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 What To Do If You Are Stopped By Police

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Silver Sentinel

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PostSubject: What To Do If You Are Stopped By Police   Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:33 am

The following was written using the, “What To Do If You Are Stopped By Police” Guidelines, published by the ACLU.

When you engage in urban patrol, very few people will know who you are, let alone what you are doing. To many people you will appear to be a suspicious looking person wandering up and down the neighborhood at odd times during the night. In some cases they might even call the police on you, or a passing patrol car might stop you to check you out.

Don’t freak out. Being innocent you have nothing to hide, however sometimes things go awry, or you may be mistaken for a suspect. Remain calm and remember the following information:

Relax and remember to breath. Most citizens have little experience talking to police and get nervous around them. This is normal. Don’t let yourself get rattled, and pay attention to what the officers are asking you. Do not offer additional information or nervously run off at the mouth.

  • Think carefully about your words, movement, body language, and emotions. Speak respectfully, and in a calm tone. Do not cop an attitude, stand defiantly, or make faces when answering questions. The police have stopped you for a reason.
  • Don’t get into an argument with the police… ever. You do not win arguments with police. You win a car ride down to the precinct.
  • Remember, anything you say or do can be used against you. If you were stopped for nothing, then don’t give the officers reason to arrest you for something.
  • Keep your hands where the police can see them. Many police are injured or killed during routine stops, so for them no stop is considered safe.
  • Don’t run. Don’t touch any police officer. If you were innocent, you are now guilty of something.
  • Don’t resist even if you believe you are innocent. Let your lawyer deal with it.
  • Don’t complain on the scene or tell the police they’re wrong or that you’re going to file a complaint.
  • Do not make any statements regarding the incident.
  • Ask for a lawyer immediately upon your arrest. Your “arrest”, not when you are first stopped. You don’t need a lawyer if you’re not being taken into custody.
  • Remember officers’ badge and patrol car numbers. If you have a good encounter with a police officer, remember their name.
  • Write down everything you remember ASAP. It’s important to keep this information straight later on.
  • Try to find witnesses and their names and 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’s internal affairs division or civilian complaint board, or call ACLU Hotline, 1-877-6-PROFILE.

  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 bad-mouth 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 don’t 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 – you can be arrested for it.

IF YOU ARE STOPPED FOR QUESTIONING


  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, see paragraph 2 above.
  2. Police may “pat-down” you clothing if they suspect a concealed weapon.
  3. Don’t physically resist, but make it clear that you don’t consent to any further search. Ask if you are under arrest. If you are, you have a right to know why.
  4. Don’t bad-mouth the police officer or run away, even if you believe what is happening is unreasonable. That could lead to your arrest

IF YOU’RE STOPPED IN YOU CAR


  1. Upon request, show them your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. In certain cases, your 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’re suspected of drunk driving (DWI) and refuse to take a blood, urine or breath test, your driver’s license may be suspended.

IF YOU ARE ARRESTED OR TAKEN TO A POLICE STATION


  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. Don’t 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 can’t pay for a lawyer, you have a right to a free one, and should ask the police how the lawyer can be contacted. Don’t 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, a 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 you 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.

IN YOUR HOME


  1. If the police knock and ask to enter your home, you don’t 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 you 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.
We all recognize the need for effective law enforcement, but we should also understand our own rights and responsibilities – especially in our relationships with the police. Everyone, including minors, has the right to courteous and respectful police treatment. If your rights are violated, don’t try to deal with the situation at the scene. You can talk to a lawyer afterwards, or file a complaint with the internal affairs or Civilian Complaint Board.

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About: Silver Sentinel is a security professional, licensed through the State of New York, and has received training in PPCT, Defensive Tactics, First Aid, I.C. Response, Haz-Mat Responder, Search & Rescue, MERT, CERT, Counter-Terrorism (not as fancy or cool as it sounds), and other skills through his job and activities as a community volunteer.
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PostSubject: Re: What To Do If You Are Stopped By Police   Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:40 am

Good stuff
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Gadgetastic!



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PostSubject: Re: What To Do If You Are Stopped By Police   Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:16 am

Excellent Info. Everyone should study this. Cops are not your enemies. They are just people doing a job. Thanks SS
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PostSubject: Re: What To Do If You Are Stopped By Police   Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:12 am

But some if them are real jerks, and its wise to know how to act if you're stopped.
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Silver Sentinel

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PostSubject: Re: What To Do If You Are Stopped By Police   Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:09 am

The ACLU has studied hundreds, if not thousands, of encounters with police officers. They also have some of the best legal minds within their ranks. I figured you can't go wrong getting info straight from such a group.

