The Magic Words: A Know-Your-Rights Mixtape

Published On March 7, 2013 | By Pete Eyre | Articles

Music is a powerful medium through which to share ideas. That’s why it’s awesome to see “The Magic Words: A Know-Your-Rights Mixtape” created by Lonnie Ray Atkinson, Anitek, G-O-N and others. Like the content here at Cop Block, the tracks are licensed under a Creative Commons License so feel free to share/utilize!

This mixtape is now also linked-to from CopBlock.org/Knowledge and CopBlock.org/KnowYourRights.

Related content can also be found at http://www.scribd.com/collections/3807642/Know-Your-Rights.

From Lonnie Ray Atkinson [bio below]:

The following PSAs are meant to remind listeners of their rights and address particularly the constitutional abuses (now acknowledged by a federal judge) of stop-and-frisk policy in New York.

Instrumentals by Anitek and G-O-N

Special thanks to Moira Meltzer-Cohen and the New York Law Collective.

Click the play button below to hear all the entire mixtape, or click a track title to listen to whatever catches your interest.

The Magic Words: A Know-Your-Rights Mixtape by Lonnie Ray Atkinson

 

Magic Words: Intro (with G-O-N)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Gut Check) by G-O-N

Lyrics:
Narrator: Today we’re going to learn the magic words
Narrator: Today we’re going to learn the magic words

Narrator: The Following PSAs are brought to you by / are brought to you by / are brought to you by
Sample: the constitutional abuses of Stop-and-Frisk policy

Sample: What do you do if you’re stop and frisked?……..
Sample: How do you know if you’re rights are being violated?….
Sample: Way things are today, folks gotta have an arrest plan.
Sample: This ain’t about guilt or innocence. / This ain’t about guilt or innocence. It’s about you exercising your rights.

Narration: You’re listening to The Magic Words: A Know-Your-Rights Mixtape
Narration: Today we’re going to learn / Today we’re going to learn
Sample: It’s about you exercising your rights.

Sample: What do you do if you’re stop and frisked? / What do you do if you’re stop and frisked?
Narration: Let’s get started.
Narration: Let’s get started.

Sample: What do you do if you’re stop and frisked?……..

 

Magic Words: Verse One (with Anitek)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Sound Bite) by Anitek (Anitek (TripHop) and Sound Bite by Anitek (TripHop))

Lyrics:
don’t interfere or obstruct
don’t touch an officer or their stuff
don’t give false docs, IDs, or fake names
you ain’t gotta give nothing unless you’re being detained

and that means you ain’t gotta sweat questions
but if you’re gonna talk, don’t give details, don’t get defensive
and blast the magic words if the cops are in your brain
“Am I free to go? Am I being detained?”

“Am I free to go?” If yes, then walk on
“Am I being detained?” If no, then be gone
but if they go ahead and detain you, ask ‘em why
and make notes – you’re the only one that’s on your side

now in detainment, they can ask for ID verification
they can try and grill you for information
they can pat you down over your clothes
but aside from those three, this is what you need to know

you got the constitutional right to hit pause
remaining silent ain’t guilt, it ain’t probable cause
but when it comes to searches, silence is consent
so in order to exert your fourth amendment

say it loud so crowds can hear the magic words
“I do not consent to this search.”
“I do not consent to this search.”
“I do not consent to this search.”

there’s really only one thing left if they want to press it
and you better know the moment the cuffs hit, it’s best if
you say, “I am not resisting arrest.”
“Officer, I am not resisting arrest.”

you got the magic words, stay calm and compliant
“Officer, I am going to remain silent.”
“Officer, I want to speak to a lawyer.”
then clinch your mouth until your jaw burns

if you say anything, it best be the magic words
I put them in the chorus, so we could rehearse
and get it down, so when it’s time you can bring it
and if you’re scared to say it then you can sing it

 

Magic Words: Chorus One (with Anitek)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Champioonee) by Anitek (Anitek (TripHop) and Champioonee by Anitek (TripHop))

