Do you know your rights when pulled over by an officer?

NAACP San Antonio branch partnered with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office to promote awareness on civilian traffic stop rights

SAN ANTONIO – Have you ever been nervous about being pulled over because you were alone, it was dark or you were stopped in an unfamiliar neighborhood?

The San Antonio NAACP Branch recently partnered with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office to raise awareness of what you should do if stopped by an officer.

A traffic stop can be an overwhelming experience for many people and with summer underway, that means more people will be on the roads, including more teen drivers.

“If and when you do get stopped on a traffic stop, understand that we have a job to do as well. We have to maintain traffic safety,” Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said.

In an effort to reduce risk of harmful or traumatic officer encounters for all people — especially people of color — members of the NAACP San Antonio branch partnered with BCSO to create an educational video of “what to do and what not to do when being pulled over”. The name of the video is titled, “Stop and Pull Over”.

“We’re helping our people stay safe and he’s also helping his deputies to learn and to do the right thing,” Dr. Gregory Hudspeth, the president of the NAACP San Antonio branch said.

Kendall Vernon, 19, plays the driver in the video. He says even though his police encounter was staged, it did not keep him from feeling anxious.

“The way that the process actually goes and what we showed in the video, it’s not something that should be that scary I think,” Vernon shared.

Vernon’s experience is part of the reason why the NAACP was inspired to make the video for the community.

“We realize that all law enforcement officers are not perfect. Neither are we. If it is an unlawful stop, we want to deal with it on Monday morning,” Hudspeth said.

The 2 minute, 45 second video lists important tips and legal information informing people of their rights.

About the Authors

Santiago Esparza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

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