WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has rolled out a smartphone app that will help them and help you if you a witness or are involved in an altercation where your rights or someone else’s have been violated, including an unlawful arrest.
With the click of a red record button on the main screen of the Mobile Justice app, you will be able to live stream directly back to the ACLU where an intake specialist will be watching videos come in real-time.
If you are wondering what happens if your phone is confiscated by authorities, the ACLU says everything that is being recorded is being archived back at their offices.
On inauguration day, there will be ACLU representatives monitoring the video and incident reports to examine and determine if legal rights legal are being violated.
“Usually police in D.C. do a pretty good job and understand their role at facilitating [and] not disrupting demonstrations,” said Scott Michelman, senior staff attorney for ACLU of the District of Columbia. “Just in case, we have information about dealing with police, understanding what to say, and most importantly what not to say and what to do if things go wrong.”
According to Michelman, what you should do is give your name and address if you are asked.
“But you should not answer questions about what the police are alleging that you did,” he explained. “Don’t give explanations, don’t give excuses. If you are being arrested or questioned, you should say that you want to remain silent and that you want a lawyer.”
It is your constitutional right to protest, but if you get arrested during a demonstration, here are some other dos and don’ts suggested by the ACLU:
- Do keep your hands in plain view
- Do feel free to videotape officers (as long as you're not interfering)
- Do know that police can lie to you (for instance, they promise you will get out faster if you answer questions)
- Don't make sudden movements or point at the officer
- Don’t touch the officer or their equipment
- Don't yell or otherwise escalate the situation
- Don’t lie to police or provide fake documents
It is important that if you are going to protest during the inauguration, you should know your rights as well as the law. For more information, go to: ACLU - Inauguration 2017: Know Your Rights
More about the Mobile Justice app: www.acludc.org/en/mobile