Law prof and cop agree: never ever ever ever ever ever ever talk to the cops about a crime, even if you're innocent

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181 Responses to “Law prof and cop agree: never ever ever ever ever ever ever talk to the cops about a crime, even if you're innocent”

  1. arkizzle says:

    Ok, looks like Antinous leaves BB for about an hour and a half on a Monday, at 4.30..

    Like clockwork, people. We can do this thing.

    Wait, this is that private BB-plotters channel, yeh?

  2. Ugly Canuck says:

    #120:
    No fee, but you do deserve one.
    Thanx for further clarifying Brit practice re: right to silence and its practical limits.

  3. mbonness says:

    Cory, your commentary misses one very important point: the professor is not only advising you to not speak to the police without your attorney, but ALSO not to speak to the police whatsoever, with or without your attorney.

    The Fifth Amendment provides you with the right to do that — i.e., to always decline to speak when you might say something that can be used against you. That is a separate, additional right to the Sixth Amendment right to the Assistance of Counsel.

  4. Ugly Canuck says:

    #86: See #120 above….they are more nuanced than I had thought, and that attempt to keep surprise alibis out of Court might not fly, as Brit Judges …can be very difficult for anyone (even Parliament) to dictate to…

  5. blogJordan says:

    Yup, I was falsely arrested after someone filed a bogus charge against me.

    The one thing I did that made life easy for my lawyer, and to later get expunged in record time, was to remain polite and cooperative without saying a word to the police other than my name, address, and other identity related data.

    Though totally innocent and had substantial physical evidence & witnesses in my favor, my lawyer later explained that even if I had told my side of the story, it would have likely been hammered into an accusation against me.

    Not being a lawyer, I can’t give advice. However if I’m ever in such a pickle again, you can be sure I’ll be polite and cooperative, but won’t say a word other than name, address, etc …

  6. arkizzle says:

    tak, just found it, ta for the head’s up :)

  7. arkizzle says:

    Canuck,
    surely though, the point being: you don’t get to talk to your lawyer first, before deciding whether or not to tell the rozzers anything at this point in time..

    “Talk now, or forever hold your peace” sucks.

    I know they say on the advice website that you are entitled to a legal advisor, but if you refuse to talk at the scene of the arrest (or an initial enquiry) will that be too late? At what point in the police’s information gathering routine are you required to discuss-all-the-pertinent-parts-of-your-life-which-you-may-later-rely-on-when-charged-with-an-arbitrary-offense before they are not submittable?

    I don’t know, but I’d love someone to clarify.. :)

  8. Takuan says:

    this is why it is important to understand the police exist for the police. When you grasp this, you are halfway to being relatively safe. But only half way.

  9. minTphresh says:

    sompin smell feeshy in looo-zyanna? i don’ tink it da catfeesh, mon.

  10. rageahol says:

    although i agree with the sentiment expressed (STFU and wait for your lawyer, period) – regent university? really? the same people who brought you monica goodling and roughly half of the DOJ clusterfuck?

  11. Xopher says:

    Takuan: It’s just a jump to the left—

  12. Various Cool dot Com says:

    In terms of importance, this is one of the best posts in a while.

    Thank you.

  13. siliconsunset says:

    I’ve lived other places, but I was born and raised in Virginia Beach. I’m living there now. You never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever talk to the cops here unless you’re dying, and then only to explain what you were doing to get you hurt in the first place. The police at the oceanfront, or “the strip” as it’s called, are generally slow-moving and easy going sentinels that turn into Judges/Terminators whenever they see law being broken. It’s hard to tell there what warrants police attention and what’s forgiven as “tourist not-knowing” anymore.

  14. Fee says:

    #147 no he did not.

    Contrary to what the US lawyer says, it can happen in the UK that if you give a reasonable explanation for something you *may* be better off than refusing to speak.

    They accepted that he had no intention of sending the photographs to a child and if fact he did not as it was an adult who received the pictures, and therefore he was let off with a caution not to be so stupid again.

    As far as I am aware, only people convicted of an offence will go on the register.
    Fee

  15. Tenn says:

    and a step to the righ-igh-igh-ight!

    PUT YOUR HANDS ON YOUR HIPS.

  16. mgfarrelly says:

    I heard the exact same reasoning as the officer provides from my godfather, a lifelong Chicago cop. He put it simply, if you’re picked up by the cops, be polite, ask for your phone call and to speak to a lawyer. Say NOTHING else and be simple, direct and polite in your requests.

    I had to put that to use once and it ended up working out very well for me.

  17. mrfitz says:

    I don’t know. I have been “interviewed” a few times by the police and I found it sort of interesting to see the tactics they use to elicit information. These weren’t for very serious things, mind you, but the whole idea of figuring out how the information could play out in court before the question is answered is a challenge.

  18. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Foetusnail @119, that’s a hazardous point of view. If we ignore the law (which is what the judge’s instructions are all about) and the evidence, we have nothing to sustain us but our prejudices.

  19. Cpt. Tim says:

    #1!

    only one post before the thread was fouled with a blanket anti-law enforcement comment.

  20. Xopher says:

    That really drives you insa-a-a-a-a-ane!

  21. Ugly Canuck says:

    I am not a Lawyer and the following is not legal advice it is intended to serve for discussion purposes only.
    Always talk to a lawyer before answering if police start to ask you questions….you have the Right, use it…simply say “I’m sorry but I cannot help you without first talking with a lawyer.” Repeat as necessary and talk to a lawyer at the first opportunity. Ask her : “Do I have to answer these questions?” and then act as your Lawyer recommends (or not..you may do as you please, it is a free country).

  22. editjunk says:

    That cop is such a……. cop.

  23. Takuan says:

    that was predictable (thank the gods!), Tenn would be Little Nell, Xopher Riff Raff, who should I be?

  24. Anonymous says:

    i didn’t watch these videos but a cop once told me, “never break two laws at the same time” think about it.

  25. Takuan says:

    #4!
    only four posts before the thread was fouled by a willfully blind apologist for criminally irresponsible abuse of power!

  26. Tenn says:

    Don’t even look at the police without a lawyer present.

  27. Takuan says:

    Tenn-chan! sashiburi! Tanoshi tanoshi!

  28. Gilbert Wham says:

    I already knew that. Does that mean you owe me 45 minutes? I hope so.

  29. Takuan says:

    LET’S DO! THE! TIME! WARP! AGAINNNNN!

  30. Cpt. Tim says:

    #6!

    Actually no, I’m defending my sister, who isn’t a “police that exists for the police” I’ll gladly stand up with you and denounce abuse of power.

    I won’t be a blind apologist.

    but i won’t be a blanket statement spewing tool either.

  31. Takuan says:

    has anyone ever tried that in court?

  32. Ugly Canuck says:

    #4 The internet is global the poster may be from someplace where the police do not have the community’s interests at heart.
    But if he ain’t, you got a point. Specific examples of corruption do not serve , by themselves taken alone or together, to prove genuine systemic corruption. Spitting in a good cops’ eyes does not help things….
    Eh up here we’re so spaced apart the cops are mostly search & rescue anyway like when you get off the dog trail while going out to hunt walrus…so I’m usually happy to see them…maybe others are like in jail for nothing or something, got reasons for their opinions, we all got opinions.
    #4, don’t take it personally…and don’t make blanket statements about our little community, either, eh?

  33. holtt says:

    Its good to remember your rights, but I’ve often found treating people as human beings work better.

    Good words

  34. noen says:

    I like having the police around me. They keep the gangbangers and the pushers and people who would otherwise hurt me away. I don’t speak to them but if I do I thank them for their service.

    Where I live there is a community block patrol. I have not joined it but I might. The patrol just walks the neighborhood and if they see a problem the call 911. It is a vital community service.

    I’m poor as a churchmouse, been homeless twice and have been ‘out’ for 13 years. I have never in my life had a single problem with the police (other than speeding and the like). But then I don’t drink an’ drug, maybe that’s it.

    Just this afternoon I was on the train and after the cops came through to check fares two young and very black teenage boys switched from one car to the next. Next stop the cops were right there asking to see their tickets and asking why they switched cars. I guess they thought the boys were trying to avoid paying their fare. The boys politely explained why, I didn’t listen. There was no beating, no abuse, nothing, the cops moved on.

    Don’t do stupid shit and you’ll be fine. I don’t know, maybe Minnesota is different and y’all are crazy with too many people on the coasts or something. I don’t get it.

