The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, assembly, and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Exercising one’s right to speak up and protest could foster awareness, recognition, and change. But, it is also essential to keep in mind that there are limits to the exercise of one’s rights, particularly when doing so can impact the rights of others. The right to assembly doesn’t allow protestors to commit otherwise illegal acts like vandalism. And protestors who harm others will face criminal repercussions.
When Is It Legal for the Police to Intervene with Protests?
Local law enforcement is legally authorized to intervene in a protest when it escalates to violence and property damage. Also, they can arrest perpetrators and stop the protests on private property, those organized without a permit, and those that block public rights of way. In addition, law enforcement can interview if a curfew has been established and police have given the protesters warning and the chance to safely leave. But, police must act only to apply limited restrictions in a non-discriminatory way.
What to Do if the Police Stop You or Arrest You
If the police stop you, don’t panic. The police may just want to ask a question. Then, get your phone out and start recording. Also, ask the police if you are being detained or free to go. If they detain you, ask why. You don’t need to speak to the police if you don’t want to. Once you are booked, you should be given a chance to make a phone call. Aside from contacting your family members, make sure to call a Las Vegas Civil Rights Attorney.
What to Do If Your Right to Protect is Violated
If you believe your rights have been violated at a protest, collect evidence to support your claim. You can sue for the violation of your rights and you must call an attorney devoted to protecting your rights. Anyone who has been violated by official government actors can seek redress in federal court. But, police are also covered by qualified immunity, so you need to record any interaction with them. Recordings will help the court in determining who tells the truth.
If you face issues with your civil rights being violated during a protest, contact an experienced civil rights attorney. They will work to protect your constitutional rights. Because they offer free, no-obligation consultation, you shouldn’t have any reason not to call them.