A Black woman has invented the “Not Reaching” pouch, a clear identification carrier that can be attached to the driver’s side air vent of a vehicle.
Jackie Carter came up with the idea in 2016 after she heard the devastating news of Philando Castile’s shooting death by then St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez who claimed he could see Castile “reaching” for his weapon when he fired multiple shots, killing the 32-year-old, according to NBC News.
The clear identification pouch can be attached to the driver’s side air vent and is clearly marked with the words, “Not Reaching. Officer, I’m NOT reaching!” The pouch also lists the information it holds – one’s driver’s license, insurance and registration – all the information typically requested during a traffic stop.
It is Cater’s hope that the pouch will keep Black drivers from reaching around their cars looking for their documents, and potentially triggering a deadly reaction from police.
“I’m more fearful [for my son] in a car here than [when he’s serving] in Afghanistan,” told NBC.
Carter launched her product more than three years ago, and has sold more than 1,000 pouches since then, giving away just as many to drivers in her community, she said.
Carter said that the Not Reaching pouch, which is now on sale for $9.99 was also created after interviewing officers.
Despite the ingenious idea, Carter acknowledged that the onus should not be on Black drivers, noting that some victims of police brutality – like Castile – are still often harmed or killed, even while following orders calmly.
Still, she felt like she had to do something.
“We shouldn’t have to do this,” she said. “But if there is something we can do to take this off the table, if this makes the interaction [between drivers and officers] more favorable, then let’s just do it.”
Valerie Castile, Philando’s mother, believes that the pouch could have helped save her son’s life, but also noted that it was upsetting that it has come down to someone creating such a product in order to prevent police-involved deaths.
“The murder of my son started with a police stop,” Valerie Castile told NBC.