Most people do not understand how police think, how they evaluate people, or how they make decisions. With all the information we are getting about police abuse our behavior when approached or stopped in a vehicle by police is important. It is also important to understand and exercise our civil rights. If you are not aware of what your rights are they can easily take them from you. It is important to know how to behave to reduce the chances of police violence against us. Don't express anger even if it is warranted because they will become anxious or afraid and may over react. If I had a teenager I would have them watch these videos they may help prevent problems, arrests, tazerings, and beatings. Don't think like I used to that since you are not doing anything wrong you can't get arrested and charged, it happens. Something that could be out of your control may look like you have committed a crime. My attitude in the past would have been that I trusted the police to protect my rights and I would have agreed to let them check anything they wanted, after all what did I have to hide. Now after some of the experiences I have had in Alaska and some of the stories I have heard, no way. Learn to protect yourself

If you’re driving a vehicle, you are required by law to provide your drivers license, vehicle registration card and proof of insurance when requested by an officer. In other situations you may not be required to identify yourself, but it may make the officer more suspicious of you and warrant a longer detention for further investigation. I can not find a "stop and identify" law in Alaska, but can't say there is no requirement. They can “stop and frisk” if there is significant suspicion of a crime, you are in a high crime area, or they have reasonable suspicion you are a danger to the public. In some states there is a requirement to produce ID if you fit the description of someone who has committed a crime(Hiibel vs. Nevada). Of course, anyone on probation/parole must identify themselves when approached or stopped by police and state they are on probation/parole.

A law school professor:

The police can and will use anything you say against you, don't be fooled by a nice guy act. If what you say shows you did not commit the crime they will claim it is hearsay and not use it. In fact anything which shows you are innocent may be held back by the prosecution even if it is illegal for them to do so.

A cop:

The supreme court has ruled the police do not have to give us our Miranda warnings. We must say we are taking our right to remain silence and we would like to talk to a lawyer. If you can't afford one they will give you a public defender who will not defend you, but at least you will have kept silent.

Police are allowed to lie to us. They record everything. They have recording devices on all phones and on their persons. They also have video recording devices in their vehicles. They can testify about your confession, what if they don't remember it right? What if they lie?

Another important warning is most people do not know a prescription medication of any kind may not be put in a container other than one from the pharmacy with the pharmacy label for that medication with your name on it. I had this habit for years of taking one or two pills and putting them in a small baggy to take with me, usually acetaminophen. It is not illegal to have over the counter medication out of the bottles, but they can't generally tell the difference so you may end up getting charged and having to go to court to prove you did not violate the law. They can charge you with a crime and will probably not believe you when you tell them you have a prescription if you don't have a pharmacy label. It does not matter if it is a controlled substance or not.

When you see someone getting arrested stop and watch. You have a right in most states to observe an arrest and make a video recording of it. Prosecutors have been claiming recording police is a violation of the wiretapping laws, but that is of course ridiculous. If the police know there are witnesses it changes their behavior. If they violate the law or are abusive you have evidence. When you help another person in an unjust situation you are helping everyone and you could help get a bad cop off the street.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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