Full question: We hear a lot about what parents tell their Black children about how to interact with the police to hopefully stay safe, but I would like to hear from the police about what they want to tell all children, teens and adults about what to do and not do when interacting with the police to reduce the risk of things escalating. I think it would also be a good idea for the police to know the specific information parents are telling their children so the police are aware of those instructions and won’t be surprised or confused about someone behaving a certain way.
Answer: Our Department regularly presents this kind of information to groups throughout the City, though it has been difficult during the pandemic. Our presentations focus on what to do when questioned by the police, either as a driver of a car, a witness, or a victim.
As an aspect of these interactions and presentations, we discuss appropriate actions when stopped by the police in a car. These appropriate actions include keeping your hands where a police officer can see them, limiting movements while in the car, especially at night and simply not running away from the police. We always talk about issues surrounding a person’s refusal to identify themselves and what to do when officers may be executing a search warrant and what it means to give consent to searches. We have had some conversations with SHHS students, residents and specific community groups to learn more about what parents are telling their children about what to do if they are stopped by police. It is incredibly helpful for us to understand this better and we appreciate this kind of dialogue. We are always open to learning more.