Responding to Police Shootings

My heart is saddened by the recent deaths of two more African- American men at the hands of police. I am also saddened by the deadly ambushing of police officers in Dallas resulting in deaths and injuries.

How should we respond:

1. Prayer
a. Pray for the families of the victims
b. Pray for the communities directly affected by the shootings.
c. Pray for our safety.
d. Pray for our heart attitude.
e. Pray for those in authority ( Including police officers)
f. Pray for wisdom as we vote leaders in office.
g. Pray for America

2. Purpose to live to Fight Another Day and to Fight Another Way
a. If you feel you have been wronged by police, comply with orders, try to get name and badge number then take your fight to court. I am not suggesting that this will ensure victory but your chances are much better if you are alive to tell your story. Fight in the courts rather than in the streets.
b. Control your temper. If you are provoked into an angry or combative response, you give the officer “justifiable” right to use deadly force. Justifiable means they win in court. This does not make it right.
c. Never appear to reach for a weapon.
d. Resist acting in fear. Fear can cause a person to act irrational. Often the real culprit is fear both by the suspect and the police officer.

3. Protest Peaceably
a. Peaceful protests can cause our voices to be heard.
b. Peaceful protests give credibility to our voices.
c. Violent protests hurt everyone, including the innocent.

4. Prepare Before Something Happens
a. We Must Train Our Children – Especially African-American
b. Drill Youth on How to Respond When Pulled Over By Police Officers
i. Hands on steering wheel.
ii. Courteous responses.
iii. Wait until instructed to get licenses and registration.
iiii. Always have licenses and registration easily assessable.
v. Ask other Passengers to remain quiet and calm.
vi. State your case, if any, calmly.
vii. If a citation is given, arguing won’t usually do any good. If in court you think you have been wronged. Go to court or DA and ask for mercy if you are guilty.
c. If You Are Detained By a Police to include Resource Officer
i. Remain Calm
ii. Comply With Orders, stop, hands up, etc.
iii. Ask, “ Am I under arrest?”
1. If yes, request an attorney
2. If no, “May I leave?”
d. Church and Community Training
i. As a pastor, I must have training sessions for interaction with police and those in authority.
ii. Community leaders and organizations should offer training on interaction with police.
iii. Our police and sheriff’s departments have available training.

5. Police Training Should Be Demanded By Community
a. De-escalation training.
b. Culture and Racial Sensitivity Training.
c. Handling Frustrations.
d. Understanding the Millennials’ mindset. This generation questions authority.

Courtesy of Pastor James D. Corbett

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