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Complying with Police Commands

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Duration:   5  mins

Rob Pincus uses video footage to examine how to comply with law enforcement commands in a way that lessens the chances of being shot because your movements were misinterpreted as threatening.


In April 2021, there was a national headline story about a 13-year-old boy who was shot by police in Chicago after running from them, with a firearm having been seen in his hands prior to the police chasing him. Rob does an incident analysis using this video because he believes it is very informative about complying with police commands.

Generally we say that as responsibly armed citizens, we want to obey police commands when they are trying to figure out what’s going on in the middle of or in the aftermath of an incident. If you haven’t done anything wrong, you shouldn’t have anything to fear from law enforcement. However, if you find yourself trying to get to the “hands up, I’m a good guy” position and on the way to hands up, you do something like bring your hands from behind your back, where you could possibly have a handgun concealed, you may also find yourself getting shot.


Rob demonstrates how taking your hands from behind your back and bringing them forward and up into the “look, I’ve got nothing in my hands” position involves a lot of the same movements you would do if you reached into your back pocket, pulled out a handgun and brought it forward and up to shoot a person in front of you.

And if the officer is nervous and not fully in control of the situation, you could find yourself in a similar situation as the teen in the video, who was shot just after bringing his hands forward and up.

The problem is not what your intentions as a law-abiding concealed carry holder are, but what the perception of the officer is—what does he think you’re about to do?


Should police officers give clearer commands? If police have a suspect who may or may not be armed and may or may not have bad intentions, plus has his hands in his pockets, Rob wouldn’t suggest saying, “Show me your hands.” He would say, “Don’t move.”


Rob demonstrates slowly and in detail how, as a person being questioned by law enforcement, he would move to make it clear to officers that he is not armed and has no bad intentions toward them. But what if you do have a gun? He believes dropping the gun is a really good idea, even if no one has given that command. Be sure to watch the video to see these movements.


The bottom line for Rob is that he doesn’t want any good-guy PDN viewers to get shot by law enforcement in the middle of a high-stress situation (or at any other time). Officers, please give clear and reasonable commands. Citizens, viewers, follow officers’ commands and comply with them in a way that is incredibly unlikely to be mistaken for a threatening action.

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