Flex Your Rights
01/13/2017 at 19:08. Facebook
Another blockbuster report from the DOJ documenting a pattern and practice of abuse from a major police department. Whatever you think of the outgoing president, we are unlikely to see a continuation of these important investigations under the incoming administration.

Chicago police use excessive force, unfairly target minorities, Justice Dept. says

He didn't own a DVD player or use the internet, so Nat Hentoff asked me to mail him a paper screenplay of 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police. With that he wrote this beautiful testimonial:

"A precipitating cause of the American Revolution was the power of British officers in the American colonies to search homes and offices anytime they chose, period. This led to the 4th amendment in our...
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Nat Hentoff, journalist who wrote on jazz and civil liberties, dies at 91

Now digesting this in-depth review from The Cato Institute about the public's attitude toward the police. The good news is that public opinion mostly backs policies that would improve policing – such as police on-body cameras, independent oversight of police, and opposition to racial profiling. The bad news is that there are stark racial disparities in the quality of police encounters between...
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Policing in America: Understanding Public Attitudes Toward the Police. Results from a National Survey

“It’s a bitter pill to swallow as a D.C. resident when I know that the police chief here doesn’t have the authority to say, ‘This is a bad officer and shouldn’t be in the department,’ ” [Former D.C. police chief] Lanier said, “and an arbitrator, who has no stake in it and doesn’t live in the city, can say, ‘Put that officer back on the street,’ and have him patrolling your neighborhood.”

‘It made me hate the police’: Ugly encounters with officers fuel loss of trust, costly payouts

Which amendment is your favorite and why?

Happy Birthday to the Bill of Rights

The arresting officer gave this drunk-driving cop lots of leeway before arresting him. But in doing so he provides a fine example for how police should treat every person in a similar situation. (H/T Darren Gruber)

Video shows drunken-driving arrest of Washtenaw police lieutenant

Yet another example of why civilian police complaints must be made public and connected with individual officers' names. #OpenPoliceComplaints

Deputy charged with sexual battery faced a previous misconduct complaint, records show

Solid infographic work from the Police Foundation.

Use-of-Force Infographic | Police Foundation

This is an outstanding, important, and inspirational new talk from James Duane (AKA: The "don't talk to cops" lawyer.) Go ahead and buy his new book on Amazon.

"You Have the Right to Remain Innocent" (James Duane)

Law professor James Duane became a viral sensation in 2008 for a lively lecture that explained why people shouldn’t agree to answer questions from the police...

PA Governor Tom Wolf vetoed a terrible bill that would have mandated a 30-day "cooling off period" to release the names of cops who kill civilians. Here's what he had to say.

"While I am deeply concerned for the safety of the Commonwealth's police officers, government works best when trust and openness exist between citizens and their government, and as such, I cannot sign into law a policy...
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Gov. Tom Wolf vetoes bill that would have delayed ID of police officers involved in shootings

THIS is how you make America great. Kudos to the University of Iowa Student Legal Services for hosting a perfect know-your-rights event!

Learning ‘cop’ talk important for encounters

Sensible cannabis laws mean stronger 4th Amendment protections. That said, don't toke in your car, keep your private items in your trunk, and be prepared to flex your rights if need be. Good luck out there!

We Asked a Lawyer What to Do if You're Pulled Over with Weed | VICE | United States

Colin Kaepernick, we support your know-your-rights work and have educational materials for you to use.

Colin Kaepernick hosted a "Know Your Rights Camp" for more than 100 kids

Here are the nation's most important police open data projects, including our very own Open Police Complaints!

Open Data Projects Are Fueling the Fight Against Police Misconduct

It's foolish to believe that police will ever tell the whole story about their interactions with civilians. If we want the entire story, we must put more money into helping civilians tell their side of the story too. #OpenPoliceComplaints

There's no point in collecting data on police shootings and force if cops report inaccurate information