Introduction: What to Do If the Police Stop You

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Being stopped by a police officer is scary. As citizens and members of the public it is our responsibility to know the law and our hope that cops will be officers of justice. But citizen rights are not always respected. So in an interaction with an officer it’s important to avoid doing anything that could result in a risk to our safety. This instructable will walk you through everything you need to know to be safe while interacting with the police.

All of the information in this guide is straight from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Step 1: General Guidance for Dealing With the Police

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1. What you say to the police is always important. What you say can be used against you, and it can give the police an excuse to arrest you, especially if you badmouth a police officer.

2. You must show your driver's license and registration when stopped in a car. Otherwise, you don't have to answer any questions if you are detained or arrested, with one important exception. The police may ask for your name if you have been properly detained, and you can be arrested in some states for refusing to give it. If you reasonably fear that your name is incriminating, you can claim the right to remain silent, which may be a defense in case you are arrested anyway.

3. You do not have to consent to any search of yourself, your car or your house. If you DO consent to a search, it can affect your rights later in court. If the police say they have a search warrant, ASK TO SEE IT.

4. Do not interfere with, or obstruct the police, as you can be arrested for it.

Think carefully about your words, movement, body language, and emotions.
Do not get into an argument with the police.
Anything you say or do can be used against you.
Keep your hands where the police can see them.
Do not run. Do not touch any police officer.
Do not resist even if you believe you are innocent.
Do not complain on the scene or tell the police they are wrong or that you are going to file a complaint.
Do not make any statements regarding the incident.
Ask for a lawyer immediately upon your arrest.
Remember officer badge & patrol car numbers.
Write down everything you remember ASAP.
Try to find witnesses & their names & phone numbers.
If you are injured, take photographs of the injuries as soon as possible, but make sure you seek medical attention first.

If you feel your rights have been violated, file a written complaint with police department internal affairs division or civilian complaint board, or call the ACLU hotline, 1-877-6-PROFILE.

Step 2: What to Do If the Police Want to Enter Your Home

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1. If the police knock and ask to enter your home, you do not have to admit them unless they have a warrant signed by a judge.

2. However, in some emergency situations (like when a person is screaming for help inside, or when the police are chasing someone) officers are allowed to enter and search your home without a warrant.

3. If you are arrested, the police can search you and the area close by. If you are in a building, 'close by' usually means just the room you are in.

Step 3: What to Do If You Are Stopped for Questioning

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1. It's not a crime to refuse to answer questions, but refusing to answer might make the police suspicious about you. If you are asked to identify yourself, you must show your driver's license and registration when stopped in a car. Otherwise, you don't have to answer any questions if you are detained or arrested, with one important exception: The police may ask for your name if you have been properly detained, and you can be arrested in some states for refusing to give it. If you reasonably fear that your name is incriminating, you can claim the right to remain silent, which may be a defense in case you are arrested anyway

2. Police may pat-down your clothing if they suspect a concealed weapon. Do not physically resist, but make it clear that you do not consent to any further search.

3. Ask if you are under arrest. If you are, you have a right to know why.

4. Do not bad-mouth the police officer or run away, even if you believe what is happening is unreasonable. That could lead to your arrest.

Step 4: What to Do If the Police Stop You in Your Car

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1. Upon request, show them your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance. In certain cases, your car can be searched without a warrant as long as the police have probable cause. To protect yourself later, you should make it clear that you do not consent to a search. It is not lawful for police to arrest you simply for refusing to consent to a search.

2. If you are given a ticket, you should sign it; otherwise you can be arrested. You can always fight the case in court later.

3. If you are suspected of drunk driving (DWI) and refuse to take a blood, urine or breath test, your driver's license may be suspended.

Step 5: What to Do If You Are Arrested or Taken to a Police Station

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1. You have the right to remain silent and to talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police. Tell the police nothing except your name and address. Do not give any explanations, excuses or stories. You can make your defense later, in court, based on what you and your lawyer decide is best.

2. Ask to see a lawyer immediately. If you cannot pay for a lawyer you have a right to a free one, and should ask the police how the lawyer can be contacted. Do not say anything without a lawyer.

3. Within a reasonable time after your arrest or booking, you have the right to make a local phone call: to a lawyer, bail bondsman, a relative or any other person. The police may not listen to the call to the lawyer.

4. Sometimes you can be released without bail or have bail lowered. Have your lawyer ask the judge about this possibility. You must be taken before the judge on the next court day after arrest.

5. Do not make any decisions in your case until you have talked with a lawyer.

Step 6: Support the ACLU!

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All written content in this Instructable is from the ACLU's "What to Do if You Are Stopped by the Police" wallet card, which you can download here. Print out a copy, laminate it, and stick it in your wallet so that you have it when it matters most.

Finally. . .

The ACLU is America's most important non-governmental defender of the Bill of Rights and your personal freedoms. Go check out their website and consider getting involved!


ceilimae (author)2018-01-16

This is not acceptable. When an officer asks you to do something, do it! They are there to protect you and others.

