Opinion: Black Lives Matter, too, so follow these tips from police officers


Jessica Land holds sign in support of the Black Lives Matter movement outside of Denver capitol building. This protest took place July 2016 after shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota (Patrick Traylor).

Dominique Harlan, Review Staff

Feature Photo By: David Lee AndersonThe Colorado chapter of the Black Lives Matter group marches through downtown Denver. The march took place August 2016 and was held in memory of Michael Brown.

Considering the most recent events with police brutality, the first word to cross one’s mind is racism. As the Caucasian cop viciously cuffs the African American’s hands behind his back, shoving his face into the pavement, scratches appear on his face and his wrists are twisted and turned in the cuffs. People are shouting in protest as the officer yells, “Stop resisting!”

There are always two sides to the story. Though there are few cops that seem to capture the media’s attention every so often over specific events, this should not cloud the vision of policemen who abide by the words protect and serve.

“I think the biggest thing that people need to realize is just because there’s one officer that’s in the media that may have made a mistake or done something wrong, doesn’t mean that’s how all officers are,” stated Rangeview’s Officer Singleton.

According to another Rangeview officer, Officer Condreay, if one is in a situation that involves being pulled over, it is in their best interest not to give the officer any reason to become hostile.

Jessica Land holds up sign in protest during Black Lives Matter rally. Protest took place July 2016 outside of the Denver capitol building. (Michael Reaves, the Denver Post)
Jessica Land holds up sign in protest during Black Lives Matter rally. Protest took place July 2016 outside of the Denver capitol building. (Michael Reaves, the Denver Post)

Condreay said, “How you interact with the officer can impact the outcome of that stop,” adding, “a lot of times, the officer is just going to talk to you and possibly give you a warning, you never know.”

Less often than not, a situation may escalate to a scenario involving danger with the police, even though respect and compliance may have been present on the victim’s part.

Christina Hughes, core leadership member of the Black Lives Matter 5280 suggests, “If you feel like you are being over-policed, dial 911 and have dispatch listen. African Americans have the same exact rights as any other person. It is never okay to be over policed.”

Singleton explained that not every situation includes the opportunity to give a breakdown of why someone is being pulled over. It is vital to give commands and instructions until both the officer and victim are safe.

“If we got a report that someone flashed a gun at someone in a car, I can’t tell you that I’m pulling you out at gunpoint because I was told you have a gun,” Singleton continued on to say, “I have no problem explaining and saying what I did and why I did it, but it’s going to be after everything safe and I think a lot of people don’t understand that.”

Condreay incorporated major tips and recommended that if pulled over, keep your hands where the officer can see them at all times, avoiding any sudden movements. Another key point is to be honest about the actions you commit and take responsibility.

Though assessing the problem of police brutality is one thing, making change is another. Rangeview Sophomore, Gabriel Garyeazon stated, “I feel like there needs to be a change. We need to educate ourselves deeply on the matter and apply this to something. It can be done.”

There are police in the community who love their jobs and come to work everyday to satisfy their community. Staying silent about the situation, though, is the killer.

Hughes stated, “Ultimately, it’s not about how police are viewed, it’s about what’s right and what’s wrong. What’s just and unjust. Police on the right side of justice dramatically change the view” She added, “Anyone that can remain silent in the face of injustice is an accomplice. Think of it like this: if you go into a store and your friend is stealing something yet you choose to not say anything or do anything to stop it, you are only allowing it to happen.”

Together as a community, progress can become growth, and growth can influence prosperity. If you are of color and feel as though you are being discriminated against, reach out. Keep in mind, no great leader has ever created change by staying silent. Continue to positively speak up and the cries of out pour will be heard.

Join the BLM 5280 page here for more information about the movement, monthly meetings and more: https://www.facebook.com/Black-Lives-Matter-5280-1437139253269970/

Or visit their website: http://www.blacklivesmatter5280.com/