Know Your Rights

This column appears in the October 1 – 8 edition of the Hartford News…

Community Party Media

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Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. Program note: Our September 29 show was postponed to September 30, due to an important community event. We apologize for the inconvenience. Program alerts are posted on the CP Twitter page, my Facebook page and our blog. Next show: Tuesday, October 6 at 9:00 PM. We’ll talk to former Auburn, Alabama cop Justin Hanners, who was fired for taking a stand against ticket and arrest quotas. Tuesday, October 20: Retired LAPD Sgt. Cheryl Dorsey will join us. Sgt. Dorsey is now speaking out about police culture, brutality, racism and the abuse officers suffer from their superiors. Tune in!

False Choice: The Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color

Trebol Press has published my first nonfiction book on politics. The Democrats and Republicans spar publicly, but the reality is that these two parties have more in common than they have differences. This duopoly is run on corporatist economic policies that benefit the ruling class, at the expense of the workers and the poor. Global hegemony is at the core of the foreign policies of the Dems and the GOP. False Choice is a diary of national and global issues, set against the backdrop of the Connecticut gubernatorial election between Gov. Dannel Malloy and Republican challenger Tom Foley that was rated as the most negative in the country in 2014. The book also features commentary on politics at Hartford City Hall, including analysis of the highly controversial baseball stadium deal orchestrated by Mayor Pedro Segarra and City Council President Shawn Wooden. Visit the Trebol Press website for ordering info.

No Sellout

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Sandra Bland Police Reform & Economic Justice Plan

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Know Your Rights: How to Handle Police Encounters

Courtesy of attorney Peter M. Baskin who practices law in Arlington, Virginia.


If approached by a police officer, ask if you are free to leave: if yes, walk away immediately. If approached at home, stay inside.

Refuse to answer all questions except about your identity.

Refuse to consent to any search, or home entry, unless shown a warrant.

Refuse to admit to anything or to explain anything.

Refuse to take any sobriety or other tests on the street.

Demand to have a lawyer present when questioned.


DO: Be calm and keep your hands visible at all times.

DO: Identify yourself fully and agree to come to court.

DO: Give your license to the police officer as soon as possible.

DO: Tell the officer you will talk only about your identity and a court date without a lawyer present.

DO NOT: Admit to anything, explain anything or consent to any search.

DO NOT: Take any sobriety tests or other tests on the street.

DO NOT: Answer any questions except about your identity.

DO NOT: Believe any statement that you will “help” yourself if you “cooperate”. Cooperating means giving up these rights and only helps the police by giving them evidence they will use against you!


DO NOT RESIST: You will be handcuffed, searched and promptly taken to a Judicial Officer for bond. Identify yourself and agree to come to court. SAY NOTHING ELSE AND CALL A LAWYER IMMEDIATELY!

Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary. Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives and So-Metro Radio the first and third Tuesday of each month at 9:00 PM for commentary on urban issues Check out our No Sellout blog ( for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s archive for selected columns ( Contact us at 860-206-8879 or

David Samuels
Community Party


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