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Legal observers, usually young lawyers or law students, are the eyes and ears of defense attorneys who represent political demonstrators arrested by police. The just-published “Legal Observer Training Manual” of the National Lawyers Guild advises those who monitor this summer’s Republican National Convention in New York to: � Work in teams of two. One observer should note details of arrests for potential trial documentation, the other should photograph incidents. � Carry notebook and pens, identification documents, cell phones and police misconduct forms. � Neither fraternize with nor provoke police officers. If officers demand notes, explain they are protected as attorneys’ work products. � Be vigilant for signs of agents provocateurs or police infiltration. � Tell those arrested to say nothing beyond, “I want to talk to a lawyer.” � Be mindful of “pop-up” police lines, sudden deployments of officers obstructing protesters’ movements. Note time and place, as well as officers’ names and badge numbers. � Photograph evidence of police firing weapons of any sort, and collect any spent ammunition. � After a demonstration, review notes of arrests and clarify abbreviated details. Remember, a trial likely will not occur for several months.

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