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First Ever 'Know Your Rights' Training Series Educates Red Hook Teens on Responding to Police Misconduct

The training series teaches Red Hook youth about the rights that New York citizens have, as well as how to protect themselves when faced with illegal police search situations and other acts of police misconduct.
Teens learning about their rights. Photo: Provided/ Red Hook Initiative.

The Legal Aid Society and Red Hook Initiative have partnered to launch the inaugural Know Your Rights Ambassador Training Series in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood.

The Know Your Rights Ambassador Training Series is a 12-week training curriculum that focuses on teaching Red Hook youth — ages 14-21 — about the rights of New York citizens, as well as how to protect themselves when faced with illegal police searches other acts of police misconduct.

The Legal Aid Society says that students also get the chance to learn about the NYPD's gang database and gang raid tactics, along with ways to combat the NYPD's overinclusive gang labeling.

"We see firsthand how the NYPD employs illegal and unethical tactics to target our clients, fueling the carceral system that has long preyed on communities of color,” Anthony Posada said.

Posada is the supervising attorney in the Community Justice Unit at The Legal Aid Society.

“It is critical that we build awareness and expand education efforts to provide the tools to youth to not only advocate for themselves about these harmful policing tactics, but to pass that knowledge forward and edify future generations.”

After the 12 weeks of training are completed, participants then go on to become youth ambassadors.

Youth ambassadors get the opportunity to learn about how to become knowledgeable and skilled presenters, which they then use to conduct workshops and present to their peers about the topics they learned, according to The Legal Aid Society.

“This program has been good because I learned more about cops and NYPD’s systems and other things they may do to target Black and Brown people," Carter, an RHI participant and youth ambassador.

"This is important information because as a young adult, I have citizen rights and I know what to do when a cop may approach me.”

The training series takes place at RHI headquarters in Red Hook. This year's curriculum began on Sept. 20, 2022, and runs until Dec. 16, 2022.

The training series offers 24 workshops in total, and workshops run twice a week.

For more information about the training series or to inquire about joining, you can contact Natisha Romain, Director of Adolescent Youth Programs at RHI at


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