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Aug 18 2014
By: TheBigDumpMachin Lombax Warrior 174 posts
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Know your rights, flex your rights.

12 replies 177 views Edited Aug 18, 2014

I figured it would be prudent to do a thread like this, considering the situation in St. Louis.

 

First, I want to preface by saying this info isn't about getting bad people out of trouble, if you hurt somebody you should face punishment in some fashion.  This info is about protecting people from injustice.

 

I'm gonna give ya'll a small lesson that they never cover in school, and that's your rights when interacting with the police.  First, a little common sense, if the police have actively sought you out, be it via a traffic stop, stopping you on the street, coming to your door, or what have you, it's not to chat, it's not to give you friendly advice or to be your friend in general, it's because they are looking for something from you or they have business with you in some fashion.  Often, what they want is not beneficial to you.  I say this because you need to know this to understand that talking to an officer and volunteering information is never a good idea.  If, for whatever reason, you end up having to testify to something, what you say will be used against you, not maybe, not possibly, it will, period.  You have the right to remain silent, use it.

 

I'll give you the pull-over situation, let's pretend that you got caught speeding, you have given the required information: "License and registration" and the cop has returned with ticket in hand:

 

Cop: "Where are you headed today?"

 

STOP!

 

This is called, "fishing", this cop has moved on from the purpose of the stop and is going to go down a line of questioning that he will take as far as he can.  It starts out as a conversation and will move on to more pointed questions about your affiliations, involvements, and if he can, he will try to get you to agree to a search of your car.  The officer who does this is looking for anything he can to pin on you, for the purpose of revenue generation for the state.  This is where you can and should assert your rights.  Here is the only way you should answer the above question:

 

You: "Am I legally required to answer that question/tell you that?"

 

The answer is no.  You are not legally required to answer any questions, even if you are suspected of a crime or under arrest.  Never talk to the police period, if you are under arrest, refuse to speak without an attorney present.  In this case, assert your right to remain silent and ask these important questions: Am I being detained, Am I free to go?  Once he/she gives you an affirmative to the latter question, leave.

 

If there is ever a situation where you are being harrassed or intemidated by the police, pull out your camera and record the encounter.  You have every right to film the police in the course of their duties, including and especially stops.  If you have the ability, livestream the video, which will prevent abuse of power in the form of confiscating the camera and deleting the footage.  Livestream helps you avoid situations where the police will abuse their power and lie about it after the fact.

 

These rules apply in any situation where you have an encounter with the law.  If you're stopped on the streets, you most likely won't even be dealing with a violation and it might be a case of a fishing expedition, so, simply refuse to answer questions, ask your own two (detained/free to go?).  If they are coming to your door, here's some of the important rules:

 

1) You have the right to not answer the door and interact with police if you choose not to.  If they have a warrant or suspect a major crime is taking place, they will not bother knocking, they'll come in by force.  Knocking=fishing.

 

2)  If you are uncomfortable ignoring them or they start making threats, realize that you have no legal obligation to allow the police into your home.  If they ask to come in, either: Stand in the doorway and refuse to move, but here are the two better, safer ways to assert this right, use your door chain if you have one, speak through the crack, speak to the officers from the other side of the door, or better yet, step outside, close and lock your door behind you, and speak to them outside.  There's a reason for these precautions, by allowing police into your home, you consent to them searching your home, they absolutely will do this.  They will try to find illegal things in your home.  Even if you think you don't, assume you do just to be safe.

 

Lastly, know your rights.  Google is your friend.  I don't have all the answers, just what I have picked up through research and firsthand knowledge.  It's up to you how far you want to take each encounter.  Always weight the pros and cons, ask yourself if you are willing to go to jail for a night for your principals, or if you want force them to tow your car if they want to push a unwarranted search etc etc.  Realize that, even if you are right according to the constitution, it hasn't stopped some cops from getting away with violating your rights.  They can and will take some things far enough that they'll force you to get false charges thrown out in court.  Even if the law and the constitution are on your side, this is the government we're talking about, sometimes they will just pick and choose which rules matter.  We can only use the tools and hope they work, be safe ya'll, and FLEX YOUR RIGHTS.

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Platinum
Registered: 12/21/2007
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Re: Know your rights, flex your rights.

Aug 18, 2014

4th ammendment FTW!

 

Here are some video examples of what you are talking about.  

