Brooklyn Center Police Talk about Updated Driver’s Manual
There’s now more clarity for drivers and police officers on what to do during a traffic stop, particularly if the driver is legally carrying a firearm.
The change comes four years after the fatal shooting of 32-year-old Philando Castile. On July 6, 2016, Castile was shot and killed at a traffic stop by a St. Anthony police officer, after Castile told the officer he had a gun in the car.
Since the incident, Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile, has been advocating for changes to the state’s drivers manual. Those changes were included last week.
Cmdr. Garett Flesland with the Brooklyn Center Police Department says the Minnesota drivers manual, gives guidance that everyone should follow if they get pulled over by a cop.
“Some of the big stuff, keep your hand on the steering wheel where the officer can see it,” Flesland explained.
The new information in the Minnesota driver’s manual, starting on page 40, advises motorists with firearms to:
- Keep their hands on the steering wheel as the officer approaches.
- Let the officer know they have a firearm.
- Tell the officer the firearm’s location.
Flesland says it’s important to stay calm. He says it’s possible the officer will take possession of the firearm until after the traffic stop to ensure safety.
“The big thing at that point, is just do what the officer asks,” Flesland said.
The manual also states that drivers should not reach around inside the vehicle and get out of the vehicle unexpectedly or approach the officer.
According to state statues, legally a person does not need to voluntarily announce they have a firearm unless an officer asks them. However, Flesland said the best and safest practice is for citizens to let officers know upfront about any present firearms.