The Problem with “Just Do What the Cops Say and You Won’t Get Hurt”

It’s not hard to imagine the predictable reaction to this video from those who reflexively defend police abuse. She “should have complied,” they’ll say. Some might insist that if she had her arm broken and her tiny body thrown to the ground, she was “asking for it” because, well, she may have tried to steal the equivalent of thirteen dollars.

Indeed, defenders of police abuse and incompetence often attempt to console themselves with the idea that they would always comply with police orders, and therefore would never have to worry about being shot dead, beaten down, or otherwise abused by police.

This might seem plausible for someone who has no family members with severe autism, mental illness, dementia, hearing impairment, lack of fluency in English, or any other condition that might be inconvenient to police officers.

But for many people, the reality of “compliance” isn’t nearly as neat, clean, and black and white as defenders of police want to believe.

Moreover, many innocent and unarmed victims of police shootings aren’t even given a chance to “comply.” They’re just shot dead without warning.

Admittedly, these facts will do little to persuade the “Back the Blue” crowd from changing their slavish devotion to the well-paid, nearly impossible-to-fire, legally immune, and unionized government employees in police departments.

But let’s review some of the evidence anyway.

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