Tags: sunil dutta | washington post | letter | cop | uproar

Sunil Dutta: Washington Post Letter From Former Cop Causes Uproar

Image: Sunil Dutta: Washington Post Letter From Former Cop Causes Uproar
Police charge into the media work area with rifles at ready as they try to control demonstrators protesting the killing of teenager Michael Brown on August 19, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 05:49 PM

Sunil Dutta’s Washington Post column headlined “I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me,” is causing an uproar in the wake of rioting over a teen shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

Dutta, a former police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department for 17 years and a professor of homeland security at Colorado Tech University, wrote the column about the responsibility that those being arrested have to keep the situation from turning violent.

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“Regardless of what happened with Mike Brown, in the overwhelming majority of cases it is not the cops, but the people they stop, who can prevent detentions from turning into tragedies,” Dutta wrote.

But Dutta’s column isn’t sitting well with numerous groups and people who are speaking out online.

On Jezebel.com, writer Edie Beale pointed out how Dutta’s justification for police violence reads much like those who practice domestic violence.

Beale laid out point by point examples, including Dutta’s “I'm a cop. If you don't want to get hurt, don't challenge me,” next to, “I am your spouse/partner. If you don't want to get hurt, don't challenge me.”

She then broke down paragraphs in the column and paired them with the excuses heard from domestic abusers, including, “Think about all the times that you freaked out ... and nagged at me and I didn't punch you in the face. Most of the time I try to be pretty nice to you, why can't you appreciate that?”

Dutta went on CNN to defend his Washington Post column. He told the news station that he doesn’t condone use of force, but noted that abuse doesn’t happen in a majority of police stops. If it is a lawful detention, the person should cooperate. Aggressive moves toward police officers, he said, will make them feel threatened.

“What I was trying to say, very clearly, is when you’re approached by a police officer, you have all the right to first be treated with respect, treated with courtesy; there’s no reason any officer in the United States should ever mistreat anyone,” he told CNN.

The views expressed were Dutta's own and were not representative of the LAPD or CTU.

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Sunil Dutta's Washington Post column headlined "I'm a cop. If you don't want to get hurt, don't challenge me," is causing an uproar in the wake of rioting over a teen shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
sunil dutta, washington post, letter, cop, uproar
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2014-49-20
Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 05:49 PM
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