Lyrics:
Am I free to go
Am I free to go
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search
I do not consent to this search
(say it loud so everyone can hear you)
(what happens if they arrest you)

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I am not resisting arrest
(don’t resist, it’ll only work against you)
(one more time, what happens if they stop you)

Am I free to go
Am I free to go
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search
I do not consent to this search
(say it loud so everyone can hear you)
(what happens if they arrest you)

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I am not resisting arrest
(don’t resist, it’ll only work against you)
(know your rights, let the magic words work for you)

 

Magic Words: Verse Two (with Anitek)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Chewie) by Anitek (Anitek (TripHop) and Chewie by Anitek (TripHop))

Lyrics:
now when your rearviews fill with flashing blue brights
stay in your ride, cut on the interior light
license and registration within reach in plain view
crack the window, hands back on the wheel, ten and two

move slowly, announce everything you about to do
and if you’re asked to step out, lock the door behind you
they can search the passenger side glove for weapons
but anything more than that, remember your lessons

I do not consent to this search, calm and polite
I don’t care if it takes all night, that’s your rights
it ain’t disrespect, it ain’t a hassle
it’s your constitution, from your car to your castle

and speaking of your castle, be proactive with your space
hang a sign outside your place
saying, “we don’t consent to the police in our home without a warrant
here’s our attorney’s name, here’s our attorney’s number”

and if johnny law ever comes a-tappin’ your door
ask for the warrant, check what they allowed to look for
and make notes of everything that happens
rooms they search, funny behavior, faces and badges

now if they ain’t no warrant, tell them to go away
then ring up your attorney with that play by play
and if they won’t leave, they gonna have to work for it
without a warrant, you can make ‘em kick in the door for it

and if they bust in claiming a threat to public safety
don’t interfere, don’t resist, just state plainly
I do not consent to a search, now put that in your report
while I sit here and make notes for court

you within the law – ain’t no need to be scared
you ain’t gotta be guilty to be prepared
and that means you school anyone staying in your home
if they alone, this routine best be square in they dome

take the time to make a plan, worth your life
from the curb to your car to the crib, you got rights
singa-singa-sing along – so we can memorize the magic words
this chorus goes out to my liberty loving nerds

 

Magic Words: Chorus Two (with Anitek)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Recall) by Anitek (Anitek (TripHop) and Anitek-Recall by Anitek (TripHop))

Lyrics:
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search

Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I’m going to remain silent
I am not resisting arrest

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I’m going to remain silent
I am not resisting arrest

Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search

Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I’m going to remain silent
I am not resisting arrest

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I’m going to remain silent
I am not resisting arrest

 

Magic Words: Verse Three (with Anitek)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Vast Shutdown) by Anitek (Anitek (TripHop) and Vast Shutdown by Anitek (TripHop))

Lyrics:
don’t fib to federal agents, it’s a crime
even trivial lies’ll have you doing time
best chance if you’re hoping to walk
bust early with the magic words, then don’t talk

same thing if you get rung up
don’t talk, phones are made to be hung up
but if you can score the caller’s job, number, or name
write it down, call your counsel, it’s a details game

now private security ain’t entitled to nothing
don’t say nothing, don’t sign nothing, they ain’t nothing
ain’t a badge in the land that can demand you squawk
if they ain’t your attorney, then don’t talk

and yo I don’t care how much they befriend you
even telling the truth can be used against you
prior statements, the tiniest inconsistency
is fair ground to tear down your credibility

and make sure your loved ones understand this means
you can lean on your family and friends but don’t sing
and don’t think – your cellmate’s shoulder will support you
the time to defend yourself is in the courtroom

but even more important than don’t talk, don’t assume
this kind of stuff ain’t happening because it ain’t happened to you
there’s only one thing true, when it comes to the law
it ain’t one size fits all

the most vulnerable populations know the warning
gays and lesbians, trans and gender non-conforming
sex workers and folks with HIV/AIDS
folks without papers sweating the ICE raids

from communities of color to any kind of “other”
to hearts sporting privilege, stand up for one another
know the law like hip hop knows beats
and tell the police that these are our streets

and in our streets, even non-citizens got rights
check the nlg’s website
but, in the meantime, don’t forget what you heard
if you take one thing, let it be the magic words

