How Not to Get Killed When Stopped By a Cop

Bob Weir Community, History, Law, New York City, New York State, Texas, Westchester County, NY 23 Comments

Bob Weir is a veteran of 20 years with the New York Police Dept. (NYPD), ten of which were performed in plainclothes undercover assignments. Bob began a writing career about 16 years ago and had his first book published in 1999. He also became a syndicated columnist under the title “Weir Only Human.” Photo by and courtesy of Netsky Rodriguez.

FLOWER MOUND, TX — April 15, 2021 —  I’d like to take a rational look at the confrontations between cops, motorists and pedestrians. When we see incidents of cops shooting blacks (which are the only shootings the media covers), one thing becomes clear; resisting arrest often ends up with a loss of life. Something else is obvious, when a cop is the one losing his/her life, it’s practically overlooked by the media. When a police officer, whether during a traffic stop or a street stop, is making an arrest, the person being arrested has no right to resist. If that person believes it’s an unlawful arrest, he/she can make that argument at the station house, or in a courtroom. However, let’s be clear about this; the cop has the legal authority to make the arrest, simply based on the penal law.

Moreover, once the officer has uttered the words, “you’re under arrest,” the only right that person has, under the law, is to submit to said arrest. Furthermore, the only right the cop has, under the law, is to follow through with the arrest of someone who has broken the law. What benefit to society would occur if cops were to just walk away when someone defies lawful authority? Should cops only arrest those who come along willingly? Let me state the obvious; people don’t like getting arrested! In addition, if they already have a criminal record, they are likely to be facing some prison time. That might cause them to panic and react violently. But the officer who stopped them may not know about their criminal past. Hence, his life may be in danger from someone facing a long prison sentence.

Most cops with experience know that every call for service could end up in a battle for their lives. Some of the most violent situations I faced during my 20 years with NYPD began with something as innocuous as a family dispute. In other words, I wasn’t called to the scene of a homicide, an armed robbery, or an assault in progress. The dispatcher said there was an argument between a man and his wife. Yet, when a cop arrives on the scene, one of the participants may feel it’s time to get very tough with the spouse, in front of the cop. When the cop intercedes, he often finds that he’s under attack from both. You only need one experience like that to be on high alert going forward.

Generally speaking, most people, of all skin shades, will cooperate when stopped by a police officer. In 99.99 percent of police stops, the person goes on their way, with or without a ticket, or other legal document. The problem arises when people, evidently thinking they’re above the law, refuse to obey the officer’s directions. Here’s an example from my own experience. I stopped a man on the street because I had a warrant for his arrest on a charge of robbery.

My partner and I got out of our radio car and approached him. After confirming his identity, I showed him the warrant and told him he’s under arrest. His response was something like, “You ain’t arresting me motherf…!,” as he began backing up and raising his fists as if to engage in combat.

Okay, what does the average citizen think a cop should do under those circumstances? The cop is there to protect the public against criminals. If he is too timid, or too scared to do his job, the public suffers. If the bad guys believe they can intimidate the police into backing down, can you imagine what they’ll do to the average law-abiding citizen? In the case described above, the wanted man was taken into custody, albeit, after some necessary roughness ensued. Let me tell you the lesson every cop learns, if they live long enough. That is, anyone willing to fight a cop, is very likely to kill him in order to escape. I’ve scuffled with men who tried to grab my gun during the encounters. If they had gotten it out of my holster, I wouldn’t be here to write about it.

What many people don’t understand is that cops get scared too! They just want to do their job and go home to their families. Therefore, when a violent situation occurs, they’d better be prepared to overcome the resistance to their authority, one way or another. If someone ends up getting hurt or killed, the cop wants to be certain that it’s not him. Once again, I reiterate that all these tragedies could be eliminated if people obeyed the law and didn’t resist arrest.

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Bob Weir is a veteran of 20 years with the New York Police Dept. (NYPD), ten of which were performed in plainclothes undercover assignments. Bob began a writing career about 16 years ago and had his first book published in 1999. He also became a syndicated columnist under the title “Weir Only Human.”


