In 2003, I went through the Citizen’s Police Academy, an experience I highly recommend if they offer it in your town. It helped me better understand how the police department works, and the very real issues that departments and individual officers face. After doing training scenarios on use-of-force decisions during the academy, I recognize the challenges officers face when having to make split-second decisions about whether to fire. I empathize with the anxiety police families have that every time an officer leaves the house they might not return.
However, I also recognize that millions of BIPOC families in our country have the same anxiety for their loved ones every day; that a routine traffic stop might prove fatal — and that research shows that they have a greater chance of being stopped and searched than their white counterparts.