The Galesburg NAACP chapter wants to create a better understanding between citizens and law enforcement.
Chapter President Candy Webb said the group will host workshops this week to discuss the rights of citizens during interactions with police. She said they will also discuss state statutes for what rights police officers have during interactions.
Webb said people usually don’t know what their rights are during a stop, and the knowledge can help a lot.
“If I’m not sure if I’m under arrest, I may not necessarily be asking that question 'Am I under arrest?' And I do have the right to ask that question and get the answer to it. And some people just don’t know that,” Webb said.
Webb said attorneys will be on hand during the workshops to answer legal questions. Law enforcement officers will also attend.
She said one goal of the workshops is to prevent a situation similar to the one in Ferguson, Missouri, in which an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed after an altercation with a white police officer last August.
“If there is a not so good interaction, then our officers have guns. They have tasers. They have the legal right to put someone down. And so avoiding that situation, in any community, might be a good idea,” Webb said.
Webb also said both sides are responsible for their behavior during a police interaction.