Guidelines of Rapid Response Team (witnesses)

 

*RRT will be US citizens or green card holders or hold valid visas. (Witnesses should use common sense
before volunteering--no outstanding law enforcement issues.)

 

*Witnesses will carry RRN Identification cards.

 

1. When witnesses arrive at an interrogation scene they will identify themselves with their
identification cards. "We are witnesses with Rapid Response Network."


2. If at a house where the caller is not admitting the authorities at all, witnesses will just
observe, take notes and make a written report afterwards.


3. If the witness gets close enough to the person being questioned, then hand them a card
with the statement of their rights, saying, "These are your rights, please read this
carefully." If an interrogation is going on we may not be able to hand the person being
questioned the card. A person has to be in PHYSICAL CUSTODY which means they are
not free to move and are under arrest for it to be an interrogation.


4. If asked, witnesses should explain the rights on the hand out. Remember that we are giving
information NOT ADVICE. Witnesses may not verbally or physically intervene beyond
this point. Do NOT offer legal advice. Just explain what the rights are: "You have the right to

remain silent", NOT "Don't talk!"


5. If the authorities ask us to leave, we should reply that we are observing, not obstructing and
have every right to do so. Witnesses can show the authorities the law on the back of the
identification card. Witnesses should be calm and professional if threatened by the
police with arrest. Evaluate the situation and do not be scared off too readily. Find a way to
be an effective witness without creating a confrontation with the police.


6. Witnesses should discourage the caller from telling us about their circumstances or what
might be wrong--get them to focus on what the authorities are doing.


7. If a detention takes place, we should immediately ask if the detainee wants us to publicize
the detention to anyone (friend/relative/attorney) and/or the community.

 

8. Witnesses should take notes on everything that is said or done. It is legal in New Jersey to

use a camera in public places and to use hidden microphones if you are recording a

conversation that you are taking part in. Written reports should be
submitted immediately afterwards to info@njmay1.org