”NOT REACHING POUCH”: BLACK WOMAN INNOVATION TO PROTECT BLACK DRIVERS DURING TRAFFIC STOPS
After a Minnesota officer shot and killed Philando Castile during a July 2016 traffic stop, Jackie Carter searched for a way to prevent another untimely death from happening, especially in regards to Black lives.
Carter, a Pennsylvania native who now resides in Virginia, created a “Not Reaching” pouch as a way for drivers to easily access the required forms of identification needed during police traffic stops. Carter also shared that Castile’s death hit home because she’s encountered the same fears in regards to her husband and her son.
“I’m more fearful [for my son] in a car here than [when he’s serving] in Afghanistan,” Carter said in an interview with NBC BLK.”
The pouch is rectangular shaped and attaches to the console of your vehicle. It also clearly identifies its purpose with the following words in bold black lettering across the top, “Driver’s License,” “Insurance Card,” and “Registration.” The pouch can be purchased here and currently sells for $9.99.
Carter believes that the tool will help to ward off the tension between officers and civilians of colour during traffic stops.
“We interviewed a lot of police officers, and they all agreed that something that makes them nervous is when a driver makes an unexpected reaching motion,” Carter told CNN.
Since its inception, Carter told NBC BLK that she’s sold over 1,000 pouches and has also given the same amount away to members of her surrounding community.
Carter has the support of Castile’s mother, Valerie, who shared that while she is happy the product exists, she is saddened that a pouch is needed to prevent another untimely death.
It should also be noted that with more diversity awareness and de-escalation training, police departments across the country still need to take the owners in providing adequate training for officers to prevent the loss of life so that the urge to firing off a gun becomes a last resort practice during traffic stops.
PHOTO CREDIT: The Root