“The York County deputy, Terrence Knox, pulled over Bobby Canipe of Lincolnton, N.C., for an expired license tag about 7:30 p.m. north of Clover, S.C.,” washingtonpost.com reports. “After stopping, Canipe got out of his pickup truck and reached into the bed, pulling out what Knox thought was a long-barreled rifle, Clover, S.C., York County sheriff’s spokesman Trent Faris said. It was Canipe’s walking cane. The officer fired several times, hitting Canipe once, Faris said. Faris refused to say where on his body Canipe was hit, but said he was expected to survive.” Even without knowing the totality of the circumstances, I don’t necessarily blame officer Knox for the shoot (although his marksmanship is a little suspect). Truth be told . . .
cops don’t want to get shot any more than you do. And unlike most armed civilians, they don’t have a clear idea of who the bad guy is. As the lottery folks liked to say, it could be you! For good or ill, their survival depends on the default supposition that everyone is a potential perp. An armed citizen – well all citizens – must keep this mindset in mind before, during and after any encounter with law enforcement.
In some states you have a duty to inform the officer if you’re carrying a gun. Despite the [perfectly justified] assertion that a concealed carry permit holder is less dangerous than the average schmo (as well as someone open carrying), telling a cop you’re packing heat does not put the officer at ease. All he hears is “I’m armed.” So if you communicate the fact that you’re exercising your natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms DON’T MOVE.
As with all police encounters, avoid ANY sudden movements. I know open carry advocates and other patriots will heartily disagree, but I reckon you should do whatever the cop or cops say and DO IT SLOWLY. By the same token, ask permission to do anything. Is it OK if I get my cane? Is it OK if I take out my phone and write down your badge number? Obsequious it may be but this strategy tells the cops what movement you are about to make before you make it.
This is especially true after a defensive gun use. Unfortunately, that’s also a time when your bloodstream will be suffused with adrenalin, which distorts your time perception. You may think you’re moving slowly when, say, putting down your gun, but you might be moving very quickly indeed. Your best bet when the cops arrive: freeze. Don’t do ANYTHING. And then move very, very, very slowly.
I’m known in these parts for being extremely distrustful if not antagonistic towards police. True story. But in all of my encounters with the constabulary – yes, I got a speeding ticket the other day – I am as polite, deferential and slow-moving as possible. Who cares if cops appreciate my attitude and behavior. I just don’t want to be that guy: the guy the police spokesman’s talking to the press about. [h/t webpawn]