Feb. 6, 2019 By Meghan Sackman
A number of grassroots organizations from across Queens are hosting a workshop in Jackson Heights Thursday that aims to inform residents of their rights when dealing with the NYPD and ICE.
The “Cop & ICE Watch Training” meeting will take place on Feb. 7 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights, at 37-06 77th St., and aims to teach people about their constitutional rights and how they should protect themselves if they are approached by authorities.
Speakers plan to provide tips as to how residents should deal with law enforcement should they be arrested or witness an unwarranted arrest or raid.
Such advice includes recording all interactions with the NYPD and ICE and sending them to the New York Civil Liberties Union or local officials if they see something untoward.
The event is being organized by several groups, including the Nepali human rights group Adhikaar, Hate Free Zone, Damayan Migrant Workers Association, Desis Rising Up & Moving (DRUM), Justice Committee, and Queens Neighborhoods United (QNU).
“We hope people will learn how they should protect themselves from any ICE stop or raid, as well as any interaction with the NYPD,” said co-founder and organizer of QNU, Tania Mattos.
“Folks are confused about whether it’s legal or not to record an arrest,” Mattos said, whose group has already held two similar events. “If they are not interfering with the arrest, it’s completely legal. We want to see people feel confident and safe to walk around their communities and know what their rights are with both agencies.”
Mattos said the meeting will help citizens understand the line between what’s legal and illegal when it comes to the actions taken by both authorities and civilians.
Mattos said that ICE has already stepped up its presence in the neighborhood since the start of the Trump administration. She said that presence is only going to increase, especially following Sunday’s shooting at the 90th Street-Elmhurst Ave station.
The Thursday event is open to all and the organizers will be providing food and child care services for attendees.