The recent death of Trayvon Martin has sparked a lot of debate about racial profiling, eventhough Martin was killed by a neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman. Racial profiling often applies to African-American males. This is a great opportunity for females to also be made aware of how to conduct themselves when in the company of police officers.
I wish I had been educated about this when I was in high school. I was stopped by two different police officers in the same night after going to a party with a friend in a wealthy Cleveland suburb. I was even made to get out the car and walk a straight line as if I had been drinking. I was simply lost and was reduced to tears after my encounters. In each case, I was not given a ticket, but a healthy dose of humiliation.
Racially-motivated deaths like Trayvon Martin can often further separate minority communities from the police. Unfortunately, the police in these type of cases give the ones who are doing the right thing a bad name. Just as you want police to treat you as an individual, please do the same thing. For your own safety, don’t be so quick to have your guard up and ready to talk “sideways” with vulgar language and threatening hand gestures. It could be the difference between life and death.
Here are some tips to help keep you safe in police encounters.