Explorations in Policing, Faith and Life (With a hint of humor, product reviews, news and whatever catches my attention)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

To account for...life or death on a traffic stop

I initiated a traffic stop on vehicle for failing to stop at a stop sign.  When I was able to curb the vehicle, the driver, female, immediately opened her driver's side door and put one leg out to exit her car.  In response, I kicked open my driver's side door, got both feet on the ground and had my hand on my Glock 22 in its holster.  I ordered her to stay in her vehicle and close the door.  She hesitated then slipped her second leg out of the door and turned slightly to exit her vehicle.  I pulled the Glock out of it's holster and pointed it toward her vehicle but kept it behind my driver's side door and out of her view.  I again ordered her to re-enter her vehicle, which she did, openly startled by both the volume and tone of my voice.  The traffic stop was completed without incident and a citation issued.

At the beginning of the traffic stop this driver was angry and was attempting to come back to my squad to demand why I was stopping her.  She further informed me that she thought that I was rude, mean and should not treat the public in that manner.  She then sped away without giving me an opportunity to provide her with a response.

The following video is one that I have seen many times for training purposes.  I hate watching it, even though through its use many Officers have been made safer.  This is why I try to take total command of a situation and why if I do not get compliance in two commands, I greatly ramp up my response, get control and backup.

I can always apologize to the soccer mom for being mean and yelling at her when her intentions are harmless.  But I can't apologize for anything if I am dead.

My prayers are with Deputy Kyle Dinkheller's family, friends and fellow police officers, while some time has passed since this incident, I do not doubt that the pain is still real.

Andrew Brannan was found guilty on January 28, 2000, for the murder of Dinkheller and was sentenced to death.  As of July 2012, he has not been executed and is still incarcerated in Georgia.  After being captured, Brannan was asked why he killed Dinkheller. His response was, "Because he let me."

It will be a good day when the State finally provides Brannan with the final and complete punishment he is due.  A punishment long over due.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. I need to watch a video like this about once a week just to make sure I don't ever grow complacent on a traffic stop, or forget about the importance of controlling the situation.

Badge at the feet of Christ said...

That's what it is all about brother...thanks.

Anonymous said...

As sad as this terrible incident was, I have to say officer Dinkheller contributed greatly to his own demise. There were two courses of action he could have taken, IMO, but he chose to do neither. Those actions are either fight or flight...he sort of did both. The time to draw his weapon was when Brannan turned his back to return to his truck. Draw the revolver and advance...quickly. If Brannan refused to step away from the truck or attack Dinkheller again he should have been shot then. OTOH, if Dinkheller did not want a gun battle he should not have gotten into one...at least one where he clearly was at a disadvantage. He should have retreated to his vehicle and backed up to a relatively safe distance, radio for help and pursue Brannan if he fled. Dinkheller made the wrong choice and paid the ultimate price