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Burke County Sheriff’s Office gives suggestions on keeping law enforcement situations calm



BURKE COUNTY, Ga. – Police encounters during traffic stops and arrests continue to make headlines in the U.S. The many tense moments captured on video can create a sense of fear for some folks when being pulled over by law enforcement.  FOX 54 spent day at the Burke County Sheriff’s Office as they shared ways to help keep tense situations from escalating.

For some people, whenever they see blue lights there’s one feeling that always sets in — fear. According to a nationwide study by professors at the University of South Florida black people are five times more likely and latinos are four times more likely to fear police brutality than white people.

“I try to encourage everyone to remain calm be relaxed. You know often times you’re just as tense as the officer is,” said Captain Randall Norman with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.

Here are a few practices to keep in mind. Captain Randall Norman says once you see blue lights and hear sirens, pull over.

“Acknowledge the fact that the officer is behind you. Turn on your hazard lights, reduce your speed to an extremely low speed to indicate to the officer that you are not trying to run away from him or her,” said Captain Norman.

If you can’t pull over right away or feel the area you are in is not safe he says to give 9-1-1 a call and explain your concern.

“‘I don’t feel safe stopping right here in this location, there’s a Wendy’s ahead . . . there’s a Burger King ahead . . . I’m going to stop in the parking lot of one of those establishments.’ But again communication is key. You’ve got to let them know what you are doing,” said Captain Norman.

After being pulled over, Norman says always announce to the officer the moves you make before moving. Such as, reaching inside your glove department for your registration and proof of insurance. He also says remain in the vehicle unless you have been instructed to get out. He says to keep in mind, the side of the road is not the place to handle disputes. If you disagree with the citation you are receiving then it should be handled in court.

“Signing a citation in the state of Georgia is not admitting guilt what so ever,” said Captain Norman.

He says if you feel have been unfairly treated or disrespected let the sheriff’s office know. In Burke County, officers in uniform are recorded .

“There’s always three sides to every story, there one side, there’s the other side, and then there is the truth. That video camera is going to give us the truth,” said Captain Norman.

For those who are afraid Captain Norman suggest letting the officer know about the fears and concerns you have about being pulled over.