‘Don’t get shot by police’: The Aim of New Instruction in Arizona Driver’s Manual

The changes in the Arizona driver’s manual is an indication the behavior of abusive killer cops is unlikely to change anytime soon. Instead of admitting abusive, killer cops are the problem and retraining them NOT to be abusive killers, the state has decided to place the burden on motorists by telling them what to do and what not to do when being pulled over by police.

The goal is pretty simple, said state Rep. Reginald Bolding, a Laveen Democrat who helped write the section, according to Tucson.com.

In these days in America, people have realized that police are going to shot and kill unarmed people and the killer cops will not be punished for it, but this manual is designed to have fewer people being shot by police.

One tip the revised manual fails to mention is to record encounters with cops.  If the officer knows he is being recorded he may be more likely to respect your rights, and we have all seen many times recently where cops are caught in lies because the video shows the victim’s story is the accurate one.

Bolding admitted the evidence proves victims of police shootings during traffic stops are more likely to be black or Hispanic.

“When you look at what’s taken place across the country, you have seen a majority of individuals who are people of color that have had higher incidence of interactions with law-enforcement officers, particularly in shootings,” he said. “Hopefully we can get to a place where that’s not the reality.”

The shooting death of a black man — the 2016 killing of Philando Castile by a Minnesota police officer — prompted Bolding to seek a rewrite of Arizona’s driving manual.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez said he pulled Castile over because a brake light was out. Castile told the officer he had a firearm on him, to which the officer said, “Don’t reach for it then.” Castile said he wasn’t pulling it out, but the officer fired seven rapid shots into the vehicle anyway, striking Castile five times.

The murder was caught on the dash camera of the patrol car. Prosecutors charged the officer with one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of intentional discharge of a firearm that endangers safety. Yanez simply took the standard cop out and said he feared for his life, so he was acquitted of the charges.

In the wake of that incident, Bolding said he reached out to eight different police departments, asking them what motorists should do to avoid becoming victims. The answers seem to suggest that each cop will “fear for his/her life” for different reasons.

“I got eight different recommendations,” he said.

Queries to various motorists on what they should do also produced inconsistent responses.

“Some people said you immediately reach into your glove department to grab your license and registration,” Bolding said. “Others said to turn on the dome light. Others said to wait.”

So Bolding brought together the Arizona departments of transportation and public safety in hopes of coming up with some good — and consistent — advice for drivers when they are being pulled over by police.

“No one should ever leave a traffic stop in a body bag,” Bolding said.

“I recognize this won’t solve all officer-involved shootings,” he said. “I do hope that this could potentially save a life by giving a recommendation of what to do.”

Tucson.com reported on the recommendations for what to do:

The first piece of advice, obviously, is to find a safe place to pull over.

After that, the recommendations now included in the state manual for drivers say to park the car, remain in the vehicle, and for all occupants to keep their seat belts fastened. Motorists should keep their hands on the steering wheel in a visible location and wait for the officer to approach the vehicle.

Other suggestions include:

  • Lowering the windows, especially if they are tinted;
  • At night, turning on any overhead passenger compartment lights;
  • Informing the officer if the driver has a weapon or if there are any in the vehicle.

Bolding said this last tip is particularly crucial in a state like Arizona, where any adult can carry a weapon, open or concealed.

“There has not been a lot of education on what individuals should do if they are carrying a gun,” he said. “We are a state that talks about the Second Amendment rights and we want individuals to have the ability to carry guns. But with that we also wanted to make sure that they’re protected and they’re not put in harm’s way.”

There are also several recommendations for what not to do, otherwise known as things that might make an officer fear for his or her life.

One is to not reach around inside the vehicle.

“If you need to reach for an item, contact the officer verbally to indicate the item you need to locate and only do so after the officer has given verbal confirmation,” the manual now says.

Don’t get out of the vehicle unexpectedly or approach the officer.

Bolding said he wanted to make sure drivers knew what rights they have. But he also cautioned against motorists actually demanding those rights from officers.  He suggests that everyone should give up their immediate rights and do whatever the officer says.

“The stop may not be the best point in time to have that protest,” Bolding said.

The manual recommends that those who believe they’ve been mistreated contact the officer’s supervisor or agency, using information on the officer that’s listed on any citation issued.

If you choose not to protest and be obedient to the cop’s demands, remember that a recording of the incident will help your case if you protest it later.

(Article By James Carter)

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