Lessons We Should Learn From this Week’s Police Shooting in Cobb County:

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jan 29, 2016 | 0 Comments

The recent incident in Cobb County where 26-year-old Israel Rodriquez shot Georgia State Patrol Officer Jacob Fields should remind everyone what to do (and not do) when they have an interaction with law enforcement. The lesson we can learn from this incident is that regardless if the police are right or wrong in pulling you over, you should pull over and stop your vehicle. Period. Mr. Rodriquez lost his life because he attempted to kill Trooper Fields.

I do not believe police have a right to execute any person; all people are guaranteed due process of law. However, all rights can be waived; even an individual's right to live.  When you flee from police and fire a gun at an officer, I am sorry, but you have forfeited your right to live.  We cannot expect men and women to protect and serve with a bullseye on their chest.    

Mr. Rodriguez's deadly altercation began with an incident many of us are all too familiar with: a simple speeding violation. So, how is it that the 26-year-old ended up dead?  He fled from the scene and broke the social contract we as citizens have with our government and civil society.

Maybe Mr. Rodriquez thought he was being targeted.  Maybe he felt he was stopped for no reason.  Maybe he had a warrant pending against him. That all being said, our social contract of the United States cannot be broken because one party feels they are being treated unfairly or unjustly.

This breach of social contract has also happened when police have used unreasonable force against citizen protesters.  That is also wrong and cannot stand.

The legal system is how people living in a civilized society resolve conflicts.  It is far from perfect.  The weakest link is the judiciary; who very often act as a second prosecutor in the courtroom.  But all in all, it is the best system in the world, and it comes to the correct decision most of the time.   

The next time police activate their blue lights behind your vehicle, respectfully try convincing the officer you did not commit a traffic violation.  If you do happen to get ticketed anyway, take it to court.

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Richard Lawson

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