A Black woman developed a “Not Reaching” pouch that has a clear vehicle identification that any driver can attach to the side air vent of their car to help save Black lives during traffic stops.
Jackie Carter told NBC Black that the idea came to her after the murder of Philando Castile in 2016. He was shot and killed by officer Jeronimo Yanez after being pulled over. Yanez testified that Castille was reaching for a gun and that he feared for his life. He was acquitted of all charges.
Carter did not know Castille but felt that “someone has got to come up with a solution.”
Carter came up with the “Not Reaching” pouch which shows the identification of a driver in a clear cover. She reasoned that this would allow young men to reach around and look around for their for license and registration documents without police assuming the worst.
“I’m more fearful [for my son] in a car here than [when he’s serving] in Afghanistan,” she said.
The “Not Reaching” pouch launched three years ago and has sold more than 1,000 units. Carter shared that she had given away pouches to members in her community. Valerie Castile, Philando’s mother, supported the pouch but felt it was sad that one needed to be created.
“The murder of my son started with a police stop,” Valerie said.
“Who would think reaching for your wallet would be your demise?” she asked.
Former federal prosecutor and current NBC News/MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner said that the majority of officers were good. However, he acknowledged that bias existed which would heighten a situation.
“Some [officers] seem to overreact or go into traffic stops with a certain mindset,” Kirschner said. “Perhaps they’re more aggressive than they need to be and I think that’s where the situation can become volatile and sometimes fatal.”