Here is the ACLU’s information sheet for contact with police. I recommend
that any who are going to any of the rallies copy this, learn it and give it
to your friends.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE STOPPED BY THE POLICE
*Be polite and respectful. Never bad mouth a police officer.
*Stay calm and in control of your words, body language and emotions.
*Don’t get into and argument with the police. Remember, anything you say or
do can be used against you.
*Keep your hands where police can see them.
*Don’t run. Don’t touch any police officer.
*Don’t resist even if you believe you are innocent.
*Don’t complain on the scene or tell the police they’re wrong or that you’re
going to file a complaint.
*Do not make any statements regarding the incident.
*Ask for a lawyer immediately upon your arrest.
*Remember officer’s badge and patrol car numbers.
*Write down everything you remember ASAP.
*Try to find witnesses & their name an phone numbers.
*If you are injured, take photographs of the injuries as soon as possible,
but make sure you seek medical attention first.
*If you feel your right have been violated, file a written complaint with
police department’ internal affair division or civil
IF YOU ARE STOPPED FOR QUESTIONING
1. It’s not a crime to refuse to answer questions, but refusing to answer
can make the police suspicious about you. You
can’t be arrested for merely refusing to identify yourself on the street.
2. Police may “pat-down” your clothing if they suspect a concealed weapon.
Don’t physically resist, but make it clear that
you don’t consent to any further search.
3. Ask if you are under arrest. If you are, you have a right to know why.
4. Don’t bad mouth the police officer or run away even if you believe what
is happening is unreasonable. That could lead to
IF YOU ARE ARRESTED AND TAKEN TO A POLICE STATION
1. You have the right to remain silent and to talk to a lawyer before you
talk to the police. Tell the police nothing except
your name and address. Don’t give any explanations, excuses or stories. You
can make your defense later, in court, based
on what you and your lawyer decide is best.
2. Ask to see a lawyer immediately. If you can’t pay for a lawyer, you have
a right to a free one, and should ask the police
how the lawyer can be contacted.
DON’T SAY ANYTHING WITHOUT A LAWYER
3. Within a reasonable time after your arrest, or booking, you have a right
to make a local phone call: to a lawyer, bail
bondsman, a relative or any other person. The police may not listen to the
call to the lawyer.
4. Sometimes you can be released without bail, or have bail lowered. Have
your lawyer ask the judge about this possibility.
You must be taken before the judge on the next court day after arrest.
5. Do not make any decisions in your case until you have talked with a lawyer.
IN YOUR HOME
1. If the police knock and ask to enter your home, you don’t have to admit
them unless they have a warrant signed by a
2. However, in some emergency situations (like when a person is screaming
for help inside, or when the police are chasing someone) officers are
allowed to enter and search your home without a warrant.
3. If you are arrested, the police can search you and the area close by. If
you are in a building, “close by” usually means just the room you are in.
We all recognize the need for effective law enforcement but we should also
understand our own rights and responsibilities – especially in our
relationship with the police. Everyone, including minors, has the right to
courteous and respectful police treatment. If your rights are violated,
don’t try to deal with the situation at the scene. You can discus the matter
with an attorney afterwards, or file a complaint with the Internal Affairs
or Civilian Complaint Board.
IF YOU’RE STOPPED IN YOUR CAR
1. Upon request, show your driver’s license, registration and proof of
insurance. In certain cases your car can be searched without a warrant as
long as the police have probable cause. To protect yourself later, you
should make clear that you do not consent to a search. It is not lawful for
police to arrest you simply for refusing to consent to a search.
2. If you’re given a ticket, you should sign it; otherwise you can be
arrested. You can always fight the case in court later.
3. If you’re suspected of drunk driving(DUI) and refuse to take a blood,
urine or breath test, your driver’s license may be suspended.
ADVICE FROM THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION