10 Rules of Survival If Stopped By The Police
“After Michael Brown’s death, an important infographic, “10 Rules Of Survival If Stopped By The Police” was developed by David Miller, founder of “The Dare To Be King Project.” In partnership with CTS, WFYI, and Trinity UCC (on the south side of Chicago), SALT has taken Miller’s rules and created a short film to bring this critical information to an even wider audience and help save even more lives. Please share!”
I am angry that we still live in a world that puts the responsibility of change on the part of the victims of violence instead of on the perpetrators.
It is unjust that, instead of telling rapists not to rape, society focuses on changing the behaviors of their targets and survivors.
It is unjust that, instead of telling men not to assault women, there are programs established that are built around the idea of teaching women to be less distracting, less provoking, less of a target.
In the case of racial profiling, and police brutality, and the criminalization of blackness in all its forms, while I feel that efforts would be best served by telling police not to be racist, by telling police not to racially profile, by providing opportunities for them to examine their conscious and unconscious bias as it relates to their decision making, until that work is truly complete, I recognize the reality of the necessity of sharing tips for survival by any means necessary in a world seemed bent on erasing us.
It is with sadness, understanding, and frustration that I share these rules with you.
- Be Polite & Respectful
- If you feel that your rights have been violated, you and your parents have a right to have a formal complaint.
- Do not, under any circumstances, get in an argument with the police.
- Anything you say or do can be used against you in court.
- Keep your hands in plain sight.
- Avoid physical contact with police officers. No sudden movements, Keep your hands out of your pocket.
- Do not run.
- Do not resist arrest.
- If you’re arrested, don’t say anything until you are able to meet with a lawyer.
- Watch your words, body language, actions.
And while people of color continue to have these in-group conversations; modifying our movements and behaviors for our own survival, the system of white privilege continues. We need to talk about, and act against this injustice, and White folks who care need to talk to other White folks about racism, their complicity with it, and what they can do to work against it. Because claiming you’re not racist isn’t enough.
From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones, MSW, LLMSW