Coffey Anderson Sparks Debate With Traffic Stop Etiquette Video
Country singer Coffey Anderson’s common sense approach to how to behave when you’re pulled over by police is drawing criticism from some who think he places too much responsibility in the hands of drivers and not enough on police officers.
The video was created after the death of Philando Castille, who was shot and killed during a traffic stop after allegedly following an officer's order to present his driver's license. Anderson's Stop the Violence how-to video for getting pulled over has over 34 million views in five days on the singer's Facebook page.
Among the tips are to keep your wallet in the center console — not your back pocket as an officer could think you’re reaching for a gun — and to keep your hands visible on the steering wheel as the officer approaches.
The hashtag #VictimBlaming has been used by critics who argue Anderson's ideas are demeaning, but many have praised his video for bringing such even-mindedness to a hot social issue. “This is about going home,” the singer and former Nashville Star finalist says multiple times. He explains that police are often tense or anxious when approaching a vehicle from behind, unaware of what they’ll see or encounter inside.
“A lot of stereotypes that [cops] see of African American men are not positive,” he adds. “I want to break the wall down between what we really don’t know about each other, to what we can learn from each other. So let’s make a simple protocol that can get you guys home safer – on the police side, and on our side.”
Anderson is a successful country and Christian artist who also does motivational speaking. In the days since he posted the video he's engaged in conversation with his friends and fans on Facebook and Twitter.
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