How to get shot by a cop.

I’m going to say it right now: No matter how bad a police officer Jack Brooks is made out to be, Ricky Moore is the only one responsible for his own death (unless of course we want to blame Governor Strickland for closing down Twin Valley Behavioral Health Care where Mr. Moore has been for treatment).

When a cop stops you here are a few hints on how to get shot:

  • Hit the cop, knock him down, wrestle with him. Now, granted, this can still be classified as a misdemeanor- while threatening his life or his family (even when shackled in the back of a cop car) will qualify you for a felony and a three year mandatory term (note- only if you are black and arrested in Greene County).
  • Carry a concealed weapon and not warn the cop the moment he starts talking to you. Cops hate to be “surprised” by knives, guns or brass knuckles on the pat down.
  • Run, either away, or toward a cop when he speaks to you.
  • Lie about your identity.

Now, once you know how to get shot- lets start looking for reasons to blame the cop for pulling the trigger, even though you are an x-con, with a history of mental illness, who is uncooperative.

Race always has to be the first issue- since all white cops join the force to be given a legal right to shoot black people.

Experience, because all cops should have to face crazy people who hit them everyday and just say, “can’t we all just get along”- remember what happened to Officer Mary Beall, as she tried to calm a suspect holding a gun on her? If cops weren’t supposed to shoot people who don’t follow instructions- why do we give them guns?

The Dayton Daily News Editorial board and the front page story today about Jack Brook’s qualifications all suggest that somehow, Ricky Moore didn’t make more mistakes than Officer Brooks made- and that we should be questioning the entire Dayton Police Department for having the misfortune of having to try to do their very difficult job.

No cop wants to discharge their weapon when they strap it on each morning- too much paperwork is only the beginning of it. Yet, the paper seems to think that this is somehow a big emotional issue for the community- when in fact, this is not. Read the following excerpts from the Editorial and see how they are secretly hoping to uncover some sort of “gotcha” story out of a tragedy for all involved:

Our view: Judgments have to await facts in Moore shooting
The shooting by a young Dayton police officer of Ricky Moore demands a thorough investigation and a full public accounting. Pending that, judgments are premature.

Emotions are running high, in part, because legitimate questions from Mr. Moore’s family and others can’t yet be answered.

What’s believed is that Officer Jack Brooks, 22, stopped Mr. Moore, 35, for questioning. Then, after talking to him, Officer Brooks started to handcuff Mr. Moore, who became violent. There was a struggle, then the shooting.

Whether Mr. Moore had a gun has not been established. But some witnesses say that the officer had reason to fear for his safety. Another witness, however, has told the Dayton Daily News that he questions whether Mr. Moore had gotten hold of Officer Brooks’ Taser, which Officer Brooks reported that he feared.

On Wednesday, July 23, personnel records for Officer Brooks were released. A probationary employee, he’s been in deep trouble with more than one supervisor. Two were recommending he be fired.

The complaints are extremely serious, ranging from competence to his truthfulness. (The police chief says some are unfounded, but not all.)

There can’t — and won’t be — any cover-up of what happened Saturday. There are multiple witnesses to the altercation and shooting.

Their differences are frustrating for everyone — Mr. Moore’s family, Officer Brooks, the police department, the community. But that people saw different things is not shocking. Whenever an event happens quickly, especially if people are frightened, memories collide.

Racial concerns always arise in cases like this. Mr. Moore is black, Officer Brooks is white. The police department is overwhelmingly white.

At the same time, concerns about police over use of force arise. This is the fourth shooting by Dayton police since May; the third fatality.

However, reasonable people, including Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin and City Commissioner Dean Lovelace, both of whom are black, have been generally satisfied that police are not abusing their authority. The city government — with blacks in such positions as mayor, city manager and police director (until recently) and with a city commission majority — has always been sharply focused on the problem of police-community relations, especially in matters of race. Richard Biehl, the new police chief, was hired with an eye on the good reviews he got for his work in Cincinnati on this score.

None of which, of course, resolves this situation.

Chief Biehl is, arguably, on trial himself. This situation requires competence and candor.

He’s right to come to no conclusions himself until he has more facts and to assure the community that there will be a full investigation; and to make clear that he understands that the sheer number of shootings demands his attention.

He said he is reassigning more supervisors to the streets to lead younger officers, as well as doing more police training and community education about how to respond to police.

The community does understand that police in the city have a difficult and dangerous job, and that Mr. Moore, who has been under psychiatric care and who has a prison record, responded aggressively.

But the reviews of Officer Brooks are going to raise questions that can’t easily be swept away.

What remains to be determined and made public are all the facts. In anticipation of that, the community’s discussion should not devolve into knee-jerk conclusions, with people giving in to pro-police or anti-police biases. That helps no one determine what really happened last Saturday.

