People in the community with their hands together like a pre-game huddle.

Know your rights.

How to Prevent a Dangerous Situation

  • Do stay calm and be polite.
  • Do not interfere with or obstruct the police.
  • Do not lie or give false documents.
  • Do prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested.
  • Do remember the details of the encounter.
  • Do file a written complaint or call your local ACLU if you feel your rights have been violated.

Your Basic Rights

  • You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud.
  • You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car, or your home.
  • If you are not under arrest, you have the right to leave calmly.
  • You have the right to a lawyer if you are arrested. Ask for one immediately.
  • Regardless of your immigration or citizenship status, you have constitutional rights.


  • Stay calm. Don't run.
  • Don't argue, resist, or obstruct the police even if you are innocent or police are violating your rights.
  • Keep your hands where police can see them.
  • Ask if you are free to leave.
    • If the officer says yes, calmly and silently walk away.
    • If you are under arrest, you have a right to know why.
  • You have the right to remain silent and cannot be punished for refusing to answer questions.
    • If you wish to remain silent, tell the officer out loud.
    • In some states, you must give your name if asked to identify yourself.
  • You do not have to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings, but police may "pat down" your clothing if they suspect a weapon.
    • You should not physically resist, but you have the right to refuse consent for any further search.
    • If you do consent, it can affect you later in court.


  • Stop the car in a safe place as quickly as possible.
  • Turn off the car, turn on the internal light, open the window part way, and place your hands on the wheel.
  • Upon request, show police your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance.
  • If an officer or immigration agent asks to look inside your car you can refuse to consent to the search, but if police believe your car contains evidence of a crime your car can be searched without your consent.
  • Both drivers and passengers have the right to remain silent.
  • If you are a passenger, you can ask if you are free to leave.
    • If the officer says yes, sit silently or calmly leave.
    • Even if the officer says no, you have the right to remain silent.

At Home

  • If the police or immigration agents come to your home, you do not have to let them in unless they have certain kinds of warrants.
  • Ask the officer to slip the warrant under the door or hold it up to the window so you can inspect it.
    • A search warrant allows police to enter the address listed on the warrant, but officers can only search the areas and for the items listed.
    • An arrest warrant allows police to enter the home of the person listed on the warrant if they believe the person is inside.
    • A warrant of removal/deportation (ICE warrant) does not allow officers to enter a home without consent.
  • Even if officers have a warrant, you have the right to remain silent.
  • If you choose to speak to the officers, step outside and close the door.

Immigration Status

  • You have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status with police, immigration agents, or any other officials.
  • You do not have to answer questions about where you were born, whether you are a U.S. citizen, or how you entered the country. (Separate rules apply at international borders and airports, and for individuals on certain nonimmigrant visas, including tourists and business travelers.)
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen and an immigration agent requests your immigration papers, you must show them if you have them with you.
    • If you are over 18, carry your immigration documents with you at all times.
    • If you do not have immigration papers, say you want to remain silent.
  • Do not lie about your citizenship status or provide fake documents.

What to do After You Have Been Violated

  • Always get the officer's badge number and know which city and department.
  • Immediately write down everything you remember about the incident.
  • File a complaint at the police dept to the Internal Affairs department.
  • Contact the Watch commander or Chief (e.g. Hutchens)
  • Contact your local civil rights organization for help (e.g. NAACP).
  • Contact your local, state, and federal officials.
  • Protest the police department where the officer works in force.
  • Contact the DA regarding charges been pressed (e.g. Rackauckas).