Teach Your Kids How to Get Arrested (Yep, You Read It Right)

ArrestedIn some neighborhoods, it’s just par for the course to know that sooner or later, you’re going to have a run-in with the cops. It’s more of expectant rite of passage than a horrifying parental nightmare. Sometimes it’s because the police and the citizens have a tumultuous past and a tense relationship. Other times it’s because folks simply do not know how to act and as a result, they find themselves being carted off to the pokey on a regular basis.

With the waves of protests going on around the country, occupying Wall Street and a heap of other places, and video cameras constantly catching the police acting out of order, it’s best that kids learn early what to do if they ever find themselves on the wrong side of a cop’s good temper.


In fact, here’s a video that gives a few pointers on how to make an arrest go as smoothly as an arrest is going to go. Barring the cussing (though I do think Elon James White is funny), it’s a common sense refresher for parents who may need to sit their kids down and have a chat about the reality of the justice system, particularly when it comes to being Latino or black.

These tips might help, too:

1) Don’t be a tough guy (or gal). Razzling the police and making their job harder may entertain the bystanders watching the situation unfold but will do everything to keep you from scoring points with the folks who hold your freedom in their hands. Resist the urge to be smart alecky and agitated when the responding officers ask questions — it’ll only make some cop’s ego kick into overdrive and put you at greater risk of being on the wrong side of the squad car.

2) Go peacefully. Especially, especially if you’re a minority male. You may not deserve to be arrested, but they won’t bother to sort that out in the height of the action. If the officer on the scene slaps the cuffs on you, do not resist. In an already tense situation, the last thing a detainee needs to do is give the cops just cause to mollywhop you for putting their welfare in danger — which legally gives them the right to do just about anything to keep you under control. Allowing yourself to be quietly escorted to the precinct doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be charged with a crime. Putting up a fuss and resisting arrest all but guarantees you will.

3) Resist the urge to be a hero. Nobody wants to see their friends get cuffed and stuffed into the back of a squad car, but this isn’t like standing up for your buddy when a bully tries to steal his bike or defending your homegirl’s honor when a chick starts a nasty rumor about her in school. These are the cops. And they will take innocent folks in just for interfering with their efforts to restore order on the scene. Stay out of it… for the time being.

Hopefully you, as a parent, won’t have to ever get the call telling you that your kid has been arrested. But just in case it does happen, you can rest easier knowing that you prepped them with yet another set of what-to-do-if instruction to get them back home to safety. You know, so you can light into them yourself.  

Would you be upset if your child was arrested while protesting a cause he or she believed in?

Image via clair-bear/Flickr

Read More >