  35. jbang says:

    It’s 3 weeks too late! Damn.

  36. The Lizardman says:

    @80

    Either you are trolling my response or you do not have the ability to read for contextual comprehension at a level that makes me want to discuss anything with you.

  37. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Nothing too serious, I hope?

  38. Takuan says:

    Ark = Brad, Antinous = Janet

  39. Antinous says:

    Thanks, but I’ve always favored Magenta.

  40. Cpt. Tim says:

    I apologize in advance for the tool comment. that’s too heated. if a mod want’s to disemvowel that, it’s fine by me.

  41. Ugly Canuck says:

    #126: You ought to reconsider the risk to reward ratio before sitting down with them for a chat.

  42. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    I’ve talked my way out of several traffic violations and jaywalking. The police officers in these situations were very kind.

    To balance that, I was once issued a ticket for something I didn’t do. The cop knew it, and lied in court. The judge found me guilty. I was young and naive, and quite surprised. Thank goodness it wasn’t for something that I could have been jailed for.

  43. Takuan says:

    figures

  44. Takuan says:

    what do cops want? They want: To go home every night. They want their pay cheque. They want the odd donut. That’s all.

    Couple that with the power to beat, torture,kill and generally do what they please and you get the predictable results.

  45. Anonymous says:

    What I find funny is that the cop makes such a case about people getting in trouble because they like to tell their stories and then goes on to tell his story and makes statements that may put him at risk of getting a conviction for felony libel in at least two European countries.

  46. Dillenger69 says:

    Reminds me of one of my favorite Skinny Puppy lyrics from the song Warlock … “The police used to watch over the people, now their watching the people”

    I never used to be nervous around cops. I grew up with cops as neighbors.
    Now, I won’t even make eye contact just in case said cop I look at is in one of those “Are you lookin’ at me?” type of moods.

    • Anonymous says:

      That isn’t a skinny puppy lyric, it’s a direct sound byte from Charles Manson that they used in Worlock. I just thought you would want to know who you’re quoting in this case.

  47. Clif Marsiglio says:

    “Clif Marsiglio @34, treating others like human beings is always a good idea. I highly recommend treating police officers like human beings while telling them that you won’t talk without your lawyer present.”

    Then why is it that any time someone talks civil liberties, one acts as though not only do they have they right to be a dick to authorities, it is their moral obligation to do so.

    Treating others as human REGARDLESS of the consequences is our moral obligation as a society. I can safely say, I have had less problems when I decided to stay away from everyone and not helped. Help someone hurt on the street…you may end up getting accused of being the instigator — especially if someone is disoriented. This has happened to me before, and I wouldn’t change the fact that I helped the individual regardless of the problem it caused.

    Life is a test…the test is how well you deal with others. A lawyer can’t make this any easier for you. Recklessly asserting your rights just because you can won’t either. I mean, we in the US have the right to bear arms…I’ll fight for others to preserve this right at the same time realizing a mature society (along with mature men…not the boys that seem to carry these things) does not need arms.

    Then again, I come from a long line of people that believe peaceful, nonviolent confrontation is the best…I lost my ways as a youth — and still trying to regain them (just joined a Buddhist community recently…feels a lot like my old Quaker days), but aimlessly asserting rights is not the way to progress society. Might be a good way to keep yourself out of jail, or being hassled by the man, or not shot for snitchin’ when someone ends up dead on your doorstep…but it is pretty selfish when you realize you need to set an example for the rest of the world.

  48. Super Nate says:

    Would that some people I know had taken this simple advice…

  49. joejoejoe says:

    I think there are all kinds of false assumptions in this post about the risk of cooperating with police, the benefits of effective policing, and the costs of denying the police information. I think the “never talk to the police” argument takes the personal freedom argument to the same extreme as beheadings in Saudi Arabia for robbery. There is some fruitful middle ground here that is being ignored.

  50. The Lizardman says:

    I am very pro law enforcement but I am also very opposed to the current implementation via our various police forces and this is a very good example of why – if an innocent person cannot speak with those engaged in law enforcement without fear of negative repercussions then something is horribly wrong.

    Our laws are far from perfect but even if they were, they are useless without a far better system and staff for enforcement than we currently have.

  51. Xopher says:

    Bring your knees in tigh-igh-ight!

  52. Takuan says:

    actually Joe cubed,there ain’t.

  53. Tenn says:

    Tenn-chan! sashiburi! Tanoshi tanoshi!

    Apologies for my long hiatus. I trust Ant explained? In further; I am prone to long mood swings which destroy my desire to communicate. This was one of those swings. Also, I have a job as a hostess now.

    How’s life, Taku-san?

  54. agoodsandwich says:

    Well the remarkable thing is that the cop agrees with him. Wow.

  55. Justavoice says:

    #165 Takuan, that was funny! But that’s more like ‘right wing’ side of the law….

  56. Lorn of the Flies says:

    The only part I disagree with is that Martin Short is somehow also a lawyer.

  57. flamingphonebook says:

    Joe^3

    Why take the chance? What is the benefit of talking to the police? Even if they’re impressed with your good faith, the info they get is going to be passed on to a District Attorney who’s motive is to get a conviction.

    The most salient point of the professor’s lecture, other than the them, was that anything you say can be used against you, but that it cannot be used for you. This is an inequity in the law. The police should be informed that anything a suspect says can be used against their case.

  58. bolamig says:

    I have only one exception to the policy of not answering police questions. If they really don’t have any good reason to believe you did whatever they think someone did, then I will answer simply “No” to their question “did you break the law?”. E.g. if they pull you over on the highway and ask if you were speeding, I’ll simply say “No”.

    It is true that pleading the fifth will cause them to suspect you of a crime, and once they suspect you of a crime getting rid of them is much more difficult, so I’m willing to deny that I’ve committed a crime if it gets them off my back. But I absolutely don’t give them any specific information other than denials.

    If they then start asking more questions, showing that they suspect me of a crime, then I absolutely clam up.

    In the past I’ve been in a situation where even answering “Yes” to “Is this your car?” made me more suspicious to the cops. If such a simple question could tend to incriminate me, I figure there is no way I can hope to decide accurately what to say and what not to say.

    #34 Clif, Sadly I’ve found that treating cops as humans doesn’t work well. When they are in the uniform they are paid to do inhuman things like lie to get people to incriminate themselves.

  59. Cpt. Tim says:

    “what do cops want? They want: To go home every night. They want their pay cheque. They want the odd donut. That’s all.”

    Oh come ON!

    This is both puerile and offensive. Congratulations on successfully employing the same type of tactics bigots use when degrading another race.

  60. Justavoice says:

    Here is a simple solution to this entire argument:
    Don’t be a criminal and stay on the right side of the law…

  61. eustace says:

    …but it’s the pelvic thrust

    is it okay to sing along with policemen?

  62. Tenn says:

    Cpt. Tim, since nobody’s told you yet- (which is really rather rude of ya’ll!), Takuan -specializes- in those kinds of comments. It’s his way of whistling in the dark, I guess, or poking holes in the hot air balloon. He’s one of those people you’d best take the sum of, rather than a glance at. Granted, you may not be willing to, or see the need to, do so, but the fact remains that Takuan is neither a bigot nor a fool.

    Most certainly, Antinous. Is there another sense?

  63. Anonymous says:

    I’m curious: does this only count if you’re being questioned and have been read “miranda” or do you NEVER talk to the police, even if you’ve witnessed something that could potentially help them solve a crime? In other words, can anything you say NOT be held against you until you’ve been read ‘miranda’?

  64. coldspell says:

    Summary for my own clarification:

    * In the US, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
    * So there is no need to disprove your guilt (by saying anything).
    * And if you do say anything, it might be used to incriminate you (rightly or wrongly).

  65. Ugly Canuck says:

    Yeah IIRC stateside it’s now a heavily-penalized offense to mislead an Officer…so why take any risk…some Officers might just get misled a little too easily, I’d hate to have to go to jail because the cop mistook what I said, and sometimes even trying my best I’m pretty unclear…would that be “misleading”or not? Seems to depend on the subjective state of mind of the Cop, and as I don’t want to have to go to Court to find out…”Silence until lawyer is there” is safer…look what happened to Martha Stewart.
    Of course being a non-Citizen stateside it seems has lately become more dangerous…why visit, since your government (the Courts) say it’s so dangerous you must have the right to have a handgun, just to be safe… and you guys seem to beat up foreigners and do other not-so-nice things to them of late……like locking them up with them not being able to get it into Court for weeks or even years..

