Know Your Rights When Interacting With Authorities

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The two high-profile officer-involved shootings this week have raised many questions, inducing how to correctly handle a similar situation.

According to Iowa law, you are not required to tell an officer you are carrying a concealed weapon but officials say it's a good idea.

The Iowa State Patrol recommends you make a declaration letting the officers know that you're carrying a loaded weapon, where it's located, and that you are carrying a permit for that weapon.

The ACLU of Iowa says keeping an open line of communication throughout your interaction is important.

"Always be polite, listen to the officer’s instructions and follow them within reason and keep your hands visible at all times," says ACLU of Iowa Staff Attorney Joe Fraioli.

Fraioli also says recording your interaction with police is also legal and an officer can't ask you to stop recording. However, Fraioli recommends communicating your actions before immediately reaching for your cell phone.

"In that situation, inform the officer that you are going to take out your cell phone to record them. If the officer asks you not to record them or to shut your phone off and move it away,  it’s always best to follow the officer’s instruction even though you have the right to record them."

Fraioli says the place to resolve if an officer violated your rights is not on the street, and recommends filing a complaint after the stop rather than arguing on the scene.

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