Fatal police shootings prompt parents to teach kids how to act during traffic stops

Fatal police shootings prompt parents to teach kids how to act during traffic stops
Posted at 7:26 PM, Jul 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-08 06:10:55-04

CINCINNATI — Dorron Hunter’s office is decked with photographs of his four children, all of whom earned academic scholarships to attend college.

Yet, in the wake of two back-to-back fatal officer-involved shootings, Hunter said there's another lesson he made sure his children learned outside the classroom: how to act during a traffic stop.

It’s a message that was repeated in the Hunter household as the four children grew: “Listen very carefully for every command on what they’re telling you to do, how they’re telling you to do it and then give the commands back,” Hunter said. “Officer, I’m doing so and so. Officer, I’m putting my hands here. Officer, I’m reaching for that.

“It becomes like second nature to them.”

Cincinnati City Councilman and former police officer Wendell Young told WCPO he had similar talks with his children, now 25 and 28.

He said it was a difficult conversation to have at times.

“They have a very strong sense of right and wrong,” he said. “If they feel like they’re being mistreated, they really, really want to fix that situation themselves.”

His message was very similar to Hunter’s: “Don’t do anything they don’t tell you to do. If they tell you to do something and you don’t think it’s right, do it anyway.

“The important thing is I need you to come home.”

Community outreach advocates throughout the city are handing out “Know Your Rights” cards, with specific details on how to act during traffic stops. It mentions things to say or ask during a stop, such as:

  • “I wish to speak to a lawyer.”
  • “I do not consent to a search.”
  • “Am I free to go?”
  • “Why am I being held?”