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When suspects obey the police, no one gets hurt

Published: Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

Much is being said about the tragedy in Missouri. No one knows yet what fully transpired.  

One thing I do know, however, is this tragedy could and should have been avoided had the individual who was killed initially complied with the police officer. Had there not been an initial struggle or altercation, it's most likely the final result would have been quite different.

I've yet to see anyone hurt who has complied with an officer’s request.

If wrongly accused or arrested, don’t fight it out in the street; both parties will lose. If you have a grievance, let the legal system sort it out; that’s what it is there for.

As an emergency room physician, I regularly see the disrespect given to the police. They're cursed at, spit on, taunted, and fought with. I'm continually amazed how restrained they are in the face of such provocation. I doubt most of the public would be so controlled in those situations.  

I read an article how certain politicians are reconsidering not giving surplus military equipment to local law enforcement. This is disturbing, to say the least. I do not see our local police rolling out the armored vehicles daily just to intimidate the public. 

This show of force was criticized in Missouri. Why shouldn’t our local law enforcement have the same protections in these instances as the military?

Our police have a very difficult job; they're asked to make split-second, life-and-death decisions, with little or no background information in an adverse or hostile environment. If they hesitate for even a moment, or make the wrong decision, it could cost them their lives. It is truly a no-win situation.

I guess the bottom line is civility and respect. If we had more of both as a nation, we would have far fewer of these tragedies to talk about.

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