Topeka, KS -- Drivers as well as their passengers in Topeka Kansas will soon be subject to a new policy requiring everyone to put their hands up during police stops.
Police say they are implementing this policy because "we all want to go home to our families, and this makes it safer for us to approach vehicles to gain that compliance. It gives us a chance to survive these encounters."
However, the implications regarding this practice are horrid, and many residents are up in arms about being forced to be up in arms.
“Every day somebody’s getting shot by a police officer, and it’s like ‘oh my goodness, will I be next?’, or will I be okay?” said one resident.
Local officers are citing the three tragic shooting deaths of officers in a two year period as the reasoning behind this policy.
“As we all know, we’ve lost three officers in less than 2 years and as a result of that we’ve had to take a hard look at the way we’re conducting business, particularly as it relates to car stops.” said TPD School Resource Officer Matt McClimans.
While this policy may seem like it has good intentions, nearly every aspect associated with it is tyrannical.
First of all, this "policy" was not approved by the taxpayers. No citizens got to vote on its implementation, and it is going to be enforced with potentially deadly force.
Secondly, it treats ALL parties stopped by police as criminals.
One resident summed it up perfectly by saying, “Make us feel safe, not automatically make us feel like criminals.”
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“To put my hands up, I mean, I just can’t see how people are not offended by that,” said one resident.
“I think that is too aggressive, and unnecessary, and I don’t agree with it,” said another.
“Police and community interactions are tough enough as it is and the more demands, the tougher it’s going to be, and the more problems you’re going to have,” explained a resident.
Besides treating everyone they come in contact with as a criminal, forcing people to put their hands up creates a slew of other problems as well.
How would someone hold the police accountable by filming their own interactions if they are forced to raise their hands? All too often innocent people are vindicated after being beaten and assaulted by police, only because a cell phone was recording. This would end that.
Imagine a situation in which someone tries to point their phone out of the windows while they attempt to raise their hands, the end result would not be pretty if officers mistook the phone for a gun.
What if a passenger in the vehicle is paralyzed, or temporarily disabled and they cannot raise their hands? Is this an immediate death sentence?
Finally, what about all the people who have been shot by police despite having their hands up?Looking through our archives here at the Free Thought Project, we can see that holding one's hands up, most assuredly does not protect you from being shot by cops.
The bottom line is, while the deaths of these three officers are certainly tragic, treating every person stopped by police as a criminal is also tragic.
How about looking at WHY police are stopping people and look to reduce those interactions. Do the police really need to pull people over, en masse, for victimless crimes, such as seat belt violations?
Instead of treating everyone like criminals, why don't police stop acting as strong arms for the state's revenue collection racket?