I’ve been struggling with something lately. This past weekend my daughter walked to the store which isn’t very far from our house. She informed us that on the way to the store a cop slowed down to a near crawl and drove beside her. She then stated that it made her nervous so the turned around and walked the other way. The policeman then turned around and proceeded to follow her in that direction as well.
Due to the cop making her nervous she decided to go to another store which ended up being a little closer than the first store she planned on visiting. As she entered the store, the cop drove away. We have had talks about staying away from trouble. She does a good job of it, to be honest. She doesn’t really go anywhere with anyone. We have covered the basics, even warned her about staying away from hoodies which is something she had on last weekend. She hates the sun! I’m feeling kind of confused and stressed about the policeman following my daughter, to be honest. I never thought I would have to explain the dangers of being a minority female on foot. We tell her to watch out for strangers, watch out for people who look jittery, but we haven’t had to talk to her about watching out for cops.
I used to bake cupcakes and bring our cops back in Garland treats to help show our appreciation. Hell, I would even go to Taco Bell and grab food just to take it to patrol cars to show how much we cared. I’m scared because the atmosphere is changing and in many ways it has changed. I told my daughter something totally different this weekend when we talked about the encounter with the officer. I told her to be careful, face the officer, and smile if he follows you. Then I started thinking about what I was saying. Why was some officer following my daughter around and is she safe here in this small town, we call home?
Just what do we tell our children about interactions with the police?