What Are Your Rights If You Get Arrested?

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

As of Wednesday, June 3, U.S. police have arrested approximately 9300 people in connection to the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd. Protestors lose certain rights when they're taken into police custody, but there's plenty they can do (and avoid doing) to legally protect themselves. Here are some rights regarding arrests that everyone in America should be familiar with.

When to Remain Silent

Thanks to the popularity of cop shows, the first few lines of the Miranda Warning are common knowledge among the public. It's true that you have the right to remain silent when you're arrested, even if the arresting officer doesn't recite this warning while apprehending you. According to The Legal Aid Society, there are a few pieces of information you should surrender if the police ask: your name, address, and date of birth. Lying about your identity could get you into more legal trouble. In an interview with Teen Vogue, clinical assistant professor of law and director of appellate litigation for the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern University David M. Shapiro said questions about height, weight, and criminal history should also be answered honestly when you're booked into jail. If you're an immigrant, you don't have to tell the police your citizenship status or say where you're from.

During an arrest, you also have the right to make requests of your own. You're allowed to ask why you're being arrested if you haven't been told already, and according to the ACLU, you should ask for a lawyer immediately. When you get to the police station, you have the right to make one local phone call. The police aren't allowed to listen if you call a lawyer, but that's not the case if you phone a friend or relative. If you don't already have a lawyer or don't think you can afford one, let the officers know so they can set you up with representation that works for you.

When to Withhold Consent

While apprehending you, an officer can pat you down and remove anything from your person. This may include your phone, but police need a warrant to search your personal devices without permission. That means they're not allowed to look through photos, videos, or other data without your consent. If an officer asks for your device, or asks for your passcode or fingerprint to unlock it, you have the right to deny the request. That being said, The Legal Aid Society recommends using a passcode with six or more digits and disabling face/fingerprint unlock on your phone to protect your digital security in case of an arrest.

The police may also ask to collect a DNA sample after arresting you. Even if you don't consent to this, you may leave behind a sample for them to test without realizing it. The Legal Aid Society Warns against drinking, smoking, or chewing gum in police custody, and if you do, they say to take any items you used with you and say out loud that you don't consent to your DNA being tested.

What to Do If You Think Your Rights Have Been Violated

Knowing your rights also means being able to recognize when they've been violated. If you think an officer is abusing their power during an arrest, remember and record as much information from the incident as possible. That includes badge numbers, patrol car numbers, names of the officers, the agency they work for, and witness contact information. Record video or photograph evidence of the violation if you can. With this information ready, you can file a complaint with the agency’s internal affairs division or civilian complaint board. You can also sue for civil rights violations, though such lawsuits against police can be expensive and hard for prosecutors to win.

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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Who Was Jim Crow?

Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain
Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

The name Jim Crow appears throughout many U.S. history books. It's used in reference to both the laws that segregated Black and white Americans in the Southern United States and the region itself during the period when these laws were enforced. Jim Crow Laws and the Jim Crow South were very real from the late 19th through the mid-20th centuries, but a real person named Jim Crow never existed. The name comes from a fictional character used to perpetuate racist stereotypes before the Civil War.

According to Ferris State University, a white performer named Thomas Dartmouth Rice originated the Jim Crow caricature in the 1830s. Rice, known as "the Father of Minstrelsy," would don blackface and affect an exaggerated African American dialect while performing his musical act. Jim Crow was meant to be a racist stereotype of an enslaved person: Like many minstrel personas that came after him, the character was portrayed as a clumsy buffoon.

Though Rice didn't invent minstrelsy, his success helped popularize the stage show format. Inspired by Rice, other minstrel actors borrowed his Jim Crow routine, and soon whites were using the name as a derogatory term for African Americans.

Even after slavery was abolished and minstrel shows faded into obscurity, the Jim Crow character lived on as a label. According to History, the first Jim Crow laws were passed in the Reconstruction Period as a way to limit the rights and resources of newly freed Blacks in the South. Such laws imposed literacy tests on Black voters, segregated public schools, and made it legal for businesses to segregate their customers by race.

How exactly these laws became associated with Jim Crow is unclear, but the phrase Jim Crow Laws was being used by the late 19th century. An 1892 article from The New York Times used the wording when reporting on Louisiana's segregated railroad cars.

Though most people may not be aware of the name's origins, Jim Crow still comes up today when discussing this dark period in U.S. history and its lasting effect on the country.

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