RALEIGH (WTVD) --Fearing for their children's safety after the shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota, black parents say they are having important conversations with their children about interacting with police.
The shooting deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La., and Philando Castile just outside Minneapolis have once again sparked anger and frustration within the black community.
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Parents across America are having to talk with their children about what to do when they come across law enforcement. Some organizations have even disseminated instructional articles and videos about what to do if you are stopped by police.
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East Raleigh father Sebastian Overby is the father of a 21-year-old. He tells his son to be careful when he has encounters with police.
As Overby recalls police shootings in the past, he has one message for police, and for his son.
"Please stop shooting us. Give us a chance to raise our families," Overby pleads. "I tell my 21-year-old son to be respectable. Respect the law. Respect the law enforcement."
Overby said he doesn't believe situations like Baton Rouge and Minnesota should ever turn violent.
Reggie Lewis, a correctional officer, is a father of four young children. He said he's scared for his kids.
"There was an episode of Black-ish and they talked about a shooting of unarmed black males, and I tried to explain to [my daughter,] and she doesn't understand why police officers are able to kill somebody that's unarmed," Lewis explained. "But when situations like that occur, she's like 'Daddy, you were telling the truth!' And that's a hard pill to swallow."
For Lewis's two boys, they are entering a world that will look different ten years from now, and he struggles with how to manage that.
"I've seen it too many times where we got it on camera, and some kind of stipulation occurs where they say 'he had a gun,' or if the gun wasn't present, 'he had a gun in his waist band' or anything, they end up losing the case, like the guy right over here on Blount Street," Lewis said.
The state's Legislative Black Caucus is calling for the community to stay vigilant and to come together with law enforcement. With that being said, Lewis says the odds are against him and he just wants a fair shake.
"We're just real individuals with families, and we're just trying to make it. And we want an even playing field, and they say that we want the benefit of "white privilege," Lewis shared. "That's what we want the benefit of. One time."
Lewis says he encourages his children to go through the abuse of the system just so they can live and see their day in court. But, he also does not trust the justice system. His main goal, though, is for his kids to live to see another day and not die at the hands of law enforcement.
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