Teaching Peace On The Streets

Several high profile cases have focused attention on accusations of police brutality and racism.

It is no secret that many minorities say getting stopped and searched by police is a common experience and can escalate to a dangerous and even deadly encounter.

Now, one police officer is teaching young minorities how to behave when confronted by police and how to prevent a routine stop from spinning out of control.

East Orange Police Sgt. DeLacy Davis founded Black Cops Against Police Brutality (B-CAP), an organization that teaches minority kids how to survive encounters with the police.

According to some kids, being stopped by police for no apparent reason is a way of life. Davis says it happens every day.

The goal of B-CAP is to get the kids through the encounters quickly and peacefully.

"You donÂ't want to fight out in the street. You cannot win there," Davis told CBS This MorningÂ's Russ Mitchell.

Davis said there are four things he tells kids to do when they are stopped:

  • De-escalate.
  • Think about what theyÂ're doing.
  • Be polite.
  • Get away with your life and limbs intact.
Davis said routine police stops can go bad in a matter of seconds. He said police officers and young people sometimes have a split second to make a decision about life and death.

"That split second decision could determine whether they will win the battle or lose the war. Winning the battle means you fight later and you can win later if the officer is wrong," Davis explained. Â"If you escalate on the streets, you may end up like an Amadou Diallo or a Rodney King, and we donÂ't want to see that happen."

For that reason, Davis said it is just as important to teach policemen how to act during an encounter.

"We do the program called Police Brutality Strategy To Stop The Violence," Davis explained. "We teach them to see the citizen as your client and not your suspect. ThatÂ's who pays your salary. WeÂ're delivering services to the community. Therefore, [they] must be effective services, and [the community] must be satisfied with what [it is] are getting."

Davis said violent encounters reflect very badly on police.

"The institution is getting a bad wrap, because we have failed to police ourselves fairly. Good officers have to expose the bad ones," Davis said. "When we do that, we get the bad apples identified and separated from the good ones. Until such time, we will all get a bad wrap."