Rights of the Public: Lessons Learned Recommendations from Civil Rights Litigation

Ensure that the consent to search form includes: 

  • Signature line for officers to certify they have advised the subject of the right to refuse a search
  • Signature line for the subject to affirm that they understand that right

Do not use contacts with the community to intimidate, harass, or coerce individuals

Baltimore, MD          Newark, NJ          Seattle, WA   

Train officers on permissible exceptions to the rights of the public to record interactions per departmental policy

  • Document and report to supervisors, instances where officers order members of the public to stop recording
  • Report to supervisors when they believe they were recorded by the public

When conducting a warrantless search based on consent, inform the subject of their right to refuse and revoke their consent at any time without reason

Alamance County, NC          Cleveland, OH        Los Angeles County, CA        Newark, NJ         Yonkers, NY

The information provided above has come directly from the consent decree language, which can be accessed by clicking on each corresponding city’s consent decree. This information is intended to guide departments on decisions and actions to improve their Constitutional policing practices. Additional resources and information may be needed to implement these recommendations successfully. For assistance in implementing recommendations, contact the Knowledge Lab team.