Preventing a conversation from becoming a deadly confrontation

Reported by: Erik Avanier
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Updated: 8/11/2014 6:45 pm
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - Days after the police shooting of an unarmed African American teenager sparks violence and looting outside Saint Louis, many people are asking how can Chattanooga avoid a similar incident.

If there is one thing the death of 18-year old Michael Brown of Missouri has demonstrated, a heated conversation with police can quickly turn into a violent confrontation.

Chattanooga police Sgt. Reginald Parks said that type of confrontation is easily avoidable by keeping a level head.

"Just be calm. Answer the questions if you feel comfortable answering. Know your rights. You have the right to remain silent at any time and for any reason. If you don't want to answer that questions then you don't have to answer the questions," Parks said.

CPD does not have a specific protocol for confronting African Americans on the street. And many African Americans in less affluent communities across the country already have a distrust in police. But Parks says everyone should keep one thing in mind.

"Everyone's rights are the same no matter where you are or who you are. You should be approached in that kind of way no matter where you are or who you are by the police."

Now days, most police officers are equipped with recording devices that are turned on the second they begin interaction with you.

"Those are for protection of the police officer and for your protection so just understand that. It's nothing to be afraid of. Our officers aren't afraid of them and you shouldn't be afraid of them."

Experts says everyone should know their rights and every police officer should know how to do their jobs without violating rights of individuals who are being questioned or detained.

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