NateMortimer87 (author)2015-02-18

You are 5 times more likely to be executed by a police officer in the united states than by a terrorist, that's sad so MajHunter get a real job you freaking Traitor to the Constitution

CalebT18 (author)NateMortimer872016-09-28

In the US, over the course of 100 years, you have a 00.04% chance of getting killed by a cop. that is extremely unlikely, to a point where you don't have to even worry about it.

godismyshadow. (author)CalebT182017-07-18

It depends on where you are and what you are doing. If you are walking down the street in the suburbs, where everyone else is driving, police are more likely to stop you for some reason. When that happens you must be completely familiar with police protocol or you could get shot.

MajHunter (author)2008-05-15

I am a police officer in California. This comment in no way reflects the official stance of my department or the city I work for. The information in this instructable is mostly accurate. You can not refuse to give you name even if it is incriminating. If you are arrested and you invoke your right to a lawyer or to silence, we can still ask you identifying questions for your arrest paperwork for the jail (name, DOB, address, place of birth, tattoos, phone number, nearest friend or relative etc.). The information about not resisting, keeping your hands where we can see them is all spot on. Several people have posted comments that being polite is the best course of action. They are correct. In many cases we have discretion and can decide to not give a ticket, etc. Some people insist on "talking themselves into a ticket" when they would have just been given a warning. If you don't agree with the ticket, you still have to sign it. Failure to do so is a crime and you will be arrested and booked until you can see a magistrate (judge). Also if you are arrested your vehicle may be impounded. It is in your best interest to sign the ticket. You will note that the citations say something to the effect of "Without admitting guilt, I promise to appear at the time & place checked below" You may not like being pat searched, but it is for a reason. We want to go home to our families at the end of the shift, and we don't know you or what you are thinking, or might do. In the last year and a half my department (about 1000 officers) have had six shot in the line of duty, and been in numerous shootings. People are frequently pulling guns, knives, bats on officers in the last few years. Sudden movements, irate behavior, puts the officer in a situation where he has to try and determine in a split second your intention. Is this irate guy jamming his hand behind his back going for a gun, or his wallet? We are working at a disadvantage in that we are reacting, to the action of the person. Therefore we have to make the decision on how to react in mere milliseconds, meanwhile the person has had plenty of time to decide what it is he is going to do. Since the primary goal is for us to go home to our families, the officer may use force to protect himself. To the comments who said that cops have been rude to them etc. Remember that there are a$$holes in every profession and not all cops are rude. Also your actions, inflection, attitude play into how the officer treats you as well. Ultimately if you aren't doing anything wrong, you have absolutely nothing to worry about when contacted by the police.

Absolute nonsense. How dare you. In addition to the numerous lies you told, the claim that if someone isn't doing anything wrong then have nothing about which to worry is patently absurd and any cop knows it. If they claim otherwise then they are either ignorant or lying. You're a liar for saying you can ask identifying the questions for paperwork implying one is required to answer. Suspects are not required to say a single work other than possibly a name. Period, end of discussion. Again, to claim otherwise means you're either ignorant or lying. Finally, spare me the crocodile tears about how risky being a police officer is. It doesn't even make the top ten most dangerous jobs list. But even it was, so what? No one has forced a single person to become a police officer. Stop willingly accepting a job and then bitching about it. If you find the job to be too dangerousthen gget another one. Cops want to be treated as though they are a special breed of human. Nonsense. Innocent people are jailed all the time. One may indeed have nothing to hide and consent to a search not knowing that when the junkie searched their car the night before he dropped his crack pipe for which the driver is now responsible. Never, ever, ever consent to a search. Never, ever, ever say a single word of acop bbeyond possibly your name. Cops are not your friend. They are not here to help. They are here to arrest you.

khurtwilliams (author)MajHunter2014-11-26

I want to go home to my family at the end of the encounter, and I don't know you or what you are thinking, or might do.

Also your actions, inflection, attitude play into how I react and treat you as well.

GoatBoy (author)MajHunter2008-05-15

>>> Ultimately if you aren't doing anything wrong, you have absolutely nothing to worry about when contacted by the police. Oh my. Hold on a second. Wait for it. Wait for it. >>> I am a police officer in California. Soooo... being a police officer from California, you would be familiar with, say, LAPD's problems, right? I was dredging up news stories for this massive collection of links to post as a comment, and LAPD just repeatedly came up, over and over. And I was actually looking for convictions and guilty pleas, not just anything. >>> To the comments who said that cops have been rude to them etc. Remember that there are a$$holes in every profession and not all cops are rude. Also your actions, inflection, attitude play into how the officer treats you as well. Here's the same question I asked jaysbob, since he's obviously dodging it: Since there are "a$$holes in every profession", when a cop pulls someone over, how do you know which cop pulled you over? The good cop, or the bad cop? Furthermore, how about looking at this from a Pascal's Wager perspective. (Or perhaps you think you're the only one who wants to go home to his family?) What are the repercussions of getting pulled over by a bad cop? How much damage can that cop do to you, if he were so inclined?

