Letter: How not to get arrested

Last April I was in my automobile, about 150 yards from my residence, when I found myself surrounded by four Columbia County sheriff’s deputies. The deputies arrived on the scene in four patrol cars, and each deputy positioned himself behind the open doors of their respective vehicles. The muzzles of their service weapons were pointed directly at me.


I complied with their request to exit my vehicle, and raised my hands. My verbal responses were direct and polite. The encounter lasted about five minutes, and once the officers confirmed the case of mistaken identity, they apologized and I went on with my day.

For those who would choose to replicate my favorable outcome, what I did not do is instructive:

• I did not use my vehicle to flee from the officers.

• I did not flee from the officers on foot.

• I did not approach the officers while brandishing a knife.

• I did not try to show the officers my concealed weapon.

• I did not put my hands on one of the officers.

• I did not attempt to take a taser from an officer.

• I did not exit my vehicle and then attempt to return to my vehicle.

• I was not belligerent to the officers.

Jimmie T. Tanner




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