I think it’s very important to know your rights! Especially if you ever have a encounter with a law enforcement officer. You can exercise your rights and I wish my seventeen year old son would have known his when he had an encounter with local police officers. I received this information from the Youth Justice North Carolina Organization.
If An Officer Violates Your Rights:
– You can file an internal affairs complaint with the officer’s police department or sheriff’s department.
– You can report the incident to the media.
– You should tell your defense attorney, if you have one.
You Can Read This To The Officer:
“I am not resisting. I do not consent to any search of me or my things. I am exercising my right to remain silent. I do not want to speak to you. If I am free to leave, please tell me. If I am not free to leave, please call my parent/guardian _______________ at ______________ or _____________ at _______________.”
You have the Right:
– To be free from self-incrimination. You do not have to speak to an officer or write a statement.
– To be free from unreasonable searches. Officers can’t search you unless they have your consent or a good reason to think you have something illegal (or something not allowed at school, if you’re at school). You can refuse consent to search of you and your belongings (ex. clothes, backpack and car).
– To be free from excessive force, bullying, harassment and discrimination.
– To not be arrested unless the officer knows facts that show it’s more likely than not that you have committed a crime.
– Never run, resist, fight or interfere.
– Stay calm and be polite.
– Give your name if asked for it.
– Don’t lie or give false documents.
– Ask if you are free to leave. If so, leave.
– If you are arrested and/or told you can’t leave, ask for your parent and lawyer immediately.
– After encounter is over, write down anything you can remember, including the date and time, officer’s name, witnesses names, and what happened, and take photos of any injuries.
– Read the statement shared above to the officer.
If you are pulled over while driving, keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times. If you need to reach for your driver’s license and registration, let the police officer know what your intentions are AND… No sudden movements that would make the cop feel threatened to use his or her firearm.
AND… It’s perfectly legal to film cops at work in all 50 states. Recording cops openly in a public place, as long as it doesn’t physically interfere with their ability to do their job, is your constitutional right.
** I honestly hope this helps someone. I think it’s important for our sons and daughters to know their rights! My son was clueless and I didn’t prepare him for something like what he experienced. I’m totally guilty of thinking that it wouldn’t happen to my child.** #KnowYourRights
You can read Durham: Racial Profiling Much? AND… I Can’t Stay Silent to get the back story that prompted this post. Did you know your rights? If so, have you ever had to exercise them? Feel free to add any additional information or your experience to this list.