ACLU: “We want you to have what you'll need to know your risks and know your rights.”
Protests and violent attacks by police continue across the country today, in response to the apparent killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
The murders of David McAtee today and Tony McDade last week at the hands of law enforcement officers have further fueled Black Americans' grief and rage.
The ACLU recently sent out a notice to activists “taking to the streets to express their pain, their outrage, and their demands for racial justice and an end to police violence against Black people.”
“As this happens, we want you to have what you'll need to know your risks and know your rights.”
Emerson Sykes, staff attorney for the ACLU's Speech, Privacy, & Technology Project, shared these essentials in a video direct from the New York City protests over the weekend.
As you come out to protest, here's what our video notes to keep in mind:
• The right to protest is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment.
• If you get stopped, ask if you are free to go. If the police say yes, calmly walk away.
• You have the right to record. The right to protest includes the right to record, including recording police doing their jobs.
• The police can order people to stop interfering with legitimate police operations, but video recording from a safe distance is not interfering.
• If you get stopped, police cannot take or confiscate any videos or photos without a warrant.
• If you are videotaping, keep in mind in some states, the audio is treated differently than the images. But images and video images are always fully protected by the First Amendment.
• The police's main job in a protest is to protect your right to protest and to de-escalate any threat of violence.
• If you get arrested, don't say anything. Ask for a lawyer immediately. Do not sign anything and do not agree to anything without an attorney present.
• If you get arrested, demand your right to a local phone call. If you call a lawyer for legal advice, law enforcement is not allowed to listen.
• Police cannot delete data from your device under any circumstances.