Stop the video right at 00:15. Don't go a second further.
Ask yourself what you would do or do differently as the police officer. As a non-police officer, what would your reaction be if the cop aggressively brought this guy to the ground right there and then? Police brutality? White cop attacking unarmed black man? It's easy to imagine the officer being criticized for excessive use of force.
Most non-police will probably see a seemingly compliant black suspect asking a white officer, "What's the problem, sir?... No, no, no, no, I don't want no problem." Just a minor traffic violation.
Of course nobody knows if the suspect is armed or what he is thinking. And that's the problem.
The man's son said:
It’s crazy how it happened.... I don’t understand how it happened, from you going to the store on a scooter. What was the point of stopping him?... When I left him, he didn’t have no gun.... He doesn’t carry weapons at all. He doesn’t have any enemies. He doesn’t feel threatened by anyone.Who do you believe?
Now watch the rest of the video.
After being shot in the leg, the cop manages to shoot and hit the suspect twice. Impressive. The suspect was later found by a dog. Both men lived.
Here are the warning signs (AKA things you should watch for as cop and not do if you're not a cop):
0:04: "Don't go reaching into anything," says the cop. Fair enough.
0:05: Why does the suspect hold his hand up like he can tell the cop to stop? That's not allowed. But as a cop I would probably let that slide. What can you do? But it's a sign.
0:09: The suspect gets off the hood, like he was a choice to disobey an officer's order. I don't know what I would have done, but I'll tell what the cop should have done: take the guy down without hesitation. Or create space. But that's easy to say in hindsight.
It happened so fast. It often does. I'd like to think otherwise, but I probably would have been shot.
My sergeant's words come to mind: "Never arrest alone." Words to live by.