What's the Big Idea?
How well do you know your rights?
Moreover, have you ever had to exercise your rights during an encounter with a police officer?
Unfortunately, many people unknowingly waive their rights during police encounters. This should not be very surprising. After all, police officers hold an overwhelming power advantage during situations like traffic stops. They are trained to get you to waive your rights, and they are trained to get you to incriminate yourself. For instance:
"Do you know why I pulled you over?"
"Yes, I was speeding."
Gotcha! You have just given up your Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.
In this video below, ACLU President Susan Herman outlines how you can legally and properly exercise your Constitutional rights when you are stopped by the police.
Watch the video here:
What's the Significance?
According to Herman, the most important thing for people to remember during any encounter with the police is to "remain calm, remain respectful, but also assert your rights." The police are not your legal advocates. They do not have to tell you what your rights mean. "You have to know on your own what your rights are."
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