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2 false positive tests keep a man in prison 4.5 months too long

If you are arrested and tested for drugs, you expect that test to come back accurately. If you don't use drugs, it would be an absolute shock to be accused of being drugged.

That's similar to what happened to this young man. The 34-year-old man was at school in New York's Willard Correctional Facility at the drug treatment campus when he was asked to take a drug test. He was formerly a heroin user, but he had stayed clean throughout the program. In fact, he had only a month to go before he would get to leave and go home.

Holding New York police accountable for misconduct

By and large, New Yorkers are most appreciative of the police officers who devote their time to keeping residents safe.

There is a flip side however, in that the police sometimes abuse their power. Here are three areas of concern where law enforcement officers may violate the rights of citizens.

Woman sues New York police after falling in a haunted house

Injuries can happen anywhere, even when you go to a haunted house. Not surprisingly, Halloween is a fun time of year with lots of exciting haunted houses to go to in the Bronx and beyond. Unfortunately, they aren't always safe.

Take, for example, this case involving a mother from the Bronx who is now suing the New York Police Department after breaking her ankle in the precinct's haunted house. It is her claim that an officer jumped out to scare her and knocked her down, leaving her with a broken ankle as a result.

3 ways to film police officers safely

Everyone these days seemingly has a smartphone with an integrated camera. Whether you are riding the subway, walking on the street or sitting in your house, you may want to use your phone’s camera to record police activity. Generally, you have a First Amendment right to do so, provided you do not obstruct police activity

A recording of police activities may be essential to someone’s criminal defense. It may also keep law enforcement officials from violating the law. Nonetheless, officers may not appreciate their actions ending up on a digital recording. Here are three ways to film police officers without risking your personal safety.

Understand more about racial profiling in America

If you've ever worried about how you would be treated as a result of the color of your skin or other aspects of how you look, then you may be concerned about racial profiling. Racial profiling takes place when you're treated unfairly and targeted as a result of your perceived race, national origin, religion or ethnicity.

There is no question that racial profiling is illegal. It sometimes violates the very core of the United States Constitution, which guarantees people the right to protection from unreasonable search and seizure. Racial profiling is also ineffective, leading to whole communities fearing the police and authorities, which ends up hurting everyone.

Common injuries that develop after a car crash

New York is a hub of activity, and the roads often pay the price in terms of overloading and traffic. An accident is something that can sideline others aside from the crash victims.

You may believe you know how to handle the aftermath of an accident. However, you need to watch out for injuries that may lurk below the surface. Familiarize yourself with these three major problems that may start as something much less.

You can file a claim against the police for misconduct

There is never a reason for a police officer to brutalize an individual. There's never a reason for them to violate another person's rights. At the end of the day, police officers are supposed to protect the peace and enforce the laws, but their main goal should be to protect the people they serve.

Incidents involving police misconduct can be terrifying. Some common situations where misconduct could occur include:

  • During traffic stops
  • While being arrested
  • During actions that are a result of racial profiling
  • During detainment in a jail, detention facility or prison

Get help if your rights or liberties have been violated

Protecting your civil rights is very important, but if you're not quite sure what your civil rights are, you wouldn't be the first to ask. Civil rights include the right to be free from discrimination based on protected features, the right to practice any religion you choose and the right to free speech. Americans are also given rights such as the freedom of the press, the right to a trial by jury, the right to assemble and the right to petition the government.

In fact, there are many rights granted to the American people, and it's smart to be informed about them. Your civil rights are centered around protecting you and helping you be treated as an equal citizen in this country.

When investigators must advise you of your rights

If you have ever watched a police drama on television, you have no doubt heard the warning. With its name coming from a famous U.S. Supreme Court opinion, the warning informs individuals of both their right to remain silent and their right to legal counsel

The U.S. Constitution confers a variety of rights to individuals. The warning, though, advises criminal suspects of protections that appear the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. Specifically, you have the right to not incriminate yourself and to have a lawyer present during police questioning. Officers must only advise you of your rights, though, if two situations are both true. 

Raise the Age legislation in final phase this September

People make mistakes. In fact, many people who are accused of crimes never planned to commit them. This is particularly true among minors.

That's why New York has been addressing the problem of having young, impressionable people in its prison system. Now, starting at the end of September, 17-year-old offenders will no longer be put through the adult criminal justice system. This is the final phase of the state's Raise the Age legislation.

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