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View Full Version : School me on LEO encounters


OriginalDuplicate
06-01-2012, 12:49 PM
I see all kinds of threads on here with tons of people stating to NEVER speak to police, NEVER consent to a search, ALWAYS demand to speak with an attorney.

I was raised to obey the laws and tell the truth, especially to the police. I have done that with every police encounter my whole life. (All standard traffic stops, some I got a ticket, some I didn't) I have always been polite, followed orders, made the situation as safe for the officer as possible and in the end have never had any problems.

Am I just lucky? Am I putting myself at risk by making the officers job as painless as possible? I don't break the law, I transport firearms in the legal manner (when I have firearms in the car). I don't have or transport anything illegal in my car. They can search the car, they aren't going to find anything.

I feel like denying search and immediately jumping to demanding an attorney and not giving up any information when asked is going to put the cop on edge, they will immediately think you are hiding something. I feel like it is easier to just comply, let them discover nothing illegal and move on.

I have seen the youtube clips of the law professor guy stating why to never talk to police and the cop explaining the different tactics used when interviewing people. It seems to me the reason people end up in that situation was because they were doing something questionable or were with some questionable people.

I just try and keep my nose clean and stay away from questionable people and situations. Is the only reason to NEVER consent to search to protect yourself from "bad cops" Am I just being naive?

Firemark
06-01-2012, 1:08 PM
Like many things in life, most of the time most people are fair and treat others respectfully. But there are always a small group of people who in all walks of life that act contrary to this. We may encounter them at the store, or at school, or a coffee shop, at work. The reasons for there behavior can be just as multifaceted, fatigue, fear, anger, resentment, disgust, bias. I have no doubt that you and most people have had encounters with LE that are no big deal, they follow the rules, you follow the rules and no big issues occur.

But when dealing with firearms, a sort of perfect storm of bad things can very quickly happen. Put very simply, when a citizen encounters a LEO that does not agree with 2A rights or a balance of deadly force between citizen and officer is usually when problems result.

There are and always will be evil and monsters in the world, thats why we should all have the right to bear arms for our own self defense. To believe that monsters and evil doesnt wear a uniform is naive. Although it may seem easier to comply, you are sacrificing freedom and your rights for a feeling of safety. Luckily, for now, in this country we still have a choice to exercise our rights.

calif 15-22
06-01-2012, 1:13 PM
Ok I'll bite . . .

Choice 1 - Do it your way. Be upfront
Choice 2 - Exercise your rights as you see fit.

Either one has risks. Both are acceptable. You get to choose what works for you.

Good luck . . .

paul0660
06-01-2012, 1:16 PM
The reason to not consent to a search are the 4th and 5th amendments to our Constitution, which the officer has sworn to uphold.

I also do not think that anyone should be 100% certain that their car does not contain something illegal, unless they had it detailed on day one, never carried a passenger, and never left it unlocked.

And then there are the detailers.

nocomply25
06-01-2012, 1:19 PM
dude i have been pulled over a million times and the best thing to do is never say GUN or RANGE or GUNRANGE...just pretend its a stop and the guns are at home and not in your car. It has worked for me all the times i was pulled over, because if he happens to stumble across intent and search my car, I will not have done anything illegal by not disclosing the fact i had a gun. Treat it like a normal stop...if they ask where you are headed just say out for a driver or 7/11. If you look closely they are not paying attention anyway and are trying to move on and write your ticket. If you say gun or range...then you get there attention. The cop wont even go there just as long as you do not open the door for it.

Kukuforguns
06-01-2012, 1:20 PM
You seem to assume that there is an inconsistency in believing that (1) the majority of police are good people trying to their job, and (2) you should limit the information you give to police. I do not see any such inconsistency.

I do believe that the majority of police are good people. I bring cookies and other treats to the police/fire station in my town and sometimes bring my cub scout den. I live in a small town and the police are very responsive.

Nevertheless, I believe that during police encounters, the detained person should limit information given to the police. Why do you think police ask you, "Do you know why I pulled you over?" Once you say, "I was speeding," you've now admitted to a crime/infraction. In essence, you plead guilty.

Given this admission, the burden on the police of proving violation is greatly lessened. Moreover, the police may have detained you for an entirely different reason. If the police want, they can issue you a ticket and you then have the choice of whether to pay the ticket or contest it.

What do you gain by giving information to the police? I can't think of anything.

By refusing to give the police information, you are not suggesting that the police are corrupt. You are simply protecting yourself.

Furthermore, police are trained to ask you to consent where the police lack the authority to search/seize. Would you ask a police officer if he is carrying contraband in his vehicle? No, it would be rude. However, that is exactly what police officers are doing when they ask if they can search you/your vehicle/etc. They're not doing anything bad. They're being nosy. That is not bad. You can say no. That is not bad. It's not rude.

