One of my best friends has a son. He’s 22-years old. He has a good job and he just had a baby girl with his girlfriend. Life is good. Yet, when he goes out with friends or just comes home late from work, she worries. What if he gets pulled over for DWB (Driving While Black)? What if a cop makes the wrong assumption about what he is reaching for when he goes to get his registration?
Many would say my friends’ worries are a bit much. However, for many young black men, a traffic stop can quickly become a life or death situation.
Dr. Geoffrey Mount Varner is a black man. He may be a Harvard-educated doctor, but he is still subject to DWB. He has seen his share of shooting victims on both sides, not to mention the fact that he is the father of a 12-year old son and a 15-year old daughter.
So Dr. Mount Varner did something about it. He wrote the book Home Alive: 11 Must Rules for Surviving Police Encounters.
Rule #1: Make the police feel safe and secure. Every time the police engage in a traffic stop, there is a risk for them. They have no idea who they will encounter and how that situation will play out. So it is best for everyone involved that the police officer be made to feel at ease.
The book isn’t about police bashing or victim-blaming. Neither is our Fun! Feisty! Fabulous! conversation. It is about reducing fears and increasing the odds of a safe and event-free interaction.
Listen to Making It Home Alive
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