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The Washington Post tracks, among other statistics, police shootings of unarmed suspects.

Nationally, during 2019, police shot and killed 15 unarmed Black suspects, and 25 unarmed White suspects. This certainly does not indicate the existence of racial bias among law enforcement.

Yet, those 40 suspects would all be alive today if they had followed some very simple common-sense rules.

If you’re in a vehicle and a police officer is attempting to stop you, abiding by these steps will ensure your safety:

  • Pull over when safe in a well-lit area, as opposed to leading the officer on a high-speed pursuit.
  • Keep both hands on the steering wheel so the officer sees that you’re not holding a perceived weapon.
  • Be as polite as possible, always saying, “Yes, ma’am,” “No, ma’am,” “Yes, sir,” “No, sir.”
  • Never argue with an officer even if you believe you are in the right.
  • If you know you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest, be honest about it.
  • If you’re carrying a concealed weapon in your vehicle, immediately inform the officer.
  • Truthfully answer all questions posed by the officer.
  • If you are placed under arrest, do not resist in any way; fully comply with the officer’s orders.
  • Never verbally assault an officer.
  • Never physically assault an officer.
  • Never attempt to grab an officer’s firearm.
  • Never flee on foot from an officer.

Even if you’re not in a vehicle but are stopped on the street, following these common-sense rules will guarantee that each and every encounter will end safely.

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