“If you do not come out within five minutes with your weapons holstered and your hands up, I have the authority to direct my troops to open fire!”
The siege had lasted days, and this was perhaps the most crucial moment, given that negotiations had broken down and everything was hanging by a frayed thread.
The public wanted action but at the same time they would scream and bay for blood if one cop hurt one hair on one child’s head.
Hence the very careful wording on the threat.
I had the authority, but I wasn’t about to use it…