 

 

 

I don't advocate being difficult with police officers.  If you haven't done anything wrong there is no need to be a jerk as long as they are being cool with you.   However, if they want to search you for no reason it is your right to refuse (its also what ticks me off about the patriot act and the NSA stuff we found out about, total violation of the 4th ammendment)

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Fender Bender
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Re: Know your rights, flex your rights.

Aug 18, 2014

Good post.  Remember that they will speak in ways to try to confuse you, such as asking questions two different ways.  "Can I search your vehicle? Do you mind if I search your vehicle?"   Just always answer "I do not consent to a search." 

If police worked as hard catching actual criminals as they do fishing, the world would be a lot better off.



Si vis pacem, para bellum.
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Lombax Warrior
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Re: Know your rights, flex your rights.

Aug 18, 2014

@PLYMCO_PILGRIM 

 

I hear you.  I've always, always been nice to good cops.  Even if that good cop is "going fishing", if he or she is a good cop they will show it by backing off once you've asserted your rights.  The problem is, there seem to be a lot less of the good cops and a lot more of the jumped up jerks who will resort to being rude, bullying, and harrassing you if you let them know that they are crossing the line.  It's not about being a peace officer anymore, it's not about using common sense, it's about dogma, about asserting their position of power, and not about serving the public.  That's my biggest beef.

 

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Wastelander
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Re: Know your rights, flex your rights.

Aug 19, 2014
Kudos to this post! It's important to know what u can and can't do when police are involved. :^)
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Lombax Warrior
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Re: Know your rights, flex your rights.

Aug 19, 2014

@Paton36457 

 

Thanks.  I just want people to know the best way to handle this situation while also understanding their rights under the constitution.  I want to stress that they don't teach this stuff in school, and to me, that's an utter shame because, unless you live the hermit life and never leave your house, chances are, you're going to have an encounter with the police, and, unfortunately, if you are a minority, you're far more likely to have an encounter with the police.  Knowledge is power.

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Gaming Beast
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Re: Know your rights, flex your rights.

Aug 19, 2014

Woah! El super wall of text! Where the cliffs at y'all?

 

I don't want to hate but I didn't read any of this Smiley Indifferent and just seen the word flex and it reminded me of something I probably shouldn't post on here. So I will just say the first half.

 

If you flex a muscle in your body for 60 seconds you get rid off....

 

Smiley Wink Don't be weird.

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Platinum
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Re: Know your rights, flex your rights.

Aug 19, 2014

Talented-Taco wrote:

Woah! El super wall of text! Where the cliffs at y'all?

 

I don't want to hate but I didn't read any of this Smiley Indifferent and just seen the word flex and it reminded me of something I probably shouldn't post on here. So I will just say the first half.

 

If you flex a muscle in your body for 60 seconds you get rid off....

 

Smiley Wink Don't be weird.


I posted a "cliff notes" video in the first response Smiley Tongue

 

Here is another one

 

 

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Lombax Warrior
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Re: Know your rights, flex your rights.

Aug 19, 2014

Talented-Taco wrote:

Woah! El super wall of text! Where the cliffs at y'all?

 

I don't want to hate but I didn't read any of this Smiley Indifferent and just seen the word flex and it reminded me of something I probably shouldn't post on here. So I will just say the first half.

 

If you flex a muscle in your body for 60 seconds you get rid off....

 

Smiley Wink Don't be weird.


Well maybe you'll read it at some point and learn something about your rights when it comes to interacting with the police.

 

Don't want to hate either, but this takes about 2 minutes to read if you're a slow reader...

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Gaming Beast
Registered: 09/04/2010
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Re: Know your rights, flex your rights.

Aug 19, 2014

TheBigDumpMachin wrote:
Spoiler

Talented-Taco wrote:

Woah! El super wall of text! Where the cliffs at y'all?

 

I don't want to hate but I didn't read any of this Smiley Indifferent and just seen the word flex and it reminded me of something I probably shouldn't post on here. So I will just say the first half.

 

If you flex a muscle in your body for 60 seconds you get rid off....

 

Smiley Wink Don't be weird.


 

Well maybe you'll read it at some point and learn something about your rights when it comes to interacting with the police.

 

Don't want to hate either, but this takes about 2 minutes to read if you're a slow reader...


Thanks for being cool about it as well. I feel like I have to read it now Smiley LOL . But yeah I get why you are posting it and would like people to read it. No promises I will read it though.  

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