Country music artist Coffey Anderson is in hot water after he posted a video on Facebook that addressed the recent high-profile deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling at the hands of police, RT is reporting.
Last Thursday, Anderson, who is one of the few black artists in country music, posted the video below, entitled “What To Do When You Get Pulled Over – Coffey Anderson PSA,” on Facebook.
With the help of a friend, also black, Coffey’s video points out why cops can draw the wrong conclusions about how a traffic stop is going down. He gave the example of the driver reaching beneath him for his ID, which the police officer may interpret as the man reaching for his gun, and things will go downhill from there.
Coffey offers what, on the surface, appears to be rather straightforward advice. Keep your hands where the cop can see them, fingers extended. Turn off your music. Don’t sit on your wallet (it might look like you’re reaching for a gun if you’re reaching behind you to grab it).
Coffey, a devout Christian, also quotes a New Testament passage that warns against giving even the appearance of evil.
“The Bible says stay away from the appearance of evil, this is what we want to do, we want to give the devil no place.”
The video bears similarities to another “PSA” about police stops produced by a black artist. You may recall that some number of years ago, comedian Chris Rock produced a video that also gives advice for blacks regarding their interactions with police. Entitled “How Not To Get Your A** Kicked By The Police,” Rock’s video echoes similar sentiment as Coffey’s does, only it comes from a place of humor, and it contains language that can best be described as “salty.”
As of this writing, Coffey’s video has been viewed on Facebook over 34 million times, and “Shared” over a million times.
Despite the video’s popularity, however, not everyone agrees with its sentiment. The principal complaint seems to be that Coffey suggests the onus is on the populace – particularly black people – to avoid getting shot by the cops, rather the onus being on the police to not shoot people.
Tyshawn Gardner: “Man please! So people have to do all this to ‘make’ an officer ‘feel’ safe? When they ask you for your id and you reach for it, and they shoot you anyway, then what? Why are we acting like, the drivers are the problem? Why don’t you get a video training officers how to treat and encounter black peoples. Let’s do this both ways.”
Laura Petty Blessing: “I’m sorry, this is BS. Nobody should have to practice being pulled over so they won’t die over a routine traffic stop. Maybe the police should practice how not to kill people.”
Other viewers, however, praised Coffey for offering sound advice.
Kristen Baker Sewell: “Mr. Anderson is just trying to educate the proper way to act when you are pulled over no matter what color your skin is.”
Born in Texas in 1978, Coffey Anderson has found some success in both country music and contemporary Christian music (CCM).
— Goody Goodies (@HHGoodyGs) July 12, 2016
Since competing on Nashville Star in 2008, Anderson has released five country albums and six CCM albums, as well as an EP of children’s songs.
Do you agree with the sentiment Coffey Anderson shares in his video about how to deal with the police?
[Image via Coffey Anderston/Twitter]