How to be arrested safely..says Pres. of A.R.T.I.S.T

How To Be Arrested, Safely..says Pres. of A.R.T.I.S.T

Robert Lederman has been very vocal about the rights of art vendors selling goods in SoHo. He founded A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists’ Response To Illegal State Tactics) in 1993 in order to fight the “legal and political struggle for full First Amendment rights involving the creation, display and sale of art on NYC streets –This is not about politeness or respect for police officers, but rather about surviving the experience, he offers his sage advice as artists’ rights activist who has won numerous lawsuits about being falsely arrested.

http://gothamist.com/2008/11/24/robert_lederman_artist_activist.php

How To Be Arrested, Safely

by Robert Lederman, President of A.R.T.I.S.T.

The recent deaths of African American males at the hands of police officers in Ferguson Missouri and Staten Island NY have resulted in widespread protests, riots and a great deal of controversy over police methods. Civil Rights leaders, politicians, activists and reporters

have given these incidents tremendous attention.Unfortunately, completely missing from the national debate is some very simple but crucial information about how members of the public, regardless of age or race and regardless of guilt or innocence should behave when stopped by the police, or when being arrested. This is not about politeness or respect for police officers, but rather about surviving the experience.

Leaving aside our subjective opinions on whether or not American police are brutal, racist, poorly trained or overly militarized, the unquestionable fact is that most people react inappropriately to being stopped, questioned or arrested. Having been arrested myself more than 50 times (though never convicted) I’d like to share my experience in the hope that even one such tragic incident as the deaths in Ferguson and Staten Island can be avoided. The advice I’m giving here is what I’ve learned to do so as to protect myself from being injured or killed by the police.

The key point is to neither do or say anything that could cause the police officer confronting you to think you are going to get violent,

use a weapon or attempt to escape arrest. Police officials, schools and parents should instruct children from an early age how to safely respond to a police confrontation.

1.Car Stops

When a police officer orders a driver to pull over and then approaches

the car, that officer is in a heightened state of alertness. His or her adrenaline is pumped up and they are armed with a gun. They have no idea whether the driver of the car is peaceful or if they have a weapon, are high, drunk, violent or crazy. The very first thing you need to do so as to protect yourself is to put both of your hands where the officer can see them. The two best places are out the drivers side window or to have them on the steering wheel.

The very worst thing you can do as the officer approaches your car is to reach under the seat, in the glove compartment or in your backpack, fanny pack or handbag. You might innocently think that reaching for your ID at this time is a good idea, since asking for your ID is likely to be the first thing the officer will do. No matter how well-trained a police officer is, and no matter how innocent you maybe, reaching for something at this time is guaranteed to make that officer suspect you are reaching for a weapon and to react accordingly.What I do before reaching for my ID, whether on the street or in my car, is to say to the officer, “I am reaching for my ID. I do not have a weapon. Is that OK?” Make sure that your hands remain in view at all times. Move slowly and deliberately and do what the officer is telling you, especially if they say to remain still.

2. Street Stops

On many occasions I have witnessed police in the process of arresting someone other than myself. The defendants often make the following, sometimes fatal, mistakes.

3. Wildly gesturing as they claim to be innocent.Aggressively walking towards the officer.Shouting, either cursing at the officer or shouting to their

friends to come and help them. Attempting to pull their hands away when the officer attempts to

subdue or handcuff them. Reaching into their pockets, pants, jackets, backpacks etc.

  1. Trying to escape from a police car or from the handcuffs. As we can plainly see from videos of some of these recent incidents,

the police are trained to never back down once they begin to make an arrest.They will always meet resistance or force with much greater force. You cannot win by physically fighting with the police. The time to protest

and fight against police is in a court, where you have a better than

even chance of winning.Trying to pull your hand away when an officer attempts to handcuff you or twisting your body, will almost surely lead to a violent response. If there is more than one officer present, you can expect a pile on of all the officers, exactly as is seen in the video of the Staten Island

choke hold incident that led to the needless death of Eric Gardner.Regardless of what one thinks about police tactics or about racism in America is there any question that if Mr. Gardner had simply allowed

the police officer to place handcuffs on him that he’d be alive todayand facing a very minor charge for selling loose cigarettes?

