ACLU Pocket Card illustrationPolice abuse is a serious national problem -- and one that especially affects young people and people of color. While many police officers do strive to be courteous, and while we all understand the stress and danger involved in policing, each of us has the right to be treated with respect -- and without abuse -- by the police.

To fight police abuse effectively you need to know your rights. There are some things you should do, some things you must do and some things you cannot do. If you are in the middle of a police encounter, you need a handy and quick reference to remind you what your rights and obligations are.

That's why the ACLU is making this pocket card available as a downloadable file. You can photocopy this and carry it in your wallet, pocket or glove compartment to give you quick access to your rights and obligations concerning police encounters.

ACLU "Bustcard": Pocket Guidelines on Encounters with the Police
The text of the bustcard as a web page, for those who cannot use a .pdf.

ACLU "Bustcard" in Spanish, or view it as a web page.

Instructions for Downloading and Printing this file:

To download, you will need to use the Adobe Acrobat program.
Download the Free Adobe Acrobat Reader (and find out more about .pdf files).

Your browser will ask you to select a directory to save the file, or select a "helper application" to open the document. Depending on your system and its configuration, Acrobat will launch within your browser and display the file, or will launch as a stand-alone application and display the file. If your system does not have adequate memory to support that, you will need to save the file and open it from within the Acrobat application after you finish browsing.

Tips on Printing: The printable area of the page will vary somewhat on non-PostScript Level 2 printers (most PC compatible printers and many lower price Macintosh compatible printers). If you are experiencing trouble printing the entire page (or if you want a sharper dot-per-inch resolution than your printer offers) we highly recommend saving the Acrobat file to disk and taking it to a print/copy shop with a higher quality printer. This is an excellent way to create affordable, high quality originals that you can duplicate from an office quality copier. If your printer is not PostScript compatible, the documents will not print correctly -- or may not print at all -- from .pdf files and you will need to take the file to a copy shop for printing.

This file has been formatted on the page so that you only have to use one original in order to create four back to back cards. Place the original on the photocopy machine glass, lining up the original with the copier's marks for letter size paper. If the copier will produce 2-sided copies from 1-sided originals, select that setting. Or copy one side, flip the copies over and replace them in the paper tray to copy the second side. Use the heaviest paper stock your photocopy machine will tolerate so that the card will be durable.

Acrobat and the Acrobat logo are trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated

Copyright 2000, The American Civil Liberties Union