  66. Takuan says:

    but I am EVIL!

  67. Takuan says:

    so long as it’s not the Japanese, Chinese or Russian senses

  68. wynneth says:

    that really drives you insane

    #65 – I luld

    Tak – in rare form as usual
    Tenn – wb

    Cpt Tim – I’d love a job with upbeat homosexuals, it’s the depressed ones I can’t stand.

    In terms of the object of discussion? Take each situation as it stands. Determine if the cop is an asshole or not as best you can. Say no more than necessary but be very polite.

    Also, Cpt. Tim and Tak are both right. Cops like donuts. I’ll even say it. But it is like saying black people like chicken and white people can’t dance. Guess what? They’re ALL TRUE!

  69. Takuan says:

    best to move in groups with each member holding some firecrackers for creating a diversion.

  70. Cpt. Tim says:

    “but the fact remains that Takuan is neither a bigot nor a fool.”

    a cop doughnut reference is easily in the same vein as an [ethnic group/ food that ethnic group stereotypically likes] comment.

    bigoted.

  71. Tenn says:

    Evil-smelling, but we understand the miasma is not your fault.

    … Certainly not. I’m not paid quite that well.

  72. The Lizardman says:

    To paraphrase Dave Chapelle speaking on chicken and watermelon- if you don’t like donuts, there’s nothing wrong with donuts there is something wrong with you. Donuts are delicious

  73. Terry Karney says:

    Coldspell: That is the theory. The practice is, most people assume the police got the right guy, so if you are charged the practical burden is on the accused to disprove the allegation.

  74. Ugly Canuck says:

    #26: It’s just that sometimes s/he sounds like one…but as it’s usually directed at the powerful and unjust, go fer it….

  75. Another Aaron says:

    Actually, slapping ‘em with firecrackers is an even better opening salvo. Good idea.

  76. Ugly Canuck says:

    And I am very far from condemning an honest prejudice.

  77. Clif Marsiglio says:

    Its good to remember your rights, but I’ve often found treating people as human beings work better.

    This advise is nice for those who only care about themselves and care nothing for society (or truly believe society is out to get them), but not otherwise. Like Mark, I got out of MOST of my trouble when I was able to talk to police officers…it was only when I was social and friendly to them that I walked away unscathed. It was in my days of being anti-social…purple hair freako musician that hated everything in society and let others know it…I didn’t talk because it was my right. I got in so much trouble back then…more so for the stuff I didn’t do than the stuff I did. I’m just glad I didn’t grow up in todays society as a lot of the activities I did would have required more than a slap on the wrist.

    Beyond that, being friendly and not combative and cops generally ask a few questions and never hear anything again. I haven’t had a traffic ticket in 12 years…and the last time I was pulled over was doing 90 on a motorcycle without insurance around Chicago. Funny thing was, explaining that they were going to figure it out anyways, I just didn’t see the idea of insurance when if I hit anyone I’d most likely be dead or wouldn’t care and secondly, I was actually driving with the speed of traffic so that I didn’t have to find out if having insurance would have really helped me. He laughed and said don’t let him pull me over again.

    Something about treating others like human beings means that they might treat you like one. There is a time and place to assert your rights — I’d never let ANYONE search my car. If I was being brought in for a felony, I might not speak unless with my lawyer either. But 99% of the time? Asserting your rights just because you can is as smart as being a dick to everyone just because you aren’t breaking any law. It’s your right, but isn’t going to get you anywhere in life.

  78. Takuan says:

    “right side of the law” = holding the gun

  79. Ugly Canuck says:

    #30:Eh, not quite…insofar as no one can control which ethnicity s/he happens to be, while cops are self-selecting.

  80. kaosdevice says:

    I’m with Bukowski on this one, “I don’t dislike cops, I just seem to feel better when they’re not around.”

  81. GregLondon says:

    My mom was a deputy sherriff long enough to retire. She was a volunteer EMT long enough to end up running the local rescue squad. She still volunteers, but she’s handed the administrative crap to someone else. I can’t even imagine the number of people she’s helped, the lives she’s saved, over the years. Several hundred, easily. thousands, maybe.

    If you get questioned by the police, get a lawyer. Good advice. You never know who is asking you the questions.

    But blanket statements about the internal motives of all police, when those statements are clearly detached from reality, detached from actual people who’ve been (or are) on the police force, isn’t good advice. It isn’t a wonderful thing. It might even qualify as trolling. And if it continues after being informed of the facts to the contrary, I can only assume is based on tinfoil, rather than facts of reality.

    And since I’m personally biased on this one, since I find the whole thing more than a little insulting, I’m not going to get into a debate about this, other than to report the facts, the anecdotal evidence as it pertains directly to me, and let them speak for themselves. Anyone who wants to debate their psych-theories about all-cops-in-general, can email me off thread.

    And you can start your email by letting me know how many lives you’ve personally saved, and your psychiatric qualifications (training, not treatment) upon which you base your evaluations.

    But I won’t be posting on this thread again.

  82. Takuan says:

    sorry Captain Tim, the (to paraphrase Jerry Rubin, and STFU in advance to the unlettered that belong to the culture that spawned the term and now pretend they don’t know the cultural/historic references and nuances and leap on the PC bandwagon in their pathetic efforts to revise well-recorded history-you-know-who-you-are-don’t-make-me-kick-your-sorry-asses!) “policeman as nggr” argument gains no traction here. No victim card for the people with the guns and clubs.

    What do cops want? Their safety. Their livelihood/money. Their diversions. Just.Like.Everyone.Else. Don’t you dare pretend they have some “higher cause” They beat that out of the kids in the first six months.

  83. frankiez says:

    Cpt. Tim > “what do cops want? They want: To go home every night. They want their pay cheque.”

    In reality there is nothing wrong or offensive in his statement not if you are not a dreamer who thinks that people become policeman just to serve society and defend the poors and the innocents…

    If Takuan would have said:
    “what do assembly line workers want?
    They want: To go home every night. They want their pay cheque.”
    Would you say he offended the assembly line workers?!

  84. Cpt. Tim says:

    #35 cops are self selecting yes, but all i said was it was in the same vein, not a 1 to 1 comparison. Bigoted statements like the donut thing but of the racial variety may be more heinous because the person didn’t get a say of what race they were born into, but the fallacy of this type of bigotry falls outside of race, and rests at the sheer illogical stupidity of it.

  85. Another Aaron says:

    Policing is a very tiring, dreary, boring activity. If you HAVE to interact with a police officer, it’s best if you just start off with a quick slap to the face to make sure they’re paying attention.

    After that, all the above advice will work a lot better.

  86. Cpt. Tim says:

    #38 you totally missed the whole donut part of his statement didn’t you?

    “In reality there is nothing wrong or offensive in his statement not if you are not a dreamer who thinks that people become policeman just to serve society and defend the poors and the innocents…”

    Wrong. There’s lots of asshole cops. My sister was employed in a department where a lot of shit was going down, and she got the chief of police in her town fired over it. But she was never able to work in that town again. She had to move. But there were a lot of other good cops that backed her up.

    ‘v dcdd tht Tk hs t b jst cmmn trll, otherwise he wouldn’t have processed the information that i was standing up for a family member and then spit this out:

    “Don’t you dare pretend they have some “higher cause” They beat that out of the kids in the first six months.”

    seriously dude. fck y.

  87. FoetusNail says:

    We must at all costs avoid being sucked into the overloaded legal system. This means avoiding contact with its officers and officials.

    Once ensnared it can take buckets of money and time to escape the system, which most of us don’t have. You can lose everything fighting bogus charges.

    Since we don’t know which cops are good or bad, it really doesn’t matter if most are good and only some are bad, because the stakes are extremely high considering what can happen to a person in prison (tossed salads, HIV, etc.) So just in case you run into that one-in-a-million bad cop it is best to limit your contact and keep quite, without making things worse.

    Most people go their whole life without an accident on the freeway, but smart people wear seat belts just in case, because the stakes are extremely high when something does happen.

  88. Cpt. Tim says:

    ntns: cm bck t s wht gt dsmvwld nd wht ddn’t. s prdctd. smthng sd gt dsmvwld, nd ptntly bgtd thngs tht wr sd, nd rprtd sng th prpr fnctn wr lft ln.

