One Maryland Doctor Wrote The Prescription For Surviving Police Encounters
Unfortunately, it's not the cure all.
July 07, 2017 at 12:45 pm
Maryland ER Doctor Geoffrey Mount Varner is used to saving lives, and now more than ever, he wants to save the lives of young, black men.
What does he say are the keys to surviving interaction with the police? Humility and respect.
Dr. Mount Varner, of Bowie, credits his son, and the realization that his 11-year-old boy was old enough to be killed by the police, with the motivation to write a book detailing steps young black men can take to safely negotiate traffic stops and other routine encounters with police.
He self-published a book titled Home Alive: 11 Must Rules for Surviving Encounters with the Police. His book isn't intended to be a cure-all or policy prescription to reduce the number of people killed at the hands of police each year. Rather he calls it a way to bridge the gap.
And as an emergency medical doctor, Mount Varner has treated both patients who were shot by police and wounded officers. He believes de-escalating tense situations will save lives — both the officers’ and members’ of the public.
His pro-tip is to be humble. Also, not to make any sudden moves. Ask permission before taking any actions like reaching for insurance information or grabbing a wallet. Although that still didn't seem to work out too well for Philando Castile.
He also says to not look the officer in the eye. “You don’t want to give him any reason to think you are challenging him," he explains. "People call it demeaning. But keep in mind, the goal is to make it home alive.” He believes once you make it home, then you should take action to file a grievance or dispute tickets. Interaction with the police is a big topic. Some states are even considering requiring schools to teach young drivers about appropriate behavior during traffic stops as part of driver’s education instruction.
And while all of this is helpful, fine, and dandy. My question is when are they going to teach police how to interact with us without killing us?