In the new era of citizen reporting there are a number of new questions regarding issues such as audio and video recording interactions with police officials. Add these to the traditional questions about what is required, or not, and you’ve got one very confused public.
After all the publicity about police abuse of power I decided to try to find some reputable advice on exactly what I can and can’t do if I’m ever involved in, or feel the need to play “big brother” during, a police incident.
On a side note, I’m a well-to-do white guy that’s never been involved in any criminal activity but even I’m afraid of the police. On a few occasions I’ve encountered unprofessional, undereducated and over-ego’ed officers. Even if 90% of encounters are pleasant, 10% can really ruin your day… or worse.
Anyway, I found the following information to be informative.
There are a couple of articles available from the American Civil Liberties Union’s Web site.
- Know Your Rights: What to Do If You’re Stopped by the Police and a wallet card you can print and keep with you at all times.
- Your rights when photographing police officers.
There are a couple more at the Flex Your Rights Web site.
Flex Your Rights also produced a video guide to your rights and has posted a few useful clips on the web:
The entire length video has been posted here, though I’m guessing it’s an illegal copy.
Here is an entire list of things to do / not do from the Public Defenders Office in Florida.
If anyone else has links to reputable sources of information regarding citizen’s rights I’d really appreciate it if you would post them in the comments section.