LAWTON, Okla._A series of deadly police confrontations across the United States are raising questions about your rights during a traffic stop.
Body cam video shows the July 19 killing of Sam DuBose in Cincinnati after he refused an officer's orders to get out of his car. Nine days before that, Sandra Bland got into a heated confrontation with a Texas State Trooper for failing to put out her cigarette. Days later, she was found dead in her jail cell.
Lawton attorney Taylor Stein has been practicing law for 37 years. He says there are only three things you're required by law to provide to law enforcement during a traffic stop. And in the case of Sandra Bland, the officer should never have asked her to put out her cigarette.
"The policeman doesn't have a right to tell you to put out your cigarette or tell you to do anything but provide your name, insurance information and registration of vehicle. Basic information," Stein explained.
Stein says you should never answer questions or consent to a search that can implicate yourself.
"Do not give police permission to search your car," Stein said.
But he points out that any denial of an officer's request can be viewed as uncooperative behavior.
"If you get pulled over by the police, you put on your Sunday school manners 'yes sir, no sir' and do everything they say and cooperate in any way. Don't argue, no matter how outrageous the behavior. Because what follows, as we've seen in this recent case and in numerous other cases, if you disrespect the policeman, he's going to...mess with you," Stein said.
Stein says in the law enforcement's defense, they do have a dangerous job and Duncan Police Captain Brian Attaway agrees.
Captain Attaway says you never know what you are going to get from one traffic stop to the next.
"You don't know what type of day people are having. Some people are very polite to us. Some people may have had a bad day," Capt. Attaway said.
He says the way a person treats an officer, good or bad, should not affect how the officer does their job as long as the person provides all the information provided by law.
He says maintaining a professional demeanor is something they are trained to do.
"They attend three and a half months of field training where they are trained by an officer here. And they perform a lot of traffic stops," Capt. Attaway explained.
He says during that time, they run into a lot of disgruntled people and learn how to handle it before they go out on their own.
In response to these latest allegations of police brutality, Attaway says he's disappointed by all the negative media attention officers are receiving.
"I'm a firm believer that every officer puts on a uniform every day and tries to do the best job that they can. We're human. Sometimes we make mistakes and if we make mistakes, they ought to be held accountable for it," Capt. Attaway said.
As for those officers accused of going overboard, Stein says the punishment for any traffic violation should never exceed the crime.
"If some guy runs on you for a tail light or a left turn, why not just let him go. Why do you have to get him," Stein asked.