Meredith Walker’s son was already 6′ 4″ and weighed 225 at the age of 16. So, she said, it was time for them to have “the talk”: what to do when he’s stopped by a cop. Ms. Walker explained to her son that “the only right you have…is to make it home alive.”
No matter what’s going on, I tell him, stay quiet. Keep your eyes down. Lower your shoulders. Let the air out of your chest. Get the bass out of your voice. Sound as much like a child as possible. And above all, do not make any sudden moves.
Whatever they ask you to do, I tell him, you do.
It’s tragic that young black people need to know these skills on how to survive an interaction with police. Nonetheless, it’s necessary for survival in today’s world. You can read “A Black Mother’s Survival Guide for her Teenage Son” at The Marshall Project.