A Pennsylvania woman has developed a clear identification pouch to be kept in vehicles to keep documents and licenses handy and in view -- and also, she hopes, as a deterrent for fatal traffic stops.
Jackie Carter’s product, Not Reaching!, was conceived after she heard about the shooting death of Philando Castile, a black man, in Minnesota on July 6, 2016, NBC News reported. The pouch is designed to be attached to the air vent on the driver’s side of the vehicle.
Carter said she believes the pouch will prevent drivers, particularly young men, from reaching around in their cars while looking for the proper identification and perhaps putting police officers on edge, the network reported.
“Not Reaching! is a start to a safe traffic stop and helps to de-escalate a tense situation,” according to a statement on the product’s website.
That pouch may have saved Castile’s life. The Minnesota man was sitting in his car with his wife and 4-year-old daughter when he was pulled over for a broken taillight in a Minneapolis suburb, CNN reported. According to Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, the 32-year-old told Officer Jeronimo Yanez he had a firearm and a permit to carry one. He also said he was reaching to retrieve his wallet to show his ID.
Yanez, claimed Castile was reaching for his gun and fired several shots, killing him, NBC News reported. Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter and other charges in June 2017. Castile’s family was awarded a $3 million settlement two weeks later from the city of St. Anthony.
Castile’s death jolted Carter, who began thinking of a way to protect drivers.
"I'm more fearful (for my son] in a car here than (when he's serving) in Afghanistan,” Carter told NBC News.
More than 1,000 of the pouches have been sold, and Carter told the network she has given the product away to just as many drivers.
The product’s website calls Not Reaching! a revolutionary identification system that allows motorists to remain stationary in their vehicles during a traffic stop by eliminating reaching for identification by the request of law enforcement.”