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teaching boys the realities of the police - Page 3

post #41 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by WC_hapamama View Post
The thought of teaching kids to run from police makes me twitch. Nothing tells a cop "Hey, I have something to hide" quite the way that running upon the sight of a cop does. If you run away, they may very well think that you have something worth hiding.
I have to agree with this. I think teaching them to run and hid would be counter productive and even dangerous.
post #42 of 71
ok, so what would people do? i agree that teaching them to run isn't ideal, but i don't know what else to do. the boys are never out of my sight when we're out of the house, but when their dad has them they can do what they like, and so it's not impossible that they end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. what would you tell them to do, if there were a standoff or confrontation between the police and some people?
post #43 of 71
A standoff between police and other people=get out of dodge fast. :

It may well be different in different countries. But in America I would never, never tell my kids to run if a police officer was approaching them, let alone if a police officer asks them to stop. We will teach them that no matter what is going on inside them, on the outside they need to be calm and collected, speak respectfully, etc. A corrupt/racist officer will be looking for an excuse. No need to give them any. The less "excuse" they have, the better the case against them in court.

But this is not really any different than how we teach our children to treat anybody, either authority figures or friends or strangers they meet on the street. Be dignified, helpful, kind, respectful in speech, even if the situation calls for wariness and caution.
post #44 of 71
If there is a stand off with OTHER PEOPLE-- leave quickly. If they are told to halt, stop, et do it right then an there. Being very compliant and yes sir/ma'am no sir/ma'am.

Here is why in a stand off situation this is best:

The police officers have no clue your child part in the situation. They do not know if they are a good guy or bad guy. Or they might not people going a particular way is unsafe. Or a million other things.

If it is between your child and the police staying put prevents fleeing the scene and resisting arrest charges. If they run it makes the police question more "why is that person running" "what is he hiding". Staying put and being compliant helps prevent getting shot.

I completely agree with cappuccinosmom about a corrupt cop will find a reason, any reason.
post #45 of 71
I wanted to add besides teaching them what to do and when they need to learn what is legal or not legal.
post #46 of 71
if you already feel he is at a disadvantage, why make it worse. You would be setting him back even farther by instilling your own stereotypes and hatred into him. There is plenty of time for him to learn the harsh realities of hate and ignorance.
post #47 of 71
Quote:
I wanted to add besides teaching them what to do and when they need to learn what is legal or not legal
Yeah. Actually, that's a biggie. Because no matter what color you are, if you break the law, the police have a legal right to arrest you. And it's much harder to prove racial discrimination if they can prove you were doing something illegal.
post #48 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by anomaly13 View Post
my son is 3 and loves police, everything about them from the uniform to the cars and sirens. he also loves firefighters in the same way, which is fine with us because they really do help people without question. but dh has a very negitive view of law enforcement, as do i, for good reasons of course. he is spanish and cherokee and has been the victim of racial profiling and unprovoked police brutality all his life. i am caucasian and have also been the victim of racial profiling (stopped for being in the "wrong neighborhood" when in fact i live in said neighborhood). so how do we teach our sons the truth about the police, especially for a young man who looks hispanic/latino or really any race that is not white? we live in a city where hispanic/latino is the majority but the city is run by the white minority, the same city dh grew up in and constantly delt with racisim/discrimination both from whites and people of his own race. granted dh is not a typical hispanic/latino male, infact he is a rastafarian so that has not made it easier due to an obviously "different" appearance, but that does not imply that he is lawless or a criminal. i am just looking for some advice/support in addressing the issue of the realities of police with a young boy who admires them so much.
I wish I had an answer, but so far, my kids (dd aged 7.5yo and ds age 3yo) haven't played "police" though we have had encounters with the police that had racist "undertones." I think that in these instances, my children -- who were present -- were able to learn from my behavior as to what was expected and how to handle themselves. And, unfortunately, the fact that I was treated differently that a white person would have been in the same situation was not lost on them.

