Police ‘Not Reaching Pouches’ Branded ‘Don’t Murder Me’ Bags
Despite a new initiative from Minnesota being intended to keep drivers safe from traffic police, many are now labelling the so-called ‘not reaching pouches’ as ‘don’t murder me’ bags.
The clear plastic holders, designed to hold your driver’s licence, insurance and registration, carry the words, ‘Not Reaching, Officer, I’m NOT reaching.’
The idea behind the pouches is to keep the important documents in plain sight so that traffic police don’t assume a driver is reaching for a weapon.
Following their reveal, many took to Twitter to voice their opinions, with one user describing them as ‘please Don’t Execute Me’ pouches, while another dubbed them ‘don’t murder me’ pouches.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety issued a statement about the new ‘Not Reaching’ pouches.
Our troopers, along with several law enforcement agencies across the state, want to make it easier for drivers to store the information and for law enforcement to see when motorists are reaching for documents.
The statement continued to outline the use of the pouches, saying that the intention is to ‘help reduce deadly force encounters between law enforcement and citizens during traffic stops’.
As per VICE, Jackie Carter, the creator of the pouches, has said that the 2016 killing of Philando Castile during a traffic stop by a Minnesota police officer prompted their introduction.
As Castile was reaching for his identification, the police officer said, ‘Don’t pull it out,’ meaning his supposed firearm, before fatally shooting him. Before he died, Castile said, ‘I wasn’t reaching,’ the news outlet reports.
Carter partnered up with Castile’s mother, Valerie, for the pouch project.
Carter told VICE that while she didn’t think the pouches were ‘the solution for a lifetime’, she did see it as a way to do something for the situation.
Castile also added that she believed the pouches were a ‘brilliant idea’, stating that the pouch could ‘de-escalate seriously dangerous tensions, and potentially save a life’, as per VICE.
The NAACP’s Twitter account reacted to the introduction of the pouches that read, ‘Dear Minnesota, this is not the flex you think it is. Cops shouldn’t need to see a pouch in order not to shoot. #PoliceReformNow.’
This follows similar criticism across Twitter, which has noted that it is not the driver’s responsibility to stop themselves from getting shot – it should be the responsibility of the armed officer.
Brandon Hasbrouck, assistant professor of Law at Washington and Lee University, told VICE News that while the pouches were a ‘good faith proposal’, they still adhere to victim-blaming. ‘Rather than confronting the root problem – the person with the gun – the proposal is purely reactive and asks how we can attempt to survive the shooter,’ he explained.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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