Former Police Chief Ralph Peters Discusses Officer Training & Power In Light Of Alton Sterling Case (Audio)
Ralph Peters, a former police chief in Lafayette and Natchitoches, stopped by "Acadiana's Morning News" to discuss the role of police officers during traffic stops and other potential conflicts with the general public.
"The video does not look good but the video does not tell the whole story," said Peters when he was asked about the shooting of Alton Sterling.
Peters also touched upon the case in Minnesota, where a man who was legally armed was shot during a traffic stop. He didn't speak specifically to the case, just to what you should do if you are stopped by a police officer and you are armed.
The conversation then took a fascinating turn as Peters discussed with Bernadette Lee and Rob Kirkpatrick about the power of law enforcement and how it impacts the person being affected. And, he broke down how officers are trained to handle these situations.
"Officers are trained in the academy to use what is known today as a continuum of force. And that starts out with verbal commands...if they fail to obey that and time and circumstances allow then those commands become louder and more forceful. And then, failing that, then the officers are trained to use physical force...and that basic continuum of force, we are trained to only use the only the force that is necessary to overcome the resistance shown by the subject. So, if the touching or pulling or grabbing does not resolve the issue...officers are equipped also with tasers, batons, with chemical agents, you go to those - non lethal force. Deadly force, the use of a firearm, should only be used to protect the life of the officer or the life of someone else."