The federal and local law enforcement community has increasingly and often unlawfully targeted the Muslim, Middle Eastern, Arab and South Asian communities. If targeted, keep the following tips in mind. What are my rights?
- You have a constitutional right to remain silent, even if you are not free to leave. In some states, you must give your name if an officer asks for it, but you do not have to say anything else.
- You have a right to refuse an interview or answer questions. Interviews are completely voluntary and law enforcement agents cannot penalize you for not agreeing to an interview.
- You have a right to an attorney. Consult with a lawyer before agreeing to answer any questions. A lawyer can protect your rights. Be sure to also have an attorney present at the interview.
- You have a right to set the terms and conditions of the interview. If you agree to be interviewed, you can determine the time, day and place of the interview
- Ask the agents for their cards or find out their names, agencies and telephone numbers.
- Tell them that you will have your attorney call them back. Do not answer their questions until you have consulted with an attorney. Be sure to have an attorney present at the interview.
- Never lie. Lying to a law enforcement agent is a crime and it is better to refuse to answer a question or clearly state that you are not sure than to say something untruthful.
- Never interview at the agents’ office or take a lie detector test. They are very inaccurate.
- Never volunteer information that is not asked. Agents are often fishing so be careful of what you say.
- Never answer questions about your religion or political beliefs. Agents are not allowed to ask you these questions in the first place.
- Never answer questions about your charitable contributions, if you can avoid doing so.