Do you know your constitutional rights if stopped by the police? Washington Post recently ran an interesting article on "10 Rules", a docudrama produced by the D.C. nonprofit Flex Your Rights.
"The producers, D.C. residents Steven Silverman and Scott Morgan created the film to help people in urban areas understand their constitutional rights.
'I realized the majority of people are confused and overwhelmed about how to handle a police encounter,' Silverman says.
Silverman and Morgan, who studied criminal justice, plan to distribute DVDs to high schools, community groups, youth groups and churches. They spent two years making the film, which cost $110,000 and was funded in part by the Marijuana Policy Project. It was shot in Baltimore.
'Minorities are the audience,' Morgan says. 'It was important to us with this project because people of color are disproportionately targeted by police across the country.' According the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, minorities are more likely to be searched when arrested. The bureau's stats show that 'stop and frisks' are occurring at record rates, Morgan says, particularly where minorities and low-income people live..." (Read more).
Watch clips from the film here, the ten rules are listed below.
- Always be calm and cool.
- You have the right to remain silent.
- You have the right to refuse searches.
- Don't get tricked into waiving your rights.
- Determine if you're free to go.
- Don't do anything illegal.
- Don't run.
- Never touch a cop.
- Report misconduct: Be a good witness.
- You don't have to let them in.