Please keep this circulating. Cops are getting more and more brazen, know your rights!
good to know
This know your rights list is an excellent primer and is great to know, but knowing your rights won’t deter them from being violated. We have to understand that. This is supposed to be “the law”, but what happens when the law on the books is stop and frisk, as it was in NYC? That law was by default anti-Black and it was a complete violation of civil rights. I can tell you from personal experience that with stop and frisk, it usually escalates to a search, where they go in your pockets and bags/belongings. Plus these cops love to grab/squeeze your privates to inflict pain. They know you can’t do anything about it. It will be your word against theirs if you file a complaint. How do you prove that an officer squeezed your balls with a vice like grip while frisking you? Cops always get the benefit of the doubt which is why they can be brazen about it. They know they will get away.
The idea that a search can only happen if an officer has probable cause as stated above might be the law, but that’s just not true in reality. They search whenever they feel like it and they routinely antagonize you to create a problem, which they will in turn say was probable cause. They do whatever they like. They operate outside their own laws. Stop and frisk itself is unconstitutional, but it didn’t stop it from being a law on the books.
Here on Staten Island, cops have forced Black men to strip naked in public. I’ve posted this before, but Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who choked Eric Garner did this to Black men. This is on his record and the city had to pay damages for his abuse after his victims sued for false arrest and making them strip in public. Pantaleo is not a one man wrecking crew. This is the operating procedure for these cops. It’s what they do. Any cop on Staten Island that feigns ignorance about this and acts like or says they don’t know that this is a practice is a liar.
Via the NY Daily News
Pantaleo has been accused of false arrest and violating police procedures in two lawsuits, court records show. In one, two African-American plaintiffs won $15,000 apiece after claiming they’d been falsely arrested on Staten Island in 2012 and forced to publicly strip so cops could search them. All charges against them were dropped.
Plaintiff Darren Collins, 46, told The News on Friday night he was too frightened to talk.
“I’m scared of what (the cops) may do to me … I was harassed” after the arrest, he said.
They do this to little Black boys as well to put the fear in them at an early age. I’ve posted about the Rayshawn Moreno case before. Moreno was 14 when the cops brutalized him. You can read more about it here. The cops saw Moreno throwing eggs on halloween; silly, juvenile kid shit that you’d write a ticket/fine for, tell him to clean up and call his mom or dad to come pick him up after you take him to the station. The NYPD instead put him in their patrol car and drove him out to an isolated marsh area on Staten Island, made him strip, and proceeded to beat him up to their satisfaction. After beating him up, they abandoned him naked out there. These were cops who assaulted a Black child and left him beaten, scared, and naked in a remote and isolated marsh.
So yeah, it’s good to know your rights, but please don’t let this knowledge give you a false sense of security and think cops won’t violate your rights because you don’t think you gave them any “reasonable suspicion”. The violation of Black bodies is systemic and structural. It was set up this way. They don’t need a reason, and they can make one up if they want. They are specifically targeting Black people.