This is as good of an example as you can get of asserting your rights. Pete is no stranger to filming police and this is the second video of his used by Cop Block. The first was confronting Arlington police officers about parking their cruiser illegally, which Cop Block is still waiting to hear the outcome of that investigation. Pete’s decisions to go to his girlfriends aid, film the police, open carry a firearm, refuse to produce ID and to walk away from the police, without satisfying their request, were all perfectly legal acts.
Though you don’t ever have to talk to the police, Pete has a background in Law Enforcement along with a great knowledge of open carry laws. Therefore, while he still talked to the police and provided them with information, above and beyond what’s legally required, he did so with caution. Stating things like, “yes, I have an ID but am I legally required to show you?” When told he was legally required to (a lie) Pete would ask if the officers could show him that statue which states such? Pete does this because the police are legally allowed to lie to you, which they did several times in this video, but Pete counters that by asking questions to the officers which would force them to back up their lies. As you can see they were unable to do that. After talking with them for a few minutes Pete stated he was going to leave and why, then slowly backed away.
They didn’t follow him after that and he never had to produce his government issued ID. There really was no wrong doings by the police officers in this video (other than the harassment and lying) as they seemed to be stumped by Pete’s actions. Though they have typical cop syndrome of ‘if you have nothing to hide why don’t you just give us what we ask for and/or do what we say.’ You’d think that with all the police training and on the job experiences they would of quickly came to the conclusion that felons don’t walk up to cops openly displaying not only a firearm but a camera too. Do these cops think that Pete is going to film his last five minutes of freedom, if he were a felon? I highly doubt it and I’m speaking from the perspective of a felon (as I’m a victim of the drug war).
So what can be learned from this video? A lot, but the two biggest things to me are how Pete always keeps his cool and doesn’t get in a shouting match with the officers. He doesn’t try to impress them with a bunch of legal rambling that would make him seem like ‘a know it all.’ He lets the officers speak and then replies giving as little information as possible in a calm cool collected manner. The second is how Pete counters questions with questions. In most cases, unless driving or suspected of criminal activity, you’re not required legally to produce ID when asked to by an officer. Cops phrase it as a request, may I see your ID? Which isn’t them telling you to produced it but merely a request to. Sometimes when asked if you legally have to show them they lie and say yes because they can lie. Therefore instead of just handing it over ask them, ‘Am I legally required to do so?” If they say yes then ask to see the law. If you start to feel uncomfortable remember at any point you can simply stop talking to them. State that unless you’re under arrest you’re just going to go on your way, like Pete does here. Leaving the cops dumbfounded.
Cop Block is hoping to get more videos like this. So the next time you see a cop stopping somebody outside your home or down the street grab your camera. Film them, even if there seems to be nothing going on. Most likely the cop will ask you why you were filming the stop? I tell the police that I’m filming to hold everyone (including myself) accountable. We need to make this the norm as it’s a crucial method to holding officers accountable for their actions.
If you can’t film the police sharing Cop Block’s website and social networks is just as helpful.