In one instance, I ran out of gas and coasted to the side of the road, not blocking traffic (and there was no traffic), and called a neighbor who promptly brought me a two gallon gas can and left for work. I was there for less than 15 minutes (by the time on my cell phone) when the police pulled up behind me with sirens blaring while I had the nozzle of the gas can in my tank and was instructed to step back away from the vehicle, put my hands in full view (etc. etc. etc. etc.). My plates and license were run. Insurance was checked. The officer shined his (very bright) flashlight in my children's faces while they were buckled in their car seats and he checked their car seats (this was at 9:00 in the morning). He called my neighbor on my cell phone which terrified her because she thought we'd been in an accident or something terrible had happened to us on the roadside. Basically I was detained for an hour when it would have taken 15 minutes total if I had been allowed to just put the gas in my car and get to my destination (this is when gas was $4.50/gallon, btw). My kids were terrified. The officer never asked if I was in need of assistance even after I said that I just ran out of gas and he verified that it was indeed a gas can with gasoline in it and even after he verified my story and the time frame with the time stamp on my cell phone and with my neighbor. He just continued to harass me and my children. Fortunately, my plates and license were clear, my insurance was up to date, and I didn't have a single blemish on my record. But in spite of all of this, he kept me there for an hour and I wasn't even allowed to put the rest of the gas in the gas can in my vehicle. The officer asked me where I was headed that time of the day and when I told him I was taking my kids to the park, he told me to get in my vehicle, and he followed me the remaining half a block to the parking lot of the park with his lights on and sirens blaring and stayed there until we got out of the car and started playing.

I asked a friend who is on the council for that town and she was mortified. No, that wasn't standard protocol for the police. She insisted that the officer had to be offering assistance. No, he never once offered assistance, because, of course, I was not in need of assistance. The biggest fall out for me was that he terrified my children.

Another time I accidentally locked my keys in the car when we ran into the grocery store to get snacks for the park. I only had to get a few things, so I grabbed cash, my cell phone, and the kids and closed the door. When we got back to the car I realized that I'd left the keys in the ignition and my back up key was in my bag where I'd gotten the cash from. So that I wouldn't appear suspicious (ha!), I went into the store and told the manager that I'd locked myself out of my vehicle and asked if they had a wire hanger to see if I could jimmy the lock open. When that didn't work, I informed the manager that I'd call my neighbor to get a ride home and grab my extra key.

All this time, I had the kids in a shopping cart and let them start eating the snacks that I'd gotten for the park so that they wouldn't run around the parking lot, and so that they'd stay hydrated since it was about 80 degrees. Shortly after I got back to my car and called my neighbor, the police showed up. Then a fire truck showed up. Then a city tow truck showed up. Apparently, the grocery store manager -- or one of his employees -- called the police and reported that I locked my kids in the car for two hours while I went grocery shopping! The police came out to take a report for child neglect and endangerment and to arrest me. The fire department showed up to unlock my car. And the tow truck showed up to remove my vehicle since it was a potential crime scene that had to be removed as evidence.

Even after it was evident that I was innocent and the call was improper, the police insisted to taking a report and my car was inspected by both the police officer and the fire department. My neighbor was also interviewed and we had to give them our drivers' licenses and insurance information. I even gave them my receipt from the grocery store to show that I hadn't even been there for two hours and showed them the cashier who checked me out who verified that my children were with me.

I could go on and on with example after example of stuff I go through with my children and even stuff that my children go through ... like even the time the librarian accused my then 1.5yo son of stealing a chair from the children's section of the library!

What do I do? I don't want to scare them or scar them, but what I do talk to them about is perception. I try to provide them with an understanding of how other people will look at them because of the color of their skin and the assumptions that some people may make. We live in a town where person of color = uneducated + poor and we are neither (we aren't wealthy, but we aren't destitute). I tell them how we have to be sure to be well behaved, how temper tantrums are simply not acceptable. How manners are exceptionally important. How it doesn't matter what "other people do" and how it's more important to focus on their own behavior because our skin is brown and we're held to different standards.

