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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. Know your basic rights. 1st Amendment: you have the right to assemble 4th Amendment: protection against unreasonable search and seizure 5th Amendment: protection against self-incrimination

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know your basic rights
Know your basic rights
  • 1st Amendment: you have the right to assemble
  • 4th Amendment: protection against unreasonable search and seizure
  • 5th Amendment: protection against self-incrimination
  • 6th Amendment: you have the right to a speedy and public trial, you have the right to an attorney
  • 8th Amendment: protection from excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment
three types of stops
Three types of stops

1. Consensual- ask “Am I free to go?”

2. Detention- based on reasonable suspicion, required to tell name and address but otherwise don’t talk, cops can pat search but do not consent to bag/pockets search. Search clause: if you are a parolee, you may be searched.

3. Arrest- based on probable cause (evidence), this can be in the form of a citation or custody, you have the right to know why you are being arrested, you have the right to appear before a judge (habeus corpus).

three types of violations
Three types of violations
  • Infractions- fine only, right to a judge, no jury though
  • Misdemeanor- fine and/or jail up to a year, right to a judge and jury
  • Felony- fine and/or jail longer than a year
three types of police misconduct
Three types of Police Misconduct
  • Violations of Law- corruption, excessive force
  • Violations of Policy- tasers, identity, each dept. has unique policies and procedures
  • Unjust Laws- anti-homeless, selective enforcement (i.e. racial profiling)
youth rights
Youth Rights
  • Youth have the same rights protected in the Constitution
  • Parent/guardian must be contacted within 1 hour of arrest
  • Not required to consent to search
  • Car/locker on school property is subject to search
  • Don’t confess guilt
  • “Plain view” protocol
  • Role of officer discretion
  • If they are asking for it, it means they need permission- just say NO!
  • Can search car if the arrest is near and car may have evidence in it
right to watch
Right to Watch
  • P.C. 148- Interfering/obstructing/delaying an officer on duty
  • Right to watch- 1st Amendment
  • Right to video- cops have no right/expectation of privacy
  • P.C. 830.10- Cops must be identified by name or number
when copwatching
When Copwatching...


  • Get badge #, dept., and name of officers
  • Video/document incident, write narrative
  • Speak with witnesses and get contact info
  • Photograph/document injuries
  • Keep calm, use polite language, slow movements, visibility to de-escalate
  • Use California Public Records Act to get documents. Federal equivalent is Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
  • Be an organizer
  • Assert your rights!
when copwatching1


  • Bring weapons/drugs
  • Drink/use drugs
  • Warn people cops are coming
  • Run or move suddenly
  • Videotape if victim doesn’t want you to
  • Escalate the situation
  • Interfere with police activity
  • Conceal your hands
when cops abuse
When Cops Abuse
  • Police Review Commission
  • Sue in Civil Court
  • Criminal Charges
  • Bad Publicity
  • Community Organizing
  • Copwatch