PANO, ACLU weigh in on recent police shootings

PANO, ACLU weigh in on recent police shootings

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The tragic police shooting in Cincinnati is raising concerns about police stops. On Friday, the attorneys for the police association and the ACLU weighed in on what citizens should and shouldn't do in traffic stops, which can turn deadly.

"I do not know why an officer would pull his gun at that point," said Eric Hessler, the attorney for the Police Association of New Orleans.

Hessler is a former officer with 17 years of experience. We talked to him about what a citizen should and shouldn't do when pulled over.

"I'd walk up to the vehicle take a position where you can see me," Hessler said.

"Unfortunately we've seen so many that we've gotten to the point where we say, 'oh there's another one,'" said Marjorie Esman with the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU is monitoring recent police shootings.

"You do have the right to ask questions, but you don't want to ask so many questions that you wind up dead," Esman said.

Hessler can't understand why the officer pulled his gun and stood so close.

"I don't think reaching into a vehicle to try and stop it is going to be successful or have any kind of safe outcome," Hessler said.

"Like any video, you have to know what went on before and after,"  said FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti.

He said while a person who is stopped by police has rights, caution is advised.

"Be very careful," Raspanti said. "Don't antagonize the policeman. Keep your hands where he can see them because the cop's No. 1 concern is his own safety."

But Esman says it's a slippery slope.

"We run the risk of enabling a police totalitarian state, because if we say you shouldn't challenge police even though we know they are violating your rights, we are acquiescing to that," Esman said.

"It's the unknowns in the traffic stop that concerns an officer," Hessler said.

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