From my own personal experience and research this is how I’ve learned to deal with police officers in the United States. It is not a joke nor is it to get attention I really think people should know even though a lot of people won’t see this.
Before I start let me just say that the best response to anything an officer says is nothing. The Supreme Court says that you should NEVER talk to a police officer before or after being arrested. Use your right to remain silent, it is NOT an admission of guilt. You must say “I’m going to remain silent” though. That’s all you have to say.
I should also say that whenever a police officer confronts you, you can just avoid any argument or problem if you ask “Am I free to go?” if you don’t ask this they’ll do whatever they can to keep you there. Just ask if you’re free to leave, keep repeating this question over and over until they give you an answer. If the answer is yes, then walk away.
-The first thing you should do when a police officer confronts you is to pull out a camera. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, always pull it out, they will be on their best behavior. You don’t have to tell them you’re recording them (though this can sometimes protect you from harassment or police brutality in case they can’t see the camera) and it is NOT illegal, it is legal to video anyone even police officers, the Supreme Court protects this right. When filming police use the app “Bambuser”. It is an app that saves all your videos to a cloud drive, so if an officer tries to delete your video you will still have it.
-If an officer asks you a question you are NOT required to answer it unless you are being detained and/or suspected of a crime. You can politely refuse to answer questions or you can simply not answer (though that can piss some officers off, which is even more of a reason to film them)
-If an officer asks for identification you are NOT required to give it to them unless you are being detained and/or suspected of a crime. This is a very common misconception. If you’re just walking by yourself and a cop says “hey let’s see some ID” you don’t have to to show it to them. You don’t have to give them your name, address, anything. Note: In some states you are required to give police your name if you are being suspected of a crime. Which is why you need to ask if you’re free to go.
-An officer cannot detain you without probable cause. However they are allowed to talk to you. If you don’t want to talk to an officer either don’t respond or say “I don’t want to speak to you” and walk away.
-If an officer asks to search you just SAY NO. They wouldn’t be asking if they didn’t need permission. They are not allowed to take things out of your pockets, just pat you down. The Fourth Amendment protects you against unreasonable searches and seizures, and police officers swore an oath to uphold the Constitution.
-If an officer shows up to your door, the best thing to do is to not answer it. However if you do answer it, you are NOT required to let them in your home unless they have a warrant. If they ask to come inside, ask them if they have a warrant, if they say no then you don’t have to let them inside. Make sure your camera is on in case they try to force their way in without a warrant which is illegal.
-If an officer is doing something questionable or just straight up annoying you, you can ask him for his ID. Usually if this happens to me I ask for the officer’s name and badge number and record it on camera. All police officers are required by law to give you three forms of identification when asked for it. If they refuse to give you ID (which is illegal) then make sure you get it on camera, and walk away. If they don’t give you any form of ID then they might as well not be cops at all.
-During a traffic stop, when a police officer asks for your license, registration, and proof of insurance you are required to give it to them. However, you are NOT required to roll your window down all the way. All you need is enough space to talk to the officer and hand over your information. That’s all you need. Sometimes, when a window is rolled down all the way, officers can pretend they smell drugs or alcohol and use that to try and search your car. Also, you can still not answer questions at a traffic stop. That is perfectly legal. The best thing to do is say no to any requests to search your vehicle and not answer questions about where you’re coming from, where you’re headed. All you have to do is provide your information. If your car is not on, you DO NOT have to provide an officer with any information. That is only required when you are operating a motor vehicle. If you’re sitting in a parking lot, or just waiting for someone or something, anything really, you don’t have to provide police with any information or answer any questions. IN FACT, if that happens you can just drive away without even speaking to the officer.
-This is the saddest part. POLICE OFFICERS ARE ALLOWED TO LIE TO YOU. The Supreme Court has ruled that police officers can lie to you and deceive you to extract information. Which is why you must always refuse to answer questions, and say you’re going to remain silent. If you’re arrested, use the famous line from many cop dramas “I’m not saying anything until I get a lawyer!” This can be annoying for cops in the cop dramas but that sentence protects you if you are being questioned by police officers. Don’t ever let police officers trick you into talking.
But what if I’m under 18, nothing you’re saying will work since I’m a minor.
I don’t know why teenagers think this but it is NOT TRUE AT ALL. Though there are minor differences if you are a teenager you are protected by the Constitution and you have most of the same basic rights as adults.
Police officers cannot get children to answer questions if they refuse.
Parents cannot order children to answer questions if they refuse.
Not even PRINCIPLES OR SCHOOL TEACHERS can order you to answer questions.
That’s right. I mean, if it’s during a class and you’re roaming around the halls school officials are allowed to ask you questions about where you’re going and you’re required to answer them. If a school official asks you anything else you do not have to answer them. If they ask to search your property SAY NO.
If you are a teenager you have the First Amendment right to politically organize at school by handing out fliers or leaflets, holding meetings, publishing independent newspapers, putting up posters, as they long as they don’t promote drug use, violence, or disrupt classes.
If you are a teenager you are still a human being. This stuff still applies to you, don’t bow down to police officers if you don’t want to. You still have your right to remain silent, you still have your right to not answer questions or consent to searches.
More information about your rights during police confrontations here.
If you are a child/teenager click here.
The YouTube channel policecrimecom is a great channel with videos from people all around the country protecting their rights and using the same tips from this post.
YouTuber Kenny Suitter has made it his mission to expose police crime, and he actually lives near Ferguson. His phrase “I don’t answer questions” has become very popular among his fans and one of his videos where he demonstrates this during a traffic stop has over one million views. He is extremely knowledgeable about this stuff, I got a lot of it from him. You can even reach him on Facebook if you have any questions for him.
I really hope this has helped people and can help people in the future. Some people are so uninformed when it comes to this stuff.