The only people trying to jump to conclusions are the people at the newspaper. There isn’t a police shooting that isn’t thoroughly investigated, over and over.
That 4 officers have used their weapons in the last 4 months isn’t a trend, or anything else- it just means 4 people didn’t behave properly when an officer confronted them.

The proper thing to do when an officer asks you to do something is to comply. Not to raise your voice, or argue or make sudden movements. It’s really simple. The officer, just like you and me, wants to do his job, go home at the end of the day- and not have to relive our meeting over and over for weeks, months or years.

Ricky Moore apparently never learned how to react to a cop. That’s the real story, and it didn’t have a happy ending.

As a public service- I’m including Chris Rock’s “How to not get your ass kicked by the police” to this post thanks to a tip from a reader in Texas.

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8 Responses

  1. Anonymous July 25, 2008 / 3:39 pm
    This is the best thing written so for about this situation. “How to get shot by a cop,” is the perfect title. This is not an example of police being judge and jury. It’s simple the fact that people put the police in situations where they have no choice in the matter but to discharge their weapons. And police are not trained to shoot to injure, if you put an officer or another at risk in a situation where they are in fear of their life or anothers, they are shooting to kill. As for Officer Brooks’ record there is no question that his record is not perfect, but show me a rookie, in any field that is perfect. And nothing they say about him or his record change the fact that this was a justified shooting. Now as for the reports that he should be released from the department are under investigation, but none of this changes the facts of the shooting. If you assault, threaten, or put an officer in fear of their lives, you are putting your life into the officers hands and into how good their aim is. So lets as a community not worry about the officers shooting us, but worry about why is volience against the police, and police deaths at an all time high. That is something worth discussing.
  2. Someone who cares July 26, 2008 / 12:26 am
    Thank you for pointing out the true points of this shooting. Violence against our police officers is on the rise across the nation. The victims aunt even said they wont raise their youth to trust the police- where is this going to get us in society? More violence. More death. Jack Brooks made mistakes. He is a rookie. Not all the items listed in the news and memos are true and are under investigation as to why false reports were filed. No where in any article- despite DDN calling family and friends to learn of Jacks true identity outside of being a police officer- do I see anything about the letter of commendation for actions that assisted in saving a mans life last month mentioned. I wonder why? They obviously have his record- but that is not dirt so why publish it…
    The shooting stands alone. It was witnessed. It was justified. Officer Brooks was hurt in the scuffle which they also dont mention in the news. Instead of facts- because there is no story- they are attacking someone who goes out and puts his life on the line everyday to protect our community.
    For the record- Jack Brooks is a wonderful, kind and caring person. He is polite. He loves his job. He loves his family. If they look at his history- he was very involved in school , band and basketball. He was not a problem teen and he has been an outstanding adult.He is also a victim in this. He planned on ending his shift, going home to his wife and daughters and going to bed- not changing his life and ending someone elses that night.
    Let’s quit attacking those who protect us- and start thanking them.
  3. tg July 26, 2008 / 11:49 am
    The two things that stand out in all of this to me are:

    1) The rookie’s age…22. I’m not sure most kids today are as mature as a 22 year old was say 20 or 30 or 40 years ago. Is this a matter of a young, rookie cop who simply lacks the life experience (aka wisdom) to react the way a veteran officer would? and

    2) Mental illness. With the closing of Twin Valley, there will be more and more mentally unstable individuals on the street, not getting proper care, supervision or possibly even medication. Is our police dept adequatey prepared to deal with mentally unstable individuals?? And how do you tell the difference just looking at someone?

    However, I also want to touch on the other point made here – that being a culture of raising kids to not trust police officers. I’m sorry, but that concept is totally foreign to me. My parents and my teachers taught me to respect authority and to obey laws – posted and the understood, if not stated, rules of society and what is appropriate and what is not. I know no other way. It just seems to me if parents were teaching their kids respect – of self and others – instead of fear and hatred, we’d live in a different world.

    While waiting for some student volunteers to show up in South Park last Thursday, I was chatting with our two community based cops -CBOs – (thanks to MVH for covering their salaries). Afterward one of the students asked if everything was ok and I said of course, those are our two assigned CBOs and we were just touching base. You could see the concept was totally foreign to this young African American from Columbus, Ohio. In his world, you only talk to the police if you are in trouble. In my world, you cooperate with them and give them information to help prevent future trouble.

    I think what we need to recognize is that our men & women in blue are people first. They have fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters – they have dreams and fears and are trying to make a decent living. Just like our US soldiers fight for our freedom every day, our cops are trying to protect us, keep us safe from harm and run the risk every day that they won’t come home to their families because someone who was either raised to hate them or who is mentally unstable chooses to attack instead of cooperate.