I talk to them about the importance of rules, and laws and authority. I tell the how it's important that they listen to me and that it's imperative that they follow my rules now because it only gets harder as they get older and the rules and laws become harder and more numerous as they get older because people of color end up in jail younger and in greater number than white people. I talk to them about the importance of education and how it's imperative that they work hard to get ahead now and stay ahead in order to be successful and in order to be able to take care of themselves. I talk to them about the power of words and speech and the importance of choosing their words carefully and speaking to others with respect and respecting themselves.

It saddens me to be having the same conversations that my mother had with me with my children (and that my mother's mother had with her children)... but that's the reality of it. And the reality of raising a black male in this society because I know it'll be harder for my son than for my daughter in a lot of ways and he's going to be a tall guy.
post #49 of 71
Dh takes the "police are bad" approach to things. Which, I know where he's coming from, but that blanket statement is just as wrong as the stereotypes that police have which have gotten him into trouble in the past. My take is that I let DS know that police are there to enforce the rules. Some of them are nice about it and some of them aren't.

In the futuer, I'll be sure DS knows that while there are rules to follow, there are also rules to protect his rights and rules that police have to follow too. If you're approached by the police, it's your job to be kind, but you also need to be sure the police are playing by the rules and not to get yourself into more trouble for the sake of being 'nice'.
post #50 of 71
I haven't read all the dozens of replies, so pardon if this has been said.

I have a deep distrust of police for my own reasons. Many are good, but the bad ones...I hate them. It seems the people most likely to go into law enforcement were the playground bullies who realize that they can lord it over people that they're cops.

But your son is a very small child. His fascination with cops will wear off as he gets older. He won't always idolize cops. He won't even always idolize firefighters. For right now, it's not going to hurt to let him think they're gods with sirens. By the time he has to deal with any profiling, the illusion that they are always good guys will have worn off. There will be stories in the media that he won't be able to prevent overhearing. Let him have his fantasy now and let the media ruin it for him later. It's like a kid believing Santa's real. They find out on their own the truth, and aren't harmed for having believed.
post #51 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by YummyYarnAddict View Post
I wish I had an answer, but so far, my kids (dd aged 7.5yo and ds age 3yo) haven't played "police" though we have had encounters with the police that had racist "undertones." I think that in these instances, my children -- who were present -- were able to learn from my behavior as to what was expected and how to handle themselves. And, unfortunately, the fact that I was treated differently that a white person would have been in the same situation was not lost on them.

In one instance, I ran out of gas and coasted to the side of the road, not blocking traffic (and there was no traffic), and called a neighbor who promptly brought me a two gallon gas can and left for work. I was there for less than 15 minutes (by the time on my cell phone) when the police pulled up behind me with sirens blaring while I had the nozzle of the gas can in my tank and was instructed to step back away from the vehicle, put my hands in full view (etc. etc. etc. etc.). My plates and license were run. Insurance was checked. The officer shined his (very bright) flashlight in my children's faces while they were buckled in their car seats and he checked their car seats (this was at 9:00 in the morning). He called my neighbor on my cell phone which terrified her because she thought we'd been in an accident or something terrible had happened to us on the roadside. Basically I was detained for an hour when it would have taken 15 minutes total if I had been allowed to just put the gas in my car and get to my destination (this is when gas was $4.50/gallon, btw). My kids were terrified. The officer never asked if I was in need of assistance even after I said that I just ran out of gas and he verified that it was indeed a gas can with gasoline in it and even after he verified my story and the time frame with the time stamp on my cell phone and with my neighbor. He just continued to harass me and my children. Fortunately, my plates and license were clear, my insurance was up to date, and I didn't have a single blemish on my record. But in spite of all of this, he kept me there for an hour and I wasn't even allowed to put the rest of the gas in the gas can in my vehicle. The officer asked me where I was headed that time of the day and when I told him I was taking my kids to the park, he told me to get in my vehicle, and he followed me the remaining half a block to the parking lot of the park with his lights on and sirens blaring and stayed there until we got out of the car and started playing.

I asked a friend who is on the council for that town and she was mortified. No, that wasn't standard protocol for the police. She insisted that the officer had to be offering assistance. No, he never once offered assistance, because, of course, I was not in need of assistance. The biggest fall out for me was that he terrified my children.

