KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
- You have the right to gather (no permit necessary) at “traditional public forums,” such as streets, sidewalks, and parks.
- When you are lawfully present in any public space, you have the right to photograph anything in plain view, including federal buildings and the police.
- Police officers may not confiscate or demand to view your photographs or video without a warrant, nor may they delete data under any circumstances.
- Police cannot detain you without reasonable suspicion that you have or are about to commit a crime or are in the process of doing so.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE STOPPED BY THE POLICE
-Stay calm. Make sure to keep your hands visible. Don’t argue, resist, or obstruct the police.
-Point out that you are not disrupting anyone else’s activity and that the First Amendment protects your actions.
-Ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, calmly walk away.
-If you are under arrest, you have a right to ask why. Otherwise, say you wish to remain silent and ask for a lawyer immediately. Don’t say anything or sign anything without a lawyer.
-You have the right to make a local phone call, and if you’re calling your lawyer, police are not allowed to listen.
-You never have to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings. If you do explicitly consent, it can affect you later in court.
-Police officers may not confiscate or demand to view your photographs or video without a warrant, nor may they delete data under any circumstances.
IF YOU BELIEVE YOUR RIGHTS HAVE BEEN VIOLATED
-When you can, write down everything you remember, including the officers’ badge and patrol car numbers and the agency they work for.
-Get contact information for witnesses.
-Take photographs of any injuries.
-Once you have all of this information, you can file a written complaint with the agency’s internal affairs division or civilian complaint board.
Encrypt your phone, use encrypted messaging apps, disable biometrics, disable location services, clear your metadata before posting and scrub face from your photos and videos.
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