    Th mdrtn n bng bng s s hlf ssd nd rndm, tht thr rlly s n stndrd f wht cn b sd nd wht cn’t

    n clssc thrd smn sd “thr r n thsts n fxhls.” s tht s ncrrct, bt nt ncssrly smthng t b cnsrd (t wsn’t) s sd:

    “Blvng n hm f y wnt s yr bsnss, jst dn’t nsst tht d t whnvr ‘m n pnch.”

    wht ws n th st fw mnts ltr ws: “Blvng n hm f y wnt s yr bsnss, jst dn’t nsst tht d t whnvr ‘m n pnch.” thnks t mdrtr wh ws … smkng dn’t knw wht.

    Tht shws hw lttl y cn sy t gt yr psts fckd wth hr. rlly? hw cld tht pssbly b ffnsv?

    Nw ftr tk ws wll wr ws hr dfndng plc bcs hv ddctd fmly mmbr h psts (ftr th dnt jb)

    “Wht d cps wnt? Thr sfty. Thr lvlhd/mny. Thr dvrsns. Jst.Lk.vryn.ls. Dn’t y dr prtnd thy hv sm “hghr cs” Thy bt tht t f th kds n th frst sx mnths.”

    thnk ‘fck y’ s wrrntd thr. Cnsdrng h ws wr f my mtvtns fr dfndng SM plc ffcrs. bt my cmmnt s th n t gt fckd wth.

    S drng n mmnt f mdrtr whm ‘m cnsrd fr nt wntng t b clld rrslt n my blfs, nd n th nxt smn cn nsnt grssly ffnsv thngs bt ll plc ffcrs nd t’s lft ln.

    ts jst sd. ‘v bn n cmmnt thrds crss th ntrnt fr yrs nd nvr hv sn mr pthtc mdrtn. gd rl f mdrtn s t kp n y n th ppl wh r bvsly trlls.

    • Antinous says:

      Tim,

      No you can’t say ‘Fuck you’ to another commenter. If you can’t find a way of saying it that is at least cleverer than a fifth grade insult, that’s your problem. You’re still grinding an axe from some dim historic disemvowelling that I can’t even reference. If you have problems with the moderators, take it to the Moderation thread.

  89. Xopher says:

    Funny, we were just discussing this on the listserv of my old friends. I said this:

    [There are two different reasons for not answering questions without a lawyer or consenting to a search.] Standing up for your civil liberties is important, though it may not be in your immediate best interest; but it benefits society as well.

    The reason is semiotic: the police don’t believe that people who stand up for those things are hiding something because they’re fascist goons (some are, but that’s not why they believe it); they believe it because almost no one else does. Thus insisting on your rights becomes a flag associated with guilt. If more of us stood up for ourselves in this way, this (false and legally erroneous) belief on the part of the police would erode, making a better world for all…

    Of course, it’s also damn hard on the individuals who do the standing up while the police still have this belief. And the subset of police who ARE fascist goons will go out of their way to punish anyone who stops them from searching anywhere they want, or who won’t answer any question the goon wants to ask. Guilt or innocence becomes irrelevant in their minds; “no one must be allowed to defy the police, legally or not” is their prime credo, rather than “protect and serve.”

    Should it come up in my life (and I firmly believe in trying to live my life in such a way as to avoid interactions with the police (as such) whenever possible), I only hope I will have the guts to do the right thing.

    I should probably add that ‘the police (as such)’ means “police acting in a professional capacity.” This is to distinguish them from “anyone who happens to be a cop.”

  90. Tom Neff says:

    MBonness said: “Cory, your commentary misses one very important point: the professor is not only advising you to not speak to the police without your attorney, but ALSO not to speak to the police whatsoever, with or without your attorney.”

    I’m not quite sure that’s what the professor, who is also a defense attorney, was saying. The entire focus was on what a person who encounters the police or is brought in for an interview, BEFORE the attorney, should say. The advice is to say nothing. Once the attorney does arrive, the attorney’s advice trumps anything our friends at Regent have to say, and they know it.

    PS Lizardman: My responses were reasonable and on-topic, so, you know, have a nice day.

  91. Tom Neff says:

    Lizardman said: “if an innocent person cannot speak with those engaged in law enforcement without fear of negative repercussions then something is horribly wrong.”

    But an innocent person CAN speak with law enforcement. With their attorney present.

  92. Ugly Canuck says:

    Well of course trim your sails (so to speak) to the prevailing winds but in general and broadly speaking rights will rust if people do not use them…people will forget the very taste of freedom…
    Anyway the old “Don’t be a dick by insisting on your rights ” saw seems to the equivalent of “it’s ok for them to screw over anyone who insists that they have rights”, at least in practice….and the practice will eventually grow to become the norm. Look at the right to silence in britain…gone now IIRC…
    IMO different considerations apply however if you are a witness and not a suspect…the difficulty is knowing if yer one or the other…but witnesses should be flat-out open honest and truthful as to what they have seen with the Authorities (but not IMO for victimless “crimes”)…and I know that that is deadly advice in some places…even so…

  93. Takuan says:

    ummmm..
    big·ot Audio Help /ˈbɪgÉ™t/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[big-uht] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
    –noun
    a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.
    [Origin: 1590–1600; < MF (OF: derogatory name applied by the French to the Normans), perh. < OE bī God by God]

    NOPE!

  94. jbang says:

    #130: Ms Nielsen Hayden: Me? Not really… well, yes and no.

    Negligible criminal outcomes, but massive opportunity to disrupt my life for a period of time.

    This post was great, and the discussion. I’m not covered by the fifth, but most of what was said is still pertinent and incredibly valuable information.

  95. brianeisley says:

    #142 Bolamig,

    I have only one exception to the policy of not answering police questions. If they really don’t have any good reason to believe you did whatever they think someone did, then I will answer simply “No” to their question “did you break the law?”. E.g. if they pull you over on the highway and ask if you were speeding, I’ll simply say “No”.

    Which is why they never ask you if you were speeding. They already know you were speeding, or they wouldn’t have pulled you over.

    Instead, they ask you if you know how fast you were going. Just like the officer said in the video, they’re hoping you’ll incriminate yourself. If you say “yes”, you’ve confessed. If you say “no”, then you’ve admitted you weren’t paying attention; maybe they can use that against you (reckless driving, perhaps?), but they don’t need it to convict you.

    If you’re pulled over for a traffic offense, your best bet is to shut up, be polite, and accept the ticket. If you feel like you have an argument against it, you can make it in court later–if you feel it’s worth the trouble and expense.

    But most of the time, it’s cheaper and easier just to pay the damn fine and make it go away.

  96. Cpt. Tim says:

    the best part about this is that my sister tells me the same thing.

    don’t outright trust cops. There’s enough bad ones out there that you have a definite chance of running into one.

    All i’m saying is that blanket statements and cheap stereotypes are just that. cheap. That attitude isn’t going to help you when you run into a good cop. Apparently this opinion, as a whole, makes me a spokesman for all the jack booted thugs out there who will abuse the authority given to them.

    I went through law enforcement training, the reason I didn’t make it through was I was unwilling to deal with the bad cops. I ran into enough of them on my way to becoming a cop that I wasn’t willing to be unhappy in my profession.

    Instead I work for a gay personals website. we have margarita breaks sometimes. I’m much happier.

  97. minTphresh says:

    oh, yeah, capt.tim, cops HATE donuts. i realize that every time i drive past the krispy kreme. all those cop cars in the parking lot are probably there on official biz. oh High Costello! are you out there sowing evil and discontent? yay! you know you are loved and respected for it! my lawyer gave the best advice when dealing with the cops: do whatever they tell you or they may shoot you, be polite, but say nothing. when the hubbub has subsided, ask: am i under arrest? if the answer is “no”, then ask: may i go then? if you aren’t under arrest then leave! if the answer is “yes”, ask for a lawyer then SHT TH FCK P! you have the right to remain silent, use it!

  98. Cpt. Tim says:

    Antinous, well i can, i did, and you moderated it. I actually knew it would happen, and it produced my predicted outcome.

    I think moving the discussion to the moderator thread would deprive the thread of your explanation of exactly why you thought the aforementioned things that were said, and reported, were okay.

    are statements like the cops liking donuts, or having no motivations because they beat anything else out of you okay?

    I see my comments above were already moderated. Its funny to see the level of intellectual cowardice presented by you mods.