Prometheus (author)GoatBoy2008-06-07

You know the bad cop if you watch "COPS" and see the A**hole from Passaic county with the thick Jersey accent. That cop uses intimidation to put a suspect into a defensive mode to try to get a confession. While police often do their job, I have seen many with ulterior motives. On a few occasions, I have been stopped by an officer just doing his job, but some "eternal rookies" have performed very poorly in their duty to protect the public. Example: I was a courier, and my route took me through Bellevue, WA (a yuppie neighborhood, almost no crime rate), and as I leave a driveway, the physical shock of me leaving the dip in the driveway causes a headlight filament to break, caus9ing a burned-out headlight. I make it about 200 feet before a cop that was watching me and coming from the opposite direction pulls a screeching spin-turn in front of another car and races up to me at speeds exceeding 90mph in a 35 to pull me over. When he asks me if I know why he pulled me over, I say, "Because you witnessing a headlight burning out is some form of international terrorism that threatens children and more important to you, police?" Many cops will say that this attitude is not recommended when you get stopped, but after being stopped for "driving while possessing long hair", "defensive driving", or "going at a high-rate of speed acceleration" (as they call it in cop-speak) for using my engine's peak power range to accelerate on a 150-foot long onramp with an 800-lb load, one gets a little fed up with harassment by cops on a slow night. Back to harassment by a bored cop, he seems almost stunned that I not only know exactly when my headlight burned out, but that I saw him well before he saw me. Now for the fun part.... I ask him if he'd be willing to drive with his headlights ON for a change for the safety of other motorists, since he was driving with them off since I saw him. I have more driving training than most any cop I have seen. I have driven at speeds on a racetrack to the likes that a police cruiser could never dream of reaching. I have handled situations while driving that no cop without my skill and training could avoid a collision in. I also don't need nor want an automatic transmission to help my driving if I were a cop in pursuit, because unlike them I can handle a manual transmission while driving under more extreme circumstances than most if any will ever see. No cop has any place criticizing my driving under any circumstances, nor questioning my ability or knowledgeablility in handling one. To any police officers reading, stop acting like rookies with personal agendas, do as you say and say as you do, don't ever try to put false charges on me again, and do YOUR JOB: PROTECT AND SERVE THE PUBLIC...Ignoring the reckless drunk to do your ticket-writing hobby for a single burnt-out brakelight of six is not being an officer of the law, it's being a cop, and noone likes a cop. Quit chasing a single burnt-out headlight or taillight, and start actually snagging the reckless drivers that I have had to avoid for over four years that you never pay attention to. Finally, when someone races up to you to report an attempted armed vehicular assault, don't spend their getaway time explaining ridiculous formalities of filing a complaint with a police officer. Get a name of the complainant and persue the suspect, instead of fondling yourself to the sound of yourself lecturing another on "policy", because no policy of yours can address real life.

MajHunter (author)Prometheus2008-06-08

Promethius -You know the bad cop if you watch "COPS" and see the A**hole from Passaic county with the thick Jersey accent.

Yep, cant stand that dude.

Promethius-cop that was watching me and coming from the opposite direction pulls a screeching spin-turn in front of another car and races up to me at speeds exceeding 90mph in a 35 to pull me over.

LOL Slight exaggeration there maybe? A 2007 Crown Vic takes 16.7 seconds to get from 0 to 90, so he would have had to be a long way away I would imagine. LOL.

Let me explain the reason that cops pull people on bikes over for no headlight. Many career criminals have had their license suspended. As a result many ride bicycles. A burned out headlight (or more commonly no headlight) is a violation and gives the officer a reason to detain and contact the person. It is amazing how many people I have arrested that had No Bail warrants for robbery, rape, shootings etc, just off of riding a bicycle in the street with no headlight at night. It is a tool we can use to find out who someone is to see if they are one of the ones who prey on innocent people. I cant think of one time I or anyone I know has written a ticket for no headlight on a bicycle, but it is a legitimate violation of the law.

Promethius-I also don't need nor want an automatic transmission to help my driving if I were a cop in pursuit, because unlike them I can handle a manual transmission while driving under more extreme circumstances than most if any will ever see.

Have you ever thought about why we use automatics? Have you heard the expression, You can outrun Ford or Chevy, but you cant outrun Motorola? Have you ever tried to do rapid lane changes, change gear, and hold a cell phone (Hand microphone) to your mouth at the same time.....oh yeah, only two hands. We have to keep in communication at all times, ESPECIALLY during a pursuit. The SGT, and above wants to hear constant updates on speed, suspect actions, traffic conditions, road conditions, pedestrian traffic, location, directing assisting units where you want spike strips, etc. Non Stop. If you pause for more than a few seconds they will break off the pursuit regardless of whether you are chasing a stolen car, or a wanted mass murderer. Liability. Also you sometimes have to return fire at intersections, etc when the suspect slams on the breaks and starts shooting. There is more to driving a patrol car in a pursuit/etc than driving fast.

Promethius-Finally, when someone races up to you to report an attempted armed vehicular assault....Get a name of the complainant and persue the suspect, .... because no policy of yours can address real life.

/sigh. Okay not even going to get into trying to figure out what an attempted armed vehicular assault is to you. We cant just pursue someone. We have to have a legally articulable reason. Why? Because if the dude crashes, or someone crashes into him and it turns out we had no idea why we were chasing him, the other party (or him) will sue both the department, and us. Multi million dollar judgments are kind of hard to pay off on a cops salary. Cops can and have lost everything they owned (home, car, savings, retirement, etc) because of pursuits etc. I'm sorry, I love helping people and protecting the public, but I'm not going to put my wife and daughter out on the street because I went off half cocked at the prompting of someone who just told me to not jump the gun unless he tells me to.

