Scott Morgan

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3 years, 5 months ago
  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 17:44:22View | Delete

    Panda, send me an email through the Flex Your Rights website if you’re interested in volunteering.

  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 17:37:32View | Delete

    Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate your support. There’s a lot more info on our site, and all our video are available for free on YouTube for folks who can’t afford them. Please share this info with your friends, family, and community.

  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 17:32:46View | Delete

    We’d be happy to discuss Busted anytime, even though it’s kinda old now. It put us on the map and did a lot to make know your rights education a bigger part of the criminal justice reform movement.

    As for new projects we won’t be doing anything of the same scale as 10 Rules for Dealing with Police any time soon. It was an incredible task raising the money and putting it all together. It was an incredible experience, but exhausting. The film contains a lot of our best material and I want to see how people react for as couple more years before thinking about trying to improve on it.

    I’ll say this though: if we can find the right funder, we will make a video about jury nullification that will blow people’s minds.

    In the meantime, I’m about to launch a YouTube show where I answer know your rights questions. I hope everyone will enjoy it.

  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 17:19:51View | Delete

    Sure. This was done in partnership with the local NAACP. Here’s some more info about it:

    http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2010/jun/09/happy-collaboration/

  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 17:13:22View | Delete

    I have very mixed feeling about it. On the one hand, we recommend avoiding any appearance of distrust or hostility (even when flex your rights, it’s best to be super polite). But at the same time, it’s illegal in some states to record someone without consent, so telling the officer you’re taping makes sense in that situation. In the future, I think live streaming video is going to do a great deal to protect those who film police, because the evidence can’t be destroyed. As far as your own best interests are concerned, I think it’s ok to do this, but only if you’re sure there’s nothing they can legally arrest you for, because telling the officer you’re taping is going to irritate them to say the least.

  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 17:03:18View | Delete

    Probably not, unless your vehicle matched a description. Probable cause has to be specific. Searching a series of vehicles is almost always prohibited, with the exception of border checkpoints. Stopping cars to investigate things like DUI has been upheld, but only if the stops are minimally intrusive and justified by a strong public safety interest.

  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 16:59:03View | Delete

    It continues to amaze me that police around the country are struggling to deal with being filmed. It would be downright hilarious if their paranoia wasn;t resulting in so many peaceful citizens being thrown in jail and even charged with felonies in some places. It’s madness, but I’m encouraged by the amount of exposure the issue is receiving. As I mentioned earlier, I think it will just take time for police to come to grips with the reality that they don’t get to do their job in private. In the end, that’s going to mean better police work.

  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 16:55:10View | Delete

    These clips help explain the difference:

    http://flexyourrights.org/faq/108
    http://flexyourrights.org/faq/129

    Basically, reasonable suspicion is a vague standard that just means the officer has some reason to think a crime is taking place. Probable cause is more specific. It means the officer sees, hears, or smells clear evidence of a crime.

    Although it’s really helpful to understand these concepts, we also recommend that folks not worry about it too much during an actual encounter. In any situation, we’d recommend asserting your rights the same way regardless of whatever evidenciary threshold seems most applicable. In other words, just protect your rights and let the judge sort it out if necessary.

  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 16:43:28View | Delete

    It’s incredible how these myths endure. We hope that our work will leave a legacy of squashing some of this bad info, while making it easier for people to find answers when they need them.

  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 16:40:16View | Delete

    You can never take an officer’s word that you’ll be given a pass if you come clean. Our prisons are filled with people who took roadside deals with police. In situations like this, you need a lawyer negotiating on your behalf. Keep in mind that police are just investigators and they don’t decide your punishment. Their only agenda is to produce evidence against you. Giving them that evidence is never in your interest. NEVER.

  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 16:36:50View | Delete

    I couldn’t even begin to describe how many awesomely wrong legal concepts we’ve traced back to law enforcement. People email us these bizarre and wrong corrections all the time, and I always ask “where did you hear that? A cop?” The answer always turns out to be yes. Police will say anything to trick you and a lot of bad info is circulating all the time as a result.

  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 16:34:24View | Delete

    for the record, UNDERCOVER COPS DON’T HAVE TO SAY THEY’RE A COP. I can only guess that this rumor was cleverly started by the police many years ago.

  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 16:32:27View | Delete

    We love it too. As you might imagine, it gets posted everywhere we go around the web. We even though about seeking the rights to include it as a special feature with the DVD. too much trouble, we decided.

  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 16:31:07View | Delete

    In far too many cases, police are given leeway to make bad arrests if they acted in “good faith,” i.e. believed their actions were legal under the circumstances. This shouldn’t apply to arresting photographers, but it’s very tough to effectively litigate police misconduct. I’m hopeful that increased attention to the issue will help to turn things around.

    Also, as camera technologies become more ubiquitous, it just won’t work to maintain the level of hostility police have shown towards their use. Something’s gotta give. The next generation of officers will, I hope, be more comfortable with the reality of everyting being on film

  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 16:26:53View | Delete

    Videotaping police is a huge issue that’s getting a lot of much needed attention recently. Bloggers Radley Balko and Carlos Miller have a done a great job creating outrage surrounding the abuse of citizens who document police activities. We’ve covered these issues often in our blog and on Facebook and Twitter, but there’s a need for something more comprehensive. I’m still brainstorming ideas on this.

  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 16:22:38View | Delete

    I will say though, that I think our singular focus on this mission has helped us to develop more comprehensive resources than were previously available. There has never been anyone whose job it was to sit around for years thinking of answers to common questions about dealing with cops. No one has spent as much time on this as we have. That doesn’t mean we’re necessarily better at it than many others, but I think we’ve learned a lot about what people struggle with in terms of digesting the material and remembering the key lessons.

  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 16:17:35View | Delete

    Claims like these are very effective at getting people to consent to searches. People often forget that the officer is allowed to lie, so a statement like “I smell pot” could just be a trap to see how you react.

  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 16:15:56View | Delete

    Claiming to smell pot it a classic trick, and there isn’t always a perfect response. But the most important thing is not to panic. A lot of people immediately waive their right in that situation, which part of the reason police do it. It’s not just about creating probable cause, it’s also about breaking down your defenses. Remember that you can challenge it later in court.

  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 16:13:22View | Delete

    Asking if you’re free to go is critical. A lot of people get detained without realizing it, simply because they didn’t respond when the officer said to stay put.

  • Scott Morgan commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night: 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

    2011-07-11 16:12:08View | Delete

    Our theory early on was that live workshops and wallet cards (the two most popular resources at the time) weren’t going to reach enough people. We believed that film would make this information go mainstream. It took some time, but our first film Busted eventually became a huge hit thanks to YouTube.

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