  99. Takuan says:

    yes, this is all true. There is the final option though, if one’s life is ruined by a bad cop. Pity doesn’t happen more often.

  100. Xopher says:

    Tom 42: But that, too, has negative repercussions: the police will suspect you more if you “lawyer up” than if you don’t. But it’s Catch-22, because if you don’t lawyer up they’ll try to trap you into saying something that can be construed as an admission of guilt, less because they think you’re guilty than because then they can play the “if you cooperate” card to get you to do anything they want.

    And something IS horribly wrong. Police in the USA are hated and feared. A subset deserve to be. The system is horribly unjust, and they are the point of its spear; therefore they get more hate and fear than they actually deserve.

  101. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    This has legs. I predict 200 comments by dawn GMT -5.

    I believe that most cops are honest people but I’m sorry to say from personal experience that not all are. I cannot bet on the next one that I meet being a ‘good’ cop. The stakes are too high. As of last month I’m an ACLU member and I’ll go back to carrying the pocket guide to individual rights when detained by a police officer.

  102. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Cpt. Tim, in how many threads are you going to start this same argument? Your sister is a police officer. That’s great. I’m sure she’s a good one. But if you’re hanging out in civil liberties threads, you’re going to hear unkind generalizations about police.

    Also, when did you forget all your hard-earned lessons about not letting Takuan get your goat?

  103. Keeper of the Lantern says:

    Noen wrote…

    Unfortunately, the above only works well if you are white.

    That’s not even true. In a country where there are countless unenforceable laws, you (even if white) are almost certainly breaking some of them…right now. This means that law enforcement now has the power to arbitrarily detain just about anyone by selectively enforcing those laws.

    And of course, it’s not only alleged lawbreakers that can get on the wrong side of a law enforcement officer.

    So no, this doesn’t even work if you’re white, but looking like you’ve got some resources (read: $$$) acts as a partial deterrent to arbitrary enforcement.

  104. frankiez says:

    Ops, sorry not being American, and loving Dunkin Donuts in Japan I tought the donuts reference was not important… Sorry!!

    Anyway my swiss mother, who would never committ a crime in her life, when I was a kid tought me:
    “do not talk to police”…
    I still think it’s a simple and very usefull teaching wherever you live…

  105. EH says:

    Cpt. Tim: People in power are not able to play the bigotry card. Tell me though, in a country where 99% (off the top of my head) police indiscretions are chalked up to the few bad apples theory, what mechanism is available to figure out whether there is any systematic abuse of power when each instance is always committed by one or a few officers? Never is anybody allowed to implicate the culture(s) of law enforcement. It’s always just “a few assholes.”

    Notice that your sister was exiled from the area in which she did good work. Do you chalk this up to a corrupt citizenry overriding law enforcement’s wishes that she stay?

  106. Takuan says:

    Vice magazine cops issue.

    Tim: Keep your family out of your fights. The first line of defense for the nest is to conceal/deny its existence. I personally find it contemptible when the clan is compromised by the fecklessness of a member.

  107. FoetusNail says:

    TNH – You are right. But what do we do to stop this when so many lives are being destroyed? Everyone knows people often spend more time in prison for possession and distribution of drugs than beating up their family or neighbor.

    There are there too many in prison for the wrong reasons, the system does not protect, much less help, those in their charge. We become accomplices to cruel and unusual punishment when we vote to incarcerate some young man or women for a non-violent offense, where the only victim before trial is the defendant.

    The police have brought this on themselves. How many real crimes go unreported because we are afraid of the system? How many are acquitted because we do not trust the police?

    The fact that everyone involved knows what is wrong, what it is doing to our society, and how to solve these problems, but do nothing, means they prefer the status quo. Why? IMO they are not interested in justice, but suppressing what they see as society’s excess baggage.

    This situation has a simple solution: we vote to acquit non-violent victims of the war on drugs or at least don’t vote on charges that would result in serving time.

  108. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Clif Marsiglio @34, treating others like human beings is always a good idea. I highly recommend treating police officers like human beings while telling them that you won’t talk without your lawyer present.

    I’m glad the “just be nice” strategy has worked for you, but it doesn’t constitute a statistically significant sample. Having your lawyer there is really the best idea. For instance, are you aware that plaintiffs and defendants both have rights, but witnesses don’t? There are people in prison right now who put themselves there with what they said when they thought they were still just a witness.

  109. Anonymous says:

    Sure, make your 1 call and call a lawyer. How many right now know of a reputable and affordable lawyer you could call. Good luck tracking one down while in holding. Good luck finding one that isn’t more concerned with his bill than your innocence. Pay $$$$ in retainer to get spurious and incomplete advice – if not outright lies. Don’t count on Johnny Cochran quality unless you can afford Simpson prices. Everyone that gets screwed by cops when they made some seemingly innocent but damning comment was weighing the hassles and outrageous expense of trying to get decent council versus trying to do the right thing and make a hassle quickly go away. Sure hindsight is 20/20 – but be realistic and don’t expect Perry Mason to be right around the corner waiting for your call. If the cops or DA have it in for the average Joe, he’s screwed and not much is going to change that. Cynical maybe – but been there and done that. Justice comes at a price – literally- and most people really can’t afford it, they end up simply rolling the dice.

  110. Tom Neff says:

    Xopher said: “But that, too, has negative repercussions: the police will suspect you more if you “lawyer up” than if you don’t.”

    I regard this as unproven at best, but either way, your attorney will deal with it.

  111. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Takuan, I don’t think that’s workable advice for Cpt. Tim.

  112. Tenn says:

    Cpt. Tim;

    Your reason for not becoming a law enforcer is the same as mine for not becoming a politician, though I must admit I haven’t actually experienced politics at large. Thank God, I might have become a raving lunatic.

    There are a great deal of bad cops, and most do treat their job as just that; a job. Lots of ‘noble’ professions are just that.

    I must say that I disagree with you in very rare instances, Taku-san. I have met some police officers that do their job- very few, but some- for bettering others; just as I have met some hospital workers that do the same, and some educators. Those that do their daily grind because of a desire to improve, rather than exist, are rare, but I think they’re around.

  113. Anonymous says:

    #120, did the guy in your example not go on the sex offender’s register anyway for accepting a caution? Based on my reading about legal issues with non-sexual public nudity in the UK, I was given to understand that to accept a caution is to admit guilt, and in the case of sexual offenses would get you on the register. Is that wrong?

  114. arkizzle says:

    I wonder how this relates to UK law, which is similar but had the following (bold) appended to it some years ago.

    You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention, when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.

  115. Cpt. Tim says:

    #50. you make good points, and i think about that a lot. I think law enforcement officers should be subject to constant surveillance. I think everything they do in the course of their jobs should be recorded. Constant audio recording. Everytime their gun or taser is drawn a camera on it should record its use.

    If any citizen files a complaint that information can be pulled and used in court.

    Not only would that work with bent cops. but it would also work against the cops that maybe aren’t corrupt, but think that because they’re a cop they can be a dick.

    I think theres more than a few bad apples, but simply taking the above advice just protects you maybe once, it doesn’t do anything to change the situation. Neither does fostering an ingrained sense of hatred for law enforcement. If we start building a better police force, having a populace taught to hate cops isn’t going to help the situation.

  116. minTphresh says:

    there was an entire force of bad cops in Bradenton fl., called the ‘delta squad’, they used to plant vials of crack into cars that they liked, in order to bust them, have their cars impounded, and then buy them for pennies on the $. that is just the tip of the iceberg! when dealing with the police, miranda really doesn’t mean what it did 10-15 years ago, so be polite, but SHUT THE F UP! don’t try to charm the cop, that rarely works and is a total crap-shoot. a friend said he had a surefire joke that would ‘always work’ with police. he’d say he was an asshole stretcher at the local hospital and had to get to surgery at once! he said the cop would always ask” what does an asshole stretcher do?” and he’d say” I take my special tool and some lubricant, and slowly insert it into a patient’s rectum. then i can stretch it to whatever size the doctor wants…even as far as six feet !” to which the cop would reply” and what do you do with a 6 foot asshole?” my friend would then say, “give him a badge, a gun and a ticket book and put him on the road!” he said that the cops would laugh and laugh.

  117. Cpt. Tim says:

    “Also, when did you forget all your hard-earned lessons about not letting Takuan get your goat?”

