February 22, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Blog contributor Jules is a social worker and the program director at Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden program. She has been practicing trauma-informed therapy with the agency for nearly 7 years.
In a recent Special Topics workshop hosted at the Secret Garden, criminal defense and immigration attorneys from New York County Defenders Services provided a rich discussion around what it means to Know Your Rights around arrest and immigration.
Discussion highlights and suggestions include:

  • “Magic phrases”, such as when you are approached by police asking: “am I under arrest?” and “am I free to leave?”. Repeating yourself calmly while keeping your hands where a police officer can see them can be the difference between life and death.  If a police officer searches and frisks you another magic phrase to say is “I do not consent to this search” and “why am I being stopped?”.
  • If you are arrested it is important to remain calm and not give any stories or excuses since that can be used against a person once the issues are brought to court in front of a judge.  Staying calm, not engaging with police, staying in control of your body and not resisting arrest, memorizing names and badges are also important if placed under arrest.
  • Nervous feelings are common when interacting with law enforcement in any situation.
  • Recording an interaction with law enforcement is within your rights as long as it does not interfere with the police officer doing their job.
  • If there are any situations that involve law enforcement or the criminal justice system make sure a lawyer is present – you have a right to have one!  And, if you believe a police officer did not behave in an ethical way, making a complaint to the Civilian Complaint Review Board, Internal Affairs and the NY State Attorney General’s office are options.

A fact sheet on Know Your Rights with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) arrests click here.

Learn more about Secret Garden’s insights and expertise on our new web page Domestic Violence & Disabilities

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *