Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

SF public defender’s office releases ‘know your rights’ tips

In advance of a planned free speech rally by the group Patriot Prayer Saturday, August 26 at Crissy Field that city officials fear will attract white supremacists and other far-right supporters, the San Francisco Public Defender’s office has released “know your rights” tips to remind residents of their legal rights if detained or arrested by law enforcement.

(The SF Public Defender's office wants to remind people of their rights if arrested.)

(The SF Public Defender’s office wants to remind people of their rights if arrested.)

“Attending a protest doesn’t mean you give up your right to due process,” Public Defender Jeff Adachi said in an August 24 news release. “In fact, this right is at the core of our national values. WE want to make Bay Area residents leave these actions with both their safety and civil rights intact.”

People who make contact with law enforcement are advised to remain calm and not argue or negotiate as an individual. People should also not touch an officer, the news release stated.

For those who are stopped, detained, or arrested by law enforcement, they should ask if they are free to go, the public defender’s office said.

“If you are not free to go, you should truthfully identify yourself (unless you want to spend extra time in jail),” the public defender office’s news release stated.

People in such circumstances also have the right to remain silent and not answer questions, and have the right to speak with a lawyer. People are also reminded that jail phone calls are recorded.

In terms of what people should say, Adachi’s office said they can ask, “Am I free to go?” or state that they wish to remain silent.

Employees of the public defender’s office will wear safety vests identifying themselves as legal observers during Saturday’s action at Crissy Field, which is expected to run from 2 to 5 p.m., according to a permit issued by the National Park Service. Legal observers document and record incidents and the activities of law enforcement in relation to demonstrators, from use of force to denying access to public areas.

As reported in Thursday’s Bay Area Reporter, there are several counteractions planned away from Crissy Field. More information is here.

— Cynthia Laird, August 24, 2017 @ 1:42 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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