Bob WeirHow Not to Get Killed When Stopped By a Cop

Comments 23

  1. the bottom line is this….Some cops have made a career out of beating up on young black males…engaging in traffic stops for no salient reason and putting themselves in a situation which they have manufactured in order to brutalize their prey….I emphasize that it is some cops not all cops…These are the guys that along with their para military buddies would just as soon have the US ruled by an oligarch..a non democratic leader as long as they kept the black and brown people from having powerful positions which they view as losing their own power…The demographic changes coming to the US however cannot be stopped…Traditionally Republicans favored immigration because they viewed it as making the US stronger as the older white population dies out has less children and wont do the jobs that immigrants are willing to do …or don’t have the professional and technical skills that educated immigrants possess…why is it that in south florida there are literally hundreds of hispanic doctors lawyers and other professionals…Korean and Japanese STEM skilled immigrants totally outclass what we produce from the supposedly superior “white” middle american who is more interested in friday night football than in learning…You folks don’t seem to get it…The demographic changes coming to this nation cannot be stopped…In charlottesville the protestors were chanting “jews will not replace us” what the hell is that about! There are 330 million Americans…approximately 2% of the population are jewish….eg about 6 million …how are six million going to replace the other 324 milion who are not jewish..and from a jewish point of view who would want to replace them….Most don’t have decent jobs never went to college and simply are attracted to the dark internet where the protocols of the elders of zion still exists in all its phony glory…It’s time for all decent americans regardless of race to come together and reject those calling for a white ethno national state (steve bannon and steve miller ) and those ( mostly republicans) attempting to stop minorities from voting because rather than reaching out to those various black and brown groups of voters they would prefer to exclude them from the process…..Enough is Enough

    1. You’re in serious need of therapy as most white liberals already are wringing their hands obsessed with race, class and gender virtue signaling. The only color cops see when making arrests is green. All felonies and domestic violence are must arrest situations. When I was with the NYPD we got 16 hours overtime in Manhattan and 11 hours overtime in the Bronx for felony arrests. Your pension is based on an average of your last three years or the best year of your last three years which is usually your last because of pay raises. My last three years as a detective I was never home and my last year I made as much as the Lieutenant and 1st Grade detectives in my hell hole extremely busy bronx precinct. The arrests came to us in the form of 61s or complaints filed by civilians. They ranged from harassment to murder. We followed up and did our best to apprehend the actual perpetrators who were often crime victims themselves. If you want to see “diversity” walk into any NYPD precinct because you’re going to see every possible type of person imaginable. You couldn’t be a “racist” if you tried. However racial profiling is a very useful tool particularly in narcotics when you’re stopping white NJ drug traffickers buying “weight” in Washington Heights. The NJ troopers used to do a great job of grabbing black narcotics traffickers coming from Washington Heights and going to Maryland and Washington DC( I caught one with a kilo of coke as he entered the Holland tunnel ) I’m under the understanding that the NJ troopers have stopped this practice along with stopping the gun runners from Virginia because of the obvious racial consequences resulting in the predicable 100% rise in homicides. They are however still out there “harassing” the mostly white outlaw bikers who are doing the same thing. You’re living in a fantasy world that cops can’t and you’re reaping the rewards with real violent CRIME.

      1. you don’t get it…but you did legally steal with your pension arrangement So do the Fireman Your base salary is never more than 80,000 a year but you retire on a multiple rather than a fraction of that because your deal allows you to stuff overtime into your pension in your last three years…a totally outrageous political swap the police and fire unions made with the elected officials in return for support..but I digress….your experience in NYC is irrelevant…there are hundreds of thousands of law enforcement officers on various police departments throughout the nation…There are a lot of good cops that understand their roll..but at the same time there are cops who have chips on their shoulder who call black people animals and who conduct traffic stops without probable cause on a regular basis…And they harass and arrest anyone they want for any reason….there are a multitude of examples of excessive force being used..and with camera phones in every pocket we now get to see examples of how that plays out…Did you know that Derick Chauvin had 19 that’s correct 19 complaints lodged against him…The jury heard and saw the evidence…their swift response was clear…Chauvin committed murder in front of their eyes..The chief of police testified Other members of the force testified Experts in toxicology pulminology and other fields testified as well…If you think defending this cop is the right thing to do maybe you shouldn’t have been on the force in the first place…because what Chauvin clearly did gives all cops a bad name…And changes are coming to how we police whether you like it or not….Changes that eliminate a response that is totally disproportionate to the threat..and that is exactly what happened in the George Floyd case

