Program Success April 2015 Magazine | Page 27

Attorney Regina Nunnally When Stopped By a Police Officer Daytona Beach , Florida April 2015
As an Assistant Public Defender / felony trial attorney , my influence goes beyond mere protecting rights . Because my clients encountered many ups and downs in life , my appointments become therapy sessions . We become a priest and a social worker . Mother ' s call my office concerned with their grown child ' s future . Children are prosecuted as adults and thus we have to juggle the juvenile as well as the adult sanctions ... Our insight and expertise extends beyond the court room as well .
Respect authority , use wisdom , be courteous and don ' t ask questions were suggestions made to students at Bethune Cookman University on March 13 , 2015 during a round table discussion with Criminal Justice / Pre-Law majors . Retired judge , the Honorable Hubert Grimes was the first African American judge elected in the 7th Circuit which is comprised of Volusia , Flagler , Putnam and St . John ' s County and was the first and only African American judge to be appointed to the circuit bench . He invited me to Bethune Cookman University to address issues that concerned young people . Due to events involving law enforcement and the public , it was imperative to make sure our young people know what to do . You catch more flies with honey than vinegar .
RESPECT AUTHORITY : Often times our youth or young adults feel that if they are disrespected by authority , authority forfeits respect in return . I have learned as a child and adult , although unfair , it ' s not " wise " to show disrespect to someone that shows disrespect to you . As an attorney , I must respect the judge ' s decision whether I like it or not . I glean wisdom from David and King Saul . King Saul was the authority figure over the nation of Israel . David respected this authority although King Saul attempted to kill David on multiple occasions . David had to flee for his life , leave the comfort of his home and his family , an unfair situation . When David had a chance to get the best of King Saul , he chose not to and he didn ' t give into peer pressure . He chose to respect the fact that King Saul was chosen and he had no authority to take his life . This example taught me to honor the position even though the person in the position does not , will not or chooses not to honor me . It does not matter who the person is , it does not lessen the position . This takes the human factor out of it and therefore your able to show respect .

Regina Nlinnally bbbjd02 @ gmall . ca

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USE WISDOM : Although you know your rights , sometime knowledge puffs us up . If the other person , i . e . law enforcement is challenged in this area , it can become more than just a regular or routine stop . As was suggested to the BCU students , sometime the wise thing to do is to take the fight from the street to the supervisor or ultimately to the court . Of course , this was a hard pill to swallow for some because of the " it ' s the principle of it all " stance . Of course , every situation is different but an encounter with law enforcement can quickly escalate into something much more egregious when folks start to " run their mouths ''. Some law enforcement officers are young and / or are intimidated by this . Do you have a level playing field on the street or off the street ? Use wisdom , choose your battles carefully . Try to look for a level playing field so that when the battle is fought , there ' s more than you and the officer involved .
BE COURTEOUS : Yes sir and no ma ' am . This does not turn you into an " Uncle Tom ''. Sometime , it depends on the tone of your voice , too . Either way , you keep your composure because contact with law enforcement is stressful even though you may not have done anything wrong . Don ' t start volunteering information before asked . You let the police tell you what happened and choose your words carefully .
This leads me to the next point or venture . On March 18 , Judge Hubert Grimes once again invited me to be a guest on his radio show called " Problem Solvers ''. We discussed issues involving youth and answered general questions about the criminal justice and the part I play as an Assistant Public Defender . One issue involved a nine year old child that was exhibiting behavior issues causing the family stress . It is common practice for people to try to examine an issue to ascertain its resolution . However , due to my training as a trial attorney , I hesitate to advise when I ' m given only a snap shot view of the problem . Nevertheless , I suggested that the parent maintain control at all times . Be consistent with your actions and never let the child think they can get over on you . This was not an overnight event so it will take time to overcome it .
After my radio session , an individual approached me while at the station and told me he learned something that really didn ' t register until he heard it from me . He never realized that what he does in life matters to others that love him . Our lives are extricably intertwined with one another . What we do effect others . Sometime my clients do not see that their lives matter . They tend to see themselves as the " lone wolf ''. "
This is my life :' " I do what I please :' This in itself is a sign of immaturity thus a sign of selfishness . It may have arisen from unresolved issues , trauma or the like . Either way , the criminal system is not set up to correct the emotional problem or issue but to punish the deed . Once they find themselves in trouble , family calls , baby mama calls , fiance calls , mother cry ... the list grows on and on . Your life does matter to others ; don ' t wait until something happens to realize it .