According to the Associated Press, more than 10,000 people have been arrested during recent protests across the United States. Here are some ways you can legally protect yourself if you’re taken into police custody for protesting:
Although you’re legally required to disclose your identity when arrested, it is your fifth amendment right to remain silent otherwise. Do not allow police to pressure you into disclosing incriminating information and do not sign anything or do anything without an attorney present.
You have the right to a phone call if arrested, and police are not permitted to listen to a call being made to a lawyer for legal help. If apprehended, police are allowed to remove anything from your person, but they do need a warrant to search your personal devices. You have the right to deny any sort of request for access to your phone, whether it be a passcode or fingerprint ID.
After being arrested, police may ask for a DNA sample and even try to collect that sample without your consent. The Legal Aid Society advises those arrested to not drink, smoke or chew gum in police custody, as they may collect it and use it for DNA.
Most importantly, if you feel your rights have been violated in any way during an arrest, it’s important to remember and record as much information as possible. That includes badge numbers, patrol car numbers, officer names, their agency and witness contact information.