Law Enforcement Guidelines for First Amendment-Protected Events   [open pdf - 4MB]

"The purpose of this paper is to provide greater awareness and understanding of the appropriate role of law enforcement in events and demonstrations where First Amendment rights are involved. This paper provides guidance and recommendations to law enforcement officers as they prepare for, respond to, and follow up with events, activities, and assemblies that are protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. As officers address these types of events, the three-stage process identified in this paper should be incorporated into agency policies, manuals, and/or directives. This process, while focusing on law enforcement's response to First Amendment events and activities, is not designed to limit the ability of officers to engage in normal criminal investigations or public safety missions. A law enforcement agency may have special rules and procedures governing the levels of review and approval required to engage in preliminary or full investigations or other activities discussed herein; as such, officers should be aware of and understand these rules and procedures."

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Listed on November 30, 2011 [Critical Releases]