Author Topic: Police encounter survival guide  (Read 3674 times)


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Police encounter survival guide
« on: August 02, 2012, 09:27:52 PM »
I started to post this as a diversion in another (gun) thread, but decided it was too far off topic even for The Colosseum. With the issue of guns and government powers I wanted, from a non-lawyer perspective, to explain why very often the accusations of police misconduct is simply wrong, even when the cops are lying to you.

Watching youtube videos I can't help but to be dumbfounded at the ignorance of people that post their encounters with police, even when they are technically absolutely correct about the law. They tend to be completely oblivious to what actually constitutes cops crossing the line, and throw accusations way too early in the game. Here's the flip side of the coin in police encounters:

1) Cops will lie to you as a matter of routine and training, and it is PERFECTLY legal.
2) It is NOT legal for you to lie to a cop even if it appears benign or seemingly unrelated to a crime.
3) Cops, just like any citizen anywhere, can ask you anything they want, period, and your obligations are no different from any citizen asking the same.
4) Your "rights" are irrelevant unless or until you are being detained.
5) Often the only way to know whether you are being detained or not is to ask. Cops intentionally keep it this way as long as possible.
6) If provide a cop ANY exculpatory information concerning your innocents, your defense as told to the cop has by legal definition been muted (made inadmissible in court) as hearsay. Its the law!!!
7) If you incriminate yourself, even with a seemingly unrelated benign lie having nothing to do with any crime, it can and often is used to get a conviction whether guilty or not of the charges.
8) If you think you are smart enough to talk to a cop without providing refutable testimony with which to incriminate you then, whether guilty or not, you are delusional.

Ever watching the show "Bait Car", with all the video etc.? the cops still without fail gets at least a tacit confession from each one they arrest, for good reason. Those cops aren't really interested in hearing the answers, they simply want a confession, tacit or otherwise, to mock any future attempt at a defense with. It turns hours of court maneuvering into a hand wave to get it over with.

These legal conditions provides cops with a grey area which they are especially trained to take advantage of. Cops do not want to explicitly admit when friendly questioning ends and detention begins. Just notice how often the cops go mute on the question "am I being detained?". Yet you cannot know whether a statement of yours constitutes a crime or not unless you know whether you are being detained or merely questioned. Your answers to friendly questions are often the grounds on which a detention is later justified, and you never knew when the detention began! If they are merely questioning you then rights, or legal obligations, are no more relevant than any stranger on the street asking you the time. Do what you please. Just be aware the might might later qualify it as detention, making you legal action under questioning illegal under detention.

If you are being detained then the legal issues kick in and your (legal) "rights" become a relevant issue. Prior to being detained you can ignore the request for "the time" and walk away, as the cops are merely acting as any other citizen. Once you are detained then and only then does the legal force of your "rights" kick in, which you either choose to retain or not.

This cannot be made plain enough. If you tell a cop anything that makes your innocence seems reasonable, then that information is legally no longer allowed as testimony of your innocents in court! Read that again and again till you understand the implications!!! You have rendered your own defense inadmissible as hearsay! That is precisely why the claim that the innocent have nothing to fear from talking is total BS. Not because it couldn't be true, if the laws where different, but that's how the law works. Any cop that can't have an innocent person who talks convicted, without perjuring themselves in the least, slept through training!!! If you as an innocent person talks, even with grunts and nods, you become completely and totally dependent on the cops honor, which does work most of the time. If you think your smart enough to talk without providing evidence against you, whether guilty or not, you are delusional. That goes a thousand fold for a trained interrogator interviewer.

So when watching youtube videos of people getting all bent about cops crossing the line, the vast majority of cops where merely doing what was in their legal preview and training to do. It does sometimes get rather nasty when a cop is explicitly lying to someone when telling them they are doing something illegal when they are not. Makes that grey area between friendly questions and detention a mile wide. Yet, legally, the cop has done NOTHING wrong... yet. This standard operating procedure also leads some cops to mistakenly believe what they are claiming about the law.

If there is one thing to learn from this is that making cops out as bad guys for doing their job, even deceitfully, is NOT grounds for getting all bent out of shape with them. It is the most effective method of catching bad guys, and they are not Nazis or similar such crap. If making a "rights" stand is worthwhile for you, do it honorably and with dignity and I applaud you. More people should do it properly. Cops sometimes needs reminded of their limits. But do NOT throw around the word "rights" as if it means anything that inconveniences you. It has a legally defined meaning and scope and shouldn't be cheapened as anything that irritates you, qualifies as a pet peeve, or political polarity.

Good news is that since the cops lost some major court cases involving cameras and such the improvement has been somewhat visible. Hopefully it'll get even better. The NDAA is still to be properly challenged and remains a thorn in the honor of the law. Yet again, this should be done honorably and with dignity, not political epitaphs. Though you never know what the future might require beyond that. Such is life.