MIAMI (CBSMiami) – After several high profile deaths of young black men involving police throughout the country, young black and Hispanic boys in Miami got a lesson in how to interact with police.
High school students in the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project are being groomed for greatness.
College attendance, military careers and escaping the fate many black and Hispanic young men fall into: run-ins with the law, jail and even death.
“Because of what is happening in America today, it appears as if there is this tension that never goes away between the police and especially black boys,” said U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson.
Recent controversial deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police officers has changed how some of these boys see police.
“It made me look at police differently. I think some of them can be a threat, but some of them are just here to serve their country,” said student Clifford Stevens.
On Monday, excellence programs mentors, including the police chief of Miami-Dade Schools Police, went over how to interact with police.
“Yes, there are bad officers out there. Just like there are bad teachers, bad doctors, bad lawyers, bad dentists, bad priests, bad politicians. They’re less than one percent.”
The teenage boys were coached on what they should do when stopped by police, even if they didn’t do anything wrong.
Advice such as:
- Freezing and not moving unless told to do so.
- To never run from or fight police.
- To remain calm, cooperate and speak clearly.
- To always carry ID.
- If wearing baggy pants, don’t pull them up because an officer might confuse action as reaching for a weapon.
“It’s going to happen. So what you do is you prepare the children on how to react and when it does happen. They know that it does exist. I’m profiled myself and I’m a congresswoman,” said Wilson.
And the last bit of advice: remember the officers’ name and be able to describe them, as soon as encounter is over make sure to write down facts and file a complaint with officer’s department.