    I don’t think Takaun has actually got my goat before, because i believe i agree with him in most past threads. I could be mistaken.

    while riding bart today after work i also thought of the cop who worked for four months after a friend of mine was date raped to get enough evidence to prosecute, and then when the arrest went down, picked a holiday weekend so the accused would have to spend more time in holding before he was arraigned. I’d submit him as a great cop, but i’m not sure if detectives are subject to the same level of takuans blanket hatred.

    back to you tak?

    • Antinous says:

      Tim,

      I appreciate that you’re frustrated and angry, but it’s late. Why don’t we return to these issues tomorrow?

  118. fsugrad says:

    20/20 had an excellent piece on what happens when you cooperate and work with law enforcement in this country.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=5450550&page=1

    Rachel Hoffman was a 23 year old girl just out of college with the world ahead of her. She got busted twice with Marijuana and was coerced by the Tallahassee Police Department into becoming a confidential informant. She was instructed with purchase 1500 ecstasy pills, 2 ounces of crack cocaine, and a hand gun. The officers working the case lost track of her, they found her body several days later 50 miles away from where the buy was supposed to take place.

  119. minTphresh says:

    tim, homie, you should have a margarita, sit back and take a deep breath. nobody is trying to paint your sister with the same brush as the douchebags like are ussually portayed on boing boing. that being said, from personal experience, i will tell you that 80-85% of my encounters with city cops have been negative. with county cops 70-75% neg. highway patrol 60%ish negative. yes i misspent a portion of my youth. but that’s why i say ‘most cops’. i don’t say ( nor do i believe the vast majority of bb’ers asy) that ALL cops are pieces of monkey poop. just most. and takuan is not a goat, but if they had tenticles he might fuck one.

  120. Takuan says:

    ha·tred Audio Help /ˈheɪtrɪd/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[hey-trid] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
    –noun
    the feeling of one who hates; intense dislike or extreme aversion or hostility.
    [Origin: 1125–75; ME; see hate, -red]

    —Synonyms animosity, detestation, loathing, abomination.
    —Antonyms attraction, love.

  121. Takuan says:

    remember this Dateline story? (middle text)
    http://www.spaef.com/GVER_PUB/v1n3_prejean.html

  122. Ugly Canuck says:

    Fact is when you are with a cop and the focus of their attention then you are very very likely to be in legal jeopardy and you need a lawyer’s advice more than at any other time in your life…your very physical liberty and even life (in the US) may be at stake. What is your property worth, compared to those?
    Your illustrious forbears went out of their way to set it up so that you would have certain Rights. Do not dishonor your ancestors by failing to demand that which so many of them worked so hard to provide you with..your Rights as a person in a free and democratic society…

  123. arkizzle says:

    Tenn, welcome back.

    The place hasn’t been the same without you. And we were definitely lacking your large-bore troll gun.. Sha-lak-lak :)

    Fáilte ar ais!

  124. Takuan says:

    so Tim,do you then argue that favoritism in policing and justice somehow establishes superior ethics? Wouldn’t the policeman who respected the impartiality of the law by devoting resources and energy to the various dockets as the system presented them is the more praiseworthy? Do personal connections count more than the ideal of the Rule of Law?

  125. Chevan says:

    Lighten up, people. I’ve seen this exact argument, switch around a noun or two, countless times in the worst parts of 4chan. I really thought this was a better behaved place. Believe me, it’s just going to end in headaches.

    Learning how to just dismiss a troll and move on is a very useful skill.

  126. Takuan says:

    best not to discuss hypothetical “rights” with police. They really aren’t interested. Just say the bare legal minimum (usually name,where you live) and wait for your lawyer. Assuming you have money. If you don’t, well, so long. Not much point in getting mad at them. Or respecting them. Honestly, the only sensible thing to do is order your life so you never come in contact with police. They prefer that too. Just remember: if you have to kill someone who is trying to kill you, the clearance rate for “stranger killings” is so low, you will probably get away with it if you just keep your mouth shut.

  127. Terry Karney says:

    I’ve said this more more than 20 years (ever since I was falsely arrested).

    I’ve sure as hell said it since I studied interrogation. If you’ve done nothing wrong, a lawyer is, some, insurance against the cops tripping you up and making you look bad. Not the least of it is the ways in which they are allowed to lie to you to get information.

    For a take on this, one might look at Mean Justice; which is about why you never want to be arrested in Bakersfield Calif. (I exaggerate but only a bit, as to what the book is about).

    For amusement’s sake, My dad sent me the link…. he’s a deputy sherriff., “Very good info in this sesson.”

  128. minTphresh says:

    nitey-nite oh vengeful and wicked Costello! some whiskey for my men, and beer for the horses…

  129. grolaw says:

    Regent is Pat Robertson’s law school – the place that Monica Goodling went to law school.

    Seems as though they are brushing up on their criminal procedure – possibly to help their graduates stay out of jail.

  130. racer x says:

    I think it was in “The Razor’s Edge” where I read “Do what you will with due regard for the policeman around the corner.” I’ve tried to keep that in mind and added my own, “Don’t break any more laws than you absolutely have to.” Myself, I prefer not to talk to the police. If I must, I’ll ask for a lawyer, not because I don’t trust them, I just don’t trust them.

  131. Takuan says:

    pity, all I can afford is the Jameson and Sleemans

  132. Thinkerer says:

    Quite a lucid dialog, even for Bush’s private lawyer reserve — the more interesting part was on interrogation tactics (and by an officer who was part of the third year law class).

  133. Cpt. Tim says:

    also, a belated response to the “you can’t be bigoted against something you choose” argument

    I would say a statement like “the priesthood exists to harbor child molesters” to be bigoted. But how could it be? A priest is in a position of power, and he chose it, so insinuating that his vocation only exists to rape children is a perfectly fine observation.

    But its not. Its a horrible bigoted thing to say. I’m a staunch atheist and I know several priests. One of them is a closeted homosexual, and probably won’t be a priest much longer because of personal struggles. Another is a friend I had growing up. No matter how prevalent a problem is in a certain group whether racial, occupational, political, whatever, I don’t think the blanket statements work.

    but I’m sure i’m guilty of them myself and i’d be glad to recant any one of them.

  134. Don says:

    This guy is from REGENT UNIVERSITY, which gave us many of the subversive elves that have dismantled the Dept of Justice for the last 7 years. This includes Monica Goodling.

    It’s actually MG who he mentions early in the talk when he refers to someone who plead the 5th in front of Congress.

    If you think that MG is a bad person then you should not make the same kinds of mistakes she has and tar people as unreliable or corrupt merely based on their associations with people you find objectionable.

  135. unklstuart says:

    I had to revisit this post after watching the latest Frontline piece, “The Confessions”.

  136. afo says:

    this advice sounds great, but what about your basic traffic stop situation? it simply isn’t practical to answer “do you know how fast you were going” with “I plead the fif!

    (#48: high fives to a fellow new ACLU member)

  137. The Lizardman says:

    @42 Way to pick that nit.

    Consider this my apology for thinking that readers would be able to contextually figure out that I meant something was wrong when an innocent person had to fear speaking with the police without a lawyer.

    I’ll just go lower my estimation of that bar now…

  138. Terry Karney says:

    CPT Tim: I am sorry your association with your sister is making you so sensitive. I know lots of cops, some of them good cops (my father, for one).

    And none of that matters one whit. One doesn’t plan for what an opponent will do, but what they can do. And a cop can (even a good one, who gets a false intuition) screw up your life for good.

    I say this because (while not exactly screwing it up) my not knowing better led to my being falsely arrested (“He did it,” is what the lady said, and it mattered not that I’d not been home at the time of the crime), and that changed how my life went; because the enlistment in the Coast Guard I was thinking of entering, wasn’t going to happen with a pending felony charge.

    So no, all cops are aren’t power mad fools, but if that’s the one you meet (and how can you know?) you’d better pray you don’t make any mistakes in dealing with them.

  139. consideredopinion says:

    This was fascinating! Thanks.

    It brings to mind just how impoverished all our civics education are…it’s not just about government and citizenship, but also juror skills. Let the specialists specialize, but the rest of us need to be effective in our roles in deciding guilt or innocence.

  140. RJ says:

    Egypt was the first empire to establish a formal police force. If paint could be found on the exterior of those ruins, some archeologist would be surprised to read, “fuck the police” scrawled in hieroglyphics.

