What Are My Civil Rights?

When a person becomes a legal resident of the United States, they have Civil rights that must be catered to. Police officers swear to protect both a person’s civil rights and human rights and officers who are acting under the color of law yet still violate these rights of a person can get into serious trouble by the government.

Every human being has basic human rights such as the right to life, education, safety, and freedom of expression. However, those who are legal citizens of the United States also have Civil rights that need to be protected.

The basic civil rights of every legal resident of the United States include:

  • Freedom and protection from facing discrimination
  • The right to practice free speech in public
  • The right to have equal and fair protection
  • The right to due process
  • The right against self-incrimination

The civil rights a person has are basically an agreement between them and the country and in the case of the United States, the civil rights movement originated when residents decided they wanted to end the discrimination African American individuals were being forced to endure. It is important to note that there is a significant difference between human rights and civil rights. Human rights are generally universal and will be the same no matter what country a person goes to. Civil rights, on the other hand, are specific to the country a person resides in.

What should I do if an officer violates my civil rights?

If a police officer is guilty of racial profiling or hurting a person for no valid reason, then their civil rights have been violated and the officer should be taken to court to answer for his or her actions. It is essential that a person who has been harmed by an officer get in touch with a police brutality attorney as soon as possible after they are victimized. The reason a person should call an attorney immediately after the encounter is so they can get advice on what legal steps they need to take in order to bring the officer to justice.

The longer a person waits, the more chances they have of losing time-sensitive evidence that could have otherwise been used to turn their case around in their favor. Police officers are supposed to be protecting individuals from harm and danger, not endangering people themselves.

Many times, individuals are harassed by officers, but they fear the authority of the officer, so they do not question them or pursue litigation. This is a major mistake because letting the officer get away with their unjust behavior is enabling them to continue their oppressive behavior with other innocent individuals as well. In order to help make America a safe place where individuals are not harassed and harmed by those in authority, it is essential for each and every person to speak up and use their voice against the abuse they have experienced, no matter how intimidated they may feel.

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