Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me.
In the midst of the ongoing Ferguson thing, Officer Sunil Dutta wants you to know that calling him names can result in you being tased, pepper-sprayed, beaten, or, of course, shot.
That may not be the single most tone-deaf editorial I’ve ever read, but it’s definitely in contention.
The really telling thing about it is that Dutta appears to genuinely think he’s being reasonable. He goes on to say, sure, sue the police. That all police should be recorded all the time. That the whole situation is scary. These are not crazy positions. But he leads off with, “If you don’t respect my authority, I’ll kill you,” in nearly so many words.
And that, I think, speaks to the incredibly corrosive culture that many police departments are immersed in. That Dutta really doesn’t get how his pull quotes read.