Know Your Rights

In the US, all people, whether or not they are citizens, have certain rights when interacting with law enforcement, such as: the right to not consent to a search when the police do not have “probable cause,” to not be profiled based on age, sex, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender or sexuality, and to not be subjected to harassment or excessive force. According to the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk data – and the experiences of members of Peoples’ Justice organizations – too often the police violate these rights in a manner that is humiliating, frightening, dangerous, and sometimes deadly. Peoples’ Justice feels strongly that teaching New Yorkers their rights and how to exercise those rights safely is one of the first steps we must take to empower our communities to respond to and deter discriminatory, unlawful and abusive policing.

Peoples’ Justice conducts Know Your Rights trainings in schools, organizations, community centers, and anywhere else where people ask us to come. We also distribute tens of thousands of Know Your Rights palmcards, brochures, and related outreach materials in communities throughout New York City every year. To schedule a Know Your Rights training, contact us here! 

Palmcard Back: 4 Tips to Protect Yourself

1) You have the right to observe, photograph, record and film police activities as long as you are a “reasonable distance” away and do not interfere.

Film: "Know Your Rights"

Manhattan Neighborhood Network's Youth Channel

What happens when young people in NYC get stopped and frisked? We need to make sure we know our rights as individuals and as a community. In the short film "Know Your Rights" we're exposed to the reality of most young people of color in NYC when Malik, a young African American male who does not know his rights, is stopped and frisked in his own building.