The facts in the Ferguson Missouri shooting of Michael Brown are farless clear cut but the witness reports generally agree that as asuspect in a petty robbery Brown was stopped by the police who then attempted to arrest him. At some point he got away from them, and was shot. The police claim there was a struggle for the officers gun, which may or may not be true, but it seems fairly certain that Brown was in custody however briefly, possibly inside the police car, and then got away. If he had simply remained in the patrol car he’d be alive today and facing a very minor charge of theft.

None of what I’m suggesting is meant as a defense of the police nor as an accusation against the victims of these police shootings. These incidents are tragic because they were totally avoidable.

Everyone in this country, especially those who live in high crime areas where being stopped by the police, justifiably or without

justification, is a routine occurrence, should have a plan in place flatrabbitinLockport_realcolr_ArrestDeadfor surviving these incidents. Chose your battles wisely.

“It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will

not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies

but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not

know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single

battle.” – Sun Tzu

The writer is an artists’ rights activist who has won numerous

lawsuits about being falsely arrested.

> Robert Lederman

President A.R.T.I.S.T

————————————————–

pass it on..

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OTL #433: Who is.. Listening?: WGN 720 AM -New Illinois Eavesdropping Law and more..

0utFinImageStephen_INOutside the Loop Radio Interview #433: Listening?:WGN 720 AM

http://wp.me/p2OIZP-shJ

Mike Stephen meets up with Chic-a-Go-Go host Miss Mia Park in honor of the taping the 1000th episode of her wildly successful CAN-TV dance show, talks with local filmmaker Nancy Bechtol about the new Illinois eavesdropping law and her documentary Free Speech &the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist, and checks in with Aldertrack co-creator Mike Fourcher about how the Chicago aldermanic races are shaping up. This week’s local music is provided by Minor Characters.

OTL #433: Chic-a-Go-Go’s 1,000th episode, Illinois’ new eavesdropping law, Aldertrack’s latest local election preview

by Outside the Loop

Mike Stephen meets up with Chic-a-Go-Go host Miss Mia Park in honor of the taping the 1000th episode of her wildly successful CAN-TV dance show, talks with local filmmaker Nancy Bechtol about the new Illinois eavesdropping law and her documentary Free Speech &the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist, and checks in with Aldertrack co-creator Mike Fourcher about how the Chicago aldermanic races are shaping […]

Outside the Loop | February 1, 2015 at 7:22 AM | Tags: Aldertrack, CAN TV, Chic-a-Go-Go, Chris Drew, eavesdropping law, La Pasadita, Mia Park, Mike Fourcher, Minor Characters, Miss Mia, Nancy Bechtol, OTL, Ratso, WGN Radio | Categories: Mike Stephen, Outside the Loop Radio | URL: http://wp.me/p2OIZP-shJ

http://www.outsidetheloopradio.com/2015/02/01/otl-episode-433-chic-a-go-gos-1000th-episode-illinois-new-eavesdropping-law-aldertracks-latest-local-election-bechtol film_small posterWEBCops_and_Citizens_Record_2012_NancyBechtol-Photo

Chris Drew on location Silkscreening at May Day Rally ©nancy bechtol

Chris Drew on location Silkscreening at May Day Rally ©nancy bechtol

cropped-actfreechris_occupy-chicagonotxt_aic.jpg

“NEW” Law pending: Citizens Recording Police -Once again a Felony?

Citizens Recording Police – Once Again a Felony?

Current news on the “NEW” version of the Illinois Eavesdropping Law now sits at Gov. Quinn desk for either Veto or Signature. Just when we thought it was over..

