Being stopped by police is a stressful experience that have the right to go poor quickly. Below we describe what the regulation requires and also offer strategies for handling police encounters. We desire to it is in clear: The load of de-escalation go not autumn on private citizens — it falls on police officers. However, you cannot assume policemans will act in a way that protects your safety or the they will certainly respect her rights also after friend assert them. Friend may have the ability to reduce hazard to yourself by staying calm and not exhibiting hostility towards the officers. The fact is the there are cases where people have done whatever they could to placed an officer in ~ ease, however still finished up hurt or killed.

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Your rights

You deserve to remain silent. Because that example, you do not need to answer any questions around where you room going, whereby you space traveling from, what you room doing, or where you live. If you wish to exercise your best to continue to be silent, speak so out loud. (In some states, you might be compelled to provide your surname if request to determine yourself, and also an officer might arrest you for refusing to do so.)You perform not have to consent to a find of you yourself or your belongings, however police may pat under your clothing if they suspect a weapon. Keep in mind that refusing consent might not prevent the officer from moving out the search against your will, however making a fashionable objection before or during the search can aid preserve your legal rights in any kind of later legal proceeding.If you space arrested through police, you have the right to a government-appointed lawyer if you can not afford one.

How to minimize risk come yourself

Stay calm. Don’t run, resist, or obstruct the officers. Execute not lie or provide false documents. Save your hands wherein the police have the right to see them.

What to carry out if you are arrested or detained

Say you wish to stay silent and also ask for a lawyer immediately. Don’t give any kind of explanations or excuses. Don’t say anything, sign anything, or make any decisions there is no a lawyer.If you have actually been arrested through police, you can make a regional phone call. The police cannot listen if you speak to a lawyer. They can and also often do listen if you contact anyone else.

If you think your civil liberties were violated

Write down whatever you remember, including officers’ badges and also patrol vehicle numbers, which company the officers were from, and also any other details. Get contact information for witnesses.If you’re injured, seek medical attention immediately and take photographs of your injuries.File a composed complaint v the agency’s inner affairs division or civilian complaint board. In most cases, girlfriend can document a complain anonymously if friend wish.

What you deserve to do if girlfriend think you’re witnessing police abuse or brutality

Stand in ~ a safe distance and, if possible, usage your phone come record video clip of what is happening. As lengthy as you carry out not interfere v what the police officers are doing and also do no stand close sufficient to obstruct your movements, you deserve to observe and also record events that room plainly visible in windy spaces.Police officers may not confiscate or demand to check out your photographs or video clip without a warrant, and also they might not delete her photographs or video under any circumstances. If an officer orders you to protect against recording or assignment you come hand over her phone, you must politely yet firmly call the officer the you perform not consent to doing so, and also remind the officer that acquisition photographs or video clip is your ideal under the an initial Amendment. Be conscious that some officers may arrest you because that refusing to comply also though their orders space illegal. The arrest would be unlawful, yet you will must weigh the personal risks of arrest (including the danger that officer might search girlfriend upon arrest) against the worth of proceeding to record.Whether or no you room able to record everything, make sure to create down whatever you remember, consisting of officers’ badge and patrol car numbers, which company the policemans were from, how many officers were present and what your names were, any kind of use of weapons (including less-lethal tools such as Tasers or batons), and also any injuries endured by the person stopped. If you space able to speak to the person stopped by police after the police leave, castle may discover your contact information beneficial in case they decision to record a complain or go after a lawsuit versus the officers.

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Additional resources

If girlfriend need more information, contact your local affiliate.