 

Magic Words: Chorus Three (with Anitek)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Gland Man) by Anitek (Anitek (TripHop) and 04 Gland Man by Anitek (TripHop))

Lyrics:
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search
I do not consent to this search – no
(say it loud so everyone can hear you)
(what happens if they arrest you)

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I am not resisting arrest
I am not resisting arrest – no
(don’t resist, it’ll only work against you)
(one more time, what happens if they stop you)

Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search
I do not consent to this search – no
(say it loud so everyone can hear you)
(what happens if they arrest you)

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I am not resisting arrest
I am not resisting arrest – no
(don’t resist, it’ll only work against you)
(know your rights, let the magic words work for you)

 

Magic Words: Outro (with G-O-N)

Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (ExpV.2) by G-O-N

Lyrics:
You’ve been listening to The Magic Words: A Know-Your-Rights Mixtape
The contents of this mixtape are not meant to substitute for legal advice. For that, you need a lawyer. For now, you need the magic words.
Lyrics and Vocals by Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Song Instrumentals by Anitek
Intro and Outro Instrumentals by G-O-N
Special special thanks to Moria Meltzer-Cohen and the New York Law Collective – Until We Are All Free…

Say them loud so everyone can hear you.
Know your rights and let the magic words work for you.

__________________________

From Lonnie Ray Atkinson’s profile at SoundCloud.com:

lonnie-ray-atkinson-copblock

Lonnie Ray Atkinson

On political songwriting:

I spent a long time feeling helpless about how to make the world a better place and coming up with excuses as to why I wasn’t doing more. Hoping I could find a way to make an effective contribution, I turned to songwriting as a form of activism. Free to the public, this work is intended not only as a vehicle for protest, but also as an organizing tool.

A lot of artists are afraid of being labeled “political.” Not me.

I want you to know.

These songs are political. Every damn one of them.

A culture for our movement:
We say we want “a better world,” but the question then arises – what would a better world look like? And while this question automatically triggers electric debate over economic and political relations (focusing on the dynamics of race, gender, class, physical ability, etc), so many of us forget to incorporate the importance of culture into our vision. Likewise, when it comes to strategy, so much of our movement fails to factor in the use of culture.

Since we are asking people to commit time outside of their daily work, we must present a movement that offers those things people need outside of their work lives. We must present a movement with culture.

Aside from work and the material necessities work can provide, a people need art, theater, music, literature, poetry, food and drink, laughter, sports, conversation, sex.

A better world, by definition, should be attractive. Our movement must be attractive. We need a social justice culture. A culture to build our future upon. A culture of both resistance and vision.

If we are serious about our goals, our movement must resemble what we want in a better world. If we are serious about building an effective movement, we need artists, authors, actors, poets, musicians, comedians, playwrights, puppeteers, filmmakers, songwriters, craftspeople, teachers, builders, growers, cooks. We need a culture worthy of our movement.

We need creativity and imagination rooted in a language of principles. A culture that will inspire, provoke, enlighten, and entertain. A culture that will inform our struggle, mourn our losses, and celebrate our victories.

And as our situations change, so will the content of our creative work. Similarly, our cultural identity will not be a homogenous one but a human one. An identity rich with diverse tastes but shared values.

Reflecting this diversity, contributions may at times be offensive, sappy, punk, corny, dissonant, pop, profound. And though contributors may not always be the most gifted, if they are thoughtful and honest, humble and hardworking, they will surely help lay the groundwork for building that better world.

We need a culture for our movement. I want to contribute to that culture.

I hope you will find a way to contribute as well.

You can get in where you fit in, but get in.

Like this Article? Share it!

About The Author

Pete Eyre is co-founder of CopBlock.org. As an advocate of peaceful, consensual interactions, Eyre seeks to inject a message of complete liberty and self-government into the conversation of police accountability. Eyre went to undergrad and grad school for law enforcement, then spent time in DC as an intern at the Cato Institute, a Koch Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, Directer of Campus Outreach at the Institute for Humane Studies, Crasher-in-Chief at Bureaucrash, and as a contractor for the Future of Freedom Foundation. He later hit the road as co-founder of the Motorhome Diaries and Liberty On Tour and now calls Keene, in the 'shire his homebase.
  • t.

    It all well and good….right up until the officer really does detain you because of RS. Or heaven forbid…if he has PC. If you get arrested because you decided not to speak / explain your side….blame you.

  • Daniel

    Hi T,

    Cops often mishear, accidentally or on purpose. You can rarely talk yourself out of an arrest. It is the responsibility of the cops to obtain the evidence, not arrest you for refusing to talk.

  • t.

    Hi Daniel,

    That was a reference to others comments posted on this site in the past. If I show up to whatever kind of call that you like….and there is evidence that something occurred. The victim or witness says you did it. (Now this is overly simplistic….but the kind of thing that happens all the time). So there is evidence of the crime (physical evidence) and evidence that you did it (testimony). So I contact you about it. You decide to exercise your right to remain silent (a perfectly legal thing for you to do). So where does that leave me?? Do I have PC to charge you? Well, I crime clearly occurred. And you are the one that probably did it. So the answer is yes. Remember, the standard is PC, not Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. Now, as for the decision to arrest or “cite and release”. If you are still choosing to exercise….and I don’t have anyway to positively ID you, I only have one choice. Your right to remain silent is often a very bad choice, especially if you haven’t done anything wrong. But you choose to do as you’d like. I just try offer up some good advice to keep you out of trouble, not trying to get you into it.

  • Pingback: The Magic Words: A Know-Your-Rights Mixtape - Unofficial Network

  • dougo

    I smell the common scent of shit on the t.p. again.

  • BJ

    It’s never a good idea to talk to police unless they are acting on your behalf i.e. you’re the accuser. Just like it’s never a good idea to argue the law or your rights with the police (you’ll lose every time); you will never talk your way out of a ticket or arrest.

    As for t.’s scenario’s, ” If I show up to whatever kind of call that you like….and there is evidence that something occurred. The victim or witness says you did it. So there is evidence of the crime (physical evidence) and evidence that you did it (testimony). So I contact you about it. You decide to exercise your right to remain silent (a perfectly legal thing for you to do). So where does that leave me?? Do I have PC to charge you? Well, I crime clearly occurred. And you are the one that probably did it. So the answer is yes.”

    In this scenario: See Above.

    “If you are still choosing to exercise….and I don’t have anyway to positively ID you, I only have one choice.”

    If you are being “legally” (don’t laugh) detained, you are obligated to identify yourself either verbally or with ID. Failure to do so and you go to jail. So do nothing more than identify yourself.

    “Your right to remain silent is often a very bad choice, especially if you haven’t done anything wrong.”

    The use of you’re right to remain silent may be the only thing keeping you out of jail, especially if you haven’t done anything wrong. Anything you say helps the police do what they want to do anyways which is write you a ticket or take you to jail.

  • t.

    BJ: You clearly don’t know or are just ignoring what I said. BTW, taking sentences out of context and trying to spin them the way you want is the actions of a weak mind.

    I don’t know where you got that you have to positively ID yourself if only stopped for RS (other than motor vehicle stuff). You don’t. You would be wise too, as the longer it takes me to ID you…the potentially longer you will be detained.

    As for arrest….like I explained (and I do this everyday)…..if I have PC…and I don’t have anyway to ID you….I’ll arrest for. With ID, most likely a citation. (This is all very dependant on the type of crime). I’ve watched lots of people who “remained silent” lose in court because they wanted to try and introduce things at that later time that….because it wasn’t in evidence at the time of the incident…got excluded.

    Again, I’m not trying to tell anyone to speak with the pro.ice or anyone else. I’m just trying to give the real world flip side to the advice that was given here.

  • BJ

    “I don’t know where you got that you have to positively ID yourself if only stopped for RS (other than motor vehicle stuff). You don’t. You would be wise too, as the longer it takes me to ID you…the potentially longer you will be detained.”

    Well that made no sense. If you detain me I don’t have to identify myself…but…I will be detained until I do identify myself? Which is it? Like I said before, if you are detained by police you are obligated to identify yourself either verbally or through ID. Once that is done you’re best course of action is to remain silent. If you are not detained it is a consensual contact and you can simply walk away without a word.

    “As for arrest….like I explained (and I do this everyday)…..if I have PC…and I don’t have anyway to ID you….I’ll arrest for. With ID, most likely a citation. (This is all very dependant on the type of crime). I’ve watched lots of people who “remained silent” lose in court because they wanted to try and introduce things at that later time that….because it wasn’t in evidence at the time of the incident…got excluded.”

    If you have PC on an arrestable offense you are going to arrest me.
    IF you detain me and I fail to identify you are going to arrest me.
    I will not gain or lose anything in a court of law by failing to offer a defense to an officer on the street. That’s what the courts are for and where evidence is presented. As an officer, one of your jobs is to gather evidence against me so it’s in my best interest not to open my mouth and help you do it.

    It’s never a good idea to talk to police unless they are acting on your behalf because you will never argue your way out of a citation or arrest.

    “Again, I’m not trying to tell anyone to speak with the pro.ice or anyone else. I’m just trying to give the real world flip side to the advice that was given here.”

    In what scenario would it be good advice for a person, who is under suspicion of or being investigated for a crime, to talk to police? ’cause I can’t think of one

  • Dan Sayers

    Props to all involved in the making of these.

    I wish more people were bothered by the fact that we even need PSA’s on how to behave when attacked by a local street gang.

  • Common Sense

    Nope, wasn’t me, I thought the article was lame. I’ll pass.

  • t.

    (Again i see that you cant deal with anything in context as it is clearly beyond you)

    Wow, a high degree of density. Where oh learned one do you find a law that you have to identify yourself when detained? Said law would clearly be unconstitutional. We have no laws to the effect of “Where are your papers?” Again, I think it wiser to ID yourself as it will more likely result in a much shorter detention.

    Back to the arrest decision. You really need to get out more. Many, many things have very reasonable explanations. (Some of course do not). But again, please remain quiet if you’d like. Heck that makes my job far easier (see whatever evidence there is and just listen to one side of the story…that’s a softball home run).

    As for court. You didn’t read at all did you? When you try to prevent some story for your defense in court that runs counter to what is in evidence at the time….judges routinely exclude any of that testimony. Now you may not like that or think its fair…but it’s what really happens.

    As for my job. It is to try and find truth. I’m not after you. Or anyone else. I have no preconceived motion of what happened. But if there is evidence that something did occur, and I have one party telling me what happened and another party standing there like a stump….what do you think should happen? Really, what should I do? Your silence is almost always a harmful thing to you. Just speaking from 17 years of real world experience.

    Now there are occasions where you silence is good. In those 17 years, even when working drug and vice, I’ve only read a small handful of folks their Miranda rights. In several drug cases I told people that I wouldn’t even question them at all as they were very screwed.

    So don’t talk. It’s no skin off my nose. Most of the time it’s makes things much easier.

  • BJ

    What context? I’m not a mind reader. You seem to be arguing a case only you have knowledge of.

    You keep saying that I don’t have to identify myself when I’m legally detained but I should go ahead and identify myself because it will make it a much shorter detention. That makes absolutely no sense. What part of “you are not allowed to leave until you identify yourself” is tripping you up? Let me frame it another way: Are you saying I can file illegal dentention charges against you because you won’t let me leave for refusing to identify myself?