  2. Weir poses the wrong question and he gives the wrong answer….The standard for using deadly force is clear….An officer may only use deadly force under certain circumstances…The officer needs to reasonably believe his life is in danger…in which of the recent murders of black men did the officer have any reasonable belief his life was in danger…Not in the murder of Dante Wright…because that was supposedly a “mistake” made by the officer with over 26 years of experience on the force…she didn’t know that she was using a gun and not a taser? really…totally different weapons different weight different color…kept on different sides of the body …And not in the murder of George Floyd he was on the ground with 3 police officers surrounding him…handcuffed behind his back pushed into the pavement and yelling he could not breathe for 9 minutes plus…begging for his life..How was the officer directly on top of Floyd at any risk at all….And then there is the murder of Adam Toledo,the 13 year old chased by a chicago cop and told to drop his weapon….which….is exactly what he did…and then was shot anyway…..Conduct which requires deadly force to be used in each of the above situations did not exist Mr Weir’s personal experiences are not relevant…we assume Mr Weir was a reasonable officer in the field..we assume Mr Weir knew the rules …and understood what standard an officer would be held to….But there are police officers in other departments across the nation…who don’t really care about the rules and they don’t care about the standards and they don’t care about their duty….and that is what is at issue

  3. Future columns by Weir include “How not to mistake your your gun for your taser,” “How not to murder children,” “How not to mace an active serviceman,” “How not to shoot people dead in the middle of the night while they’re sleeping in their bed,” ” How not to strangle someone to death by keeping your knee on their neck or choking them,” and so on.

    It seems that too many usually white police officers have a problem with murdering people, particularly unarmed Black people, particularly when they’re in custody.

    1. “How not to murder children,” “How not to shoot people dead in the middle of the night while they’re sleeping in their bed,” It seems that those descriptions apply to the black gangs in places like Chicago, LA, NY and many other urban areas where innocent black residents are afraid to leave their homes because of all the savage street thugs. Babies are killed on the street and in their apartments when those gun-toting gangstas go on their nightly massacres. Antifa and BLM do nothing to help those people held hostage to terror in their own neighborhoods. But, let one cop shoot an armed thug, that happens to be black, and it’s time to loot stores, set fire to police cars and claim racism as the cause. It’s the biggest fraud in the history of our country, and it’s promoted only by the left wing radicals that are trying to destroy the greatest nation in history.

      1. You cops need to stop shooting unarmed Black citizens. Speak out against heinous acts of racially-motivated murder by your fellow cops when they occur so that your colleagues (or “brothers and sisters in uniform”) know that murdering unarmed American citizens goes against your oath to protect and defend.

        The problem with you lot is that you think you’re judge, jury and executioner. You’re not above the law. You’re only paid to uphold it. Break it and you’ll be put in jail. Go whine somewhere else about your petty grievances. Remember: we pay your salary; you work for us. Don’t like the job? Then find another line of work.

        Weir can spout his racist, dog whistle nonsense, but decent people know the score.

    2. You’re literally talking about a handful of cases (where violent and or non compliant armed career criminals resisted arrest) out of millions of arrests every year Nationally. Please rest assured that my contacts in my former employer (I’m retired) the NYPD have assured me that there are no more old fashioned aggressive cops like me fighting crime because they’ve been “canceled.” Hopefully Biden, Cuomo and DeBlasio can raise taxes…again for a commission of Social “Scientists” that can blame the 100% increase on Covid, “systemic racism or climate change.”

