Dallasblack.com: A 10-Step Guide For Black & Latino Men On How To Deal With The Police, According To A Retired Cop


Tuesday, March 22, 2016 1:00 PM

A 10-Step Guide For Black & Latino Men On How To Deal With The Police, According To A Retired Cop

By: Christopher Knowles

A 10-Step Guide For Black & Latino Men On How To Deal With The Police, According To A Retired Cop

A 10-Step Guide For Black & Latino Men On How To Deal With The Police, According To A Retired Cop

There are always multiple sides to every story. Each person has their own perspective on the same story. That story is life. Living in America we are still considered a "melting pot" of many races, religions and creeds, so we react differently to the same obstacles we all face on our journey in life. The factors that have us react differently are our cultural values, upbringing, neighborhood and financial status. So it may take a little patience when trying to understand what it's like for someone else to experience the same exact situation, and have completely different results from your experience.

Policing in America has become such a hot-button issue as of late. Even if you are someone who does not keep up news daily, some headline about police brutality has crossed your path. To be even more specific, it's high profile cases that tend to showcase the abuse of power by authority on people of color. Almost everyday it seems like terms like "unarmed black"and "use of deadly force" circulate non-stop. Maybe it's systematic or maybe it's just something that's lost in translation between urban youth and authority.

Tanvier Peart, an African-American digital content creator, shares her side of the story when it comes to urban youth, specifically black and Latino men, interacting with the police.

She described what it felt like to have a son, a black son, and knowing the temperature of policing in America when it comes to black men. Fearing how quickly things can escalate without the slightest provocation, or simple misunderstanding, she quickly dreaded all of the possible scenarios that could turn ugly, even deadly for her son, from a simple traffic stop.

Tanvier went on to express how her maternal instinct to always want to protect her child versus the reality of not always being able to be there. She then goes on to give advice on the best way to handle interactions with the police to avoid from being caught off guard.

Peart is daughter of a currently retired police sergeant who gave her pointers on the "Do's and Don't Do's" when getting pulled over by the police, even when you believe you did nothing wrong that warranted being pulled over.

10 Tips and Takeaways for Dealing with Police

1.) Limit your contact. Whether you were stopped because you were at fault or not, get in and get out. The more contact a police officer has with you, the more time they have to find something.

2.) Watch what you say. “First and foremost, you cannot let it become confrontational,” notes my father. Why argue? Cops also write down what you say. “Oh yeah, I have used the ignorant things people have said to me in court.”

3.) Be respectful. “Yes sir, no ma’am” – home training and respect can get you far. Try to make the situation as comfortable as possible. “You start off nice, you don’t start off ignorant.”

4.) SHUT UP! If you are driving with others in the car, tell them to shut up as their mouth can get everyone in trouble. “Now you allow me access to everybody,” my dad notes.

5.) Don’t make it personal. Simply put, let the cop do his/her job and be cooperative. In the words of Denzel in Training Day, “you wanna go to jail or you wanna go home?”

6.) Police officers are human. "If you hit me with 'what the f#$k you stopping me for,' I'm not gonna be so nice," says my dad. Don't yell or scream because it doesn't help - cops are people too and can get their feathers ruffled. No one likes being cussed out.

7.) They can search your car. If you think that popping off at the mouth to a cop about not having a warrant will make the situation better, think again buddy. "A police officer can do searches if they have reasonable suspicion," reveals my dad. Forget what you saw on television folks as the threshold for a warrantless search is less on a car than a home. Probable cause is determined by the officer so why piss them off?

8.) Trying to YouTube the situation might not be best. "If you're gonna do it, don't be so obvious or act in a way that antagonizes the cop," recommends my father. Having your own evidence of what transpired can definitely help down the road, but please practice some tact.

9.) You can ask for back up. Don't be afraid to ask for another police officer present as it can at times work in your favor. "Not all cops lie for each other," my dad says and even adds that many are not willing to take the fall for an officer who is not acting professional.

10.) Deal with the ramifications later. "If it was a bulls*&t stop where you cooperated and were still arrested, now you have recourse like contacting IAD (Internal Affairs Department)" notes my father. "You will never win a battle with police on the side of the road so get out of the situation safely and deal with the ramifications later." Tip: Jot down the squad car number as some cops don't always wear their badge. Gather up as much information that you can use later.

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