A British TV personality has claimed he was once almost gunned down by a US cop — just for acting like “a polite Englishman abroad” while on vacation in Arizona.
In a warning about the “trigger-happy society” in the US, daytime TV host Richard Madeley described coming “terrifyingly close” to “death by cop” after being pulled over in Phoenix for driving 10mph over the limit.
“Being a polite Englishman abroad, once I’d stopped, I opened the driver’s door to meet the officer on equal terms,” he wrote in the Express, saying it was in an August but without detailing the year.
“I instinctively felt it would appear arrogant to sit inside my lovely air-conditioned cabin while he sweated on the Tarmac outside,” wrote the 64-year-old host.
Instead, the officer “stiffened, dropped into a semi-crouch, slapped his gun holster and screamed: ‘BACK IN THE CAR! BACK IN THE * CAR! NOW!’” Madeley wrote.
“I saw him thumb the holster’s cover back and caress the pistol’s handle,” he said, with one of his kids bursting into tears.
He says the “frightened” officer only “relaxed and re-holstered his weapon” once he had “established I was a softie Englishman on holiday with his wife and kids.”
He says the officer then warned him to “never get outta the car when you’re stopped by a cop,” saying, “We take it as a threat.”
“Man, I nearly shot you ‘cos I thought you were gonna shoot ME. Seriously!” he recalled the cop telling him.
“I remember that close encounter with a Glock special whenever I hear or read about ‘death by cop’ incidents in America,” Madeley wrote, highlighting the recent killing of Daunte Wright in Minnesota.
“In a society so in thrall to entrenched gun lore, this sort of thing is inevitable,” Madeley reasoned of the US.
“Theirs is a trigger-happy society where police are given almost unlimited latitude to shoot first and ask questions later,” he said, predicting the officer “would have been exonerated” if he’d shot him.
Putting the blame of police shootings on guns rather than the officers, Madeley reckoned the US is “more likely to see a phoenix rise from the ashes” than “restrict the constitutional right to bear arms.”
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