2 most frequently used words by police trying to de-escalate a situation. The 2 most frequently used words used by police officers trying to de-escalate a situation, are “Stop”, and “Drop”.
The word “STOP” from a police officer is when that police officer has asked/ordered/demanded a person to STOP what they are doing, from running, from hurting another person, from doing something unsafe to themselves, whatever, and to continue doing whatever it is they are doing forces the police officer to try another method to STOP the person. To just simply STOP all action and motion, to give everyone a chance to take a breath and reset and think things through.
The word “DROP” from a police officer is much more commonly and frequently used when a person has something in their hand that could be used to caused serious injury, such as a rock, a brick, a tire iron, a letter opener, a pen, a chair, a coffee mug, and so on and so on. To not drop that object will force the police officer to try something else to simply have that object dropped so that everyone can be safe from injury, and give everyone a chance to slow down, take a breath, reset, and think things through.
NONE of this is ANY different from when a parent walks into a room where 2 or more of the kids are fighting/arguing. The initial presence of the parent (or police officer), is often enough to cause the kids to stop what they are doing because they see and recognize that authority has arrived on scene with the ability to mete out punishment and consequences. Sometimes the kids do not notice the parent and so the parent has loudly call out, “STOP” to get the kids’ attention… AND to make them simply STOP what they are doing. Just like a police officer would say and do.
If a child has an object in their hand that they are using to beat on their sibling, the parent will then loudly use the word, “Drop”, in a sentence directed at that child to get them to simply DROP the object. Such as, “Drop that bat!”, or “Drop that (whatever)”. IF the child does not drop the object, the parent must use another, more direct, option. Just like a police officer must do.
There are scores upon scores of videos out there of police officers shouting these commands at people, trying to successfully and effectively DE-escalate a situation, yet when the situation goes bad the media, the haters, and the ignorant will all jump up and down and scream, “Why didn’t they try to de-escalate?!”. And if you try to point out the contributing factor in the situation, such as the person did not simply comply, you are then accused of “victim blaming” and “victim shaming”.
The media and a large number of people have come to believe and espouse that there is simply ONE thing a person (police officer) can say or do that will just automatically, and peacefully, “de-escalate” a situation, and that is absolutely false.