Police Officers: Know Your Rights
As a union member and police officer, you have constitutional rights, particularly the right to be free from compulsory self-incrimination and the right to procedural due process. Your Council 4 AFSCME Union will defend your rights if you request assistance. Always call your Union before answering potentially incriminating questions.
If involved in a use of deadly force:
- Criminal Investigation – Fifth Amendment/Miranda. You have the right to remain silent and to an attorney: do not be afraid to invoke these rights in order to consult with an attorney before speaking with any investigator.
Remember: If you voluntarily speak with an investigator, anything you cay can be used against you in a criminal proceeding. If you do elect to speak you may stop at any time.
- Internal Investigations – Garrity Rights
a. Must be ordered to answer questions.
b. Questions must relate to officer’s duties or fitness for duty.
c. Must be advised that failure to answer will be considered insubordination and could lead to discipline up to and including termination.
d. Must be provided with some degree of immunity from criminal prosecution.
- Internal Investigation – Weingarten Rights
You have the right to the presence of a Union official whenever you reasonably believe your answers to your employer’s questions could result in discipline. If you do not ask for a Union official you will be deemed to have waived that right.
During the interrogation, you may consult with your Union representative in the absence of the interrogator.
Don't forget: you also have rights as a union member under the AFSCME Constitution that are a clear contrast to other organizations.
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