Law enforcement officers play an important role in our criminal justice system. We rely on the police to keep our communities safe, and to treat us fairly regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, or residence. This document provides useful tips on interacting with the police and understanding your rights. If you have an encounter with the police, have questions, or want more information, visit us at: www.silentmarchnyc.org
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Stay calm, both hands on the steering wheel and in control.
• Don’t argue with, run from, interfere with, or resist the police.
• You don’t have to speak to the police. Say, “I would like to remain silent.” In some states, you must tell police your name if they ask you to identify yourself.
• You don’t have to agree to a search. Say, “I do not consent to a search.”
• Ask, “Am I free to leave?” If you are free to leave – leave calmly.
• If you are arrested, ask for a lawyer immediately.
• Write down everything you remember, including badge numbers, car numbers, and any other details.
• Tell your parents or guardian what happened.
• Report it: If you believe your rights have been violated, file a complaint with the agency’s internal affairs division or a civilian board.
• If you are questioned about your immigration status, you have the right to remain silent. You do not have to discuss your immigration status.
• If the police or immigration agents come to your home, you do not have to let them in unless they present a warrant. You still have the right to remain silent.
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