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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