Recall that Chris Drew, Street Artist, activist and community leader, was charged with the Class 1 Felony for Audio-recording his Own arrest in public, in front of Macy’s while selling art for a Dollar, in a challenge to the Peddler’s Ordinance, expectantly turned into a Challenge to the Ill. Eavesdropping Law, and he won! backed by pro bono attorneys, Weinberg and Kutnick, in the court of Judge Sacks in 2012. and in 2014 the Illinois Supreme Court overturned this law which restricts rights, ultimately to bring evidence in court of any police misconduct. Even Supt. McCarthy, Chicago, was in favor of this saying it protected police and citizens…for more of the background story on this:

https://nancybechtol.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/logan-tv-dan-odonnell-posts-exclusive-art-is-speech-on-11-14-14-see-the-film-on-drew/

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20141113135301-319336280-patron-saint-of-street-artists-free-speech-chicago-s-own/edit

New Illinois Eavesdropping Act Still Seems Designed to Protect Cops From Scrutiny New Illinois Eavesdropping Act Still Seems Designed to Protect Cops From Scrutiny

Chris Drew: TRUTH on the “?” of Switch from Pedding Charges to Felony Eavesdropping

Chris Drew speaks on “?” of Peddling to Felony

I need to share with you this clip, it is very raw and intense. Deep. Chris Drew speaks on “? “of Peddling to Felony This video clip marks/reveals the beginning of the legal journey, shot shortly after he was released on bond and started to redirect his energies on the challenges ahead. date: Dec.29, 2009. He is carrying on the workshops and getting the word/truth out by blogging, going to events, and meeting with counsel, bracing for the court proceedings. Backed by first his probono Attorney Mark Weinberg, for the Constitutional Challenge/Peddling-Civil Rights, then for the Challenge of Felony Eavesdropping (4-15 yrs if convicted), criminal defense, probono Attorney Joshua Kutnick. This court proceeding went on for 2.5 years. He gave his life to the cause. He won. we all won. But Chris would say “the fight is never over when it comes to your rights.”

Nancy Bechtol

See/Hear the raw interview with Chris:

http://youtu.be/G-K_dTlzs5M

Chris would call me and ask that I record him throughout the journey. I told him I would so here it is. He wanted a record of it all, and towards the end, asked me to “tell the story” I agreed. I accumulated countless hours in 5 different formats, from cell phone to DSLR (in the latter part for a few interviews) now the 99 min film you now will see– It is his story, it is the story of Free Speech. this clip is when I talked with Chris at the beginning of the ordeal, as he was out on a $20,000 bail and facing the 1st Class Felony Eavesdropping Charges. He speaks on the reasons he believes his challenge to the City’s Peddling Ordinance were dropped, and the Felony was imposed. his charges were deeply involved with others faced for years under this same law. Filmed on location The American Indian Center, Chicago location of the nonprofit he founded, the Uptown Multi-Cultural Arts Center, where he helped bridge the digital divide and inspire and teach for 25 years.Chicago Premiere at the Logan Theatre ,” Free Speech and the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist” by Nancy Bechtol. Featuring indie Music by Behind the Sun-Andy Alton & David Mansfield “Paper Airplane” courtesy of Hey Now Records – one night only – 11.14.14 Friday 7:30 PM

See/Hear the Nancy Bechtol interview by Dan O’Donnell – Logan Square TV

http://logansquare.tv/?p=903

An important documentary about street artist Chris Drew, and his challenges and victory defending First Amendment rights for all citizens, especially Artists. Chicago premiere at The Logan Theatre on Friday, 7:30pm November 14. The film, Free Speech and the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist is a film by Nancy Bechtol. Literally thousands of people across Chicago know Chris Drew, because of his vibrant presence in Chicago’s art community.

Original Music featured in the film is courtesy of Hey Now Records. http://www.heynowrecords.com “Paper Airplane” by Behind the Sun` Andy Alton & David Mansfield.

