As a follow-up to the recent GCP post about the young Black man who was arrested at Barney’s department store(“Tell Your Sons About Trayon Christian”, October 31,2013), here is, courtesy of the New York Civil Liberties Union’s website, a list of instructions of what to do (and what not to do) if you are stopped by the police for any reason:
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE STOPPED BY THE POLICE
Stay calm and in control of your words, body language and emotions.
Don’t get into an argument with the police.
Never bad-mouth a police officer.
Remember, anything you say or do can be used against you.
Keep your hands where the police can see them.
Don’t touch any police officer.
Don’t resist even if you believe you are innocent.
If you complain at the scene, or tell the police they’re wrong, do so in a non-confrontational way that will not intensify the scene.
Do not make any statements regarding the incident.
If you are arrested, ask for a lawyer immediately.
Remember officers’ badge numbers, patrol car numbers and physical descriptions.
Write down everything you remember ASAP.
Try to find witnesses and their names and phone numbers.
If you are injured, take photos of the injuries as soon as possible, but make sure you get medical attention first. Ask for copies of your medical treatment files.
Good information for us all to remember and especially good for our teenaged and young adult children to have as they travel on their own. This information is a subset of a longer discussion on the NYCLU’s website found here, which includes information on what to do if you have a police encounter, are stopped, questioned and frisked, stopped in your car, if police come to your home, or if you are arrested. As the website notes, “We all recognize the need for effective law enforcement, but we should also understand our own rights and responsibilities — especially in our interactions with the police.”
Thanks to GCP Paris correspondent Albert Pettus for directing us to this website.