Know your rights if you get pulled over - - Jackson, MS

Know your rights if you get pulled over

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

The job of a police officer is to protect and serve us, but recent shootings have many of you asking what you should do if you spot blue lights in the rear view. 

The ACLU of Mississippi first launched the Mobile Justice app in November of 2014. The app allows you to record interactions with police, read up on your rights and file a report with the ACLU if you think those rights have been violated.

"It empowers regular citizens who may not know what to do. You may be confused or even scared when they're stopped by the police," explained Zakiyz Summers, ACLU of Mississippi Director of Communications. "But at least they have that tool that they can use."

The ACLU of Mississippi's legal director says it can help if the case reaches court.

"Typically in situations where somebody who believes their constitutional rights have been violated in a law enforcement interaction, it's been a person's word against the police officer's word," said legal director Paloma Wu. "Something, obviously, that the video brings in is this third party perspective."

But Paloma Wu admitted traffic stop etiquette has two sides.

"One is how to stay safe," she said. "The second is what are your rights and obligations?  As we know in this day and age, they are not always completely the same."

Wu also had this advice.

"I think the best thing you can do is to remain calm," described Wu. "The thing you can do is use a broken record approach if you need to. I'm choosing to remain silent. 20 other questions. I'm choosing to remain silent. May I leave now? Broken record."

If you are being threatened with violence from a police officer, you can always comply and file a complaint or question the actions after the fact, but if you choose to exercise your right to remain silent, you have to say that out loud.

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