6 Things To Know If Police Stop You In The US


“If a police officer were to stop you on the street in the U.S. and start questioning you, what would you do? Check out our quick list of six things you should know about your rights. Learn more about your rights here: https://www.aclu.org/

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6 Things To Know If Police Stop You In The US

14 Responses

  1. All well and good, EXCEPT, most police have no clue to the actual laws. During a interaction with a citizen, often the police officer is amped up on Adrenalin, testosterone and tons of prejudices.

    While you may eventually get a settlement forma law suit, the reality is you could also be very dead or disabled by that time.

    In the real world, there are no limits on police and after the fact they will lie and coverup even the most terrible behavior.

  2. All one has to do is be courteous …be friendly …smile…if your white…if black or Hispanic…do the same things…but especially don’t make any sudden moves ..and watch the body language..do not be resentful even if pushed…stay friendly no matter what…especially if its late or your over six ft or over 200 lbs

    • Males should always be passive when interacting with the police. ALWAYS answer when a cop asks a question and NEVER say anything about being detained.

      A female made this tape ’cause they cops don’t go upside their heads for being mouthy. A lot of males learn that the hard way. Getting the shit beat outta ya one time will cure bad habits a person has when interacting with said police.

      • Dead serious, especially if a person is visibly Muslim, Black, Latino and have been confronted by the police when they are alone or can be isolated. The Washington Post reporter who was arrested said he was more frightened when the police officer shoved him into the coke machine during his arrest in McDonald’s. He recognized the danger and the potential for bodily injury. He was in a bad place.

        Be passive. You don’t want to end up in the emergency room of a hospital. No one should take the chance of a rogue cop going off on them. Michael Brown would probably still be alive if he would have been passive when confronted.

        Bad cops need people who resist their authority. If they don’t get that, they move on.

        • An article on the front page of today’s Washington Post written by a cop is perfectly clear….

          “I’m a Cop. Don’t want to get hurt? Don’t challenge me.”

          “Here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me.”

          “Do what the officer tells you and it will end SAFELY for Both of you.”


  3. “You have the right to get your ass kicked, anything the cop has can and will be used against you, you will be charged with anything the cop wants to charge you with and it will be validated by a court of law.”

  4. As a PS:
    I live in a poor mixed race area in Minneapolis, when I go out late at night I ware a Vietnam Veteran’s hat, I got a ride home in a rain storm once from a friendly cop.

  5. Danny one would hope that to be true. However facts show that that is no guarantee that you won’t still be roughed up, or for that matter killed.
    The police are supposed to be our public servant. However, all too often they act like they are our masters, and in the inner cities and poor neighborhoods everywhere an occupation force.
    An entire body of work shows what can happen to otherwise decent human beings when they are given what appears to be unlimited authority combined with the authorization to kill a civilian based on a spilt second decision making process. The inevitable result of this kind of power is abuse in ways small and large.

    From verbally disparaging civilians to being gruff and aggressive when the situation calls for the opposite. Police are supposed to be an island of calm in the middle of a hurricane.

    Is policing an extraordinarily difficult job? Of course it is, but when you give one human being the full coercive power of the state to end a life, they have to be held to the highest standards possible. We have to apply strict scrutiny to their actions.
    It’s also the case that without community support and trust effective policing is all but impossible. Violent Crime in any neighborhood is caused by a very small element who intimidate the majority community.
    The problem with police who in the occupation mentality is that through a windshield everyone begins to seen as a potential criminal.
    What can we do to start to reverse this situation?
    1. Look at the selection process to be a police officer (PO) Having taken one of those tests and passed myself I didn’t see it as nearly comprehensive enough to determine if we should trust a person with authority to kill.
    2. Continuing retraining, ree their personal mental state, and the fact that they are the servants, not the masters. This includes police education about the communities they police.
    3. Police should not be allowed to investigate their own prospective criminal acts. It shouldn’t be an Internal Affairs Division (IAD) either. I don’t know what you call it or how it’s organized but it cannot be controlled by the Chief of Police, but it must have police representation.
    4. Lapel/Body cams will be worn by all officers on duty who have cause to interact with the public, or those arrested and under the control of the police.
    5. The composition of police especially in the small towns, counties and cities. While it may not be possible to have an entire police to live in the jurisdiction they police, it is a huge problem when few to no police live within the jurisdiction. In the Ferguson case the officer in question lives 45 miles away in a totally different world. Combine this with a lack of community policing, and you have a long term problem. Some percentage of the police have to come from the jurisdiction they police.
    6. Community policing. I don’t care how they do it, but get those officers out of their squad cars. Get them onto the sidewalks where they have to interact with the community. They don’t have to do it all the time but they must do it part of the time.
    7. The police have to be involved in community affairs beyond policing. I don’t know if it involves sponsoring sports leagues or what? Whatever they do it has to involve the young people of a community. Enough of them have to see the police outside their official roles.
    8. An organization, an official one, of community leaders, including young people who interact with the police. Who do not allow rumors to take over an information vacuum and a lack of transparency within police forces.
    I don’t see any other way to restore trust, especially in inner city neighborhoods, between the police and those communities.

    • I had hoped in the past that measures like these would change things, but we seem to have gone over the abyss. I see a shared evil: the American people, their police, and their soldiers, have become so spoiled that they believe they have an infinite privilege to endanger others without endangering themselves. Because the Other is always a terrorist, and I am told I am a hero. The forms this self-love take depend on your position in society, but we are all becoming more sociopathic as the inherent short-term bias of free-market logic dictates; screw someone else, make a pile of money, and run before the consequences catch you.

      With cops, robbers, and bystanders all in fear of each others’ volatility, they all get bigger and bigger guns in the myopic belief that they alone are the “good” Americans, that they can defeat the “bad” Others in single combat. But there is no Other who will submit to our righteous power. We all are self-righteous cowards who shoot first just to be safe.

      Maybe the institutions of a democratic republic literally can’t handle this many giant a**holes in a society.

    • “No, you aren’t. Just sit down and answer my questions.”

      Your move, what are you going to do?

      If you choose to escalate the confrontation, you will NOT win.

      Make it easy on yourself. Don’t challenge him. Do exactly what the police officer says and you won’t get hurt.

  6. No matter what you do, police always engage in “testilying” – and the judge more often than not believes it. The best thing you can do is answer the questions if you do not want to be charged with disorderly conduct. An alternative is to define every situation – “is this a voluntary questioning or have you now done a Terry stop on me based on reasonable suspicion?” The police officer would be surprised if someone knows so much. But most people are understandably too frightened by the uniforms to talk back to the police.

    NYPD are notorious for these acts and that is why we have the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

  7. Pertaining to a traffic stop:

    1. Pull out of traffic to the first place it is safe to do so.

    These steps help put the officer at ease. Try to do items #2 through #6 before the officer exits and arrives at your car. S/He will be able to see your hands and the interior of your car, which drastically reduces their anxiety – especially at night.

    2. Turn off your engine.
    3. Turn on your dome light.
    4. Roll down your window.
    5. Place your hands on the steering wheel at twelve o’clock and make NO SUDDEN MOVEMENTS for the entire stop.
    6. Wait for the officer to speak first.

    7. Answer all proceeding questions honestly.

    Admitting to speeding or broken lights can often result in a warning if you tell the truth.

    The officer will ask for License and Registration.

    For most people this will require you to open the glovebox, and possibly a purse – both are possible hiding place for a weapon.

    8. If your registration is in the glovebox, tell the officer this before moving to open it.
    9. The same goes for your Driver’s License, whether in your purse or wallet.

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