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Law enforcement discuss the importance of knowing your rights

February 16, 2019

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Law enforcement discuss the importance of knowing your rights

On Feb. 13, law enforcement from the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office held a special session to discuss the rights citizens should know.

Major Renee Brinkley, who has been in office for 19 years and is now in charge of human resources, spoke at the event, along with Michael Gardner, Louisiana State Police criminal investigator.

Both speakers addressed the issue of following instructions and knowing who and what is in your vehicle. The speakers also talked about being confident in the actions you take.

“Police officers have an intention to keep the community safe and not being confident in your actions or in the way you speak to the officer can alert them that something may be going on,” Gardner said.

People are encouraged to listen carefully to the questions you are asked and to understand that you do not have to say anything that doesn’t pertain to your situation, you do not have to sign anything without having a full understanding of what it is, and you should always ask for a lawyer first.

With easy accessibility to lights similar to those on cop cars, many people may get scared of who is pulling them over. It is advised that if the vehicle that is pulling you over is unmarked, you should turn on your emergency lights and make your way to a safe area before pulling over.

“The fear levels have grown in our communities, and knowing your rights helps your knowledge on how to get out of certain situations,” Gardner said.

The lack of knowledge in knowing your rights is what leads to conflicts with the officer, a suspect or a person who has been presumed in trouble.

“You should always remember that you have the right to know your rights,” said Renee Hicks, executive director of planning and institutional effectiveness.

 

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