Trailer for the film:

http://youtu.be/2ncu2AjO5ok

“First Amendment 2-Fer” : Curtis Black speaks

CurtisBlackGrab.jpgWB“First Amendment 2-Fer”:Curtis Black speaks

Is a new generation of Artists and Activists going to step up and push this? Is the City Council going to take another look at this Street Peddler Ordinance and make it a little less onerous for artists ( abolish/change the Street Peddler Ordinance)

See hear/ Curtis Black

http://youtu.be/Av9D2AE7utADemo

..(Chris Drew) He had this wise-ness, and sort of wild-ness to him, which made a big impression on me. He had this cause, which was revising, reforming this very draconian was the Street Peddler’s Ordinance, which has a lot of intricacies which don’t foster free expression..

First time I wrote about him was in Dec. ’09 when he was arrested. He was held for 2 days in Cook County jail, and he finds out they are dropping the charges on the ordinance he wanted to challenge-and they were charging him with this Felony for Eavesdropping, which was an amazing thing to find out that that law existed. So the piece I did was the “First Amendment 2-Fer” He wanted to make one First Amendment challenge, and he’s ending up making a very serious second First Amendment challenge at the same time.

So one of his legacies is that Anita Alvarez (Ill. State’s Attorney) is kinda on the spot on this and a number of other areas where she’s not pursuing police misconduct, in fact, she seems to be protecting-covering up police misconduct..

another (legacy of Chris) is that he was part of questioning this Eavesdropping Law, and that has gained so much momentum..

in a large part, due to his efforts.

Update: March 2014. The Illinois Eavesdropping Law was abolished by the Illinois Supreme Court.

Curtis Black speaks© 2012 video/Chris Drew Legacy Interview . by Nancy Bechtol, APA Photojournalist. This video is in a series of people sharing insights to the artist/activist and his life. Chris Drew Legacy Interviews (16) Curtis Black, at the time of this interview, was Editor of Newstips and with the Community Media Workshop. shot on location at CAN TV..—————————————————————————-

Chris Drew, Exec. Director (volunteer) for the nonprofit organization he founded, UM-CAC, Uptown Multicultural Arts Center, his dedication to community helped bridge the digital divide for those who did not have access to computers. He ran workshops on computer use/internet at the American Indian Center, Uptown, Chicago started in the 90s aimed at people who did not have access to the technology. He taught hundreds how to silkscreen, and was active/founder of the Art Patch Project (The Art Patch Project (APP) uses art to promote social justice and free speech rights. Originally started by Chris Drew, a champion for First Amendment rights, APP is a unique project combining art, grassroots organizing, participatory learning, community building and entrepreneurship to raise awareness about free speech rights and other social justice issues and the FREE SAM (Free Speech Artists Movement) His passion for the arts and supporting our rights as citizens, especially for artists, was his lifetime commitment.———————————————————————————————–Chicago Premiere at the Logan Theatre ,” Free Speech and the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist” by Nancy Bechtol. Featuring indie Music by Behind the Sun-Andy Alton & David Mansfield “Paper Airplane” courtesy of Hey Now Records one night only – 11.14.14 Friday 7:30 PM

See/Hear the Nancy Bechtol interview by Dan O’Donnell – Logan Square TV

http://logansquare.tv/?p=903

An important documentary about street artist Chris Drew, and his challenges and victory defending First Amendment rights for all citizens, especially Artists. Chicago premiere at The Logan Theatre on Friday, 7:30pm November 14. The film, Free Speech and the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist is directed by Logan Square resident, Nancy Bechtol. Literally thousands of people across Chicago know Chris Drew, because of his vibrant presence in Chicago’s art community

Original Music featured in the film is courtesy of Hey Now Records. http://www.heynowrecords.com “Paper Airplane” by Behind the Sun` Andy Alton & David Mansfield.

Trailer for the film:

http://youtu.be/2ncu2AjO5ok

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