www.rawstory.com/2015/10/msnbc-guest-students-called-south-carolina-cop-filmed-attacking-girl-officer-slam/ The news reports and images are startling and quite scary. The latest incident of a child being body slammed by a law enforcement agency has questions being asked. Is my child safe? What can I do to ensure my child’s safety when dealing with law enforcement? Here are five tips that I hope will help you and child to be safe and handle law enforcement officers correctly. You can also use these tips when confronted by law enforcement as an adult.
1. 100% compliance. At the Academy, in training, police officers are trained to demand and get 100% compliance no matter what that means. Teach your child to comply with an officer’s and teachers lawful commands the first time. It is not the time to ask questions or be defiant, just obey.
2. Remain calm. Any agitated movement, raised voices and unnecessary gesturing are all deemed unsafe to the police officer. As the child complies, teach your child to remain calm, speaking in a tone of voice that is calming. If your child raises the agitation, the officer’s responses will be agitated. Stay calm.
3. Keep friends at bay. If an officer is alone, the officer will keep other people out of the situation. The safety of the officer and bystander is at the forefront of the officer’s mind. Tell your child to tell their friends to not get involved in the situation but remain in place if they are needed as witnesses.
4. Videotape. Make your sure child and their friends have cell phones with video capabilities with them at all time. As soon as contact is made with a law enforcement officer, a friend of the child, not the child, should start the recording from a safe distance. Let the officer know that they are being recorded. The fact that the officer is being videotaped will hopefully curtail any negative or unnecessary actions on their part.
5. Refer to Tip 1. Comply. But if compliance is not option or if the child complies and their rights are being violated. Make sure the incident is videotaped and witnesses are available and that the child is able to give detailed accounts to the courts and other authorities when necessary. Keep your child safe.
Ladia Jones Your Overcoming Specialist www.ladiajones.com