NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board: Right to Know Act

NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board: Right to Know Act:

Right to Know Act overview

The Right to Know Act, in effect as of October 19, 2018, is made up of two components. The first outlines New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers’ obligation to identify themselves, including by providing their name, rank, command, and shield number to civilians at the beginning of certain interactions. The law also requires officers to have business cards that contain this information. These business cards direct civilians to where they can comment or complain about an encounter with an officer and where they may request any body-worn camera footage of their interaction. Under the Right to Know Act, civilians may always ask an officer for this business card but officers are only required to offer the card in certain circumstances, such as during a frisk, searches of your person, property, vehicle, or home, or at sobriety checkpoints.

The second component of the law addresses situations in which officers seek to perform a search and do not have legal justification to do so without a person’s consent. In these circumstances, the Right to Know Act requires that officers explain that searches will not be conducted if a person refuses to provide consent to the search. In addition, the law requires officers to document these requests. As is required in all encounters, including when seeking consent for a search, officers are instructed to use language interpretation services pursuant to the NYPD’s language access plan prior to the search. This can include the use of bilingual officers and telephonic interpretation.

h/t Orin Kerr

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