With the tensions between police and the Black community at an unfortunate high, there is no doubt that no one wants to look up in their rear view mirror and see flashing red and blue lights. However, police officers in Halifax, Virginia, are attempting to use humor to ease these tensions.
On Friday, Halifax police officers pulled over unsuspecting civilians. However, instead of issuing tickets, they gave out ice cream cones.
During their prank session, they recorded some of the interactions with the people they pulled over. One video showed an exchange that remarkably demonstrates the natural response to being pulled over.
When the video begins, the officer approaches a Black female in the driver side with a Black male in the passenger side. When the officer asks, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” the woman at first responds “no” and then quickly says, “I mean no sir.” She is exhibiting that she knows she needs to comply because who knows where this will go.
Then the officer lightly says that he pulled her over for “vehicle code 1739.” He then explains, “It’s actually against the law to drive on a hot day without an ice cream cone.”
The mood in the car is immediately lifted and both the man and woman start to laugh. And yes they are laughing because they were part of a joke, but they are also laughing in relief. They showed a relief that this interaction with the police did not end with a bullet and a hashtag. A relief that they were able to share a warm moment with an officer, instead of one filled with contempt.
Officer Warner was the speaking officer in the video and he says that he just wanted to spread something sweet in the community. When asked about the woman in the video, Warner speaks about his encounter with her.
"Her reaction was absolutely the best," explained Warner. "It was genuine, and she had us smiling and laughing for a good hour afterwards, and I've probably watched the video myself 50 times just laughing... and that's one of the great things with police work you get to meet people like that on a daily basis, and it makes the job worth it."
Well, we can see how this may seem like an unnecessary action, but you must admit, it is nice to see people coming together with a smile, instead of anger.
(Photo: Westend61,KOALA2 by iterranux.com)