Photo and Story by Connor Burnard / Contributing Writer
The three-part lecture series, “Can Police Do That?” hosted by Scott and Richard Kimberly concluded in the Business and Aerospace Building Tuesday night with a question-and-answer session, pizza and a recap of the first two segments.
Scott Kimberly, a Murfreesboro attorney that practices criminal defense, family law and personal injury and his father Richard Kimberly, a retired criminal defense attorney, have held the lecture series for three straight years and will hold it again next year. The lectures intend to educate students about their rights during searches, traffic stops or any interactions with police officers. The event was sponsored by MTSU’s College Republicans, College Democrats, the Young Green Party and Turning Point USA.
The first two lectures of this year’s series focused on police searches and traffic stops, respectively. Each lecture had a specific takeaway that the Kimberlys intended that attendees remember, if nothing else.
For searches, the takeaway was to not give consent for police to search one’s person or property, and the police will be unable to do so legally without a warrant.
For traffic stops, the takeaway was how to end a traffic stop with four words: “Am I under arrest?”
However, this takeaway came with the caveat that it can be answered with either “yes” or “no,” and one should be prepared for either answer if one uses this question.
Richard Kimberly cautioned students to be smart in any interactions with police, regardless of how much trouble they could be in.
“There is absolutely no reason to turn a misdemeanor into multiple felony charges,” said Richard. “For a kid to think, ‘I’m going to outrun the cops,’ that is such a bad way to think. It can lead you down a bad road.”
The Kimberlys included an ultimate summary of why the information in their lectures is useful and explained that the presentations are an unbiased, objective attempt to educate the general public on their rights and how to use them.
“There’s a reason that this type of presentation is supported by College Democrats, College Republicans, college Libertarians, college Greens. It’s because this type of presentation is information that is helpful for everybody,” Scott said. “These are rights that are universal across the board, and they help everybody to know…this is not anti-police. This is not pro-police. This is not anti or pro anything. These are basic rights we want you to understand.”
At the end of the lecture, Scott gave what he wanted students to know going forward and also shared his reasons for holding the lecture series.
“The two things I want people to take away are: Number one: It’s not disrespectful to exercise your rights. And number two: at least when you’re in these situations, you know what you have to do and don’t have to do. It’s important to me as an attorney,” Scott said. “I really do believe that your value is measured by how much you give away. So I want to do these things, give away this knowledge, help folks, because if I knew this when I was younger, it would have been helpful.”
Scott Kimberly’s website can be found here. The Kimberlys will return with “Can Police Do That?” at MTSU next Spring.
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