Not trying to be a hard a$$ bro, but you have to realize that every decision we make at work has the potential to cost us everything we have worked out whole lives for.

Let me explain the reason that cops pull people on bikes over for no headlight. Many career criminals have had their license suspended. As a result many ride bicycles. A burned out headlight (or more commonly no headlight) is a violation and gives the officer a reason to detain and contact the person

That's like saying black people in white neighborhoods are disproportionately criminal, so we had better pull them over randomly.

To the black people and the poor people of America's cities, the police are terrorists in the most literal sense. They walk around with weapons and instill fear. They interfere with people who are completely alone, bothering no one. They inject their presence into situations without being requested by anyone, and believe their weapons give them not only the right to interrupt whatever is going on and demand to heard immediately, and indefinitely, but the right to make demands upon our "attitude." They are, moreover, an occupying force, existing primarily to protect the power of rich white people (which we are not); to keep the powerless in submission. They are not our means of protecting ourselves; they are what we organize to protect ourselves against.

In a study described in the NYT, 96% of black students at one Brooklyn college reported being randomly stopped by police -- several up to 6 times. Why? Because black people in such areas are often career criminals, of course!

No one would hate police if they just left people alone. If they just didn't do anything until someone needed help, no one would hate police, no one would feel the need for protection from them, no one would feel that twinge of anxious fear when a squad car drives by. No one would ever ask themselves, "will I be stopped by this armed stranger and forced to pay homage? Will this armed stranger keep me from my destination, and will he demand I cheerfully thank him for his provision of this service? And if I refuse, if I try to assert a right to be left alone, will I be kidnapped by force, thrown in a cage, and treated there in a way no decent person would treat a dog?"

Police: when you pull someone over for statistical reasons -- because they show some outward indication of poverty, like being black or riding a bike -- you are not only stealing time from them. You are stealing dignity from them. You are stealing life from them. In fact, you are doing something to someone that, if someone did the same to you, would cause you to arrest them.

black people feed into their own stereo type, ?I used to be best friends with a black kid down the street untill he became ghetto trash, it still makes me sad because he was a really nice guy but now hes in jail because of his' hommies'

racial profiling is wrong but when a higher percentage of black people or minorities for that matter are always getting caught for crimes, the statistics dont lie, sue happy lawyers use these same states and say this is racial profiling..

Very well-said. Although a few cops don't do this, many do. I should know, I drove through these neighborhoods and many a time I have been stopped for "driving with long hair". I am as white as they come, but I have long hair (not a mullet, rockstar-hair), and many times simply to harass me so I would leave the area...."I'm making a delivery, pig, I'm paid to be in the area!"

There are "officers of the law" (which I respect, they know the spirit of the law), there are "cops" (probies who do everything by the book), and there are "pigs" (use their authority to vent their high-school frustrations on the world because they need to feel powerful). A few (too many) try to be Robocop instead of being capable of seeing the situation and reacting to it appropriately.

MajHunter seems to be a reasonable "officer of the law", so "present company excluded" when I say that I hate cops and pigs. Here in Washington-state, we have too many "cops", and not enough "officers".

Prometheus (author)MajHunter2008-06-09

Well, very good response, officer. I have alot more respect for you than I default to most police. I do see your point about the reason for a pursuit, but I will just add that the cop I stopped had been given as much reason as he should have needed. You are the example of the difference between a police officer and a cop. The Passaic county officer mentioned above is a cop. Your patience and humility make you a real police officer. Well done...

lampajoo (author)Prometheus2008-06-24

"Good cop, bad cop" he's the the good cop. at the end of the day they are all on the same side.

MajHunter (author)Prometheus2008-06-09

Thank you. Be safe riding out there. Seattle area drivers are crazy. (Was stationed at Fort Lewis and lived in Tacoma when I was in the army.)

mce128 (author)GoatBoy2008-05-17

>>>> Furthermore, how about looking at this from a Pascal's Wager perspective. (Or perhaps you think you're the only one who wants to go home to his family?) What are the repercussions of getting pulled over by a bad cop? How much damage can that cop do to you, if he were so inclined? Well, if you do get "bad cop" how is acting aggressive toward said "bad cop" going to help you? I suspect that it will make your day FAR WORSE, than if you didn't act like a prick to him.... Just a guess...

GoatBoy (author)mce1282008-05-19

I have not advocated acting aggressive toward a cop. If you read one of my other responses:

>>> Would you try to get in an argument with a criminal?
>>> Of course not.
>>> Same goes for cops. If you don't start using your rights, you will lose them.

I've advocated exercising your rights as a privilege of living in this country, regardless of how inconvenient it is for a police officer.

Unfortunately, it's clear that making sure you are treated fairly under the rule of law is apparently suspicious behavior to everyone.

