- Associated Press - Monday, May 11, 2015

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Two Peoria officers are hosting a workshop this weekend what to do when stopped by police amid questions nationwide about police use of force.

Officers Daniel Duncan and Aaron Watkins will lead a free “Comply and Complain” workshop on Saturday afternoon. The officers will attempt to educate residents about what to do and what not to do when they’re stopped by police.

“Education and rights are a big component of this presentation,” Watkins said. “But respect is an even bigger component. You get back what you give. It goes both ways.”

A person always should comply with an officer instead of resisting, Duncan told the (Peoria) Journal Star (https://bit.ly/1EtQJBS ).It’s best to file a complaint after the fact, he said.

Many recent high-profile cases of fatal encounters between police officers and black men could have been avoided if the men hadn’t resisted arrest, according to Duncan.



“If they had complied, even if the officer was wrong, even if it was unjust, they would still be alive,” he said.

Formal complaints can be more effective than people realize, and often can serve as a warning sign to a police supervisor that a certain officer may need more oversight, Duncan said.

The Peoria Police Department received 36 formal complaints in 2013 and 54 last year. It has recorded 17 complaints so far this year.

Both Duncan and Watkins are black and said they experienced negative encounters with police officers when they were growing up. But they were able to attain their childhood dreams of becoming police officers, they said, thanks to the help of mentors, including other officers.

Duncan and Watkins have invited youth groups and community leaders to talk about police accountability at previous “Comply and Complain” presentations.

Derrick Winters, a student at Manual Academy, said he walked away from the workshop last March with a different perspective of police officers.

“I always thought they were on you just to mess with you,” he said

Despite his slight hesitation to file a complaint if he’s mistreated by a police officer, Winters said he learned how to react in that type of situation.

“Hopefully, I won’t get stopped. But they made me feel like I know how to handle the situation if I do,” he said.

___

Information from: Journal Star, https://pjstar.com

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide