Citizen's Guide: Cincinnati

Protesters' Rights

We support you.

Updated on 6/2/2020: Call Attorney Erik W. Laursen 24 hours a day. (513) 457-5545

Know your protest rights.

The ACLU has an excellent online guide for protesters, divided by roles in a protest.

We want to call special attention to the section titled "I was stopped by police while protesting."

Our Tips for Cincinnati Protesters

  • A police officer CAN ask for your name. You have to answer, but if you're not under arrest, you can leave.
  • You CAN be arrested for violating the city's curfew. That is a time/place/manner restriction on the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
  • If you're arrested, say "I want a lawyer." Do NOT try to explain yourself to police.
  • Before you go to a protest, fully charge your phone and save my cell phone number in your phone: Attorney Erik: 513-238-3734.
  • As long as you're in a public place, you're allowed to shoot pictures, record audio.
  • If you are detained, don't talk about your case with other detainees in a police vehicle, in a cell, or anywhere else. At least one of the detainees is actually an officer of an informant.

Updated on 6/2/2020:

The city of Cincinnati had a few neighborhoods under curfew. Now the whole city is under a curfew order because of the nationwide protests surrounding George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Generally when I think of a curfew violation, my mind turns to my juvenile clients. This is not what is happening here.

According to Sharon Coolidge at the Enquirer, 110 people were arrested last night. 78 of those people for violating curfew.

I'm looking at the complaint for one of those 78 people right now. It is stamped with "Mass Arrest Priso...." The end of the last word is covered up by a QR code.

This person is charged with violating R.C. 2917.13, Misconduct at an Emergency. The complaint I am reviewing, and likely all if not most of the 78 complaints, read the same:

On May 30, 2020, the Mayor of the City of Cincinnati enacted a curfew from 10pm-6am, e4ffective May 30, 2020, at 1pm, terminating at 6am June 1, 2020. The order was issued through widespread media dissemination. The purpose of this emergency declaration was to abate the destruction and violence associated with illegal rioting in response to law enforcement personnel. In the late hours of May 29, 20, through the early hours of May 30, 2020, rioters destroyed property, looted businesses, and attacked Cincinnati Police officers. The arrested individual identified above was found by Cincinnati Police to be violating the curfew order. The arrested was ordered by Cincinnati Police to leave the property. The arrested individual refused to comply with the lawful order to leave the area. The curfew order was in response to and declared under emergency conditions. Violating the curfew order [illegible] prolongs the emergency situation created by ongoing risk of illegal violence and property damage.

So don't kid yourself, the police are treating everyone as if they are a rioter if they are out after curfew.

Misconduct at an Emergency:

Erik's name on a poster at a protest. He is always available.

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