The institution of law enforcement was established to ensure that people abide by the laws of the land. Police officers have been granted exclusive authority to warn, arrest and detain people who violate these laws with the use of force if necessary. In the event that a police officer uses force against a civilian in a fashion that is deemed excessive or unnecessary, this is act is considered police brutality. However, this concept isn't necessarily black and white.
Anyone who has access to news and media outlets is aware of the controversial debates the topic of police brutality sparks. Fatal interactions between police and civilians inspired the emergence of advocacy groups and movements nationwide that either supports the institution of law enforcement's behavior in these situations or criticize the institution for the recurrent perpetuation of what many constitute as police brutality.
In connection to this phenomenon, North Carolina lawmakers have passed new legislation that has major implications. The General Assembly gave its ultimate approval to a law that would require North Carolina high school driver's education curricula in high schools and state driver's license handbooks to provide tips to new motorists regarding how to react when stopped by police. Driver's ed courses will have detailed portions that give young motorists advice about what to expect when a police officer pulls them over for traffic stops. The instructors have concluded that the most appropriate thing young motorists should do when pulled over is to:
- “Find a safe place to pull over. After all, officers don't expect you to stop in the road.
- Put your hands on the wheel and don't move until the officer gives instructions.
- Treat the officer the way you would want to be treated.”
Lawmakers claim that the information put in these educational booklets will be provided by the Highway Patrol several other law enforcement agencies.
As expected, there are mixed opinions pertaining to the bill's passing. Supporters claim that the bill would decrease fatalities.
“I think it could save lives,” said Mickey Tripp, owner of Carolina Road Driving School. “I think it could save unnecessary trips to the jail by an individual who is too disrespectful to a police officer.”
Critics, however, say that the bill is designed to create a scapegoat for police brutality. They claim that instead of holding police officers accountable, it is shifting the blame for the occurrence of these deadly incidents onto the victims.
The bill is now awaiting the approval of Governor Roy Cooper.
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you have been apprehended and charged with a traffic offense in the state of North Carolina, you should consult with an experienced attorney. Contact Caulder & Valentine today for a consultation.