Brooks Eulogy: “What do you do to stay alive?” – One Approach; Free Aid Supplements “The Talk” Black Parents Have With Their Kids
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 24, 2020) - Speaking at the private funeral service for Rayshard Brooks, a Black man shot to death by a police officer, Reverend Raphael Warnock delivered a powerful eulogy in which asked a very important question: "if your skin is the weapon and your complexion is the crime, what do you do to stay alive?
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A Free Aid To Supplement "The Talk" Black Parents Have With Their Children
While there is obviously no simple answer to the question "what do you do to stay alive?," one approach - a free aid for young drivers designed to supplement "the talk" Black parents have with their children - was developed by a law professor who noted that many questionable shootings occur at vehicle stops by police when the individuals either may not have fully complied with police directions, and/or may have taken some sudden action which could create concern for officer safety.
Public interest law professor John Banzhaf points this out not to blame the individuals who were shot, nor to suggest that they deserved or asked for what happened to them - which is certainly not true - but rather to suggest that, had they acted differently, they perhaps might not have become victims of police shootings.
So, to remind drivers and passengers what they should and should not do when stopped by the police - a very stressful situation in which it is easy to forget what they may have been taught - he developed a small sign, designed to be mounted on the car's visors, to help educate and remind all drivers - perhaps especially those who are young, persons of color, etc. - how to act when stopped by police officers so as to minimize any chances of being shot.
Instructions For Being Stopped By The Police
The sign, which consists of a few simple and clear instructions, is designed to be mounted on both sides of both front-window sun visors where they will be readily visible to the driver and front-seat passenger at all times in the event that a car is stopped by the police.
The reminder signs can be downloaded for free by clicking on http://banzhaf.net/carstop.pdf. Once downloaded, the signs can then be printed on any computer printer before being mounted on the car's two sun visors.
Banzhaf says he hopes that people concerned about their own safety, and/or the safety of family members and friends, will download the reminder signs and post them on the visors of all their cars.
He also suggests that this free service be brought to the attention of schools, organizations concerned with race problems, child and driver safety, etc. so that the signs will become more widely used.
He also seeks any suggestions for changes, modifications, and/or additions to the instructions from persons who may be more knowledgeable about such matters.
The signs provide the following advice for the driver and all persons in a car stopped by the police.
Follow Very Strictly To Help Save Your Life If Stopped By Police
- Use turn signal as you pull over slowly and very carefully. Put vehicle into PARK.
- Turn off engine. Put ignition KEY on dash. Do NOT open any door. Roll down 4 motorized windows and, if it is dark, turn on the INSIDE LIGHT so the officer can easily view the inside of the car.
- NOBODY make any sudden movements, or open glove box, or bend down, or reach for ANYTHING.
- Driver's hands on top of steering wheel; Passenger's flat on dash; Others open, in sight, and very still.
- Be VERY polite, no matter how you feel. Fully obey ALL orders unless your life is clearly in danger, but you are NOT required to answer any questions beyond identifying yourself.
- Ask BEFORE ANY movement: never reach for anything without permission. Move SLOWLY.
- When the officer says you may, drive your car away slowly and carefully after using turn signal.
- NOTE - You need not consent to a search of the car, but not consenting can create problems. If you have nothing to hide, it may be better to consent to a search of the vehicle. Ask adults for advice BEFOREhand.