Tampa ACLU will hold a webinar about knowing your rights during police interactions

New state rep elect Michele Rayner will speak, too.

click to enlarge Police stand between protesters and Back the Blue stans in downtown Tampa, Florida on August 12, 2020. - DAVE DECKER
Dave Decker
Police stand between protesters and Back the Blue stans in downtown Tampa, Florida on August 12, 2020.

Unless you’re bocking the blup, police interactions are probably nerve wracking. The Greater Tampa Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union wants to help.

On August 25, Tampa’s ACLU is hosting a webinar to discuss a person’s rights when interacting with police.

“To be clear: the burden of de-escalation does not fall on private citizens — it falls on police officers,” the ACLU wrote. “However, we cannot assume officers will behave in a way that protects your safety or that they will respect your rights even after you assert them.”

The talk starts at 7:30 p.m., and registration is required if you want to hear Tampa ACLU Legal Panel Chair James Shaw moderate the conversation between other ACLU members (Tampa Chapter president Gretchen Cothron, staff attorney Jackie Azis) plus criminal defense attorney Maj Vasigh and First Amendment attorney Mark Caramanica.

A highlight on the panel is criminal defense attorney and newly-elected Florida State House Rep. Michele Rayner.

“For centuries in this country, Black and Brown people have been targeted, harassed, and murdered by law enforcement,” the ACLU added. “The truth is that there are situations where people have done everything they could to put an officer at ease, yet still ended up injured or killed. Our panelists will discuss strategies for handling police encounters.”

More information is available via aclufl.org.

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About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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