    If you have enough evidence to arrest a suspect, you are going to arrest him regardless of the supect’s explanation. So why should the supect open his mouth and possibly give you more evidence against him?

    You listen to one side of the story but there is no corroborating evidence. Why should a suspect speak to you and possibly implicate himself?

    Judges exclude testimony for many reasons. Are you trying to say that one of those reasons is the fact that a suspect chose to remain silent at his initial arrest?

    Let’s see if you are capable of answering these simple questions and to make it a little harder for you, without any personal insults.

  • t.

    First….this is t the police state that they speak of on this site. It doesn’t exist. You have fallen for the lie. I can’t detain you for ID reasons. I have to have RS that a crime has occurred or is about to occur. That doesn’t pertain to your ID (not exactly anyway). Having you positively ID’d before letting you go is a very good idea (from a law enforcement side) but if I can’t produce a crime…I can’t demand your ID (unless its motor vehicle involved). I still waiting for you to supply where you got that info? My guess is you read it somewhere like Cop Block that has garbage legal info. So where did you come up with it?

    Back to the arrest decision again. The answer to your statement is No, you are just as wrong as you can get. People lie all the time. But if leave the story unchallenged….well you get what you should get. It’s your decision, make it well.

    As for the evidence and your statement or lack there of. If there is evidence that something happened….and one party tells me what happened….and that story meshes with the e idem e….and you stand there look at me like a stump….like I asked earlier, what do you think I should do? I’m making a decision based on all the a available information. Your choice to withhold any mitigating or contest information is your choice. Don’t get mad about the decision I make when you withhold that intel.

    I didn’t say that there is anything wrong with you remaining silent. I said that judges routinely exclude or discount information that defendants try to bring up that wasnt discussed or brought out at the time of the incident. Why? Because it looks like it was made up after the fact as a way to avoid conviction. Many times I heard judges ask why all these mitigating factors weren’t pointed out to the officer at the time it all happened and then watched them exclude the testimony.

    Guy I really think you have truly fallen for the bad info that is being thrown at you. Lawyers always say don’t talk to the police without them. They say that because theirs is a profession…as in the get paid. They want your check and then they sit there at the PD while you talk to the police.

    You need to realize that if you are “detained” for a crime, the officer may very well just be holding onto you while the evidence of a crime is gathered. You may well then be arrested after that evidence is found, but that isn’t because you didn’t ID yourself. Now your failing to ID yourself can easily change things from a ticket to a physical arrest. But that a far different thing.

  • BJ

    Ok officer let ask you this: You are responding to a suspicious person call in a residential neighborhood. You arrive at the location and find a person dressed like any local thug you may have arrested in the past doing nothing more than walking down the sidewalk (now keep in mind that the call is for a suspicious person not for a suspicious activity and I don’t want to hear that that never happens because I hear that specific call on my scanner every night). You initiate contact and the person explains that he is simply out for a midnight stroll but when you ask him for ID refuses to identify himself either verbally or with ID and refuses to answer any other questions, what do you do?

    And by the way, lawyers don’t say not to talk to police because they want to get paid. They say it because it’s good advice and I don’t have much more respect for lawyers than I do for LEOs.

  • BJ

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=000&invol=03-5554

    “State stop and identify statutes often combine elements of traditional vagrancy laws with provisions intended to regulate police behavior in the course of investigatory stops. They vary from State to State, but all permit an officer to ask or require a suspect to disclose his identity.”

    “The Court is now of the view that Terry principles permit a State to require a suspect to disclose his name in the course of a Terry stop.”

    http://www.copblock.org/28263/jeff-gray-honoryouroath-detained-for-filming-bank-buildings/

    Officer: “If you refuse to identify yourself then you can be arrested for it”

    Are saying the officer was lying?