Mike Whipple (author)MajHunter2008-05-22

-Ultimately if you aren't doing anything wrong, you have absolutely nothing to worry about when contacted by the police. cops are so used to dealing with criminals they start to treat everybody like one. if a cop doesn't like the way you look, or god forbid you are holding a skateboard, maybe they can't arrest you but they can sure ruin your day. could be a "bad cop" or it could be a good cop having a bad day because his wife just left him for some guy with a skateboard, my point is that they do what they want and count on us not knowing our rights no offense to the cops reading this it is a noble job and I wouldn't want to do it .I just want to remind that its our right to question authority. thats one of the things we should be most proud of as Americans. so why do cops get so defensive when I start asking questions? not arguing just questioning. oh yeah, i skate at night because there are less cars, not because I'm trying to get away with something!

If you're homeless, if you're a teenager with no money and thus nowhere to go, if you're poor in a rich neighborhood (i.e., if you are excluded from the spaces of consumption) -- you have something to worry about. The police will come and harass you, be as patronizing and rude as possible in order to test your "attitude," and do whatever it takes to drive you away from the little suburban enclosure whose "quality of life" they're payed to protect against your presence.

Of course the police will maintain that "if you aren't doing anything wrong you have nothing to fear" but when the definition of "doing wrong" includes basic physiological needs such as sitting down to rest or urinating, the strategy of "do no wrong" becomes impractical.

Also, if you make the mistake of "assembling" with a group of other people in order to "redress" some "grievance," you have committed what in our society is now considered the ultimate danger -- practically equivalent to terrorism -- and you are almost guaranteed trouble. In that case the best advice is to wear whatever improvised body armor you can get!

112251919112 (author)MajHunter2008-05-22

yeah, pat seach to slip a bag of drugs ta put you in JAIL!!!

J-Five (author)2016-02-24

If a police officer is chasing after you, even if didn't do anything stop.

isabellet8 (author)J-Five2016-09-19

Actually I read online that if the police flash you to get you to pull over wait until you are near other people or a shop or something because this woman waited till she was near a shop to pull over and while the unmarked police car was still following her she phoned the police and they said there were no police cars near her and told her to keep driving. Turns out the guy was a convicted rapist but had never been imprisoned. Life lesson there

RobertM479 (author)J-Five2016-07-01

Yes and keep you muth shut. If they announce they have found "a gun" or weed even inf you know you didnt have any, keep your muth shut. They might pull this trick to get you mad, and if they want to plant something, which they might not do if you dont piss them off, just forget it, talking gets you nothing. The most likely time they will jack you up is at night, WHERE do you see all the "cops" incidents happening? I don't bother to go out at night since there are fewer cars and people around for them to write tickets etc. so you are a soft target, to them.

TomZ15 (author)2016-07-26

Worst thing they think there above you an love humiliation towards you i live in Australia. There all bullys

RobertG225 (author)2016-07-03

This spying program that's going is ridiculous. I had not noticed this untill yesterday night. I decided to visit somd family at Canoga Park, California. They were not home I did not want to be stuck inside waiting, so i decided to stay outside since the weather was very comfortable. I was not dressed like a "gangstar" or "suspect" I believe (white dressing shirt, red tie...). Anyways cars started passing constantly as I was standing outside on my phone. It came to a certain point where there windows were tinted to a point where it becomes Illegal to us U.S citizens, but not to the LAPD department? Not only that, the plates... their stickers were expired too. Some of them were driving cars that had lights broken. How do they get through with all this? No equal rights in my point of view. I decided to walk to get the doubt off my mind as I proceed they follow acting pretty stupid amd obvious making U- turns . Then some of these "civil agents" would get off their vehicle and play a part where some were just a "couple" or a woman in crutches at 12 A.M walking her dog. The woman crutches was not relying on the crutches to walk. The fact that she was basically walking without them was noticeable. It was all obvious. Then it came to a point where i get into my friends car and we decided to check things out. This guy randomly got off at 2 A.M from a vehicle to walk his dog stopped and stared at us. I get off, I ask "Hi, is everything okay"? He answers "Yes, .... etc" and walked away really fast. Then again, I live in a city where latinos are a big population. Now seeing healthy and fit White folks is very unusual specially at night. This really made me uncomfortable. On my walk... I saw about 4-5 cars surrounding a car that looked crashed ... right front light, bumper missing. The doors open, lights open, car on. They're just observing me pass by with this car almost in the middle of the street. I felt uncomfortable... It was sketchy and a car like that sitting just there. What went throught my mind? Maybe it got robbed? Maybe it's a stolen car? That's right call 9-1-1 ... as i proceed with the call the officer answered i told him what i was seeing a car obviously looking funny and some weird people just looking at it i said , "it looks like they broke into it..." they said "hold on..." My call It sounded like it got intercepted by the man in the other cars... because they drove a little closer and my call was transfered to a "please hold on... hangup if its not an emergency. Hang up if its not an emergency. Hang up."... repeatedly As that happened i heard them say 'he dialed 9-1-1" they all got in their cars. Then two random guys running out of a building ran into the "trap car" I'm guessing and got in and drove off with the rest of the cars. What a night it was.... i give a call today to my nearest police station. (TOPANGA DIVISON LAPD LA COUNTY 91303 CA) I called to ask about information on my civilian rights when it comes to civilian agents. He blew me off saying he didnt know said "hold on" Then answered "search up..." i believe "aclu.." because i had asked about a near location on our community about these rules or codes . He said "we dont have no communtiy.. " . Then I asked him about the call that was obviously intercepted. He blew me off... saying that was funny. He said i needed to go back to school... how do you know how old i am or how i look i dont sound young... so? Anyways he said you need to get educated. I said " Im done with school sir. " and he's like "well college..". Honestly why does it concern him about my education ? He was very ignorant and rude. And kept saying get educated. I just told him he was the one that needed and education and was very unprofessional. My police station was no help. Thi shows that the LAPD not everyone there but most are UNPROFESSIONAL and are NOT SERVING OT PROTECTING their civilians. Now remember why they receive a paycheck? Us citizens pay them.

