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Techniques to Stay Safe if Stopped by the Police

Police Stops make most people nervous, but for Black people, what is done and said can mean the difference between making it home alive and ending up in a morgue.

While we hate that it's necessary to do so, we provide potentially life-saving tips below. Foster safety for yourself and police officers with these techniques while we continue to strive for justice and equality.

Stay Safe: Causes

Remain Calm

Breathe. Stay Calm. Stay Alive.

Turn On your Cabin Light, Partially Open Your Window & Turn Off your Car (if driving)

If on Foot: Stop, Put Your Hands Up & Follow Police Instructions

If Already Visible, Consider Placing Your Cell Phone on the Dash Board in Record Mode

Do not make sudden movements. If this requires you to reach into a pocket or bag, do NOT do it.

Put Your Open Hands on the Steering Wheel

Keep them there unless instructed to do otherwise.

Be Respectful

Politely greet the officer. Consider using words like "sir" and "ma'am."

Do Not Make Any Sudden Movements

Don't give an officer any reason to feel threatened or use deadly force.

Narrate Every Move You Make

Example: "I'm going to put my left hand into my upper right shirt pocket to get my License. Is that OK?" Await confirmation. Continue following instructions.

Know Your Rights

For Example, your Consent is required before a vehicle search.

The ACLU website provides great detail on Your Rights if stopped by the police and what to do in various scenarios.

Put Your Pride Aside and Stay Alive

Stay Safe: Take Action

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B.R.E.A.T.H.E. Justice 365


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Insist On Definitive Change

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Take Action


Make Demands, not Noise

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Use Your Power

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Survive Police Stops While We Fight for Equality

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