Protesters - Do you know your rights?

Protester's Rights

There are many reasons to take a stand for what you believe in, and The First Amendment protects those rights to assemble and express your views through protest. If you’re thinking about going out and exercising your first amendment, make sure you are informed of your rights and limitations.

What are your rights:

  • You can take your protest to public forums like the streets, sidewalks and government buildings
  • When lawfully present in any public space, you have the right to photograph anything in plain view. That includes federal buildings and the police.
  • Police officers may not confiscate or demand to view your photographs or video without a warrant, nor may they delete data under any circumstances.
  • Private property owner’s can set rules for speech on their property, that means your house, car and belongings are free to express yourself to your heart's desire.
  • Police cannot detain you without reasonable suspicion that you have or are about to commit a crime or are in the process of doing so

Where your first amendment right is limited:

  • In public spaces, be sure you are not blocking access to the government building or interfering with other purposes the property was designed for.
  • Police officers may order citizens to cease activities that are truly interfering with legitimate law enforcement operations
  • On private property, the owner may set rules related to photography or video.

What can you do when you feel your rights have been violated?

  • Write down everything you remember, including the officers’ badge and patrol car numbers and the agency they work for
  • Get contact information for witnesses, take photographs of any injuries. With this information you can file a written complaint with the agency’s internal affairs division
  • Contact us directly at 225-400-9976.

We look forward to hearing from you!