PerryI (author)2016-07-03

I'm in Oakland, I am a African American male. Their is a high crime rate I'm 17 years old I have a brother with me skating around 11 heading home almost midnight at the time . White male officer ask me for a ride seeing that I have a skate board mind you that I didn't say yes to the offer, pulls over and get out the car checks me I say I don't need a ride pretty weird for me to be pulling up to my house in a police car plus the car locks so I wouldn't be able to get out the car . Pretty sure the cop man could have put something on me and my twin brother

MonicaB38 (author)2016-01-06


VishanM (author)2015-08-14

I don't think ZachD1 is an officer........abusive officers must be done away with or vaporized or made pure or removed from the face of the earth etc........

MarkN53 (author)VishanM2015-12-08

That wouldn't leave very many.

Farck (author)2015-03-20

True, po-lice are paid with taxes to protect and serve the community where they are assigned. However, if po-lice believe or has reason to believe that law is being broken, it is also his job to stop that from occurring as well as to follow thru and make sure that the lawbreaker is arrested. In carrying out there duties, po-lice place their lives on the line everyday. While performing his or her duties, their perception of what is occurring is viewed thru human eyes and, thus susceptible to human error. They make mistakes like every person makes mistakes but bc they also deal with life and death situations everyday, their errors could have a more serious consequence and open to public criticism, reprimand by superiors and hopefully, like most of us, self criticism and punishment.

I cannot think of anything more painful than living with any mistake, as a po-lice, that endangered or cost a person's life, innocent or guilty. I cannot think of any person who would be able to live and enjoy their life after such an occurrence.

I think it's important to highlight that cops are also human. As a human being, in his personal or professional life, nothing is guaranteed, not even his own life. The one exception to that rule is that as human, he will live an I'm perfect life. It is in being imperfect and living an imperfect life that makes him human.

We have entrusted po-lice with that authority and we are indirectly paying him to retain and use that authority, to proect me, you and all others in their district. We can only hope that po-lice not make an error that could cost mine, yours or his own life.

Degga_D (author)2015-02-19

just wow. Was gonna read then got bored

khurtwilliams (author)2014-11-26

"We want to go home to our families at the end of the shift, and we don't know you or what you are thinking, or might do."

That applies to me as well.

I want to go home to my family at the end of this encounter, and I don't know you or what you are thinking, or might do.

Or put another way.

Don't shoot me!

Dakota Joel98 (author)2014-08-12

A helpful tip: If you aggravate the police, it will go badly for you. If you tick them off then they will try to make life as difficult as possible for you. Sometimes they have checkpoints where they stop all cars to check them for drugs, criminals stuff like that. If this happens: Resistance is Futile. They are the Law so show some respect.


Checkpoints for drug searches are illegal. Know your rights and exercise them friend. You have the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Checkpoints deny all three. Keep your windows rolled up. I keep a laminated form to hold in the window.

of Rights:

please understand:

  • I refuse to talk to you until I
    consult with my attorney. I also refuse to consent to any search of these
    premises or any other premises under my control, or in which I have a
    possessory, proprietary, or privacy interest, including my car, my body,
    or effects. I hereby demand to immediately be allowed the reasonable
    opportunity to obtain the advice of my attorney by telephone.
  • I desire to exercise all my
    rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and the
    Constitution of this State, to be free from your interference with my
    person or affairs.
  • If you attempt to question me, I
    want my lawyer present. I refuse to participate in any line-up or to
    perform any physical acts, or to speak or display my person or property at
    your direction, without first conferring with my lawyer.
  • If I am under arrest, I wish to
    invoke and exercise my Miranda rights. If you ignore my exercise of these
    rights and attempt to procure a waiver, I want to confer with my lawyer
    prior to any conversations with you.
  • If I am to be taken into
    custody, removed from my present location, or separated from my property,
    I request a reasonable opportunity to make arrangements to secure my own
    property. I do not consent to any impoundment or inventory of my property.
    I do, hereby, waive any claim of liability for loss, theft, or damage
    against you, your superiors or any other authority, and agree to hold all
    harmless therefrom, if I am afforded the reasonable opportunity to arrange
    for the safekeeping of my own property. If this reasonable opportunity is
    denied or is unavailable, I demand that only such intrusion occur as is
    minimally necessary to secure such property, hereby waiving any claim of
    liability for your failure to scrutinize the property or its contents
    prior to it being secured.
  • If I am not under arrest, I want
    to leave. If I am free to leave, please tell me immediately so that I may go about my business.

