Atlanta's Gwinnet County Police Department is promoting a safety video in an attempt to educate the public in how to behave during a traffics stop. Given all the recent episodes of police violence in the United States, the intention seems positive at first, however, not everyone is happy with the new campaign and its message.
The video includes a scene of a woman arguing with an officer after being pulled over for speeding.
“You know what? Here you go... you can take it even though I wasn’t speeding”.
Another scene shows what the department considers to be a 'more reasonable way to interact with the police'. “I’m late to school, so I’m in a rush", the actor says. "Here you go."
The video's purpose is to demonstrate that 'listening carefully and cooperating with police on traffic stops increases safety', but Marlon Kautz of CopWatch Atlanta has expressed his disagreement.
He told 11alive.com: "They’re completely missing the point... nowhere in this video was the civilian ever a threat to the officer but if the police are interpreting arguing as a threat to officer safety, I think that explains a lot."
Mr. Kautz argues that the video provides little information regarding civilian rights: "You don’t have to answer police questions... you don’t have to explain if you are speeding or why you are speeding. You have the right to remain silent."
The Gwinnett County Police Department justified the video due to growing concerns about ‘the climate across the United States’ and explained that the message was specially directed to teenagers.
For Mr Kautz though, this climate is largely what’s wrong with the picture. "In this time, when so much attention is being given to unjustified police killings, they have seen fit to lecturing the public as to how to act."
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