    3. As of April 15, 2021 United States Law Enforcement have killed 52 Blacks’s only 3 of whom were unarmed and during the same time period 102 white ‘s have been killed of which only 5 were unarmed-these statistics don’t seem to jell with your selective outrage.

      1. So….. you’re telling me that more whites than blacks get shot by the police of course taking into account that there are far more whites than blacks and that blacks statistically commit far more crime than whites, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans combined. With the data you presented it appears that blacks and whites are basically in a tie in relation to getting shot while unarmed? Realize “unarmed” could mean that they were violently resisting arrest, were known felons, appeared to have a weapon, refused to comply or were tragically factually innocent. We’re humans not robots. I’ve been in a shooting off duty during an armed robbery. I told 911 he was a white Italian male, the clerk told 911 that he was an Arabic male well he was a Cuban 1982 Castro freedom flotilla refugee with a city job beautiful wife and daughter making more than me. I was happy that I didn’t hit him and after ten years he got out and did the same damned thing in three months and went back to Greenhaven for another ten years. I’ve been involved in more gun calls than I can count. While in narcotics we used racial profiling all the time on white NJ drug traffickers buying weight in Washington Heights. I’ve also dealt with some of the worst most violent criminals such as the Hells Angels and Westies(Irish mob) who just happened to be white and would have absolutely no problem killing any cop if they thought they could get away with it. I also have two masters degrees so I’m well versed in the left wing academic psycho babble indoctrination. I foolishly didn’t shoot people that I had every legal right to thereby putting the value of the life of violent career criminals above my own and no it’s not my job to get shot. I pray you never encounter the pure evil that I have and yes sometimes it’s in law enforcement with a classic example being Jeanine Pirro. I worked very hard pro Bono for fifteen years with liberal attorneys, journalists, PR professionals and very conservative cops to expose her wrongful convictions. Reality isn’t black or white it’s gray so grow up. I’ve seen a number of coworkers go to prison all justified except for one that Pirro sent away to get re-elected.

  4. Exactly Bob! The common denominator is resisting arrest. When that occurs, it leads to a chain of events that can result in death wrongfully or justified. In many of these instances the victim has a warrant, and or a long criminal background which means extensive jail time. So for the most part the victims don’t have a chance in a court room or at the station house. This then tends to lead to some more poor judgement that results in loss of life

    Peter (Chic)

    1. In Chicago over the Easter weekend 8 Black’s were homicide victims-no outrage or protests over these deaths because it does not fit the activist’s political agenda and narrative.

  5. It’s more nuanced than just complying. “Just comply” excludes the person who is autistic (or has other conditions) and doesn’t like to be touched, who will put up perceived display of non-compliance. The examples go on and on. The Bench warrant in the cop’s hand already tells you this person has shown some disregard for the Court. If the Judge couldn’t make them, what are the odds a cop will.

    The argument regarding compliance, can’t exist without improved training on the cop’s part to employ proper arrest and de-escalation techniques. And proper education on the community level.

  6. This guy has been waiting his whole life to write an article saying how everyone who gets murdered by police deserves it. So thankful he no longer is a police officer.

    1. You’re really a very pathetic sick individual completely engaged in your own cognitive dissonance. We put our lives on the line and if violent dangerous criminals decide not to comply they create the circumstances that lead to their own demise. It’s not the movies or some sort of static reality show where you can control the outcome because police work is a contact sport with real time deadly consequences. You’ve probably never been in a physical altercation never mind life or death struggle in your life. What kind of “police” do you think the radical leftists are going to install? I’ll give you a clue look at Cuba,Venezuela and Russia. You would have to be absolutely crazy to become a cop now.

    2. The fact that he is no longer a police officer may be the reason for so much crime these days. Officers used to be allowed to deal with crime without constant interference from left wing politicians who clearly are trying to divide our country. We need more tough officers, not less. Every tough officer on the street saves innocent lives.

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