Well said amigo, I am just saying that badmouthing an officer will not get you anywhere, if anything it makes it worse. Everything you have said Turn.Stiles.7, I am in agreement with, you just want to do things respectively.

dragondeathlord (author)2014-08-18

The Supreme Court did up held this practice constitutional in a case called Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, 542 U.S. 177 (2004). The Court held that disclosing one’s name does not violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures nor the Fifth Amendment’s right against self-incrimination because Hiibel had no reasonable belief that his name would be used to incriminate him. How ever IT's WAIST OF TAXPAYERS Money because its only takes one guy with the last name that sounds Italian or Moslem to overturn it. Under Fifth Amendment’s right against self-incrimination! So its just waisting cash to keep these disgusting laws in place but Like I Said California never wasted its time or money with this statute is Illegal.

horses34 (author)2013-08-09

This is some good advice. The police ruined my trip to disney. We were going the same speed as the car in front of us, I don't know why they stopped us!!! Sometimes they want to see your drivers license to see if YOU are the criminal they are looking for, so I wasn't that worried when they stopped us

jspud2 (author)2013-02-09

Yeah, I couldn't figure out why I had to pay taxes to cover their salaries until I needed them to evict those renters.

forgesmith (author)2008-05-31

Actually you're right, just cited the wrong case. Try Warren v. Washington DC, which is... disturbing. 3 women, 2 desperate calls to police, 1 slow drive-by then nothing, yielding 14 hrs of brutality.

Warren and the other victims sued the District and the police department. In 1978, the D.C. Superior Court ruled that "a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen."

Later in 1981, the D.C. Court of Appeals went further and ruled, "The duty to provide public services is owed to the public at large, and, absent a special relationship between the police and an individual, no specific legal duty exists.'

The police are public servants, who serve the public AT LARGE. Thus they will quell mass riots, "keeping the peace," but when Granny gets murdered because no one showed up, forget suing, you're out of luck. Oh, that case you cited came later and tried to establish a "special relationship" did exist, being the only way an individual can show an obligation of the police to protect them. And it got ruled that a protection order didn't do that.

Legally speaking, as an individual, you're on your own.

This is rarely mentioned in the media as it leads to the following exercise in logic:
1. You, an individual, do not need a gun for protection as the police will protect you.
2. The police do not have to protect you, an individual.
3. Therefore...

kykyred (author)forgesmith2012-03-20

i love it when the governemnt tries to take away guns... i mean seriously its in the constitution to bear arms, not the animals arms but guns.... some people need that correction.
But in my cases someone tried to mug me one night after class but there was no officer on scene so guess what i had to actually defend myself luckily i had my car door open and got a good hit on them in the face and scrambled back into my car where i had a small sword 19 inches long and threatened to cut them if they didnt run which thankfully did make them leave. i later found out that i was in violation of some stupid penal code that said you cant have a blade larger than i believe it was 8 inches that is unsheathed in the car? Made me laugh

Guns are there to protect yourself and to form militia i the event that the government has over extended their rights or the military has failed to protect you from danger. Lately the government (fed government) has been pushing for increased gun control so they criminals dont have guns but literally anyone who knows jack about crime knows that if a criminal wants a gun they will get a gun, which leaves the criminals a level above you if you dont have a gun to defend yourself.

MattyMumbles (author)forgesmith2008-05-31

That's the case I was trying to find, I knew I'd read it somewhere else! I wonder if any other cases have made it to court. It's definitely a stretch... Following your logic, I'm right there with you. It just leaves me wondering what exactly what our local police departments 'duties' are, and where this huge misconception left the public domain.

forgesmith (author)MattyMumbles2008-05-31

The duties, basically, would be mob control, "keeping the peace." They'll direct traffic and enforce traffic laws since otherwise roads would be chaos. They'll go after robbers since if people could just take anything they want it'd be chaos. Same for murder, etc, anything that could lead to mass numbers of people going off and disrupting society.

Because, slightly cynical here, an orderly society is needed for the upper classes to not require trusted guards, and probably many of them, to protect their lifestyle, lives, and property. And even guards can be overwhelmed by a disgruntled mob. So we have the police who basically neutralize any disgruntled mobs that erupt, but mainly prevent them from forming by keeping a generally orderly society going. What "protection" there is, trickles down. If the upper class were protected but the "commoners" weren't at all, the commoners would be disgruntled. So protection is supplied to at least enough commoners to keep them from forming a mob, while legally not required to be provided to every last individual.

Slightly cynical, yes, but the model for the police is very old and quite often functioning as found in Robin Hood. Of course, the more historical method of forming an orderly society, beneficial to all, is quite horrifying despite its efficiency, involving much time and effort.

The method is teaching solid morals, hard concepts of what's wrong and right, and actually knowing your neighbors, making sure they have and follow the same morals, and thus forming solid peaceful neighborhoods and communities. But these days, people would rather have laws and police, then complain when neither works as well as they think they should. Go figure.

MattyMumbles (author)forgesmith2008-06-01

I'd have to agree with you on that too, the method of forming an orderly society I mean. It does, or would take much time and effort, especially now. Reforming moral concepts of what is right and what is wrong, and growing strength within the community. It seems, historically speaking, we're unable to restructure a society without a mass revolution, war, genocide, or something of a catastrophic effect. If only it were as simple as reprogramming a computer...

