It may be nerve-wracking to see the blue lights of a police car in your rear-view mirror. Knowing what to do if you find yourself in that situation is important, and a weekly virtual seminar sponsored by the Henderson-Vance Recreation and Parks Department can help.
On Mondays at 4 p.m. the “Know Your Civil Rights” program is on Facebook Live, said Jaleel Johnson, HVRPD youth services program coordinator.
“We interview community partners,” Johnson said this week, and answer questions “that the community needs to know to make the community better,” he said.
One of the first segments was with a representative with the police department who discussed what to do if you’re stopped or if you’re questioned by the police, Johnson said. “We talked about the way you talk to an officer,” he said, to avoid an escalation of emotions.
Knowing – and understanding – your civil rights is something that doesn’t always get taught in school, Johnson said. Although some of the topics are geared toward educating youth, Johnson said the participants range in age from 16 to 45.
The program is held via Zoom, but Johnson said he puts it on Facebook Live and also posts clips on YouTube, so the information is easy to access. “When COVID hit, we tried to figure out a different way to get information to the community,” Johnson said.
Previous programs have included topics on veterans’ services and juvenile justice.