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About: Silver Sentinel is a security professional, licensed through the State of New York, and has received training in PPCT, Defensive Tactics, First Aid, I.C. Response, Haz-Mat Responder, Search & Rescue, MERT, CERT, Counter-Terrorism (not as fancy or cool as it sounds), and other skills through his job and activities as a community volunteer.
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Kaiju

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PostSubject: Re: What To Do If You Are Stopped By Police   Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:29 am

Good to have ya back on the forums, SS.
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Polarman

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PostSubject: Re: What To Do If You Are Stopped By Police   Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:49 pm

HEY WELCOME BACK
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PostSubject: Re: What To Do If You Are Stopped By Police   Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:29 pm

Ha, yeah. Welcome back.
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The Reverend

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PostSubject: Re: What To Do If You Are Stopped By Police   Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:20 am

Great peice , well written I only want to make 2 additions .

1 the police can arrest you for " resisting arrest " even without having a reason to arrest you . In effect they can take you to jail for the night anytime they want . You won't be charged and set free in the morning and unless you have tens of thousands for a lawyer you can't sue them . So always be respectful .


2 never say " I know my rights " it pisses them off and makes them think you are hiding something .

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Hazmat

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PostSubject: Re: What To Do If You Are Stopped By Police   Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:47 am

I have a friend of decades that is a Multnomah County sheriffs deputy. She has made it very clear that you should NEVER talk to the police. Not even a casual conversation if it can be helped and that the WORST thing you can do is consent to any sort of search or questioning. This goes for being a RLSH, just getting stopped in your car or any other time.

Basically you can never do yourself any good talking to the police. All you can do is cause yourself problems.

So. I asked her point blank how a RLSH should deal with being stopped.

If you are out on a patrol and the cops roll up on you.

1) Keep your hands in view and do not fidget or make any sudden moved.

2) Follow any instructions given if you are told to back up, turn around etc.

3) Present ID if asked. Explain to the officer exactly what you are going to do before you do it. i.e. “I am going to reach into my back pocket with my right hand and get may wallet.” She stresses that at this time you need to make the statement “Am I under arrest or am I free to leave?” (read that again.)

3a) If they say anything other than “You are being briefly detained” you should remain silent. Do not ask why you have been stopped. They are not obligated to tell you anything and are within their authority to “detain an individual briefly for clarification.”

3b) If you are told that you are being detained you need to state aloud “I understand and I will cooperate but I wish to leave as soon as possible and do not wish to answer any questions.” (Read that again) You can be sure the cop will not like this but it puts both of you on very solid legal ground. They now know that you are aware of your civil liberties and that they are being recognized by you as acting within their field of practice.

4) While you are detained DO NOT answer any casual questions. Things like “where are you coming from?” or “what are we up to tonight?” etc. As soon as you answer such a question you have invalidated your request to be on your way by voluntarily engaging in questioning. The only answer you should give to any question is “I do not want to answer any questions. Are we done because I would like to leave.”

4a) If you are dismissed you need to vacate the immediate area or you are again voluntarily remaining “in contact” with the officer.

5) If the officer asks about weapons etc, be direct and honest. “I have a can of pepper spray” or whatever's relevant. When answering this question DO NOT gesture or attempt to draw the item. (Read that one five more times!)

6) If the officer says they want to, or are going to search you it is imperative that you say these words “I understand and will not resist in any way but I do not consent to any searches.” Odds are high that the officer will say something on the order of “If you have nothing to hide, it shouldn’t be a problem.” or some such. Just repeat that you understand and will not resist in any way but you do not consent to any searches. (Read this one TEN times!)

Remember that some cops are creeps just like anyone else. If they want to arrest you they can and will. Do not argue or even protest. Your time to protest will come when you see a judge. You can not win an argument with the police.

If you are arrested you can and must speak to a lawyer and file a formal complaint with the department through your legal council. NEVER pay a lawyer in a case like this. If the lawyer feels you have a case (and if you are not doing anything wrong and are arrested you should have a slam-dunk) they will take it for a piece of the pie when you win a settlement for wrongful arrest. Its a very serious thing to have your civil rights violated by a sworn officer and if you handle yourself as described above; the officer will be aware that you know your rights and are not to be taken lightly.

The most likely scenario is that the cop will run your ID and if you come back with no warrants they will tell you that you are free to go.

Also keep in mind that the officer may say something about you not being a police officer and you need to stop patrolling the streets etc. DO NOT in any way respond to this. Do not protest or try to tell the officer about your rights. Do not make faces or react in any way. As you are leaving be cool and try to build a good reputation for yourself and other RLSH. Say something like “stay safe out there” as you walk away.


Last edited by Hazmat on Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:40 am; edited 2 times in total
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Urban Avenger

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PostSubject: Re: What To Do If You Are Stopped By Police   Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:12 pm

Hazmat, I have done a lot of that stuff.

Some I have not. I will take that stuff into consideration.

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PostSubject: Re: What To Do If You Are Stopped By Police   Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:29 pm

Excellent info. Police can do a "stop and identify" on anyone at any time, without probable cause, but they can only search you if they have reasonable suspicion that you either have committed or intend to commit a crime. I'd like to say rlsh would obviously not be in that category, but many carry weaponry that could also be used in the commission of crimes, so just follow the steps laid out by Hazmat, and as long as what you're carrying is legal, you should be ok.
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