So check it out… I hope you all read this, and teach your kids this, and maybe even spread the word to everyone you know. I am a current sworn police officer, and for the first time in my life I am going to take to the internet and social media to spread one simple tip… Listen to what a police officer tells you to do and everyone will be fine. All too often I have a suspect tell me, “I know my rights.” in the course of my daily business in dealing with people. Let’s face it, you may have Googled your rights, you may have read a book or a newspaper article, you may have had a friend of a friend of a friend tell you your “rights” but you do not know them. Google does not automatically turn you into an expert in law and Constitutional rights. Police officers have a hard enough job, and we do not need so called Google law experts telling us what we can or cannot do as we try and conduct our business. Here is a perfect example of what I dealt with last night as I am one of three officers responding to a domestic. The conversation went like this:
Me: “Sir, please do me a favor and sit down, take a few breaths, calm down, and I’ll be right with you.”
Subject: “Are you detaining me?”
Me: “No, I am not. I have to make sense of what is going on here so just sit down, calm down, and I said I’ll be right with you.”
Subject: “Am I under arrest? If so, for what?”
Me: “No, you are not under arrest. I’m going to ask you one more time, everyone is angry and I get it. Just sit down, take a breath, calm down, and I’ll be with you in a few minutes.”
Subject: “Well if I’m not under arrest I don’t have to do what you say so I’m going in my house.”
Me: “Now, you are under arrest for failure to comply with a peace officer’s orders.”
If this gentleman would have just listened to me he would not have an arrest on his record like he does now. This is the case for every police shooting that has happened in recent times. Ferguson, South Carolina, Baltimore…and most likely all the other shootings we don’t hear about. Teach your kids, and your friends, and your family…you DON’T know your rights. Just listen to a police officer’s very simple commands and 95% of the time you will go home with maybe a ticket – at most. If not a misdemeanor arrest that will probably get thrown out in court. Us police officers really don’t want to go hands on with anyone let alone escalate force on someone. You, the citizen, puts us in a position to do so. Us police officers DO NOT get out of our police car and say to ourselves, “I want to shoot this person today.” You, the citizen put us in a position to do so. Just listen to us and everyone and everything will be just fine. I promise you that.
Well that was enlightening, ok, I’m joking it wasn’t enlightening at all. Unless you take it from the perspective of the cop and how they expect – or desire – you to simply do whatever they demand. Like in the example above. Legally the ‘subject’ didn’t have to follow the officers ‘order’ because it was an unlawful one. If the subject was being detained, arrested or even investigated than he MAY have had to listen to the officer. Yet, since the officer clearly stated he was not being detained or arrested, he had no LEGAL obligation to follow his order, which isn’t an order but merely a request at that time.
Even without the hole in his example this is still horrible advice. To do whatever a cop tells you seems logical to some people, yet, the reason why isn’t as clear. The reason people advocate doing everything an officer says is because the police are known to escalate a situation to the point where they use force, sometimes deadly force, on a person. People fear being ticketed, arrested, beat up or killed by the police, and rightfully so, but instead of combating this people merely become complacent.
This is what has allowed the police state to grow to epic proportions. From regular checkpoints, stop and frisk and victimless crimes arrest the police are becoming more intrusive, aggressive and armed by the day! If you don’t believe me just spend 2 hours on this website (and feel free to check out PoliceOne.com for their perspective too). Since the police are so heavily armed, tasked with enforcing laws they don’t even know (or understand) and demand obedience the best thing to do is to FILM THE POLICE during every single encounter. I highly doubt the ‘subject’ above would have been charged with a crime had he asked those questions with a video camera rolling. So forget the rights the government claims you have, they don’t mean shit to them – cops or government – anyways, and grab your camera!