GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – We’ve seen a number of incidents lately related to police brutality and the use of excessive force across the country.
Ven Johnson, a lawyer who specializes in excessive force cases, says the biggest thing to do if you get pulled over by the police is to remain calm. He says not all situations are handled properly, and the most important thing is for people to leave the incident unharmed.
“Whatever you do, if the officer tells you to do something, you do it,” Johnson says.
As more and more cases of police brutality are brought to light, Johnson says it’s crucial that people know their rights.
“If you’re being pulled over by an officer, you may not like it, and I don’t blame you. You may think that you’re being racially profiled, you may think the officer is being crazy and just harassing you,” Johnson says.
Johnson says that even if this is the case, you should still make your hands visible and fully comply.
“I would rather you and I have that conversation, whether you and I have legal recourse, versus me having that conversation with your family at your funeral,” says Johnson.
Johnson also says if you get pulled over to say as little as possible and ask for a lawyer. He believes these tips could play a part in potentially saving a life.
Johnson thinks changes need to be made in the future.
“If, God forbid, we were in contact with somebody and they died in the street, we would be in jail while they figure those charges out. Same should be for police,” says Johnson.
Johnson hopes that when an officer does do something wrong, their badge is taken away immediately.
“When they put bad cops back on the streets with interactions, people end up dead,” said Johnson.
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