VA BLOC held “Know Your Rights Seminar”

On Tuesday, May 23, 2017, we held a seminar to help promote community policing by educating the community on constitutional laws while revealing grey areas of interaction between law enforcement and citizens.   This event also served as an opportunity to educate the community on the pitfalls and schemes of predatory lending.
Moderated by Dennis Mathis, our conversation started with best practices for interactions with law enforcement.  Hampton Police Department Assistant Chief Orrin Gallop spoke on constitutional laws and best practices when being approached by police. He talked about both what citizens should do and the training and protocol for officers.  During his presentation, Gallop expressed that citizens have the right to say no to officers depending on how the officer words the question.
We also had Private Attorney Marqueta Tyson and The Tyson Legal Team. Being a DUI attorney, Attorney Tyson was able to speak about lawful and unlawful interaction by police officers and best practices when being pulled over by police officers. Attorney Tyson was able to provide us with real examples, both good and not so good, on how communication can be misinterpreted from both parties of an interaction.
Legal Aid Society Attorneys Emily Schools and Christopher Galloway spoke about the many FREE services that they provide and the pitfalls of pay day loans and cash advances. One of the biggest takeaways from the presentation was that there is no cap for interest in the state of Virginia so these cash advance and pay day loan servicers can charge citizens upwards of 300% in interest.  We suggest not participating in these predatory lending practices and looking into safer resources available.
Lastly, we discussed the importance of voting in the upcoming elections as those we elect will have an impact on how our rights are protected.
A huge thank you to our moderator and speakers and to all who attended for this important conversation.  We wish to continue the dialogue on how both law enforcement and citizens, with accountability and transparency, can work together for safer and more peaceful neighborhoods! Stay tuned for future events!
To join the Criminal Justice Reform interest group, please contact Darius!

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