It’s a conversation I’ve had several times with my 15-year-old son. It’s a conversation I wish I’d never had to have with my 15-year-old son. But after the deaths of so many unarmed black men, it’s now a prerequisite every time he leaves the house. Giving tips on how to interact with the police is something black parents across the country are now doing, and one church in Chicago has made a provocative video, “Get Home Safely: 10 Rules of Survival,” to better arm parents and their children.
The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, located on the South Side of Chicago, held a forum to teach his congregation how to interact with law enforcement following the slew of nonindictments in fatal police encounters over the last couple of months. During the forum, the pastor used the “10 Rules of Survival if Stopped by the Police” infographic, which was developed by David Miller, founder of the Dare to be King Project. Moss then teamed up with the Rev. Dr. Frank Thomas, professor of homiletics and director of the Academy of Preaching and Celebration at Christian Theological Seminary of Indianapolis, and decided to develop the infographic into a video.
"I believe it will save lives and hopefully reduce some of the tension between the community and the police," said Thomas in an interview with the Huffington Post. "The community needs the police, and the police need the community."
10 Rules of Survival if Stopped by the Police
1. Be polite and respectful when stopped by the police. Keep your mouth closed.
2. Remember that your goal is to get home safely. If you feel that your rights have been violated, you and your parents have the right to file a formal complaint with your local police jurisdiction.
3. Don’t, under any circumstance, get into an argument with the police.
4. Always remember that anything you say or do can be used against you in court.
5. Keep your hands in plain sight and make sure the police can see your hands at all times.
6. Avoid physical contact with the police. No sudden movements, and keep hands out of your pockets.
7. Do not run, even if you are afraid of the police.
8. Even if you believe that you are innocent, do not resist arrest.
9. Don’t make any statements about the incident until you are able to meet with a lawyer or public defender.
10. Stay calm and remain in control. Watch your words, body language and emotions.
The sad reality is, even if these rules are followed, there will always be that “bad” cop who will still find any reason to inflict bodily harm on a person. Black lives matter in your household, but once children leave the safe confines of home, to some in law enforcement, black lives are considered public enemy No. 1.