Could This Clever, Police Officer-Approved Idea Save Lives During Traffic Stops?

"There were only 14 days in 2017 where police did not kill someone."

Overwhelmed by the news stories they saw day in and day out, an Alexandria, Virginia couple turned their prayers into actions and developed a product to help combat police brutality.  

In 2017, 1,147 people were killed by police officers, 25 percent of whom were Black — although Black people only make up 13 percent of America's population, according to Mapping Police Violence. 

"It was literally in our faces every day on the news," Jackie Carter, co-founder of Not Reaching, told A Plus in an interview.

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Jackie Carter and Wayne Carter, her husband of almost 30 years, wanted to be a part of the solution. Together, they created the "Not Reaching" pouch, a product designed to reduce the fear that police officers apparently experience when conducting routine traffic stops. 

Traffic stops accounted for 87 percent of police killings in 2017, according to data released by Mapping Police Violence.  And while the Not Reaching pouch isn't a solution to the overarching problem, the Carters believe that it could help.

After the Carters interviewed police officers about what causes their deadly reaction during traffic stops, they all agreed that the act of "reaching" sets off an alarm in their heads. 

The identification pouch holds a driver's license, registration and insurance cards. All are items that a cop would ask for during a stop. The pouch has a magnetic clip on back and can connect to a driver's dashboard. 

Jackie worked with police officers to help develop the product. NBC News 12 reported that the Coatesville Police Department in Pennsylvania hands out the pouches during traffic stops. 

"It's about everyone's safety as well. It's not against police officers," she told A Plus. 

The "Not Reaching" pouch launched in September of 2017, but the need for them is increasing, according to the couple. The Carters make and ship the pouches out of their home in between working their day jobs. 

Despite all the work it takes, they are not slowing down anytime soon. According to Jackie, the organization doesn't represent a moment, but rather, a "movement."

Cover image via Shutterstock /  Ernest R. Prim.

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