Black parents say the “story” about surviving encounters with the police is a fact of life in the United States


For parents of black children, it is simply known as a “story.” An emotionally tragic conversation that I feel I have to do now with my children, based on the fact that an encounter with the police can be fatal in an instant.

Michelle Arby, the mother of her 18- and 21-year-old sons in Willingboro, NJ, told Yahoo News that “the most important part of the conversation is,’You need to go home and you’re safe. I need to go home. ” “I don’t care what the cop said, I don’t care if you were right or he was wrong, I need you to go home safely to me, that’s it.”

Arby said he had to “talk” every time his sons left home. “I believe it removes children’s innocence. Children shouldn’t be burdened with such things,” she said. “Children don’t have to worry,’If I’m walking down the street and a policeman might stop me, I might just be a kid.'”

Sherita McKeever of Charlotte, North Carolina, told Yahoo News that she had “talked” to her 18-year-old son Xavier Turner, who had been pulled by police in 2015. Police detention in Waller County, Texas.

“You can only teach your children and the people around you the right thing, but you can’t explain the unstable nature of people,” McKeever said.

Her son said she was happy that her mother raised the issue with him. “I [living] In these little utopia people are not enlightened about what the “story” is, or these possible incidents. Everything certainly seems to be the case when you live your daily life. I’m going to wake up. We are going to school. We’re going to work, “Xavier Turner told Yahoo News. “But we don’t explain what’s unpredictable. That’s why I think it’s important to talk because people can be temperamental. Things are constantly changing, so you need to be aware of what’s happening and be vigilant. “

“Talk” was even talked about at the presidential debate last October, even between then-President Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

“I want to talk about how black and brown Americans experience race in this country,” debate moderator Kristen Welker told the candidate. “Some of that experience is called” talk. ” It happens regardless of class or income. Parents who feel compelled to prepare their children for potential targets such as police for reasons other than skin color. “

According to parents who spoke to Yahoo News, the conversation itself often includes advice on how to be pulled by the police to navigate while driving. Life-saving tips include calming down the windows, making all the necessary documents clearly visible, paying homage, putting your hands on the steering wheel and dashboard keys, and following the officer’s instructions. .. While these informal guidelines may seem common sense, practicing them following the prominent death of black Americans by police can be stressful.

A man sitting in the driver's seat of a car holds the steering wheel.

A man grabs the steering wheel of his car. (Getty Images)

According to data from collaborative research Police violence mapping, Twenty-eight percent of the people killed by police in the United States in 2020 were black, but blacks make up only 13% of the population. Nearly 200 blacks have been killed by police in the United States since George Floyd’s death in May last year. According to parents, these statistics are a major reason for the anxiety many African Americans feel during their encounter with police.

Michelle Arby’s second son, Isaiah Branch, told Yahoo News that “the recent view of police officers was that I wanted to be a police officer, compared to when I was younger.” “Now the story has changed in some way, like” I’m scared of police officers. “Many are definitely afraid to live [their life] I was taken to a policeman. “

On March 18, 2018, 22-year-old Stephon Clark was killed by two Sacramento police officers who fired a total of 20 bullets after a chase was completed in his grandmother’s yard. Police officers said they believed Clark had pointed “objects” at them. It turned out to be a mobile phone. After nearly a year of investigation, Sacramento County district lawyers concluded that police officers Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet did not violate the law.

The mourner has posted a photo of police shooting dead victim Stephen Clark during Clark's funeral at the Bayside of South Sacramento Church in Sacramento, California, Thursday, March 29, 2018. Unarmed Clark was shot dead by Sacramento police. Officer, Sunday, March 18, 2018.  (AP Photo / Jeff Chiu, Pool)

The mourner is holding a photo of Steven Clark at a funeral in Sacramento, California in 2018. (Jeff Chiu, Pool / AP)

Clark’s mother, Secket Clark, told Yahoo News that the “story” wasn’t enough to save her son.

“I always had one son asking me, it was Stefan,” she said. “How would you tell me to be like this in other ways, but would you be a police punk with the police?” I told him,’That’s what you bring it home. If you’re going to go home, yeah! Please let me go home by the necessary means. “

Clark’s murder caused a wave of national protest, and his face appeared on the billboard, synonymous with the loss experienced by a black man who never returned home after his loved one met the police.

Like Clark’s death, Floyd’s murder caused anger. However, Seckett Clark said he was “relieved” when former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of three sins he faced in Floyd’s death: two murders, three murders, and two manslaughter charges. He said he felt a feeling.

“Now I know the fact that my son wasn’t killed in vain … his blood [not] Secket Clark said her voice escaped from emotions. “His blood helped change the course of this country, and that’s how I see this trial. We’re in a new civil rights movement, and it’s small to make a big difference. It ’s all about victory. ”

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