Ask a Cop? I cannot breathe…



Hey there,

I’m randomly thinking about situations in which perps say they can’t breathe and then officers tell them that they can if they are speaking.  What should you say if you can still breathe, but not enough and you aren’t pulling in enough air? I have asthma, and I sincerely doubt I’ll ever be in any situation where I’m being held down by a police officer, but I’m listening to a podcast in which a guy in Wales is in that situation and dies because no one believes him. And of course there’s George Floyd. What’s the right thing to say to express yes there’s sir but not enough and you’re in danger?



I arrested many in my career, even the worst of them we took care of the best we possibly could for the situation that in most cases were the fault of themselves and we were just trying to pick up the pieces. Training normally dictates the actions of the officers in any situation. Also attitude dictates actions.

If you act civil you get treated civilly. If you act like a combative – yelling – idiot you get treated with much less compassion. There is a trained level of security for persons in custody. As in we might know what that is, handcuffs are not supposed to feel great, they bite into wrists and limit mobility. In the case of larger people this can be a huge challenge for them as most people are not wearing handcuffs around to see how it might affect them, also the majority of the US population is overweight and or very unfamiliar with being restrained. This also comes with anxiety and in turn all kinds of issues that are being watched when someone is in custody.

The majority of people I have worked with over the years and in turn arrested were all treated fairly and with compassion that was set to the level of their actions.

As for the George Floyd case that was a mess, mainly he was a mess and in situations like that some people do not do all the right things, while I have my views on that interaction, he was far from innocent with everything he had going on. Without those items and being a terrible example of a citizen that might have ended much differently, like with him not being arrested because he was actually a good person.

Hope that helps



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