Global Youth Service Day - Know Your Rights Webpage
On April 17, 2015, CCEO YouthBuild went to Compton YouthBuild and presented a workshop called "Know Your Rights." The students that presented the workshop are Alex Keaton, Juan Diaz, Jonathan Garcia, Yazmin Munoz, & Joel Benavidez. The teachers that helped us put this workshop together are Ms. Laura & Ms. Petra, our English teachers. A local sheriff helped us explain a little more about our rights and how/when can they be used. My teammates and I chose this topic because we think it's important for people to know their rights. Many people don't know what to do when being confronted by the police; some of my schoolmates have been in a situation where they been abused or either taken advantage of because they didn't know their rights. We presented this workshop in the hopes that people could learn their rights to better protect themselves in the future.
Please note that while we conducted a lot of research to know our rights, most of our research came from the following document taken from FlexYourRights.org .
Left to Right: Juan Diaz, Alex Keaton, Ms. Laura, Yazmin Munoz, Jonathan Garcia, Joel Benavidez
Presenting in Compton
Answering questions from audience members
We presented to an audience of over 200 people at Compton YouthBuild.
What is the purpose of this website?
The purpose of this site is to help you properly understand and assert your Constitutional rights. It will help you understand what to do when confronting a police officer. It explains what rights the fourth and fifth amendments provide us and what they are. It's very important for people to know their rights because everyone should be able to protect themselves from the law enforcement.
What are our rights?
A right is given by the constitution to all human beings, and it can't be taken away without due process. Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all legal rights that are owed to a person. A person must have their day in court before their rights are taken away from them.
Can the police search me?
The police may pat you down, but only if they have reasonable suspicion. Otherwise they would need your consent. Reasonable suspicion is when the cops have reason to suspect some kind of crime is going on so therefore they have the right to pat you down. It can't be just suspicion -- they need facts that suggest you are guilty of a crime or you are about to commit a crime. Consent basically means permission; if the police ask if they can search you or your property and you say yes, that's giving your consent. You should not give consent to a search if you do not want to -- this is your constitutional right.
If stopped in the street by police, can I walk away?
If you're stopped in the street by police, you should determine if you are being detained (held for investigation). If you are not being detained, you are free to go. So, if a police officer stops you, you should ask if you're free to go. If you are free to go and you would like to, you may walk away calmly. If they say no, you're being detained. This means they have reason to suspect you are either guilty of a crime or about to commit a crime. In this case, they can hold you for as long as it takes to clear you, but only for that amount of time. And remember -- they may ask you questions, but you do not have to answer.
Can the police search my property?
No one can search your property without your consent or a search warrant. A warrant is a document signed by a judge giving the police permission to either arrest someone or search a specific place. If a police officer wants to search your property, you should ask to see their warrant. The warrant will state exactly what they are allowed to search -- for example, if the warrant says the police can search your bedroom, your bedroom is the only place they can search. Make sure to see the warrant before allowing police into your home. You have the right to feel safe in your home.
Can the police search my vehicle?
The police may not search your vehicle without your consent or reasonable suspicion. An example of reasonable suspicion, though, would be if the police pull you over for erratic driving, and they see empty alcohol bottles in your car. They now have reason to suspect that you have committed a crime, and they may legally search your vehicle without your consent.
Do I have to talk to the police?
You have the right to remain silent no matter what (Though in some states, you may have to give your name). Also, when you are pulled over, you have to provide your license and registration. The police may also ask you to step out of the car, but again, you do not have to answer their questions or consent to a search. While the police may ask you to step out of your car, they do not have the right to pat you down if there is no reason to suspect you are guilty of a crime. You have the right to not be searched if there is no reason to suspect your guilt!
If the police ask me questions, should I defend myself? What if I don't have a lawyer and I can't afford one?
You have the right to talk to a lawyer. Don't talk until your lawyer is present, because they will help defend you. You have the right to be appointed a lawyer at no cost.
What should I do if I feel my rights were violated?
If you feel you were mistreated by the police, remain calm, but write down the officer's name and badge number. Find witnesses and get their contact information. Call a lawyer or your local ACLU: Here is their website.
I am not a US citizen. What can I do if law enforcement officers want to question me?
You have the same right to be silent that U.S. citizens have, so the general rule is that you do not have to answer any questions that a law enforcement officer asks you. However, there are exceptions to this at ports of entry, such as airports and borders.
Do I have to answer questions about whether I am a U.S. citizen, where I was born, where I live, where I am from, or other questions about my immigration status?
You do not have to answer any of the above questions if you do not want to answer them. But do not falsely claim U.S. citizenship. It is almost always a good idea to speak with a lawyer before you answer questions about your immigration status. Immigration law is very complicated, and you could have a problem without realizing it. A lawyer can help protect your rights, advise you, and help you avoid a problem. Always remember that even if you have answered some questions, you can still decide you do not want to answer any more questions.
Always be calm and cool
You have the right to remain silent
You have the right to refuse searches
Don't get tricked
Determine if you are free to go
Do not expose yourself
Do not run
Never touch a cop
Report misconduct: Be a good witness
Do not let the police in without a warrant
Do you know your rights!?
This website will test your skills on how well you know your rights. Click here to take the quiz
VIDEO -- KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: POLICE CHECKPOINTS
This video will show you what to do when being questioned by police officers in a checkpoint.
This document will help you know your rights in case of an emergency. This is something you can carry in your wallet. If the police ever stop you, you can just pull this out and read it as a reference to remind you of your RIGHTS.
Our prezi presentation: http://prezi.com/bn2lq2yedcqk/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share
For more information, here are some helpful links:
American Civil Liberties Union Know Your Rights Info Packet . This link will help you learn more about your rights. This is the main resource we used in class to learn about our rights.
Electronic Frontier Foundation. This link will show you what to do in a situation when the police is trying to go through your phone,computer, or server. It has information and also an interactive quiz that will help you know whether or not you know your digital rights!
Flex Your Rights Website: This website will give you tips about your rights and how to use them. It also has books and films you can purchase to help learn more about your rights.
ACLU Website: This website is a web where you can go ask for help or make a complain if a police officer ever abuses your rights. Its always better to contact the ACLU instead of the police because the police wont do nothing.
Cop Block Website: This website will inform you of all the illegal crime police officers do. There is videos you can watch that will probably be compared to something you went through and it will help you know what to do
For more information, or if you are interested in bringing a Know Your Rights workshop to your location, contact Laura Hirshfield at LGH722@gmail.com.