Indigenous legal service offers statement card to lessen anxiety

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The Native Counselling Services of Alberta have recently re-released a downloadable “Statement to Police” card, designed to help reduce civilian anxiety in police encounters.

These wallet-sized cards have a paragraph on them stating their rights that can be read to an officer if stopped.

“Officer, please tell me if I am under arrest or if I am being detained, or if I am free to leave. If I am not free to leave, please tell me why. I wish to exercise all of my rights now. I will not answer any questions until you let me speak to a lawyer. Please do not ask me any other questions. I do not consent to any search unless I am under arrest.”

With the Indigenous population being disproportionately subject to police interaction though racial profiling, this is an important resource that benefits everyone.

The Statement Card is accurate in terms of individual rights, but should not substitute for appropriate advice that is in alignment with applicable laws. Always consult a lawyer for legal advice on personal circumstances.

The Statement card can be downloaded here, or you can order physical copies of the cards free of charge, only paying for the shipping. Bear Paw Legal Resources offers a number of comprehensive services and references though their website.

Know your rights.