Progressive Black Men and Sistuhs hosted an event Wednesday to inform students about their rights. Students were also instructed on how to interact with officers.
The new chief of the Tallahassee Police Department, Lawerence Revell, outlined different situations and how to react to them.
“It’s my main mission in the police department to bring our community and the police department closer together,” Revell said.
Many students at FAMU may not be comfortable or feel safe around police officers. Jeffrey Dean, a member of Progressive Black Men, asked a question about
“There’s no secret that at times there’s like some strong feelings within the black community with officers, so you being on the opposite side of the spectrum, do you ever feel like tension? And if you do, how do you stop the tension and let the person know that your a good cop?” Dean asked.
Revell explained that people are people. You go about that situation the best way you can, he said.
Students asked about body camera footage and traffic stops.
“Other than domestic violence calls, traffic stops are probably the most dangerous things police officers do. You all have to know that if they say, ‘Can I search your car?’ You can say no,” Revell said.
DeOveyon James, a member of Progressive Black Men, asked the police chief to define “unreasonable.”
Revell provided examples of a reasonable cause and how officers should be able to tell you why they need to search your car. Body camera footage isn’t released in many cases, and the community may not understand why.
“With active criminal investigations we don’t release the footage,” Revell said.
Brianna Coulton, a member of Sistuhs, asked about officer-involved shootings.
“When an officer has killed someone what are the steps taken after that?” Coulton asked.
Revell said that everything goes through an investigation and during that time officers are put on administrative leave.
“If things don’t go right between you and an officer, here is my card with my number and email on it. Contact me,” Revell said.