The dashcam video of the traffic stop that led to Sandra Bland’s arrest has many questioning what they would do in a similar situation.
The ACLU says you do have rights, but you have to be smart about what you do with them.
“The reason for your stop is you failed to signal a lane change," the officer had told Bland.
"It’s hard to believe that just a minor traffic stop could escalate so quickly to a situation where a young woman could find herself in jail - and then dead," said Ed Yohnka, ACLU spokesperson.
Yohnka said the first order of business during a traffic stop is to remain calm.
“If you stay calm, you can begin almost instantaneously to gather information. Where was it that the officer was? Can I see the officers badge number and name? Repeating that information over and over again for yourself," said Yohnka.
And once you produce your license and insurance, you don't have to say much more.
"You don't have to answer any of the questions. Where have you been, who have you been with? You're not required to actually answer," Yohnka said.
What about that cigarette demand?
"I don't understand how it interferes with the work of the officer for her to be smoking a cigarette. We would always suggest that people follow a lawful order, but that is not a lawful order," Yohnka added.
What about the order that Bland get out of her car?
"The court has said that for an officers safety, he can order you out of your car. For that reason, that then becomes a lawful order and one does have to obey that," Yohnka said.
Bland was recording the incident on her cellphone: should the officer have told her to put it down?
"The courts including the federal appeals court have ruled that is a constitutionally protected right. The police are doing their job in a public place,” Yohnka said. “That is not a lawful or permissive order."
He also said that it is important to have a dialogue about these cases, and it is also important to have more transparency in police departments throughout the country.
Dashcam video is helping defuse situations like these, as well as aide in the training of officers.