It sounds like it is less about the "threat" and more about who is in control. And I can understand that in most situations. Since most or at least a lot of LEOs are trained in reading body language it would seem reasonable for one to be able to tell if someone is a real threat or not. In many of these videos we often hear the LEO say they know or don't think the person is a threat, but to still keep their hands off the gun. Besides, if they really thought they were a threat wouldn't they disarm them?gigag04 wrote:You are being detained while the LEO investigates a crime, a significant component of his job description. Any illusions about who is in charge in that situation should be cleared up here, rather than there.C-dub wrote:For those LEOs that choose to NOT disarm someone they usually qualify it with something like, just keep your hands away from it or don't touch it or something similar. However, LEOs rest their hand on theirs all the time even when they are talking with someone. Why isn't that perceived as a threat or intimidation? Or is it, but it's okay if a LEO does it? I don't get it.
I have read many comments as of late about LEOs with "power trips" and what not. I would like to broach the subject of citizens with authority complexes...not directed at you, C-dub, but it came up while I was replying. At some basic level, if I contact any of you during a traffic stop, family violence investigation, narcotics call, or any other criminal investigation, I am temporarily seizing you, and depriving you of your free will. Much of what we as LEOs do on a contact, even though it is annoying, is because we can. Sometimes, there might even be a reasonable explanation behind it. You might not like, but that is how it is. If cops wanted to be liked, they would have served as firefighters.
-sit on this curb, cross your legs
-don't put your hands in your pockets
-don't handle any weapons
-turn the car off
-turn around, put your hands behind your back
So the long answer is, they can tell you do that because it is a lawful order. As a follow up, they can rest their hand on their gun (if this is the ONLY action we are discussing) because odds are, a court would hold that such behavior is not a threat. It may be lazy, tactically unsound or whatever...but not a threat.
If you do it, it would be perceived as a threat, because your were just lawfully ordered by a peace officer not to do it.
I sort of put this question into the "why can I not do everything the police can, but without the experience or authority" box in my head, but I'm trying not to, since I like you C-dub.
I keep thinking that one of these days I'm going to drive through your town and we can meet, but based on your schedule that won't be very likely. Might be fun, though. I'd love to get to see that rifle you put together.