  • t.

    About the lawyers first: Dude, you are just plain wrong. It’s all about the money and most will even tell you so. Ow if they can help, they will. But only if you pay them first.

    As for your scenario. Happens just like that all the time. Your scanner isnt lying. But what you probably don’t hear is the officer calling the complainant back on the phone to find out why they are calling. If the caller can’t expound about any crime or other activity…it goes down just like you described. Happens multiple times each day.

  • t.

    You need to think BIGGER. There are statutes that vary from state to state. And ordinances from town to town. There very well maybe something that he could / should be arrested for.

    But you really need to go back and really read the case you linked. The statute stood because of the totality if what happened and that the defendant chose to fight on really weak grounds (probably convinced to appeal it by his lawyer….who really only wanted the money). Very few places have such statutes. Were I work, we don’t. But in the case as described….which is very much like the scenario I used above…there is / was additional evidence of a crime. It wasn’t just stopping someone out for midnight walk like you elude to. And my guess is that ifsomeone was arrested in a scenario like you painted…the ooutcome of the appeal may have been different.

    The problem that your side faces is the same as my side faces. Case law is always made up because someone did something boneheaded. Officers do it and bad case law is set. Citizens appeal stupid crap and case law that really helps law enforcement gets set. A ggod example is the recent k-9 sniff decision. Many on this site thought because SCOTUS agreed to hear the case that they were going to strike down k-9 use. There are rarely bright line decisions like there was in that case. A bad / weak case was appealed by a citizen when they shouldn’t have and now, k-9′s a basically completely trust worth and evidence in every situation.

    But, without trying to insult you…this is an excellent case. Read it with an unbiased eye and see what’s really there. Also, keep in mind that this case doesn’t effect every officer nationwide. I don’t have a statute like the Nevada one (have alwaysed wished we did) so I still can’t arrested you like that. And mist places don’t have that type of statute.

  • slappy

    The music sucked. It sounds like 60-70′s porno music.

  • Norb

    Bj and T,

    What you are both missing here I think you’re both misinterpreting each other. If there is evidence of a crime that points to someone as the culprit, does it really matter if they say anything? The evidence is pointing there, it is the courts job, namely the Jury, to decide guilt or innocence. If you do decide to talk without counsel, you most likely will strengthen the case against you. You can however decide to remain silent, and the police will then question you when you lawyer up. The lawyer is paid because they are experts in law, and can make sure that your words can’t be mixed up. My advice, and I should mention I am not a lawyer or leo, but I would not say anything unless either A)I called the police or B) I have a lawyer with me.

  • t.

    Norb: I thinks that it makes a huge difference . I have investigated thousands, THOUSANDS, of street incidents. When in speak of how silly the “never talk to the police” thing is, it based on those encounters. I have used the fight vs assault example several times….because its real and that and things like it happens all the time. When I get there and its pretty clear (evident) that something happened…and one party is talking to me, telling me what happened and that you are at fault….and you just stare at me blankly when I talk to you….what do you think will happen?
    In that type of scenario…you might be as innocent as can be. But if I can see that something happened (PC to believe a crime occurred) and one of try parties is saying you did it….without any explanation that you didn’t)…your very, VERY likely to get arrested and most likely you will be convicted.
    Now you may not think that’s fair…but its real life. You can certainly hire an attorney, but it will be after the fact and really only good in court (maybe).
    As I have always told folks…if you stand accused of a serious crime and the police want to talk to you….hire an attorney. After revieipwing your involvement, 9 out of 10 times he’ll tell you to talk to the police. Certainly that is Dependant on your involvement / guilt.
    But in the types of encounters that most of the posters and commenters here are usually involved in….their silence is usually only harmful to themselves.
    Keep in mind….the arrest decision is only based at the PC standard, not Beyond Reasonable Doubt standard. The first is at about a 2-2.5 while the second is at a 8. Big differences.
    If you are in anyway in the right….your silence is just stupid.