Saturday, August 2, 2014

3 Libras- Ex Cops 3 tips on dealing with police encounters

If I had a nickel for every time I've gone over the following information with someone, Id have a lot of fucking nickels. It's nothing new, but that doesn't change the fact that its some of the best advice out there in reference to dealing with law enforcement. I guess its time to throw out there that this is not legal advice, merely my opinions. You should always consult with an attorney in any matter of law. It would also benefit you to get familiar with your local laws and ordinances as well. Circuit, Federal and Supreme Court decisions are also good to study up on and are only fingertips away on the magic interwebs machine. Become familiar with qualified immunity and how your circuit courts tends to lean in those cases. Information is your greatest advantage.

So without further ado, here's Guys top 3 rules for dealing with law enforcement.

1- Start recording  the interaction immediately. Document from start to finish behavior of all parties involved. Keep this in mind. I see a lot of videos out there of blatant police misbehavior but its drowned out by the victims actions. If confrontation is your style, by all means rock it out. Just remember that your behavior might sway a jury and public opinion one day. We are already seeing a coordinated attack on popular police accountability groups by the media in the past few weeks. Be smart about it, don't spoon feed them a scandal. Remember, the Supreme Court has ruled on multiple occasions that it is perfectly legal to record police in public while they are performing their duties as public servants. As long as you don't interfere with what they are doing, they cant tell you to stop recording. I had nothing to hide when I was on the street. I respected the rights of the people I thought I was helping, but I know I would choose my words and actions a little more cautiously when I knew I was being filmed.

2- Shut the fuck up. That's right, I said it. Shut. The. Fuck. Up. My job as an officer is to ask questions to gather as much information as I can to find inconsistencies in your story. These inconsistencies may lead me to articulatable, reasonable suspicion to detain you or probable cause to search and/or arrest you. No story, no inconsistencies. Shut the fuck up. The only things we should ever say to an officer that approaches us is "Am I being detained?' and "Am I free to go?" If you're being detained, shut the fuck up. If you're free to go, be on your marry way shutting the fuck up the whole time. I think I've gotten my point across. If you haven't done so already, look up your states laws on what identification must be given to officers and when it must be produced. Information is your greatest advantage.

Quick note on traffic stops. You can always gamble, if you're inclined to such risk taking, to try and talk your way out of a ticket. I say gamble because that's purely what it is. There's no statistic I can give you. Being courteous will go a long way with some officers, others could care less. Some officers give mostly warnings, some would write their mother a ticket, and others are floating somewhere in between. Just remember that everything you say is being scrutinized for inconsistencies. My recommendation is be polite, but shut the fuck up.

3- Don't consent to shit. Much like rule #2, you would be amazed at how many people gave me the permission to take them to jail. NEVER CONSENT TO ANY SEARCH. Ever. Period. If they're going to search you, it really doesn't matter what you say, but never consent. It gives your lawyer something to work with later on. If they give you the ol" "Im gonna get the dog out here" line when you deny them permission to search, calmly ask them if you are being detained outside the scope of the original offense (ie speeding), assuming this is a simple traffic infraction you've been stopped for. If you are, which you wont be if you followed rule #2, follow rule #2 and request legal council. If not, politely ask for your ticket and be on your way. It's a fishing expedition, don't take the bait.

That's it. Nothing new, but following these 3 simple rules will generally save you a trip to a tax payer funded cage. If not, you will have a good chance of getting some spending money when you get out.


  1. What about situations where citizens use the police as their personal private army?

    1. As in hiring for private security or politicians using them as their henchmen?