After the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25th, protests erupted across the country.

Social justice seekers are demanding that officials make changes to stop allowing a disproportionate number of black Americans to die at the hands of police every year.

While protests were largely peaceful, an estimated 9,000 people were arrested this week. 

If someone you love went to a protest, and you haven’t heard from them since, you may be wondering if they are safe, and if they’ve been arrested. 

Here are some steps you can take:

Before the protest, make sure the person understands their rights.

Everyone should know their rights and be prepared before attending a protest. 

Make sure your friends and family know what they should bring, and what they should do if they encounter police. 

Protestors should remember that police may confiscate their phones upon arrest. So urge loved ones to list important numbers on notecards, or maybe even write them on their arms so that they can call you or others for bail or legal representation. 

You can find more information on what you should bring to a protest here.

To confirm if your loved one has been arrested…

Protests can be chaotic and you may be nervous that your loved one has been arrested if you are not able to get in contact with them or if they do not come home.

Take these steps to try and confirm what has actually happened to them:

1. Find out who they attended the protest with and attempt to contact them.

2. Contact the local police department in the area of the protest.

Some police departments will release information about arrests over the phone and may even have a specific phone number for you to call in order to do so. If not, call the nonemergency number and inquire whether or not they will release this information.

Remember when you speak with an officer you will have to provide your loved one’s legal name.

You may also contact the city or county jail nearest to the protest requesting the same information.

3. Check arrest records.

Many cities and counties have their arrest records online in a searchable database. All you need to do is find the database for the city/county they were protesting in and their full legal name to access this information. If they have a common name you may need other information in order to find arrest records. It might also be a good idea to check the arrest records of cities and counties closeby.

If you can confirm they have been arrested, post bail.

According to the ACLU, around 450,000 people who have not been convicted of a crime remain in jail because they cannot afford bail. 

If you can’t afford to post your loved one’s bail, you may contact a bail fund

Bails funds are charitable organizations that pay for the release of people who have been arrested as they await trial. 

In response to the protests, bail funds across the country have received tens of millions of dollars in donations. Receiving help from these organizations can be as easy as visiting their website and filling out an application. 

If you need legal representation, call us.

LawChamps is a service that matches clients with attorneys nationwide.  We make working with attorneys easy, quick and affordable by managing the relationship for you. LawChamps attorneys agree to offer legal services to clients at set, pre-negotiated rates.

We strongly believe that Access to Justice is a fundamental human right for all, not a privilege for the few. 

Access to justice and legal literacy are essential for people to know their rights, to understand how the legal process works and how to engage with courts. 

LawChamps was created to educate, inform, assist and empower people from all races, places and financial situations that need and want justice with trustworthy and effective attorneys to assist them with personal and business matters, can afford them, but need affordability and don’t have them.

We are trying to close the Access-to-Justice gap nationwide with top affordable lawyers for all, and we can help you. Call us at (866) 653-3017 or find your lawyer online now. 

It is important to remember that protesting and speaking out against injustice is your right as an American. Do not let fear stop you from exercising that right.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” – Martin Luther King Jr. 

This article is intended to convey generally useful information only and does not constitute legal advice. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author, not LawChamps.

 
 
Carlee Sutera

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