NEW YORK — A new board game aims to teach players of all ages how to interact with police in real life. It’s helping Lealia Williams and her husband talk to their four children about the topic. She says the conversations have been very stressful, and the couple are concerned about their kids coming home at night.
The family began playing “Trials & Triumph,” a board game teaching children and adults how to respond if stopped by officers.
“Some of the things that you’re doing, you can get arrested, and I didn’t actually know that,” says 11-year-old James Williams.
The game is the brainchild of Chicago criminal defense attorney, April Preyar.
“When I created my game, I was thinking about little Black boys who look like me,” she says.
But Preyar say her seven principles are for everyone.
She says, “Don’t run, don’t reach, don’t resist, don’t run your mouth. But, do request an attorney, refuse all tests, and refuse consent to search.”
There are 54 different scenarios that can take place playing the game. The idea is to practice police interactions in a safe setting.
Some churches and community organizations have begun playing the game, and the Illinois black legislative caucus bought 100 games to use at a youth summit.
Retired New York City police detective Michael Bell spent 20 years on the job. He now mentors children through the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.
“That first interaction is not always so great because they have the preconceived notions of, you know, police officers – that we are not their friends. So that takes some time to build the relationship,” Bell says.
He says both sides can do their part to improve relationships, but he believes there is a problem with police recruitment.
“In my opinion you cannot un-train a racist, or someone who is homophobic, or any of these things, so I think it’s about, you know, vetting the officers better,” Bell says.
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