Jason P
06-01-2012, 1:22 PM
I never lie either, I say "I don't have anything illegal in my vehicle sir." After that, I have found that a nice, courteous & friendly (I'm Southern, NC, too so that helps)...

"Officer, I preciate you've got a job to do. However, I wouldn't be doing my job a an upstanding free citizen to allow a search without a warrant. I'm sure you understand."

...usually does the trick. Just because you are choosing to exercise your right to due process, doesn't mean you have to be a douche. Most cops are cool with that. Occassionally I've gotten...

"You know I can hold you and tow your vehicle if you don't let me search it right. You do know that?"

...which is when I reply with something slightly more harsh like...

"That's actually not true, and is a violation of my rights. Now I'll be glad to call my attorney and respond accordingly, but I'd rather you go catch an actual criminal and me be on my way. Am I free to go or am I now officially being detained?"

Anything more from him will result in me asking for his supervisor, firing up my cellphone camcorder and getting ready to call CGF or an attorney.

vantec08
06-01-2012, 1:48 PM
The problem, Original, is that more and more, LE is being trained to enforce laws of questionable constitutionality. Many laws are made with little or no consideration of COTUS - witness obammycare. LE has been turned into a tool of political will, and the baseline for many LEOs has become authority first, anything else 2nd thru 90th. Including the 4th and 5th amendments. I am civil to all LEOs - friendly to none. Its the way they want it.

stix213
06-01-2012, 2:12 PM
No matter how much you think you know about the law, you won't have all laws and all case law related to all laws memorized. You may fully believe you are not breaking any laws, but there are so many with so many technicalities that make little sense that you may unknowingly be in violation, plus stupid mistakes can happen.

That said, when an officer is searching your vehicle they are specifically trying to find an excuse to arrest you and wreck your life. Why assist them in their efforts to ruin you?

For example, say you have a tail light out that you didn't notice while transporting your 1911 back from a new range you hadn't been to before. An officer goes to pull you over, and you are in an unfamiliar neighborhood. The sides of the streets are packed with cars, so you pull into the first parking lot you see, get out your license and other car paperwork and try to be on your best behavior. Standard stuff here.

So the officer notices something gun related, and starts asking you if you have a gun in the car and if he can search it. "Sure" you say, since you have nothing to hide, right? Well after the search is complete, everything you think has gone well, maybe even the officer seems like a nice guy.... then he tells you to get out of the car and cuffs you. When you ask why, you're informed that you're in the parking lot of a post office, federal property, where it is illegal to be in possession of a firearm by federal law, and being unloaded and in a locked container doesn't mean a thing in that parking lot. They are holding you until federal authorities arrive to pick you up. You may even see your face on the local news about the man illegally in possession of a gun arrested at the post office without much other detail. Oops, if only you said no to a search....

calif 15-22
06-01-2012, 2:23 PM
...which is when I reply with something slightly more harsh like...

"Now I'll be glad to call my attorney and respond accordingly, but I'd rather you go catch an actual criminal and me be on my way. Am I free to go or am I now officially being detained?"

Anything more from him will result in me asking for his supervisor, firing up my cellphone camcorder and getting ready to call CGF or an attorney.


Dude no disrespect intended . . . but I gotta say you never said this to a cop in real life. You most certainly can and are free to do so, but I can't believe a cop is going to allow you to get your camcorder and call CGF or your attorney on the side of road. He's gonna cuff you and you will get to call after you are booked.

I'm just saying . . .

Jason P
06-01-2012, 3:08 PM
Dude no disrespect intended . . . but I gotta say you never said this to a cop in real life. You most certainly can and are free to do so, but I can't believe a cop is going to allow you to get your camcorder and call CGF or your attorney on the side of road. He's gonna cuff you and you will get to call after you are booked.

I'm just saying . . .

No disrespect taken. If you knew me then you'd know me. This I have said, and I will again if I need to. Once was back in NC and I did get cuffed, and had never heard of Calguns. But I did get the charges dropped and myself released at my first appearance after 2 days in jail.

Out here (Cali) I've had nothing but good luck, but I'm a relatively clean cut white guy with a country accent who listens to country music, Patriot 125 and I get along with cops really well. Letting them know that I won't consent to a search without a warrant out of civic resposibility has worked for me twice so far without another word spoken.

What might work for me, unfair as it is, will probably not work for a minority. I am white. And I have a way about me. I've been in sales a long time. I get along with most people very easily, so I'm lucky I guess, although I would say years of cold calling door to door isn't lucky, it's people skills 101-10whatever.

