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Police release instructional traffic stop video in Colorado Springs

Video seeks to improve community relations

Video on traffic stop protocol...

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Helping people to know how to respond when they are pulled over by a law enforcement officer is the purpose of a new video released Wednesday by the Colorado Springs Police Department.

Police say the video also is an effort to improve their relationship with the community.

"It shows what drivers are thinking about, as well as what officers are thinking about," said Lt. Howard Black.

The video is the result of a meeting last May between police and ministers in southeast Colorado Springs, described as an open dialogue regarding relationships between police and the community.

Last April, police paid more than $212,000 to settle a 2015 lawsuit by brothers Ryan and Benjamin Brown, two black men who say they were mistreated and racially profiled by officers during a traffic stop.

The brothers recorded and released cellphone video of the incident.

Police also were required to update their policy regarding traffic stops, but it's unclear if the Brown case was a factor in the production of the new instructional video.

Henry D. Allen, Jr., president of the Pikes Peak Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said he's glad police made the video because it proves the department is serious about improving its public image and educating citizens.

"I'm a former law enforcement officer and can see that there's always going to be some trust issues from the public," he said.  "I recommend that police continue to work on this.  You can't control fear, and a segment of our population fears law enforcement."

Allen said Colorado Springs is ahead of many cities in avoiding injuries or deaths during traffic stops.

Some people have complained about the video having a black man as the driver being pulled over in a traffic stop.

But Lt. Black downplayed that.

"We just wanted to do something fun, but also being informative, with the video," he said.  "Most of the traffic stops in the city end without incident.  People should remember that all traffic stops are not the same.  There are different levels of them, and our officers try to act accordingly."


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