In recent years the Mayberry image of law enforcement has been shattered. It seems everyday there’s a new headline about racial profiling or police brutality. Whether you’re hearing stories about Michael Brown or Eric Garner it is evident that police officers are not performing their civic duty to serve and protect. As a law-abiding citizen you should be educated and informed of what to do in a situation that involves racial profiling, police brutality, or false arrests. In situations where you are profiled or falsely arrested by law enforcement, the media and even the police department are going to do what they can to make you seem malicious and at fault. They are protecting themselves so it is your responsibility to do what you can to protect yourself.
What can you do to protect yourself?
The most important thing you can do when trying to prove accusations made against you by law enforcement are false is have good legal representation, but there are other steps you can take as well, and you need to know what they are.
- Always have a lawyer present – Whenever the police try to speak with you or question you, have your lawyer present. It does not make you guilty to seek the service of an attorney. It is smart and in your best interest. A lawyer can protect you from being manipulated through interrogations and can keep the police from misconstruing any statements you make.
- Document injuries – If the police injured you, document the injuries. Take as many photos as you can of the injuries caused to you and take varied shots of the injuries. Have documented evidence of the people and places involved. Keep any evidence you may have. If your clothes were ripped, your glasses broken, or if your cell phone was shattered, keep all of those things to back up your story.
- File a complaint – Make complaints against any officer that racially profiles you, injures you, or falsely arrests you, and do this with your lawyer present. This could lead to the officers being investigated and disciplinary action being taken against them. Do not be afraid to speak up about any abuse directed towards you by a police officer.