New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

What can you do if you witness police brutality?

On Behalf of | Wednesday Jun 16, 2021 | Civil Rights

If you are like many people, you want justice when you see police brutality. You may think that there is little that you can do, but really witnesses can make all of the difference.

According to the Huffington Post, without witnesses, police brutality goes unchecked in the United States. If you witness police brutality, you can film it. The following are some tips on what you can do.

Remain at a safe distance

Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot film the encounter. If you see an officer abusing his or her power, you have every right to use your phone to film it. Be careful, however. Remain at a distance because otherwise, the police can claim that you interfered with his or her duties.

Do not hold your phone out. Instead, keep it close to your body. You do not want law enforcement or anyone else to take it from you. Likewise, make sure that you cannot use fingerprints or face identification to unlock your phone. Instead, make sure that you have a complex passcode. Police cannot confiscate your device without a warrant.

Narrate if necessary

The details of the situation may be difficult to discern from video alone. If you can see the officer’s badge, name, or number, you should try to note that in the video. In addition, voice the time and location. Film the location around you so that you can verify when and where the event took place.

Once you have a video, you should think hard about whether you want to post it online. You could be subject to harassment yourself. Some witnesses choose to release the video to the victim’s lawyer.