Metro Police, local groups give advice on traffic stop behavior
NASHVILLE, Tenn. —
An alert about what to do if you're ever confronted by police. Fox 17 started looking into this after the deadly officer-involved shooting of Jocques Clemmons last week.
Police say it all started when Clemmons ran a stop sign.
Traffic stops are the most common interactions Americans have with police, and with some becoming violent, we reached out to Metro Police to see what's the best way you should handle these situations when behind the wheel.
Sergeant Mitchell Kronberg said you should always pull over to the right, turn on your dome light if you're stopped at night, and stay inside the car, with your hands on the wheel.
“People when they get pulled over will start digging around for their driver’s license, their purse, their wallet or whatever, but we don't know if they're trying to reach for a gun, or maybe some contraband,” Kronberg said.
Sergeant Kronberg said a common issue his officers run into is argumentative drivers. He said the road isn't the time or place to make a case.
“The best thing you can do, is do as the officer asks, and if you feel you're being mistreated you can either ask for the officer's supervisor, you can call the precinct to complain about the officer, or you can call our officer of professional accountability,” Kronberg said.
Some groups in Nashville say following the rules doesn't produce the same results for everyone.
“Even if we do follow the law, that shouldn't be the message, it's not on us to make sure that the police are not harming us,” said Jahlani Smothers-Pugh of Gideon’s Army.
“Somehow, in some situations, it doesn't seem to matter, it's like some officers provoke citizens,” said Ludye Wallace, President of the NAACP in Nashville.
Wallace said his advice is to comply.
“You’re better off alive, and being right and then you may have a chance that if an officer did mistreat you, then you have a course of action,” Wallace said.
To further address this issue, Gideon's Army is hosting a “Driving While Black” event Thursday night from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Saint James Baptist Church.