Another time I accidentally locked my keys in the car when we ran into the grocery store to get snacks for the park. I only had to get a few things, so I grabbed cash, my cell phone, and the kids and closed the door. When we got back to the car I realized that I'd left the keys in the ignition and my back up key was in my bag where I'd gotten the cash from. So that I wouldn't appear suspicious (ha!), I went into the store and told the manager that I'd locked myself out of my vehicle and asked if they had a wire hanger to see if I could jimmy the lock open. When that didn't work, I informed the manager that I'd call my neighbor to get a ride home and grab my extra key.

All this time, I had the kids in a shopping cart and let them start eating the snacks that I'd gotten for the park so that they wouldn't run around the parking lot, and so that they'd stay hydrated since it was about 80 degrees. Shortly after I got back to my car and called my neighbor, the police showed up. Then a fire truck showed up. Then a city tow truck showed up. Apparently, the grocery store manager -- or one of his employees -- called the police and reported that I locked my kids in the car for two hours while I went grocery shopping! The police came out to take a report for child neglect and endangerment and to arrest me. The fire department showed up to unlock my car. And the tow truck showed up to remove my vehicle since it was a potential crime scene that had to be removed as evidence.

Even after it was evident that I was innocent and the call was improper, the police insisted to taking a report and my car was inspected by both the police officer and the fire department. My neighbor was also interviewed and we had to give them our drivers' licenses and insurance information. I even gave them my receipt from the grocery store to show that I hadn't even been there for two hours and showed them the cashier who checked me out who verified that my children were with me.

I could go on and on with example after example of stuff I go through with my children and even stuff that my children go through ... like even the time the librarian accused my then 1.5yo son of stealing a chair from the children's section of the library!

What do I do? I don't want to scare them or scar them, but what I do talk to them about is perception. I try to provide them with an understanding of how other people will look at them because of the color of their skin and the assumptions that some people may make. We live in a town where person of color = uneducated + poor and we are neither (we aren't wealthy, but we aren't destitute). I tell them how we have to be sure to be well behaved, how temper tantrums are simply not acceptable. How manners are exceptionally important. How it doesn't matter what "other people do" and how it's more important to focus on their own behavior because our skin is brown and we're held to different standards.

I talk to them about the importance of rules, and laws and authority. I tell the how it's important that they listen to me and that it's imperative that they follow my rules now because it only gets harder as they get older and the rules and laws become harder and more numerous as they get older because people of color end up in jail younger and in greater number than white people. I talk to them about the importance of education and how it's imperative that they work hard to get ahead now and stay ahead in order to be successful and in order to be able to take care of themselves. I talk to them about the power of words and speech and the importance of choosing their words carefully and speaking to others with respect and respecting themselves.

It saddens me to be having the same conversations that my mother had with me with my children (and that my mother's mother had with her children)... but that's the reality of it. And the reality of raising a black male in this society because I know it'll be harder for my son than for my daughter in a lot of ways and he's going to be a tall guy.
, Mama. This is EXACTLY the kind of low-level harassment that I worry about for my kids. How horrible and frustrating that you have to deal with this.
post #52 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawannab View Post
There is plenty of time for him to learn the harsh realities of hate and ignorance.
Depending on the people around you and where you live, that may not necessarily be true. My ds (well, actually both of my kids) are relatively light skinned and my ds is a lil guy (long and lean). When he was 1.5yo, we were at the local library and, as kids are are wont to do, he was pushing a chair around in the children's section while I was reading to my dd about 5ft away. I was getting up to go to him when the librarian ran in between us (literally) screaming at me "He's STEALING our chairs and he's going to take them out the door!" and several people turned around to stare at me (as a point of reference, the door was about 50 feet away). Another time at the library, my ds was sitting next to my dd doing school work (we homeschool) and he had one of our own board books and a mechanical pencil (again, one that belonged to us) that was brand new and the lead was fully retracted as it had never been used). My ds was not even 2yo yet. He held the pencil above the book and I was sitting on the other side of my dd. A library volunteer who was putting books back on the shelf came over and forcefully grabbed his hand, took MY pencil out of his hand, took MY book, and handed the pencil to my dd and walked away with my book! I was sitting right there the entire time and she said nothing to me. I walked over to the woman and ask quietly and as calmly as I could asked if I could have my book back. I then told her to never, ever, touch my child, or anyone's child again. She mumbled something about how "some parents" are just irresponsible and "don't know any better." But she assumed that my then 5yo dd knew better?

