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 March 23, 2021

Locked Up & Horrified: Georgia Shooting Survivors Were Handcuffed for Hours. What Are Your Legal Rights as a Victim of Crime?

Handcuffed man covering his eyes

Georgia Mass Shooting: What Happened?

The news that broke last week about the mass shooting in Georgia was shocking and horrific to say the least. If you haven’t yet tuned into the ongoing story, here’s what you need to know: Last week, a shooter opened fire at three Atlanta-area spas, leaving eight victims dead. Seven of them were women, six of them of Asian descent. While the motive of the suspect is still in question, one thing is clear: This attack comes amid an unnerving rise in crimes against Asians in America.

More details of the story are now unraveling.

In the crippling aftermath of it all, more disturbing stories are coming to light: Survivors were detained by police for hours and treated like suspects rather than grieving victims. One man, who was scrambling to find his wife in the aftershock, was handcuffed and investigated and didn’t find out until the very end of his police interviews that his wife was in fact shot and had died.

Imagine the complete shock and horror one must feel after having just survived a shooting massacre and not knowing where your family is, and then on top of that, being questioned as a suspect of the crime rather than a victim.

A scenario like this one forces us to ask the question: What are your rights if you’re detained by the police?

The three most important things to know if you ever find yourself in a situation like this include:

  1. You have the right to remain silent.
  2. You have the right to get legal assistance.
  3. You have the right to make a local phone call. Note: If you call a lawyer, the police cannot listen. If you call anyone but a lawyer, they can listen.

Getting legal assistance immediately is the most important thing you can do.

The most critical thing you can do for yourself when you know you’re innocent and under question is to seek legal help. That’s where we can help.

LegalShield’s core mission is to build a better world where access to justice and security is equal for every human—regardless of gender, race, orientation, education, social status or personal wealth.

Being forced to get legal help in an emergency like this can be extremely costly. When you join LegalShield, you have access to speak to a lawyer for emergency situations. Learn More about LegalShield and our services.

Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. d/b/a LegalShield (“LegalShield”) provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to LegalShield members through membership-based participation. Neither LegalShield nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation or advice. This is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations. If you are a LegalShield member, please contact your provider law firm for legal advice or assistance.


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