Can I Be Arrested for Standing in the Road During a Protest?

Arrested for Standing in the Road During a ProtestA federal judge recently preliminarily approved a class action settlement involving Black Lives Matter demonstrators who were arrested during a protest after a police shooting in Louisiana. In the class action lawsuit, the protesters claim the arrests violated their constitutional rights.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on the story, which involved protests that took place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the aftermath of the Alton Sterling shooting. Reportedly, during the protests, some of the protesters were arrested for obstructing a highway. However, last July, a local district attorney announced that the protesters who were arrested for obstructing a highway would not be prosecuted. In addition to providing the protesters who were arrested with cash payments ranging from $500 to $1,000, if the settlement receives final approval, the arrests would be expunged from the protesters’ criminal records for free.

What Should I Do I My Constitutional Rights Are Violated During a Protest?

If you feel like police are violating your constitutional rights while you are taking part in a legal, nonviolent protest, do not try to challenge them in the street. If they place you under arrest, do not resist arrest, attempt to evade arrest or threaten to sue them.

Instead, gather as much information about the incident as you can and write it down as soon as possible, including what happened, the officers’ names and badge numbers, what agency the officers were from and any other relevant details about the incident. In addition, get witness contact information and if you are injured during the arrest, after seeking medical attention, take pictures of your injuries. After you have this information, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney about your situation.

Dallas criminal defense lawyer Mike Goolsby is a former assistant district attorney. His experience as a prosecutor gives him a unique perspective regarding the criminal justice system that helps him successfully defend the legal rights of people accused of crimes.

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