are shot and killed by police. This means that there are seven unarmed black people involved in a fatal police shooting for every unarmed white person involved in such an incident.
While it’s clear that something needs to change, these questions of racial motivation must be answered on a case-by-case basis. The most important thing is to know how to properly comply with police officers to avoid a potentially lethal scenario.
You may not agree with the officer, but failure to comply can leave you in a dangerous situation. Preventing conflict will help you protect yourself.
How to Survive Police Interactions
As a former Deputy Sheriff, Attorney Camara has a unique understanding of the mind of a police officer. In this appearance, he stated that the though process of a law enforcement officer can change dramatically depending on the situation and other factors that are out of your control.
Whether the police officer is justified in stopping you or not, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from the possibility of a police shooting.
He offered the following tips for anyone who is stopped by the police:
1.Be compliant. The most dangerous thing you can do when being stopped by the police is to be uncooperative. While it’s vital to make sure your rights aren’t being violated, being disrespectful or uncompliant may only serve to irritate the officer. Resisting arrest will frequently lead to a violent, if not fatal, encounter.
2.Make sure your hands are visible. Most of the police-involved shootings over the last several years have included testimony from the officers which claims that they thought the victim had a weapon. Showing the officers your hands and avoiding sudden movements can show that you are unarmed.
3.If you are detained for several minutes, ask if you are free to leave. If officers are questioning you, you can respectfully ask them if you are free to leave. If they aren’t arresting you or issuing a citation, then it is perfectly within your rights to go about your day. Do not leave suddenly without discussing it with the officers first, or they may claim you are fleeing or resisting arrest
4.Be respectful. It’s important to remember that police officers are just trying to do their job and get home safely to their families. Very few cops want to engage in a potential firefight. Be respectful, treat the officer the way you’d like them to treat you, and don’t argue.
Do you believe you were wrongly arrested? Call our Washington, D.C. criminal defense attorneys today at (301) 842-8584.