Actually a great deal of (successful!) effort goes into forming people's subjectivities in the school system, but again (like the provision of "order") the effort is made to create an economically exploitable mass much more than a happy society. The values which are taught to the common people are those which are economically useful to the powerful; I quote from Bauman's history of the work ethic:

... the upper classes allowed no values to the workpeople but those which the slave-owner appreciates in the slave. The working man was to be industrious and attentive, not to think for himself, to owe loyalty and attachment to his master alone, to recognise that his proper place in the economy of the state was the place of the slave in the economy of the sugar plantation. Take many virtues we admire in a man, and they become vices in a slave.'

For credibility, I quote also Woodrow Wilson:

We want one class to have a liberal education. We want another class, a very much larger class of necessity, to forgo the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.

A detailed history of the various political struggles among the upper classes over the formation in schools of the subjectivities of the lower classes is John Taylor Gatto's Underground History of American Education -- a section of particular interest is chapter eight. My point is only that the ethics which are instilled in youth are those which create the type of people necessary for use by the powers; in times of war, these will be soldiers; in times of industrial expansion, they will be factory workers; in the contemporary "service economy" they are the type called by one book title "the organization man," aka "team-players" -- although Bauman argues convincingly that the powerful are now much more interested in creating willing consumers of their products than producers of them. (Of course, the DIY movement, if you call it that, is a reaction against both consumerism and organization...)

People don't have laws and police because "they would rather have" -- they are born into societies with laws and police and courts. Moreover, they are taught that these laws and police and courts are synonymous with morality; the law is not represented to us as a living institution, as a set of arbitrary rules that some people made up and which all-too-often exist only to benefit those who make them; rather, they are sanctified by the theory of democracy which is drilled into the heads of the young long before they attain the capacity to think independently or the life experience against which to test authoritative assertions.

Our legal institutions have existed since they were invented by the ancient monarchies; in fact, there is a continuity of organization going back from the American court system through to the Norman conquest. It is the same organization, which has reproduced itself through so many generations of human membership. (Remember that the war which is called the American "Revolution" was one in which the States, without dissolving, declared independence, and formed a new union -- it was no more a revolution than the London Declaration.)

In the early days of these same organizations, they asserted directly their equivalnce with morality and, indeed, with the word of God. "Dominion is founded in grace" was the ideology of our court system in its infancy; which is to say, the law set down by the King is sanctified by God. Rousseau marked a shift in which the King began to claim the basis of his authority in his representation of the interests of the people -- of course, it was still the same organization, and largely this representation was nothing more than a pretense, though a pretense which could easily be sold to children -- including the children of the powerful, who would gain a convenient confidence in their own right to rule. The contradiction between the ideology and the reality, though, resulted in the various popular movements defining their task as the bridging of this gap; i.e., as the creation of truly representative government.

The representation of democratic forms as automatically producing democracy is itself indicative of a certain collapse of democracy (which had never really been secured). A society in which democracy was a primary goal, rather than an ideology justifying power (like "dominion is founded in grace"), would frankly admit that the task of ascertaining and enacting the general interests of the people cannot be accomplished automatically through any procedural form. But this is far from what children are in fact taught (in myriad ways), and what they believe until they learn about the system through their own personal experience. It is not a choice of the people to accept this representation; rather, it is simply what they are taught in their gullible youth (out of which many never grow).

nmw4825 (author)forgesmith2008-06-27

that kind of stuff happens way too often

Prometheus (author)forgesmith2008-06-07

Therefore the police are a collection agency for local and state governments to raise funds squandered by the previous quarter of multi-billion-dollar courthouse and state-building construction projects, including a $13 million-dollar sculpture in the lobby of a police department claiming not to have enough funding as exampled in this wonderful state of Washington. It is said that the actions of this state and washington DC have caused our first president to roll in his grave so fast and frequently that the friction from this is the real cause of global warming.

JoeMenthol (author)2008-05-13

If you are a criminal, these are good tips, and will make it more difficult to get a conviction. Otherwise, just be cooperative. If you have nothing to hide, is it really necessary to refuse to answer questions? If the police are searching for a suspect in the area, polite, simple responses help eliminate you as a suspect or a witness to the crime, and then can then move on to find the real bad guys. Throwing a fit or being confrontational about your rights immediately makes police think you either have something to hide (like a warrant out for your arrest) or that you possibly have a mental issue. Best advice is to obey the law. If you hate the police because you've been busted in the past, does it really make sense to blame the cops for your bad choices?

austinmayor (author)JoeMenthol2008-05-13

Mr. Menthol,

It is so neat that you think that innocent people have nothing to hide from the police. That is what Kevin Fox of Will County Illinois thought too.

He was innocent and was just trying to help the police and the states attorneys find the person who murdered his daughter, so he talked freely with the coppers. But that was before the authorities attempted to have him put to death for the murder of his daughter.

Fortunately, DNA evidence eventually excluded Mr. Fox.

Two-piece legal advice:
1. Demand an attorney, and
2. Keep your mouth shut.

so-called "Austin Mayor"

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