In light of recent police violence against visitors to the U.S., it seems like a good idea to crowd-source a phrase book for nonwhite visitors so they know how to respond to encounters with police. Here are a few phrases that we might need to translate, as well as come up with responses for;
Common phrases that police might use in a stop;
Hands out of your pockets!
Lie down on the ground!
Turn around and put your hands behind your back
Spread your legs!
Wider, I said wider!
What are you doing here?
Are you a U.S. citizen?
Let me see your passport!
Let me see your immigration papers!
Why can’t you speak English?
Do you have any weapons on you?
Do you have any drugs on you?
Do you have anything in your pockets that might stick me?
You are under arrest.
Stop resisting arrest!
I will shoot you.
You have the right to remain silent.
You have the right to an attorney.
Do you understand these rights?
Things that a person should say when stopped;
I am complying with your order.
I am committing no crime (when applicable)
I am just out for a walk (jog, drive or ride)
I do not speak English.
I am not a Muslim (when applicable; esp. Sikhs)
My name is [insert name] and I would like a translator for [native language].
I do not consent to a search.
Am I under arrest?
Am I free to leave?
I wish to remain silent.
I would like to contact my embassy.
I would like to talk to a lawyer.
More phrases? Make suggestions below. Then we’ll figure out the most imortant languages to get translations for (Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic, Bengali, Swahili, Somali, Urdu, Persian, French…)