  141. Electricdisk says:

    @ #15 – The skinny puppy lyrics you are referring to are a sample taken from “Charles Manson” tapes. Maybe it’s true, but their source might raise some eyebrows.

  142. noen says:

    Don’t break the law in the first place. Don’t be around people who do. Don’t be around any person, place of thing having anything to do with drinking or drugging. Don’t get into fights with anyone, walk away. Obey the laws and you’ll be fine.

    Unfortunately, the above only works well if you are white.

  143. Jupiter12 says:

    I disagree with the “stop the snitching” craze these days, there are definitely times when it’s good to offer information to the police. My conscience wouldn’t allow me to protect a rapist or a child molester.

    If I was ever wrongfully accused of a crime, however, I would definitely “lawyer-up” before talking.

  144. Clay says:

    The real problem here is brought up only a few minutes in (6:20). It isn’t the police. It’s the laws.

    When you can get busted, as the professor says, for carrying a lobster, there’s something wrong. Most criminal codes in the US need a vast pruning so that things that really are bad get punished, and things that are just stupid are let go as the merely stupid actions they are.

    Officer Bruch brushes by the problem too, with regards to speeding. Just like Prof. Duane, though, he doesn’t pause to actually recognize this problem.

    Here’s the solution, both explicitly for traffic codes, and as a model for other legislation: If everyone’s going 65 in a 55 zone, you need to do two things, in this order:

    1. Raise the limit to 65.
    2. Bust anyone who goes 66.

    Otherwise, everyone is fair game for detention, and that’s just not right.

  145. endotoxin says:

    Thank you, Cory.

    I’ve skipped the comments, as I’m not interested. I just want to say that I needed this information about 14 years ago. As it was 14 years ago that a cop at my High School suckered me into convicting myself regarding information gained from the Anarchist’s Cookbook. (An interesting time in my life.)

    Thank you for getting this information out there. Thank you for putting this post in such a highly visible place. Thank you for sponsoring a series of videos that help dispel the FUD behind criminal law. Thank you for supporting the decimation of wisdom on a basic American right.

    Thank you for having the moral fiber to stand up to an unthinking inhuman machine that thrives on pain.

    Thank you for this post.

  146. Tenn says:

    Thank you, Arkizzle.

    Large-bore-troll-gun? When was I issued one of those!? How delightful!

  147. randwolf says:

    One question that I’m surprised hasn’t been asked: why do we accept this as policy? This is not justice! I’ve been saying for some time now that the presumption of innocence is too often fictional in US jurisprudence, but it’s very discouraging to see it spelled out in such detail. (Though, it’s worth pointing out, we’re hearing it from some very persuasive people, in a state noted for intense law enforcement.) Why can’t we create a better justice system?

    …or can we?

  148. justONEguy says:

    A referendum to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana is already on the ballot this November in Massachusetts.

    Vote yes on 2, Mass!

  149. noen says:

    TNH
    I’m glad the “just be nice” strategy has worked for you, but it doesn’t constitute a statistically significant sample.

    Neither do self selected posts in a blog, nor media reports for that matter. On TV, if it bleeds it leads. Here the focus is more on issues boingboing is interested in but the confirmation bias remains the same. Things aren’t as bad as the media, including BB, would have us believe it is.

    minTphresh
    i don’t say ( nor do i believe the vast majority of bb’ers asy) that ALL cops are pieces of monkey poop. just most.

    That’s not what I’m hearing. You don’t actually know this anyway and are making an unjustified knowledge claim.

    The videos were by profs who taught the likes of Monica Goodling. A US Attorney whom we now know committed a felony. And in all likely hood conspired to commit that felony. There is a certain consciousness about this video that says “We are planning to subvert the rule of law for the Glory of God. Here’s how we plan to get away with it.” In that sense it’s like the “About how not to get busted” videos. Those videos show young kids how to not get busted committing felony possession of a controlled substance. Apparently the idea that you really ought not to do any of these things is lost on people these days. And BTW, get off my lawn. ;)

  150. Ugly Canuck says:

    Eh cops are better if they are not called upon to enforce bad laws…you know the ones I mean…yeah, those…

  151. Cpt. Tim says:

    “Don’t break the law in the first place. Don’t be around people who do. Don’t be around any person, place of thing having anything to do with drinking or drugging. Don’t get into fights with anyone, walk away. Obey the laws and you’ll be fine.”

    well that opens the whole area of the fact drinking is legal, so is taking pictures, which some police will hassle you for anyways.

    and then the whole other area that druggin SHOULD be legal, but thats up to us to get changed.

    My sister may very well be a bad cop in a by the book sort of way, considering she won’t bust anyone for pot unless they’re driving under the influence of it.

  152. FoetusNail says:

    This comment was posted a few days ago by Xopher in another thread, with only moderate editing it should be available as a wallet card.

    Not all police are fools, anywhere. Some are more foolish than others. But trust them? They are not to be trusted! Actually I don’t know about UK police, but in the US the only reasonable approach of any sensible person is to avoid all contact with the police (acting in their professional capacity) whenever possible. If forced to interact with them, be very careful what you say and do in their presence, and keep the interaction as brief as possible. To do otherwise is just foolish.

    Like every other profession, there are good cops and bad cops and they don’t where tags. If you are poor or black, have long hair, or skateboard, et cetera, the number of bad cops seems to increase. The inverse is true if you are middle-aged, white, and relatively prosperous. I recently visited a place where you can meet a lot of great cops riding in a large off-road pickup with a Rebel flag decal on your rear window. Now that I think about it I did not see any African-Americans living there. That’s odd. Anyway.

    The law is complicated in the extreme, and just like any other unfamiliar complicated thing, from the brakes on your car to your health, you will often need professional advice. A cop once told me, “I can find a reason to pull anyone over.”

    Ultimately, the problem is not bad cops it is the entire legal system. Cops don’t send people to prison the system sends people to prison. The system is both broken and overworked. The system does not protect citizens it processes people. Cops know this and so should we.

    The system tends to work better for those who understand the system or can afford to make the system work, understanding this is a critical part of understanding the system. Cops know this too.

    The best thing we can do as civilians is protect ourselves by avoiding the system.

    The best thing we can do as citizens is vote in every election and, when acting as a juror, vote your conscience; whether your vote fits the “evidence” or the judges instructions is irrelevent. That is a capital period btw.

    Jurors, despite popular and legal opinion, are free to vote their conscience. Jurors voting their conscience are the only safeguard in this system.

    http://www.fija.org/docs/true_or_false_new.pdf

  153. Preston Sturges says:

    Hello?

    This guy is from REGENT UNIVERSITY, which gave us many of the subversive elves that have dismantled the Dept of Justice for the last 7 years. This includes Monica Goodling.

    These are the people that have justified domestic spying, torture, kidnapping, on and on and on.

  154. Miracle Max says:

    This is my first post on this site, so I have some catching up to do regarding stream of dialog.

    I like what Mintphresh’s lawyer told him, “do whatever they tell you or they may shoot you, be polite, but say nothing. when the hubbub has subsided, ask: am i under arrest? if the answer is “no”, then ask: may i go then? if you aren’t under arrest then leave! if the answer is “yes”, ask for a lawyer then SHT TH FCK P! you have the right to remain silent, use it!”

    Stories abound regarding bad cops, bad politicians and bad police. We can all tell stories of good ones as well.

    Cpt Tim: unfortunately when good people don’t complete their desire to become a good cop, then who is left walking the streets? I’m involved in local city politics; not because it’s clean, but because it’s necessary. We’ve all heard the saying, “All that’s necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

    Taking back our streets, our city, our government requires individuals who’s ego’s are not so easily brusied. I tell people, “If you have a fragile ego, than don’t be around me. You’re likely to get your feelings hurt.” Standing up for what’s right is never easy, but it is still what’s right.

    If more people, cops included, saw the power and strength that flows from a virtuous life lived in balance and courage they would be so empowered to desire such a life that they wouldn’t need a badge to overcompensate for their fragile ego. The badge would instead become an instrument of good.

    The purpose of strength is to defend the weak, not to take advantage of them. So our purpose as citizens is to teach people one at a time how to take hold of their blood bought right to defend themselves against bad cops, politicians and priests.

    Shakespear said, “To be or not to be, that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or by opposing end them.”

    Thank you…

  155. RJ says:

    #69
    Thank you for supporting the decimation of wisdom on a basic American right.

