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Local attorneys pledge to represent arrested protesters for free

Attorneys are showing their support by vowing to offer free representation to anyone who is arrested while peacefully protesting.

YORK, Pa. — In light of nationwide protests against racism, some Pennsylvania attorneys are pledging to offer free representation to people who are arrested during the demonstrations.

Korey Leslie, criminal defense attorney in York, said young adults and teenagers may not have the experience of knowing how to get in touch with an attorney and, often times, cannot afford the costs.

“I do understand what people go through when they get arrested and I did not want anyone to think that they have to go without counsel,” explained Leslie.

Many attorneys across the state are offering free legal services to protesters. Leslie said it is important for people to know their right to peaceful assembly.  

“If you go and get a permit, obviously there’s a time frame attached to that. If you continue to assemble after that time, I guess the police can ask you to move, but they can’t ask you to stop,” explained Leslie. “Assembling and protesting is not violating any law.”

If you are arrested, police may not always read you the Miranda warning, which advises people of their right to silence. Police only have to read Miranda rights to people if they are going to question them about their involvement in a crime, said Leslie.

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As calls for police reform intensify, some local law enforcement agencies vow transparency. The Lancaster Bureau of Police posted their use-of-force policy online and Chief Jarrod Berkihiser listened to demonstrators during a protest. In a press release, Chief Berkihiser stated, “Opening up a dialogue is a beginning. Humanizing each other is necessary for the conversation to advance.”

Leslie said he can help people get in contact with attorneys throughout the area who have also joined the movement of free legal representation. To contact Korey Leslie for legal services related to protests, call (717) 858-4799.