NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Thursday’s fatal shooting on the Grand Central Parkway has many people thinking about how to handle being stopped by police.
CBS 2′s Lou Young spoke with some experts on what should be done to stay safe in such instances. Every time a police officer pulls over a motorist, there is a moment when the worst can happen.
“The fear factor operates because they don’t know who this person is,” civil rights attorney and law professor Randy McGlaughlin said on Friday.
McGlaughlin said he’s lost clients to police bullets and saw the wrong end of a Glock up close when he made a near fatal mistake during a stop.
“Officer pulled his gun, pointed it directly my head and said ‘Move a muscle, I’ll blow your brains out,’” McGlaughlin said.
McGlaughlin said it’s all about the hands.
“No quick movements because a quick movement will get you killed,” he said.
Professional driving instructors agree. The owner of one driving school demonstrated the way to react when pulled over.
“First, you would put the car in park, pull down the window and put your hands on the steering wheel and listen to what the policeman is going to request of you,” said Monte Ganis of Formula One Driving School.
The advice may be well and good if the vehicle pulling you over is marked, but experts said if it’s unmarked, there are some variations. If that is the case, drivers should pull up to a well-lit public area and keep the doors locked and window rolled up until sure they’re dealing with a real cop.
The advice about keeping your hands in sight, however, doesn’t change.
“I believe you have to stress the importance of remaining calm and making sure the policeman sees your hands and just wait for his instructions about what he wants you to do,” Granis said.
Analysts said one of the most common mistakes drivers make when pulled over is to begin rummaging around for the wallet or purse. They said if you don’t know where it is, you should make sure the officer can watch you as you search for it.