Police: There's no such thing as a routine traffic stop - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Police: There's no such thing as a routine traffic stop

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HPD Officer Tenari Maafala (Image: Hawaii News Now) HPD Officer Tenari Maafala (Image: Hawaii News Now)
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Retired Honolulu Police Major Kurt Kendro (Image: Hawaii News Now) Retired Honolulu Police Major Kurt Kendro (Image: Hawaii News Now)
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A protest that led to the shooting deaths of five police officers in Dallas came in the wake of the fatal shootings of two African-American men, one in Louisiana and the other in Minnesota. 

Local law enforcement officers said there are ways to avoid unnecessary confrontation from either side.

For one thing, they say, there's no such thing as a routine traffic stop.

"It can go from what people would dub as a simple traffic stop, but the dynamics could immediately change in a split second, again because of the human factor, be it the officer's approach, or the motorist and their mindset at the given time," said SHOPO president Tenari Maafala.

Maafala also demonstrated how officers are trained to approach a vehicle carefully so that they can see a motorist's hands at all times. He stopped at a point just behind the driver's side door.

"From here we can pretty much see the hand or the lap or the legs of the driver from this angle, right here," he said. "And that's when we'll talk to them, here."

Motorists can also remain safe in a traffic stop situation. One thing they can do is record the officer with their cell phone.

"Police officers expect it nowadays," said retired Honolulu Police Maj. Kurt Kendro. "Most people have a cell phone that can record video, or at the very least record audio. If you feel uncomfortable, videotape it. It'll protect you, it'll protect the officer. It's OK." 

Both men said the best thing to do is to comply with what the officer says.

"You may not agree with him, but comply. You can argue later," said Kendro. "Our justice system is built so that if you think that your stop was unjust or your citation was unjust, that's a court issue."

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