Or... shall we talk about the time we were in yet another library (same small city, fwiw), and I was sitting with my two children (I'm medium brown and my kids are light brown) and I was reading to them in one of those big, comfy arm chairs. There was a white woman there chatting with a friend and she was there with her 4 black children who were running around in the stacks. Over the course of 45 mins, three different library employees came over to me and requested that I stop my kids from running around. I told them that my kids were sitting with me and pointed out who their mother was. (I knew them from the bakery near the library.) Not a single employee would approach their mother!

There are several more examples I could give. Yes, I did go to the head of the library system and she basically said, "honey, let me give you some friendly advice to a young mother..." No, we don't go to the library any more. I know it's not pc, but they aren't either.

My children have also heard other people tell me that I'm too dark and that they are a more acceptable shade of brown.

You can't control other people's behavior or perceptions and ignorant and hateful behavior doesn't "wait" to de-lurk until a child hits certain age. My 3yo ds has certainly been exposed to more than his fair share already and we live in a city (really a big college town) that touts itself as being very liberal, crunchy, and tolerant.

So, yes, my kids balk because they feel that I'm a lot stricter than their friends' parents and I insist on good behavior at all times when we're out in public. I insist that they dress and speak a certain way. I talk to them about the importance of education and worry about their getting ahead and staying ahead which is one of the big reasons why we homeschool. We incorporate music, dance, sports, arts, and foreign language into our curriculum.

We do have lots of fun and we are very loving and warm as well. I don't want to leave that out. But there is always that underlying ... reality that influences things.
post #53 of 71
Quote:
You can't control other people's behavior or perceptions and ignorant and hateful behavior doesn't "wait" to de-lurk until a child hits certain age. My 3yo ds has certainly been exposed to more than his fair share already and we live in a city (really a big college town) that touts itself as being very liberal, crunchy, and tolerant.
This is exactly what I meant though. The world will teach him enough about hate and ignorance, at any age. These types of things should be talked about and helped to understand. My point was, giving them their own brand of hate and ignorance, ie: "all cops are bad and they will do mean things to you because of your skin color" is unneccessary hate spreading. IMO
post #54 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawannab View Post
This is exactly what I meant though. The world will teach him enough about hate and ignorance, at any age. These types of things should be talked about and helped to understand. My point was, giving them their own brand of hate and ignorance, ie: "all cops are bad and they will do mean things to you because of your skin color" is unneccessary hate spreading. IMO
There is something to be said for taking a "moderate tone" (if there is such a thing) and saying that "there are people from all walks of like -- police, teachers, (etc. etc.) included -- with bad attitudes and they will do mean things to you because of your skin color." I never even had the opportunity to tell my children this because they witnessed it at a very young age. My ds wasn't even 2yo yet! However, unlike the OP, my kids never played "police" so I didn't face the same dilemma that she does. My kids do play "bad guy/good guy" but they're unrealistic super hero type characters like Pokemans and Bakugans and such.
post #55 of 71
It sounds like racism is pretty prevalent in the town you live in Yummy Yarn Addict.

You've experienced it from the police obviously, but you've also gotten it a lot from the librarians, and with the keys in the car incident, I would have said that the store clerk who decided to call the cops and tell them tales was more at fault than the police who needed to follow up and document thoroughly that nothing had actually happened (that you hadn't left you DC in the car.) Of course I mentioned that I've seen incidents waiters/waitresses.

If your DC talked about wanting to be librarians when they grow up, would it be an issue? If they play store or restaurant, is it necessary to point out that there are bad store clerks and waiters in the world who will treat them poorly just b/c of the color of their skin.

Why are police different. Why is the blame of them being racist shifted from being a morality/personality/character flaw to simply being an occupational hazard?
post #56 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
If your DC talked about wanting to be librarians when they grow up, would it be an issue? If they play store or restaurant, is it necessary to point out that there are bad store clerks and waiters in the world who will treat them poorly just b/c of the color of their skin.

