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Mark Silverstein on Your Rights when Interacting with Police

Copyright © 2024 by Ari Armstrong
This episode originally was published on July 16, 2020, and reposted here on May 7, 2024.

Self in Society Podcast #16
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Mark Silverstein, Legal Director of the ACLU of Colorado, discusses your rights when interacting with police, troubling police actions during protests, and Colorado police reforms.

Read my article based in part on my discussion with Silverstein, "Police interactions come with rights, responsibilities."

Time Markers
00 Intro
1:10 Detentions and Terry Frisks
5:35 The basis for a frisk
6:59 Articulation of a suspicion 1
3:28 "Am I free to go?", self-identification 1
9:10 Would legislative clarity on articulation and identification help?
21:06 The detention of Elijah McClain
25:03 Police culture and training
26:21 A detention versus an arrest
29:27 Practical considerations for navigating a police interaction, more on police culture
35:45 Traffic stops
43:01 The officer's business card
45:04 What to do after an abusive police encounter
47:39 Race and Class as a factor in police abuse
49:36 Videoing police as a bystander
53:24 When to talk to the police
55:29 The Colorado police reform bill, qualified immunity
1:00:21 Bail reform
1:02:49 The ACLU's lawsuit against Denver police regarding recent protests
1:06:43 Wrap-up

See my article, "The killing of Elijah McClain." See also additional body cam footage from the Aurora PD. (This is where I pulled the image used with this post.)

We discuss the video, "Don't Talk to the Police."

Although Silverstein says he wasn't aware of a Colorado law requiring people to identify themselves to police officers, at least one source claims there is such a law. Here is the text of Colorado statute 16-3-103: "(1) A peace officer may stop any person who he reasonably suspects is committing, has committed, or is about to commit a crime and may require him to give his name and address, identification if available, and an explanation of his actions. A peace officer shall not require any person who is stopped pursuant to this section to produce or divulge such person’s social security number. The stopping shall not constitute an arrest. (2) When a peace officer has stopped a person for questioning pursuant to this section and reasonably suspects that his personal safety requires it, he may conduct a pat-down search of that person for weapons."

Incidentally, I mispronounce Silverstein's name during the interview; it's "Silverstine" not "Silversteen." (Sorry about that.)

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