Comply don't die when confronted by police during a traffic stop

Posted at 11:29 PM, Nov 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-15 23:29:56-05

In recent years across the country we've seen a rise in tension between some communities and the police.

Whether traffic stops or on the street encounters with men and women in blue have become violent at times.

We're taking a look at why it's important for you and your children to know the law and know how to comply so you don't die.

According to the fraternal order of police the two most dangerous things an officer can undertake are responding to a domestic violence complaint and stopping a car.

That means when an officer approaches you in your car he's on high alert and cautious and so are you.

When a traffic stop goes wrong the images are often disturbing.

One of the worst here made national headlines in 2015. Detroit man Floyd Dent was repeatedly punched in the head by an Inkster Police Officer. That officer went to jail.

According to a 2015 report by the Washington Post, getting pulled over was the precursor to about 11 percent of fatal police shootings.

Detroiter Markees Davis says, "They pulled us over cause we were five black men in a brand new car and they thought it was stolen." 

Davis is only 18. His interaction with police has not always been positive.

Davis says, "When they pulled you over did they speak to you with disrespect or were they respectful? It was like step out of the car we're gonna search the car they didn't ask for no license none of that."

According to that Washington Post report more than 100 people were shot and killed by police after a traffic stop in 2015. One in three of them was black.

To cut down on such problems in Detroit Police Chief James Craig introduced community policing so bad interactions are kept to minimum. 

Detroit Police Detective Brian Fountain says, "Every officer when he approaches a car he or she is nervous."

Detective Fountain is 33 year DPD veteran who goes into schools, churches or community groups to teach the do's and don'ts of how to interact with the police. On this day he was at Renaissance High School.

Detective Fountain says, "When I pull over, and I see you move I think you're reaching for a gun."

Detective Brian Fountain says in order for children not to be killed, "Number one be respectful, be cooperative, keep your hands visible putting your hands up never hurts."

Detective Fountain says it's vital for the community to know the law.

"A judge will say ignorance of the law is no excuse. The fact that you didn't know is not going to cut you any slack."

Kyrah Kimbro is 16 and a Junior at Renaissance High School.

Carolyn Clifford asks, "Are you fearful of the police?"

Kimbro responds, "Sometimes it's some good cops, some bad ones you just don't know what to expect."

Dakarai Washington is also a Junior at Renaissance High School, he says, "I just know that I have to address them a certain type of way. How do you know that? "My parents taught me."

We asked Neighborhood Police Officer Baron Coleman and two of our employees to help us demonstrate three scenarios that could get you in trouble during a traffic stop.

First, mouthing off. Second, don't reach for anything without permission not even your drivers license and registration. Instead, keep your hands on the wheel at all times. Third, never get combative with an officer.

Loud music, open alcohol and if there is a whiff of drugs in your car, everyone is being hauled out and now in five counties you can be drug tested on the spot.

Bottom line,  it's in your best interest to comply so you don't die, end up in cuffs or behind bars.