    Now I imagine Cory with both palms pressed to his mouth, blowing fart noises while the Boing Boing audience hur-hurs appreciatively.

    (I’m just picking; I know you meant “dissemination”)

  156. Takuan says:

    what we need is a web-based police tariff sheet. Like the International Transparency Index for national political corruption. If there were clear postings of how much it took to buy a cop in any jurisdiction, people could know how to handle things. Obviously a very high bribery index would correspond with a good place to live. It could have a range from traffic ticket through to murder. Maybe we could expand it to judges. I know Mexico and India run on bribery at every level,why shouldn’t all people everywhere have the same confidence that they are really getting the best justice money can buy?

    • Antinous says:

      I leave for an hour and a half to teach a yoga class and come back to World War III. Do my nerves mean nothing to you people? Please take a pie break and come back with better manners. Or at least funnier insults.

  157. Another Aaron says:

    “My conscience wouldn’t allow me to protect a rapist or a child molester.”

    Don’t be so quick to judge…..”stop the snitching” is a pretty large threat in Baltimore. In some neighborhoods, you tell the cops what you saw, and two weeks later, your mother is gang raped, shot up with heroin, and dumped on your front doorstep. Your children, your friends, your neighbors….all become targets.

    I wouldn’t “let a child rapist go” either, but if I’m worried about my wife, my kids, my parents…well, who knows what I would do. I hope I never have to find out.

  158. Ugly Canuck says:

    #73: These people though are very well-versed, chapter-and-versed, on the Law as it is…they have made a deep study of the Law.
    Sadly, if what you imply is true, they study, only to destroy…
    That though does not mean that they are giving bad advice or are incorrect in their statements of the Law in this instance.

  159. Fee says:

    This isn’t good advice for the UK. We do not have the complexity of law that exists in the US with different states having different rules, and federal laws etc. As Antinous ( I think) has already pointed out, the caution in the UK has been changed to indicate that your defence may be harmed if you rely on an explanation in court that you do not mention to the police.

    And thirdly, it IS possible to give a reasonable explanation for something that looks bad, and escape arrest.

    Many lazy solicitors in th UK simply advise their clients to say nothing, but the fact is that the police are only allowed to caution (and not proceed with cases) for those offences where the person accused has given a good explanation. If you are in a situation where you could be cautioned for an offence if you make an explanation, then it is in your interest to explain, because otherwise you will find yourself in court and potentially in a lot more trouble.

    Example: someone got drunk and sent indecent pictures to a mobile number he was given by friends as the number of a hot girl. The phone he sent them to was in the possession of an adult, but normally was used by an 8 year old. The adult went to the police suspecting that the pictures were deliberately sent to the 8 year old.

    If the perpetrator had refused to talk to the police he would undoubtedly have had to go to court where he would indubitably have been convicted, might have be imprisoned, would certainly have joined the sex offenders’ register.

    As it was, he explained, and was cautioned.

    The presentation is slick… but if you’re in the UK, the advice could be very bad advice.
    Fee

  160. arkizzle says:

    Tak,
    Brad Majors eh? ..I’ll take it.

    Antinous!

    “For Godssakes, keep a grip on it, Janet. “

  161. Takuan says:

    game on in untitled you know

  162. Ugly Canuck says:

    #75: Where the State has dictatorial powers over the Subject the corruption of Public Officials can serve as a means to the freedom of the Subject…the bribes are paid after all to be free of state interference….to look the other way, especially for small-time infractions of the Tyrant’s Rules…the price you pay for freedom, in those places “uncorrupt” means the Dictator’s Unbribable Man….it is much worse for people in general if you can’t bribe the local constable not to enforce the strict letter of the Tyrant’s Decrees….if the Law is unjust a “corrupt” cop can be on the side of right…
    The Japanese IIRC have a saying: Fish do not thrive in clear water.
    I seem to recall that the French also had a saying: Death to Tyrants!
    And I think all the cops should have wooden legs….like they do on the Big rock candy Mountain…

  163. dugmartsch says:

    Seems to be a lot of comments about traffic cops.

    If you watch the videos they’re aimed specifically at felonies and misdemeanors. Not talking to a traffic cop when you get pulled over is a bad idea, the only way you’re getting out of it is if the cop likes you and gives you a pass.

    Probably the most interesting thing i found in the videos was the law professor’s comments about how many laws are on the books. No one really knows. There are 20,000 pages of federal law. Tax law is completely separate. If someone asks you a question about something serious, you will literally have no idea if you’ve not broken a law/regulation before you talk to a lawyer.

    The 5th amendment exists specifically to protect the innocent. It’s a brilliant defense of our society against the encroachment of time inertia, and shows a prescient understanding of human behavior. We should be amazingly proud of the people who created it and thankful that it exists. No one said you have to be a jerk while you do it, though.

  164. Cliff G. says:

    Sorry about coming in so late in the game. Just a few added thoughts….

    1. In the second video when he’s describing his job, notice how Officer Bruch actually neglects to mention guilt or innocence. Just that the goal is the conviction.

    2. And why is it that no one ever suggests we adopt a Zero Tolerance Policy for cops?

    3. Now that most police forces around North America have tasers as standard issue I think the last few years have shown us all how much we absolutely cannot trust individual cops.

    Traffic cop: “Hey Grandma, turn around. Nope? Okay”. “ZZZZZAAAAAPPPPP!”

    “Hey you, put down that phone. Nope? BZZZZZZZZ”. Oops, sorry if you died. Not our fault.

    Following the inquiry into the death of that poor Polish immigrant at the Vancouver airport? 3 or 4 RCMP officers zapped the poor bastard about 5 times. Then lied about it and the circumstances leading up to it.

    Thank GOD someone with a video camera captured the whole deal. Otherwise, well, it would have just been the word of 3 or 4 highly respected members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police against some stupid citizens that obviously couldn’t see nothing.

    4. Up here when a citizen is injured or killer or an officer fires his gun etc. an agency called the “Special Investigations Unit” (SIU) is brought in. They’re made up of (guess who) mostly cops. Guess how often they clear other cops of any wrong-doing? Hmmmm.

    Anyway, they interview all concerned including the cops involved. EVERY time I read stories where they’re brought in, the police invariably exercise THEIR right NOT to speak with the investigating officer. Hmmmm.

    Cliff
    Toronto
    “It ain’t the years sweetheart. It’s the mileage.” – Indiana Jones

  165. Anonymous says:

    This is Awesome! I also found this, it’s how to properly deal with them http://howtohacklife101.blogspot.com/2011/01/f-police.html

  166. Takuan says:

    PIE FIGHT!!

  167. Tom Neff says:

    Lizardman said: “Way to pick that nit… Consider this my apology for thinking that readers would be able to contextually figure out that I meant something was wrong when an innocent person had to fear speaking with the police without a lawyer.”

    Apology accepted. After 45 minutes of video dedicated to the proposition that you should not talk to the police without your attorney present, followed by a comment that “something is horribly wrong” if we cannot talk to the police, it is not nitpicking to remind readers that once the attorney shows up, you can indeed talk to the police, be helpful, be a good citizen etc etc, within the guidelines your attorney sets.

    If you paid attention to the speakers at all, you know that the definition of “innocent person” can be very tricky when you are in the physical or social vicinity of a crime scene. You do not know every law that could conceivably be brought to bear, therefore you do not know whether you are “innocent” of every possible charge.

    I might personally feel that there is something “horribly wrong” with a system that fails to recognize my cherubic innocence and my wish to shoot my mouth off with zero consequences, plus of course the fact that the SOB over there on the *next* bench is a lying crook. We may all feel that way a little bit. We’re wrong, that’s all.

    By the way, I didn’t hear either of the speakers tell us to “fear” speaking to the police. They simply said not to do it… without an attorney present.

  168. Takuan says:

    oooh! TIME WARP!

  169. randwolf says:

    Fee, #120: “In heaven, the police are British…”

  170. Ugly Canuck says:

    #53: That looks like a “don’t try to spring an alibi in Court that you could tell us about right now” kind of thing, eh wot? Not so much the “talk or yer silence shall be used against you” thing I had mistakenly thought…nice to see the Brits still have the right to keep their cake-holes shut while being pinched by the coppers, eh?…
    As to impairing the right to silence as little as possible while preventing surprise alibis getting sprung at Trial, well, there ain’t half-been some clever bastards, eh?

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