24804, "What do you do if stopped by the Police?"|
Posted by didi, Sat Apr-15-00 08:04 AM
(sponsored by ...)
Yes, people - this seminar does exist.
I took some of the kids that are in my program to this seminar last night, which was sponsored by one of the sister programs under my foundation's umbrella.
I was never more disturbed in my life.
Overall, it was good information. They gave really good tips on what to do if you are accosted (sp?) by the police. Main three tips:
1) Remain calm
2) Do as you are told, regardless of how unreasonable
3) If you feel that you have been violated in any way, immediately file a complaint (but with a precinct/district OTHER than the one that the offending officer is associated)
The most disturbing thing is that the kids who attended (between the ages of 13-20) were AFRAID of the officers (who were Black, as well as the people who attended). In fact, they were even apprehensive about having general conversation with the officers, and were shocked when the officers played basketball with them afterwards.
I think that what disturbs me more than anything were:
1) That the need for these seminars even exist in the year 2000 (which means that things are getting worse)
2) In situations where police brutality are present, people of color do NOTHING about it. Come on - situations similar to Abner Louima, Amadou Diallo and Patrick Dorismond have happened for years; those were the ones that got the most publicity. However, people of color are so paralyzed by their fears (real and unreal) of getting persecuted/prosecuted for something that they did/did not do that they feel powerless to regain their dignity after being violated.
BTW - I will be talking in depth with those officers in charge of the program so that I can not only hold a similar seminar for our youth, but also to organize and rally for some systematic changes (secure and confidential complaint reporting procedures, increased and effective sensitivity training for new officers, police/youth mentoring programs, etc).
What do you all think?
Sorry this is so long, but it has been on my mind for quite a while now (I almost cried last night at the seminar).
Thanks for reading.
The Smut Phoenix
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