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Local activists take issue with police stop safety video | News

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Local activists take issue with police stop safety video

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- The Gwinnett County Police Department is promoting a public safety video designed to show the public the appropriate way to behave during a traffic stop. But that video – and its message – is not sitting well with everyone.

The video includes a scene of a young woman – pulled over for speeding – who briefly argues with the officer before giving him her identification.

“You know what? Here you go,” she says in the video. “You can take it even though I wasn’t speeding.”

The video then gives what it calls a “more reasonable way to interact with police.”

“I’m late to school, so I’m in a rush,” the actor says. “Here you go.”

The video goes on to say that listening carefully and not arguing with police on a traffic stop increases safety.

“For the civilian to be more cooperative? They’re completely missing the point,” he said. “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.”

The safety video gives few actual legal requirements for civilians. It also provides little regarding civilian rights.

“You don’t have to answer police questions,” Kautz said. “You don’t have to explain if you are speeding or why you are speeding. You have the right to remain silent.”

But Gwinnett County police officials said the message is about cooperation.

“I think officers are concerned about the climate across the United States,” one official said.

Officials said that the goal was to get the message across specifically to teenagers. But for some, that climate is largely what’s wrong with this 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,” Kautz said.


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