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The Bahamas warns young men traveling to the US to "exercise extreme caution" around cops

"Do not be confrontational," the advisory urges. "Do not get involved in political or other demonstrations under any circumstances and avoid crowds."

by Tess Owen
Jul 9 2016, 6:30pm

People demonstrate against police shootings of African Americans outside the White House in Washington on July 8. Photo by Jim LoScalzo/EPA

The Bahamas' Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a warning to "young males" traveling to the United States to "exercise extreme caution in affected cities in their interactions with the police."

The government of the island nation, which lies just off the coast of Florida and is predominantly black, sent out the notice in light of "recent tensions in some American cities over shootings of young black males by police officers."

"Do not be confrontational," the notice urges. "Do not get involved in political or other demonstrations under any circumstances and avoid crowds."

The warning comes after the videotaped deaths of two black men at the hands of white police officers this week sent shockwaves across the US, reigniting the weary call for law enforcement accountability and respect for black lives. Alton Sterling was selling CDs outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, when police tackled him to the ground and shot him repeatedly at close range. Philando Castile was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop while his girlfriend and her daughter were in the car.

Related: Driving While Black: Cops Target Minority Drivers in This Mostly White New Jersey Town

On Thursday night in Dallas, a Black Lives Matter protest in the wake of those deaths descended into chaos and tragedy when a sniper, unaffiliated with the protest, opened fire on police officers, killing five and wounding seven.

There is no federal law that mandates US police departments to submit data on shootings, so there are no official numbers on the numbers of black people who died during interactions with law enforcement. According to the Washington Post, Castile was the 123rd black person to be shot dead by American police in 2016 so far.

"Pay attention to the public notices and news announcements in the city that you are visiting," the advisory said. "Be safe, enjoy the holiday weekend and be sensible."