Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 36

FEATURE

EDUCATING PROTESTORS
Attorneys play an important role in protecting peaceful protestors, but
what about demonstrators who become involved in vandalism of police
cars, defacement of monuments, looting, and scrimmages with police?
Amid the cacophony, it's easy to get swept up in activity that potentially
could lead to arrest.
Spiggle Law Firm's Francisco Mundaca, who attended the D.C. protests
on June 6, says that protestors' initial push to invoke their First Amend-
ment rights are often overshadowed when demonstrations start
involving violence, larceny, or any type of property damage.
Prior to June, Mundaca had already spent considerable time working
with the local community in a pro bono capacity. "I've warned people
that there are measures that law enforcement officers are given the
power to take if there's the threat of a riot, or violence, or something they
would deem an emergency situation," he says. "I advise people to be
careful because in those instances, if [law enforcement] interpret something as unlawful, that becomes an issue for their case; they're going to
rest their hat on that."
At the protests, Mundaca handed out flyers detailing what to do if
approached by the police and welcomed constructive conversation with
protestors. The flyers also listed his phone number if they needed representation. "Some people were more engaged than others," he says.
"Some would take the flyers and keep moving."

ACLU-DC

Mundaca's suggestions to protestors
include writing down an attorney's
name and number on their arm if they
anticipate being arrested and recognizing that law enforcement are not
allowed to search citizens' cellphones
or backpacks without a warrant. And,
of course, if arrested, protestors should
be very mindful of what they say. "Your
statements are being recorded," he
explains. "So, you want to be able to
give as much information as you can
without giving up details. Innocent
people may make incriminating statements that can actually hurt them
down the road."

SCOTT MICHELMAN
ACLU-DC

Marques Banks, a staff attorney with the Washington Lawyers' Com-
mittee and a volunteer for Law 4 Black Lives DC, also attended some of
the first protests as a legal observer. Law 4 Black Lives DC started in 2015
to provide legal support to the Black Lives Matter movement. In collaboration with the National Lawyers Guild, Banks says Law 4 Black Lives DC
legal observers carefully document police activity and any unconstitutional behavior. Their goal is to protect protestors' First Amendment
rights in four different capacities - legal observation, jail support,
criminal defense, and civil defense.
Law 4 Black Lives DC also hosts legal observation training for other interested lawyers, law students, and community members. "Since we're
there to document police activity, we don't have law enforcement join
those trainings because that would be a conflict of interest," Banks says.

36 WASHINGTON LAWYER

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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

Organizations with a wider reach like the ACLU and the Washington
Lawyers' Committee also provide protestors information about how to
lawfully interact with the police and what to do if arrested. For example,
the ACLU website offers the guide "Know Your Rights: Demonstration
and Protests," which has been insightful for many protestors in planning
their demonstrations. The guide outlines what free speech actually
means, assembling on public versus private property, which rallies need
permits, and what to do if one's First Amendment rights are violated by
the police. If stopped by the police, the guide advises protestors to stay
calm, keep their hands visible, and write down and/or memorize officers'
badge numbers and names.
Michelman says that the ACLU's guide dates back to the demonstrations
in response to President Trump's inauguration. "The guide grew out of
a combination of legal research and on-the-ground experiences," he
explains. "The last thing we would want to do is give someone advice
that could escalate the situation to the point of someone getting hurt
or even killed."
Prior to the protests ignited by George Floyd's death, the Washington
Lawyers' Committee hosted a webinar detailing people's rights when
encountering the police. "Two of our staff members have been providing
'know your rights' information to people involved in the [Black Lives
Matter] movement before and during the protests," Smith says.
The Washington Lawyers' Committee began partnering with the Black
Lives Matter movement soon after police in Ferguson, Missouri, shot and
killed Michael Brown in 2014. "We've been involved in litigation and
police accountability and reforming of policing," Smith says. "Our relationship with Black Lives Matter has been an important one in terms of
identifying the issues that need to be addressed and developing the
strategies that we need to address them."

BREAKING DOWN THE BLUE WALL OF SILENCE
While many of the Black Lives Matter protestors are advocating for either
police reform or the defunding of police departments, some law
enforcement divisions are working with attorneys to rectify situations
involving police brutality within their own ranks.
In July, Georgetown University Law Center hosted a virtual open house
to promote the launch of Project ABLE (Active Bystandership for Law
Enforcement), which prepares officers to intervene and/or report
instances of unlawful police practices by their peers against citizens.
The overarching goal is to create a law enforcement culture that
supports peer intervention.
Partnering with Sheppard Mullin, Georgetown Law's Innovative Policing
Program spearheaded Project ABLE with the Baltimore Police Depart-
ment, the New Orleans Police Department, the Philadelphia Police
Department, and the Washington State Criminal Justice Training
Commission.
Jonathan Aronie, a partner at Sheppard Mullin and chair of Project ABLE's
board of advisors, was involved in a similar program, Ethical Policing Is
Courageous (EPIC), in New Orleans in 2013. Appointed as federal monitor
of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) as it implemented man-
dated reforms, Aronie was asked by city residents and police officers to
help create the country's first active bystander program for the police



Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
Family Law Assistance Network feature
An Avalanche of Evictions feature
Pro Bono Partnerships Forged in Crisis feature
Help for Pro Se Litigants Feature
Qualified Immunity feature
Taking Legal Support to the Streets feature
Taking the Stand Turning off the White Noise of Systemic Racism
Taking the Stand Situational Principles Aren't Really Principles
On Further Review
The Learning Curve
Member Spotlight - A. Benjamin Spencer
Member Spotlight - Amber Harding
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Speaking of Ethics
Disciplinary Summaries
Pro Bono Effect
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 7
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Family Law Assistance Network feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 11
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 12
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - An Avalanche of Evictions feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Pro Bono Partnerships Forged in Crisis feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 20
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 22
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 24
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Help for Pro Se Litigants Feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 28
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Qualified Immunity feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 32
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Taking Legal Support to the Streets feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 35
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 36
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 37
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Taking the Stand Turning off the White Noise of Systemic Racism
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Taking the Stand Situational Principles Aren't Really Principles
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 41
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - The Learning Curve
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Member Spotlight - A. Benjamin Spencer
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Member Spotlight - Amber Harding
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 46
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 47
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 50
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 53
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 54
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 57
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 58
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 59
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 60
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 61
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 62
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 63
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 64
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 65
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 66
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 67
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Cover4
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