FBI Reaches Out to Community, ADC Reissues 'Know Your Rights' Advisory - ADC

FBI Reaches Out to Community, ADC Reissues ‘Know Your Rights’ Advisory

FBI Reaches Out to Community, ADC Reissues ‘Know Your Rights’ Advisory

  • June 23, 2006
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Washington, DC | June 23, 2006 | In a conference call with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and other Arab, Muslim, and South Asian American organizations earlier this morning, FBI Headquarters officials advised ADC of some unclassified details concerning the FBI Counterterrorism operation in Miami, Florida yesterday. Yesterday‘s raids by the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Miami was part of an ongoing investigation into an alleged terror plot to attack the Sears Tower in Chicago and other federal buildings. Seven people are now in custody and indictments will be announced later this morning.
During the call, ADC thanked the FBI for their outreach efforts and for working to combat violence and hate in all its forms. ADC acknowledges the FBI’s efforts in alerting the community to these recent developments and emphasizes the need for continued dialog and cooperation with law enforcement and other government agencies in order to combat negative misconceptions or the stereotyping of entire communities based on the actions of a few individuals.
During the call, FBI Headquarters officials assured ADC and the other organizations that today‘s developments are not reflective of the Arab, Muslim, or South Asian-American communities and should not be taken as such by members of the media or the general population.
Additionally, in a separate phone call ADC discussed the recent developments with R. Alexander Acosta, US Attorney for Southern Florida.
Acosta, the lead prosecutor in this matter, assured ADC that the indictments he will announce today in Miami are of individuals and not of a religion or an ethnic or racial group and should not be taken as such by members of the media or the general population.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS ADVISORY
In light of these developments, ADC reminds members of the Arab, Muslim, and South Asian-American communities that equal protection and due process rights are afforded to everyone, including non-citizens, in the United States. ADC urges anyone who is contacted by law enforcement for an interview to strongly consider:
1) Making sure that an attorney is present at all times during any interview.
2) Entering an interview with the understanding that the interviewee has absolute discretion as to what questions to answer. For example, one may choose to answer questions about their neighborhood or activity they may deem suspicious and yet refuse to answer any questions regarding their immigration status.
ADC also urges anyone who is contacted by law enforcement to contact the ADC Legal Department and provide details concerning the incident by calling (202) 244-2990 or via email at legal@adc.org. Upon request, ADC will do its best to provide third party observers, in cases where individuals would want such additional safeguards.
Additionally, due to these recent developments, ADC is releasing the following advisory statement to members of the Arab, Muslim, South Asian, and Sikh American communities. ADC feels it prudent to issue this advisory statement due to the potential of a backlash against these communities and given the historically documented acts of hate-motivated violence including vandalism against these communities.
ADC would like to emphasize that it is issuing this advisory based on experiences in the community in recent years, and purely as a precautionary measure. ADC presents these suggestions for the consideration of the Arab, Muslim, South Asian, and Sikh American communities, to be evaluated by each family and individual according to their own best judgment and in the context of their own situation and relationship with their local community. ADC urges everyone to exercise common sense and rely on their own best judgment, but offers the following as suggestions should the need arise:
1) IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS PLACED IN PHYSICAL DANGER BECAUSE OF YOUR ETHNICITY, RELIGION, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN:
Call the police (dial 911 in most communities). Contact the local FBI office. It is the FBI’s job to investigate hate-motivated crimes and specific threats of violence. A list of FBI field offices is included on our website at FBI Field Offices. If the threat is imminent, go to a safe location such as a police station or church.
If you feel threatened in your home or community, move to a friend’s house, or a hotel for as long as necessary.
Contact ADC to file a complaint by emailing the ADC Legal Department at legal@adc.org or by calling (202) 244-2990.
2) IF YOUR PLACE OF WORK, PLACE OF WORSHIP, OR SCHOOL IS IDENTIFIED OR CAN BE MISIDENTIFIED WITH ARABS AND/OR MUSLIMS:
Make sure the location has an open line of communication with law enforcement.
Make sure you know all the exits to your building.
Make sure the location has a current emergency plan that is defined and can be implemented should the need arise.
3) IF YOUR CHILD CAN BE IDENTIFIED AS ARAB OR MUSLIM, OR MAY BE CONFUSED FOR BEING OF MIDDLE-EASTERN ORIGIN:
Make sure you discuss the events with your children and that they feel comfortable speaking with an adult if they face harassment by others.
Make sure your children know what steps to take to avoid confrontation with other students.
Work with your children’s school to implement an anti-discriminatory policy. Click here for a list of the FBI Field Offices across the country. ADC would like to emphasize that it is issuing this advisory based on experiences in the community in recent years, and purely as a precautionary measure. ADC presents these suggestions for the consideration of the Arab, Muslim, South Asian, and Sikh American communities, to be evaluated by each family and individual according to their own best judgment and in the context of their own situation and relationship with their local community.

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