Sandra Bland’s story is just one of many recently that demonstrate the unjust treatment of civilians by police. From Michael Brown to Eric Garner, it is clear we have to fight for justice against a system that is supposed to be there to protect us. People have strong and differing opinions about these police brutality cases,but what is clear beyond a reasonable doubt is that many of us are not sure of our rights when it comes to dealing with the cops.
In Sandra Bland’s case, the released video shows that she was very vocal about the fact that what was happening was in clear violation of her rights. As a #BlackLivesMatter activist she knew that the police officer that stopped her was crossing a line and she spoke up, yet she still died in her jail cell. Clearly, just being educated can’t prevent a tragedy like this one.
Still, knowledge is power and we cannot let fear stop us from regaining our agency, no matter how stifled it may seem. So, brush up on your rights with these sites below.
- Know My Rights: A non-for-profit site that developed and implemented simple to understand legal education program with FAQs and the latest news.
- Miranda Rights: Breaks down what you need to provide to police if you are stopped and questioned. As it was mandated in 1966 to help avoid self-incrimination during police interrogation, it's a pretty valuable site that we should become familiar with.
- Bill of Rights and Beyond: A condensed version of the United States constitution that is worth the read. It covers ground from the first amendment to rights of the accused.
- American Civil Liberties Union: The simplest and most relevant site to the current state we're in regarding police brutality. It breaks down what to do if you're stopped by the police, detained by immigration agents or the FBI.
We also wanted to debunk a popular myth going around: Yes, you are legally allowed to record the police! We found a great app called Mobile Justice that allows you to record police and send the footage to the American Civil Liberties Union with the click of a button before they can confiscate your property. It also has a section within the app that allows you to read your rights.
We're living in a time where technology is at our fingertips and we should use the resources available to us to stay safe. It's important to know what you can do if you're in a situation like this or you see something inappropriate happening.