Getting pulled over while Black by the police is usually uneventful. The average Black person getting pulled over does not make the news. They are usually given a warning or a ticket and sent on their way. But there are times when this is not the case and the unusual happens. Driving while Black is something that should be any different than driving while white. Sadly though, in the news young Black men and women are getting killed at an alarming rate. I decided to write a guide for driving while Black. As silly as it seems, I do adhere to this guide. There has never been a time since I have been driving that I have not feared for my life when being pulled over.
The majority of Black people have always had a distrust for law enforcement. Much light has been shed on police brutality with the Black Lives Matter movement but still a minority of police officers have been vilifying Black people for many decades before this one. Many parents are in fear, rightfully so, every time their child leaves the house to drive somewhere. There is no full proof plan for surviving a traffic stop. I wrote this guide because this is what I do, and this is what I will instruct my Black children to do when they are closer to the age of driving. With technology moving the way it is, my children may never get the chance to drive a car due to computer car driven advancements but nevertheless they will still be Black and in a car. Here are a few pointers for young Black and Latino drivers:
Pull Over in Well Lit Area
This does not mean that you have to drive for miles until you get to a gas station but it does mean that you should not risk getting pulled over in a dark alley. When the officer puts his lights on continue driving until you can stop under a street lamp or a business parking lot. If the sun is still out make sure you pull to the side of the road on a main street. Turn your car off and put your hazard lights on once you have stopped.
Turn Off Your Car
Turn off your car when you are pulled over. This alleviates the idea that you are a flight risk. To stay on the side of caution, place your keys on your roof once you have turned off your car. This will further promote the idea that you have nothing to hide and that you are not going anywhere until the traffic stop is complete. This step may seem like going to far but your life is precious and there is nothing that you should not be doing to ensure that you will make if home to your loved ones.