Why are police different. Why is the blame of them being racist shifted from being a morality/personality/character flaw to simply being an occupational hazard?
I hope I'm understanding your question correctly. If not, I apologize. This is my reasoning on why it's different for police.

The police hold actual guns, handcuffs, sticks (whatever those things are called which are used to "subdue" suspects), tasers, etc. So, while racism exists everywhere and in every profession ... a librarian isn't likely to have a taser or a gun, and isn't going to use it on anyone regardless of his/her feelings about race.

A racist policeman, though, has the tools to severely harm another person. Moreover, he's in an even better position - he is regarded as a person of authority, upholding the law. A person of justice. In that sense, a racist policeman becomes a hazard. More so than anyone else.
post #57 of 71
I get that a bad cop is more dangerous than a bad librarian (though theoretically a bad librarian could lie to a good cop in a manner that would cause the good cop to act like a bad cop, ok now I'm over thinking) but the badness isn't from him being a cop, it was there before he was a cop just as it was with the librarian.
post #58 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
It sounds like racism is pretty prevalent in the town you live in Yummy Yarn Addict.

You've experienced it from the police obviously, but you've also gotten it a lot from the librarians, and with the keys in the car incident, I would have said that the store clerk who decided to call the cops and tell them tales was more at fault than the police who needed to follow up and document thoroughly that nothing had actually happened (that you hadn't left you DC in the car.) Of course I mentioned that I've seen incidents waiters/waitresses.

If your DC talked about wanting to be librarians when they grow up, would it be an issue? If they play store or restaurant, is it necessary to point out that there are bad store clerks and waiters in the world who will treat them poorly just b/c of the color of their skin.

Why are police different. Why is the blame of them being racist shifted from being a morality/personality/character flaw to simply being an occupational hazard?
I'm fairly well traveled, both domestically and internationally, and racism is pretty prevalent all across the US and Canada. There are some parts of Europe that are less "in your face" about it, but it's there. Asia -- particularly Hong Kong and Singapore -- actually turned out to be a comfortable place to travel. Need I go on?

One of the reasons we moved to this town is because it's known for being more liberal and tolerant than most and it's a university town that has people from all over the world.

My children engage in a great deal of imaginative play and they are free to play librarian or bookstore or even police officer. In fact, I have a good (single mom) friend who is a police sergeant so I don't believe that all cops are bad (but she has some interesting opinions on that too). For me, it would depend on the context of the pretend play. If my kids were, for example, playing a fighting game (which I don't allow) which involved bad guys and "good police" coming in and saving the fair maiden by shooting everyone, I'd probably take an issue with that. Furthermore, I don't need to point out to my children that people will treat them differently -- or poorly -- just because of their skin color because they already know this at ages 3yo and 7yo. We are way beyond that point! Where we are at right now is what to do about it and how to survive.

Police are difference because of the fact that they are authority figures -- they carry weapons that can kill and are trained to use them. We are, on some level, taught to defer to them. They are the "enforcers" of the laws of the land. As such, they have a certain level of responsibility to members of society for which the bar is set higher than civilians. They are supposed to use their "tools" and "power" to "protect and serve" each and every one of us without regard to color, race, religion, creed, ability, etc. and any violation of this is a profound violation of their duty and does society a disservice.


[QUOTE=Sailor;14383873]I hope I'm understanding your question correctly. If not, I apologize. This is my reasoning on why it's different for police.

The police hold actual guns, handcuffs, sticks (whatever those things are called which are used to "subdue" suspects), tasers, etc. So, while racism exists everywhere and in every profession ... a librarian isn't likely to have a taser or a gun, and isn't going to use it on anyone regardless of his/her feelings about race.


Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
I get that a bad cop is more dangerous than a bad librarian (though theoretically a bad librarian could lie to a good cop in a manner that would cause the good cop to act like a bad cop, ok now I'm over thinking) but the badness isn't from him being a cop, it was there before he was a cop just as it was with the librarian.
However, if a "good cop" is truly a "good cop" s/he would do the work necessary to investigate and discover that the "bad librarian" is lying. Or, at the very least, would give each party sufficient consideration to be able to get at the truth.
post #59 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by YummyYarnAddict View Post
However, if a "good cop" is truly a "good cop" s/he would do the work necessary to investigate and discover that the "bad librarian" is lying. Or, at the very least, would give each party sufficient consideration to be able to get at the truth.
While a good cop, should be able to avoid hurting someone in such a situation, it can still result it a fair amount of harassment. I was thinking of a particular incident that happened may years ago when I worked at a fabric store. 5 high school students who were POC, were at the shop buying fabric for a dance recital performance at a festival. They happened to be friends and classmates of one of the girls that worked in the store. Upon leaving the store, they were stopped by police who brought five cars, had there guns drawn, and searched their car throughly. The reason was that the clerk at the gas station they had stopped at on their way to the store called the cops and said he saw a gun in the car.

The cops were simply following their protocol for handling five armed suspects, but the kids in question certainly didn't deserve to be treated that way, since they weren't actually armed. However, it took time for the police to make that determination, and in the mean time had to act like they were for safety reasons. So, even though the cops were good cops, they ended up treating a bunch of kids awfully badly.

I hope I'm being coherent hear, I wouldn't be up at this hour except some thing got DS up (he say he didn't have a bad dream, so I don't know what it was.)
post #60 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
While a good cop, should be able to avoid hurting someone in such a situation, it can still result it a fair amount of harassment. I was thinking of a particular incident that happened may years ago when I worked at a fabric store. 5 high school students who were POC, were at the shop buying fabric for a dance recital performance at a festival. They happened to be friends and classmates of one of the girls that worked in the store. Upon leaving the store, they were stopped by police who brought five cars, had there guns drawn, and searched their car throughly. The reason was that the clerk at the gas station they had stopped at on their way to the store called the cops and said he saw a gun in the car.

The cops were simply following their protocol for handling five armed suspects, but the kids in question certainly didn't deserve to be treated that way, since they weren't actually armed. However, it took time for the police to make that determination, and in the mean time had to act like they were for safety reasons. So, even though the cops were good cops, they ended up treating a bunch of kids awfully badly.

I hope I'm being coherent hear, I wouldn't be up at this hour except some thing got DS up (he say he didn't have a bad dream, so I don't know what it was.)
What a horrible situation for those kids! Do you happen to know if there were any repurcussions for the gas station attendant? Was there an apology for the teens? That, in conjunction with how the kids were talked to (e.g., were they spoken to any differently than they would have been if they were white) would have also affected if the police were "bad" or not in this situation.

I once had a situation 5 days after I moved to this city where I was driving a rental car and was hopelessly lost and made a wrong turn down a one way street. It was dark, the street was poorly lit, and shortly after I turned a police officer came up behind me. I had never been stopped by a police officer while driving before and honestly didn't know the protocol so I slowed down and turned the corner so I was facing the proper direction and stopped. My (then) infant son was wailing at the top of his lungs (as he had been for over an hour at that point since we were coming in from out of town) and my dd was tired and grumpy. The (white, female) police officer yelled at me as soon as I let my window down and proceed to tell me how much trouble I was in and I was prepared to accept my ticket. My dd was terrified as the bright flashlight was shone in her face. When the officer chastised me, I explained to her that I had no idea that I was supposed to stop facing the wrong way in traffic as I'd never done that before and had never been stopped while driving. I told her that I was new in town and was lost and I apologized. I just told her the truth. I gave her my out of state drivers' license. She checked the kids' car seats, ran my license and the plates of the rental car and continued to yell at me. She asked where I lived and didn't know how to get there herself. I showed her my rental lease to substantiate my story as my ds continued to cry. She radioed in for directions and relayed them and instructed me to get a new drivers' license ASAP and drove off without ticketing me. My dd was shaken up and I explained to her that I had made a mistake and the officer tried to help us but everything was okay. The directions the officer had given me were wrong, but we eventually made it back. It was a scary encounter, but it all worked out in the end.
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