Police, ACLU meet with public on knowing your rights

Police, ACLU meet with public on knowing your rights
(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Dozens came out to the 'Know Your Rights' meeting in Cape Girardeau on Saturday.

ACLU, Cape Girardeau Police Officers and community members came together to talk about the issues not understood when it comes to behavior, racial profiling, knowing where to go talk get answers you need, and who to talk to when you have questions.

The meeting was held at the Concourse building in Cape Girardeau. Inside, speakers talked about different topics to help educate the public about what's going on in their community and what to do about it.

One topic was the School to Prison Pipeline where Professor and Dean of the College of Education Dr. Diana Rogers-Adkinson focused on students in school.

Rogers-Adkinson talked about many areas including minority students being expelled more than whites and how teachers differ in response to each individual student.

Other speakers on hand include ACLU Mustafa Abdullah, ACLU John Chasnoff and Cape Girardeau Police Officer Brad Smith.

Abdullah and Chasnoff talked about many things including privacy rights, what to do when you feel your rights are being violated, and much more.

Lt. Brad Smith said for officers, their best tool is the ability to listen and communicate with the public.

"We work for you," Smith said. We want to help out. To better relationships between the police and the community."

One woman we spoke with said there was an incident with her 7-year-old at a Cape Girardeau school not long ago.

Ramona Bailey said her son yelled in school and got in trouble. She was called to the school but didn't quite understand what led to her son acting out.

Then Bailey said the police were called on her shortly after talking with staff which caused even more confusion for her.

"I just wanted to know what was going on and I had the police called on me," Bailey said. "I'll be sitting over here waiting when they come so maybe they can give me a little more clarity what's going on."

Bailey said she believed this event will better help the relationship between the public and police and also to better understand what rights she has and laws in place.

"If I had known whatever's going to take place today, maybe this will help me in the future so we won't have to get to that point where police are called for pretty much no reason," Bailey said.

If you would like more information about your rights, you can visit the ACLU website at http://www.aclu-mo.org/your-rights.

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