What To Do When Stopped By Police

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(Memphis) A police stop is full of unknowns and a lot can happen in a split second.

"When officers stop a vehicle and walk into a situation, a lot of times they are just as afraid as the individual they are approaching," says Memphis Police Union President Mike Williams.

"Listen to what they are saying and cooperate. That's what I try to do," says Joe Casey of East Memphis.

"They can pull a gun on you, shoot you, think you trying to make reflexes all this type of stuff.  Police are scared these type of days. It's a lot of people getting shot," says Randall Davis of Bethel Grove.

A few weeks ago, a Cordova  man was shot to death by police in his home.

Officers said he pulled a gun as they served an animal cruelty warrant.

Williams said if there is a  warrant,  it's based on a crime, "You know why we are coming into your house. It's just a matter of whether you are gonna lay down and abide by the law and go along with i."

Last week, police shot and killed a man sleeping in his car.

They say as they approached his vehicle, he pulled a gun and pointed it at them.

Wednesday night, an 18-year-old was shot by police investigating a call.

Officers say they told the man to turn around, but he took a gun from the vehicle and pointed it them.

"When officers tell you to put your  hands up, put your hands up.  Do not reach for a weapon that is on you. You may have good intentions. But how does the officer know that?" says Williams.

Other tips to remember:

  • Remain calm when approached by an officer, don't run or argue
  • Keep your hands where the officers can see them  and don't resist
  • Tell the officer what you are doing before you make a move

"There is so much going on right now out here on the streets and the officer has only split seconds to react," says Williams.

Police tell us  if you think a police stop is unfair, you can challenge what happens.

But they say while you are in the middle of the incident is not the time.

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