Marian University professor educates about rights during traffic stops with ‘EMPOWER’ booklet

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A Marian University professor is educating people on their rights during a traffic stop by writing a booklet called Engagement Manual for Police Outcomes Where Everyone’s Respected (EMPOWER).

Bwana Clements tells News 8 that EMPOWER is a guide on how to interact with police during a traffic stop. It explains people’s rights when interacting with an officer.

The booklet includes questions people do not need to answer to, what people are obligated to do, respectful phrases when speaking with an officer and what to do if you’re arrested.

Clements said he received legal help from lawyers and law enforcement. He said Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Randall Taylor approved of the booklet and Deputy Chief Kendale Adams reviewed it and gave his approval for being a ‘valuable tool and resource.’

Clements believes this guide is crucial in the community and will help save lives.

“EMPOWER was written very neutral, straight up the middle and based on law as opposed to opinion. This is not a political statement,” Clements said. “This is we’ve gone way too long just relying on oral tradition and what your mom or dad has taught you. I believe we are way past time to have it in writing so that you can refer to it and that everyone is on the same page.”

The Marian University professor said he hopes EMPOWER can be implemented in every state across the country.

The goal is to receive sponsorship from community agencies and organizations to hand out the booklets for free. The profits are going towards printing more copies.

There’s also an EMPOWER sticker that can be used as a bumper sticker or window decal. Clements said it’s to help relieve some anxiety officers may feel while making a traffic stop.

Clements can be contacted by email to receive a copy at bwanaleads@gmail.com.