On Monday a South Carolina high school resource officer violently grabbed a student from her desk, slammed her on the ground, and dragged her across the floor … Continued
Author Archives: steve
October Media Update
Here’s a peek at some important Flex Your Rights-related media from the past few weeks. The New Yorker Quotes Flex This piece covers efforts within some departments to replace the warrior cop mentality with empathy training. The writer, a psychology professor at Stanford University, asked if we had any concerns about such training: In some […]
NYPD Releases Improved Use of Force Guidelines
For better or for worse, the NYPD has always been a bellwether for how policing gets done in the United States. So last week’s big announcement that NYPD is improving its use of force policies — in particular the way officers collect use of force information — is legitimately good news. But there’s also an interesting […]
4 Terrible Ways Departments Block Police Complaints
Police complaints represent a basic First Amendment right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. But here are four ways police departments disregard this fundamental right. 1) Police Station Intimidation For those of you who are brave enough to file police complaints in-person, don’t expect service with a smile. Your typical customer service […]
The Tragedy of Sandra Bland
If you’re unfamiliar with this tragic story, Sandra Bland was a 28-year-old black woman who was found dead in a Texas jail cell. After the dashcam video of her arrest was released, a reporter from The Guardian contacted me for a legal opinion of the ill-fated encounter. Here’s what I had to say: Steve Silverman, […]
Watch People React to 10 Rules for Dealing with Police
I can hardly believe it’s been five years since we released 10 Rules for Dealing with Police! But you wouldn’t know it from the way people react when they see it for the first time. Luckily, when I heard about this local event hosted by renowned DC community activist Kymone Freeman, I was able to […]
Rodriguez v. United States
On Tuesday the Court held in Rodriguez v. U.S. that suspects cannot be detained beyond the scope of a routine traffic stop for the sole purpose of performing a dog sniff. The 6-3 ruling is indeed a big win for the 4th Amendment. But our old friend and former-Flex Associate Director Scott Morgan emailed me a […]
Bitcoin Donations Now Accepted!
We’re the engineers of justice! Join us now! How else should I put it? We build popular tools for better Bill of Rights education. In fact, our YouTube channel just surpassed 37 million views and 64 million minutes watched! Now in 2015 we’re building the most trusted and powerful police misconduct reporting service in the […]
Bad cops: Why don’t more people report them?
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2014. It’s been updated to reflect the revised name for our new police complaints project. I confess. I made this sign as “conversation bait” to engage attendees at last week’s National March Against Police Violence. (I’m a monster.) But in my defense, these conversations were research […]
Flex Your Rights Rocks C-SPAN!
Two weeks ago, I turned 38. Days before my birthday, my wife Tara asked me how I wanted to celebrate. With a sigh of exasperation, I explained that birthdays were the last thing on my mind. Months before I agreed to speak at University of Maryland, my alma mater, on my birthday. The day after, […]