  4. Brad July 27, 2008 / 11:02 pm
    Love the video… minus a couple excessively racial tidbits, it’s right on the money… I gotta be honest, it’s hard to find too much sympathy for somebody that tackles a cop and rips the cop’s taser off his belt… certainly a very unfortunate incident, but just a simple demonstration of cause and effect…
  5. Married To A Cop August 20, 2008 / 3:15 am
    A more detailed version of the above. It seems so simple.

    How Not To Get Shot By The Police

    1. Don’t commit a crime. It seems rather elementary, Sherlock, that crime is a high-risk occupation/recreational pursuit, but that seems to escape some folks. They do a crime, get shot and wonder how this could possibly happen. So don’t beat your spouse. Don’t rip off a convenience store. Don’t do a drive-by shooting. Don’t get spaced out on drugs. Don’t sell drugs. Don’t do a hit and run. Don’t get drunk and go for a spin in your car. Don’t get in a fight. In case you’ve missed it, crime makes cops think you’re not such a good person.

    2. If you ignore rule No. 1 and they find you, don’t try to flee. This just makes them think you’re even a badder guy. Don’t try to escape. Don’t run red lights or ignore stop signs. Don’t race through residential neighborhoods where children are playing or speed down crowded freeways. Don’t sneak into some innocent person’s home or backyard. Don’t hide in the bushes or in a closet or under the back porch. Makes cops think you’re up to no good.

    3. If you disregard rules 1 and 2, and they still catch up to you, don’t disobey a cop’s orders. Do exactly as he or she says. Don’t make fast movements with your hands. Don’t reach under your seat. Don’t go for your coat pocket. Don’t grab a shiny beer can or a tire iron or, for God’s sake, a toy gun. Do exactly what you’re told. To do otherwise makes cops really edgy.

    4. If you’re boneheaded enough to disregard rules 1, 2 and 3 and you’re still alive and somehow manage to get a gun or knife in your hand, don’t point the gun at anyone. Don’t act aggressively. Don’t wave the knife around. Don’t lunge at an officer. Don’t shout that you want to die and you’re going to take a few cops with you. This really gets them riled up.

    5. If you’ve disobeyed rules 1, 2, 3 and 4, and amazingly, you’re still breathing, don’t expect your friendly neighborhood cop to be an instant psychiatrist. Don’t expect him or her to understand that you’re basically a nice person who’s had a really bad day and this is just your way of crying out for help. Don’t expect a cop to feel sorry that your wife left you, your dog growled at you and you’re tired of the lousy weather. Don’t expect him or her to empathize with your bad childhood or that society has done you a raw deal, or that you’re just getting ready to turn your life around.

    If you get to rule No. 4 and you violate it, you won’t have time to think about rule No. 5, because you’ll be dead or seriously injured. So think about it in advance. Cops aren’t psychiatrists. We can’t expect them to analyze a fleeing, gun-wielding criminal and conclude he’s really just a lost soul trying to communicate his angst to the world. We expect them to react to an immediate threat and not worry about what’s going on inside a person’s head. Most shootings do follow, at least roughly, some part of the pattern described above.

    So I have a hard time criticizing an officer who must make a split-second decision in a terribly dangerous situation. Even if the officer makes a mistake, even if the person didn’t really have a weapon, even if the person isn’t a hardened criminal but a petty teenage thief, I can’t fault the officer. It’s pretty simple.

  6. Gene August 20, 2008 / 9:04 am
    funny, very funny!

    I stick with rule 1 and I have never had a problem with the cops. Strange, isn’t it?

  7. Angry citizen August 20, 2008 / 9:46 am
    I agree with the cops wife. Unfortunately that is not the environment Dayton seems to encourage. She did forget to mention that you should also give your name when asked. In this case that may have saved a life. The man was flagged in the system as violent but the officer had no way of knowing it. Otherwise he could have called for back-up.
    But instead the news had to attack the officers record as a rookie- which the chief had even stated none of the offenses appeared to be firable offenses. None of them were different from other rookie officers. But yet he was fired. The Dayton Chief played the politics game to keep his job. Maybe he should make sure they train their rookies before letting ones they feel are unready- to go out alone.
    The news media did not address that the officer only has a few seconds to react. They did not mention that a cop is the same as everyone else- they want to do their job and then go home to their family.
    Instead they attack a young man who is already traumatized from the situation and destroy him pubicly because there was nothing else they could do. The shooting was justified so they had to find something to cause trouble.It is sad that Dayton is such a dangerous city to live in but when a police officer does his job thye hang him out as a public sacrifice. And they wonder why people don’t like Dayton…

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