Interacting with Police: Some of Us Have to Start Very Early

Little black boy with his hands in the air

I was 6. 

I was told to be quiet. 

Say yes ma’am/sir. 

Keep my hands visible. 

Never reach in my pockets or purse. 

When I became a teenager and started driving, I was told to have my insurance and registration in the visor above my head. When I was being pulled over, before the cops got out of their cars,  I was told to have all of my doors locked, my window cracked, my insurance, license, and registration on the dashboard with my hands on the wheel. 

I still do all of that, but now I call someone or start recording. Yes it’s alot, but necessary. I have a family to get home to. My son, now 2, will get that lesson when he’s 4 or 5. No, it’s not too young. Statistics show police view black children appearing to be older as early as 7. This gives me 2 years to prepare.

You shouldn’t have to take diversity training to treat people with respect, but apparently, it’s necessary. Treating people humanely requires a class.

Reflecting on the Kinks:

I’m interested in knowing what have been your experiences when having to interact with cops.

  • How old were you when your parents taught you how? What did your parents tell you to do?
  • How old were your kids when you taught them? What did you tell them to do?

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