Right to Know Act

The interactions that people with disabilities have with police are too often potentially dangerous​​​. If you are stopped by the police, it is important to know your rights. This blog post will explain the law and what your rights are when you are stopped by a police officer. It is the police officer’s job to protect you, but unfortunately, for people with disabilities, police do not always act in a way that respects your rights. The best thing you can do when you are stopped by the police is to stay calm and not get angry with the police officer. Below are some important things to remember if you are ever stopped by a police officer.


What You Need to Know:


The Right to Know Act has been in effect as of October 18, 2019, and applies to everyone living in New York City. You have rights, including:


  • Police officers must tell you who they are at the beginning of certain interactions by providing their name, rank, command, and shield number.
  • Police officers must have business cards that have this information. These business cards must tell you where you can comment or complain about an encounter with an officer and where you may request any body-worn camera footage of the interaction.
  • You may always ask a police officer for their business card but police officers are only required to offer the card in certain circumstances, such as during a frisk, searches of your person, property, vehicle, or home, or at sobriety checkpoints.
  • If a police officer does not have a warrant to search you, your vehicle or your home, they should not search you unless they get your permission. The only times a police officer can search you is if:
    The police officer asks for your permission.
    The police officer tells you that a search won’t be done without your permission and checks to make sure you understand what they have said.
    And you gave permission to be searched.
  • If English is not your preferred language or you are Deaf or hard of hearing, you have a right to ask for appropriate interpretation services.
  • Police officers should always let you know how you can view a copy of the recording from the officer’s body camera. You can file for a copy of the recording .
  • If a police officer searches you without your permission, you should ask for their business card since this is a violation of your rights. Remember, they don’t have to ask for permission if they are arresting you or if they have a court summons.
    If you do not want to give permission for the police officer to search you, the best thing to say is: “I do not consent to this search.”
  • You are always allowed to ask “Am I free to leave?” if you are not being detained. The police officer should tell you that you are free to go.

**If you have any other questions about how you may be affected by the Know Your Rights Act, please reach out to us at 212-674-2300. **

We Need Your MTA Stories

If you or someone you know are a person with a disability who lives in, works in, or travels to locations in the vicinity of any of these stations and who is impacted by the fact that they’re not accessible, we’d love to talk with you.

  • Broadway Junction (J/Z Lines Only)
  • Bay Ridge Avenue (R)
  • Bay Parkway (N)
  • Borough Hall (4/5 Lines Only)
  • 30th Avenue (N/W Lines)
  • Broadway (N/W Lines)
  • Court Square (G Line Only)
  • Metropolitan Avenue (G/L). 
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MTA Stories

In Light of Tragedy, Demand Subway Accessibility Now

All New Yorkers send our condolences and sympathy to the family of Malaysia Goodson, who tragically died at the 7th Ave and 53rd St subway station on Monday after she fell down a flight of stairs carrying her baby in a stroller.

Our groups – disability, transit and advocates for pregnant women – assert that this tragedy should not be in vain. Currently, fewer than 25% of the city’s subway stations are accessible. In 2017, many of our groups sued the MTA, which Governor Cuomo controls, in state court charging the lack of subway elevators is a violation of the city’s Human Rights Law. The Governor and the MTA have not settled the lawsuit.

Today, join us in urging Governor Cuomo to settle our lawsuit with a commitment for a plan of full subway accessibility.

Call Gov. Cuomo at 212-681-4580 and tell him: Make the subways safe and accessible for all New Yorkers!

Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled (BCID) • Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York (CIDNY) • Bronx Independent Living Services • Disabled In Action • NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign • People’s MTA • Riders Alliance •Rise and Resist • TransitCenter • UP-STAND

Urge Governor Cuomo to include a funding increase of only $5 million for Independent Living Centers in his budget proposal!

It is that time of year again where we need to ask for your help. We all know how crucial Independent Living Centers like Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY are in communities across the State. We provide a wide array of supports and services that help people be independent and integrated in their communities.

Yet, Governor Cuomo has failed to include a funding increase for Independent Living Centers in his proposed budget over and over again.

Governor Cuomo is developing his 2019-20 Executive Budget proposal, scheduled for next month. The Board of Regents again recommends he include a $5 million increase to the network of ILCs in this year’s budget. Now we have to make sure he follows this recommendation by telling him how important it is to people with disabilities across the State!

ACTION: Email Governor Cuomo. Urge him to include a funding increase of only $5 million to ILCs across New York in his Executive Budget proposal!

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