A video of country music star Coffey Anderson re-enacting and offering safety tips for drivers involved in traffic stops went viral over the weekend after two black men were killed by police, spurring Black Lives Matter protests across the country.
The 38-year-old singer’s video has garnered more than 32 million views.
In the viral video, Anderson provides viewers advice if they are pulled over by law enforcement.
“Do not sit on your wallet,” he says in the video. “If you’re reaching down as he [the officer] walks up, you could be pulling a weapon, which could compromise his safety, which is going to make his adrenaline go up.”
Anderson, who is black, posted the video to Facebook on July 7, one day after Baton Rouge police shot and killed Alton Sterling. The video’s release also came after a Minnesota police officer fatally shot Philando Castile, an incident that was live-streamed in a widely shared Facebook video.
While the “All the Way to Texas” singer meant his video for good, some online commenters criticized it and called the advice worthless for black people.
“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,” one commenter fumed.
But others found Anderson’s video helpful and honest.
“This video is clearly not about blaming anyone, but having intentions to save someone’s life by providing safety tips while attempting to connect some of the gap of misunderstanding between each other. This video is not denying the stereotypes but rather acknowledging the unfortunate realities that they do exist,” one Facebook user wrote.
Towards the end of the video, Anderson says police and citizens involved in traffic stops are all humans and just want to go home to be with their families.
“At the end of the day the policeman wants to get home safely, we want to go home safely,” he says. “Even if the cop is having a bad day, you have to go home. You gotta make it home. You’re needed.”