Personal Security While Protesting

***None of this is Legal Advice. Please talk to a lawyer for Legal Advice***

  • Understand that there is a real chance that you can be arrested.
    • Never go protesting alone. Go with a friend and always stay within eyesight of each other. Determine some place to meet afterwards in case something goes wrong.
    • Memorize or write down in permanent ink, the number of a lawyer or someone who can contact a lawyer for you.
    • Leave a set of instructions for someone to take care of your affairs. (walk dogs, take care of kids, call lawyer etc.)
  • Do not unlock your phone around police. The police cannot force you to unlock your phone.
    • Enable full disk encryption on your phone.
    • Remove fingerprint unlock. While the police can’t force you to unlock your phone the law is murky about if they can force you to put your finger on the fingerprint sensor.
    • Make it a habit to take pictures from your phone without unlocking your phone.
  • If you are confronted by police
    • Do not say anything.
    • The police is rarely your friend.
    • If you suspect the police is violating your rights, remember the details of the events and document them. You often do not have rights till you are in front of a judge.
    • Use these phrases:
      • “Am I being charged with anything?”
      • “Can I go?” : if you are not being arrested, you have the right to calmly leave.
      • “I want my lawyer” : Ask for a lawyer immediately if you are being arrested. Do not talk to the police any further.
      • “I do not want to be obstructive but my lawyer told me to not say anything till they get there”: Establishes that you are not being obstructive and gives your power to an outside person so you can’t be pushed to give up your power to the police.
  • Phone location tracking
    • Your phone can be used to track your activities. GPS, cell phone tower connections, WIFI discovery, all of these can be used to track your behavior. If you want to avoid this, turn off WIFI, GPS or best solution is to keep your phone in airplane mode or turn it off altogether.
    • This does solve issues with location tracking but it causes issues in communications with friends and documenting.
  • Cell phone tools.
    • Cell phones can be a major tool in protecting yourself also. Recording video and taking pictures can prevent people from escalating violence. It is a fast and easy way to connect with people if something goes wrong.
    • Use your personal discretion whether to use your phone or not.
    • Use tools such as Cell411 to send information of any altercations that are happening.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *