Deadly Minnesota traffic stop calls for conversation on what to do if pulled over

Posted at 11:31 PM, Jul 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-08 08:18:25-04

A deadly traffic stop in Minnesota bringing back a serious topic in several local homes. Getting pulled over can be nerve-wracking for anyone, but a local community leader says there could be a difference in the outcome if you're black or white. 

Patrick Franklin is the President of the Urban League of Palm Beach County, but first and foremost he is a father to a driving 16-year-old young man. 

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"I've always questioned him what are you going to do when you’re pulled over, not what are you going to do IF you’re pulled over," said Franklin.

It's a conversation he says should be happening in every household. Franklin says the Urban League of Palm Beach County tells young African-American men to stay calm and have their license and registration ready. 

"Your main goal is to get through this process and get home," said Franklin. "If I'm going to my glove compartment, I'm would say, 'I'm going to my glove compartment to get my registration."

Franklin says it's important for these young men to keep their exchange with the officer to a minimum. Only respond to the questions being asked in a quick and respectful manner.

In Minnesota, a police officer shot and killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop. Reports say when the officer approached him, Castile told him he was carrying a weapon and had a permit. Why the officer fired is under investigation. 

"I don't think anyone can sit back and say this isn't going to happen here or that doesn't involve me - yes it does," added Franklin.

He says it's going to take more than educating the youth on how to respond to law enforcement. 

"There are very good police officers out there, we need to know how to communicate with each other both ways," he said. 

And understand perception can mean life or death. 

"Bias is real and the way that you're perceived from 1, 2, 3, to 5 seconds, that's going to determine the confrontation or the outcome," said Franklin.

Next week the Urban League plans to hold a community forum where lawyers and members of law enforcement will be present. The conversation will focus on this very topic.