What is the Child Interrogation Protection Act? (Part 1)
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The Child Interrogation Protection Act is about protecting the basic due process rights of Black and Brown children who are unfairly stopped, searched, arrested, and interrogated by police every day in Maryland.
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I'm Yanet Amanuel, Public Policy Director for the ACLU of Maryland, and let's talk about what the Child Interrogation Protection Act actually does. First, it's important that you know, that children already had the right to a lawyer long before this bill passed.
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That's nothing new. What is new is that prior to 2022, children were questioned without an attorney present or any understanding of their rights every single day. All of the Child Interrogation Protection Act simply requires is that an attorney be consulted when a child is first interrogated by police. And the law also requires that a child's parents or their guardians be notified when a child is first taken into custody.
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And the law also has an exception in place for emergency situations. As long as officers’ questions focus on the safety concern and aren't designed to get a child to incriminate themselves without access to a lawyer.