In the midst of what seems to be an unending stream of drivers, whether armed or not, being shot at the hands of police officers across the country, the state of Arizona has decided to include some tips in their latest driver’s manual for how to avoid that happening.
The guide tells Arizona motorists what to do if they are pulled over, as well as also giving some helpful tips on what not to do in the very same situation. “The goal is pretty simple,” said state Rep. Reginald Bolding, an African-American Laveen Democrat who is responsible for helping to write that particular section of the manual, aimed at black and Hispanic motorists. “It’s designed to keep drivers from getting shot by police.”
“When you look at what’s taken place across the country, you have seen a majority of individuals who are people of color that have had higher incidence of interactions with law-enforcement officers, particularly in shootings,” Bolding said. “Hopefully we can get to a place where that’s not the reality.”
Bolding was prompted to write the piece after the shooting of Philando Castile at the hands of a Minnesota police officer. Castile had been pulled over by officer Jeronimo Yanezover because one of his brake lights was out. Castile told Yanezover he had a firearm on him, to which the officer said, “Don’t reach for it then.” Despite Castile saying he wasn’t pulling it out, Yanezover fired seven rapid shots into the vehicle, striking Castile five times, an event caught on the patrol car’s dash camera. Officer Yanezover was aquitted of any wrongdoing.
The advice that Bolding and his team have put forward is a series of suggestions, the first, obviously, being to find a safe place to pull over. After that, other recommendations include parking the car, remaining in the vehicle, and all occupants keeping their seat belts fastened. Motorists should keep their hands on the steering wheel in a visible location and wait for the officer to approach the vehicle.
Other salient points for when getting pulled over by the police include lowering the windows, especially if they are tinted, turning on any overhead passenger compartment lights at night, and informing the officer if the driver has a weapon or if there are any in the vehicle.