I have turned on my cell phone camcorder once for a DUI checkpoint. An officer asked me about it, I told him I was recording the encounter when asked, he sent me on my way. As far as calling goes, if I ever have to, I'll call on the side of the road or from the station, but I WILL call.

mdimeo
06-01-2012, 3:20 PM
I don't have or transport anything illegal in my car. They can search the car, they aren't going to find anything.

... that you know of.

You know the safety rule #1 that I like to formulate "treat every firearm with the respect due a loaded weapon"? That applies during police encounters, too. There might, accidentally, be one on the chamber. If you tell the policeman you've got guns, he's going to e-check them, and then you're going to jail because of your honesty.

Keep your mouth shut. Don't answer any questions that don't pertain to the traffic stop. If you can work it, don't answer *them*, either.

paul0660
06-01-2012, 3:20 PM
parking lot of a post office, federal property, where it is illegal to be in possession of a firearm by federal law,

Nice what if, but guns otherwise legal are not illegal on Federal property, only in posted Federal buildings, and the post office parking lot would have to be posted too. You actually do not have to be clairvoyant, with the exception of school zones.

calif 15-22
06-01-2012, 3:22 PM
No disrespect taken. If you knew me then you'd know me. This I have said, and I will again if I need to. Once was back in NC and I did get cuffed, and had never heard of Calguns. But I did get the charges dropped and myself released at my first appearance after 2 days in jail.

Out here (Cali) I've had nothing but good luck, but I'm a relatively clean cut white guy with a country accent who listens to country music, Patriot 125 and I get along with cops really well. Letting them know that I won't consent to a search without a warrant out of civic resposibility has worked for me twice so far without another word spoken.

What might work for me, unfair as it is, will probably not work for a minority. I am white. And I have a way about me. I've been in sales a long time. I get along with most people very easily, so I'm lucky I guess, although I would say years of cold calling door to door isn't lucky, it's people skills 101-10whatever.

I have turned on my cell phone camcorder once for a DUI checkpoint. An officer asked me about it, I told him I was recording the encounter when asked, he sent me on my way. As far as calling goes, if I ever have to, I'll call on the side of the road or from the station, but I WILL call.


Well I stand corrected. I give you more credit than me. To stand your ground and spend 2 days in jail must have sucked but good to hear the charges were dropped. And I agree with you on the "white guy with the NC accent" is probably less intimidating to LE then say a minority with tatts and the like (not that there is anything wrong with that) but those of color probably get hassled more than you do.

I'm an old fart at 50. Clean cut white guy with 3 kids and I just can't imagine myself saying that to a cop. I'd most likely be to nervous to say it with authority enough to convince myself let alone LEO so congrats to you.

I have in fact been yanked and cuffed and spent a weekend with new friends in orange on a non-gun related matter that was dropped (I was the wrong guy). So I'm a bit jadded on the "Hold your ground" thing.

Again no disrespect intended . . .

Jason P
06-01-2012, 3:33 PM
Well I stand corrected. I give you more credit than me. To stand your ground and spend 2 days in jail must have sucked but good to hear the charges were dropped. And I agree with you on the "white guy with the NC accent" is probably less intimidating to LE then say a minority with tatts and the like (not that there is anything wrong with that) but those of color probably get hassled more than you do.

I'm an old fart at 50. Clean cut white guy with 3 kids and I just can't imagine myself saying that to a cop. I'd most likely be to nervous to say it with authority enough to convince myself let alone LEO so congrats to you.

I have in fact been yanked and cuffed and spent a weekend with new friends in orange on a non-gun related matter that was dropped (I was the wrong guy). So I'm a bit jadded on the "Hold your ground" thing.

Again no disrespect intended . . .

LOL, no worries. The reality is that you can pretend to be holding your ground and back off at any time, but at least bluff as far into the game as you can. WHat if the cop leaves that stop and tells his young partner/trainee/padawan leaner that you were right and you have rights.

Imagine if all cops had to learn one way or the other that we have rights? Eventually they'd all be informed. They'd still have qualified immunity from knowing all the laws, but I like to believe that at least 15% of cops have enough integrity to follow the law once they know it.

BTW, I have been arrested more than a few times when I absolutely deserved it. I'm extremely fortunate to still be able to vote and own a firearm. The one in NC was but one of several, and I have always been a "Rage Against the Machine" kind of guy, just so happened I was right that particular time.

Now later in life as a guy who got sober and has made it a point to educate myself and be a part of the solution in every way possible, I'm right more often than not. I do however feel that I am always right politely refusing to tell officers anything more than "thank you" and "no sir" in my own way.

carabou70
06-01-2012, 3:39 PM
Check out this link for good general info regarding Police Encounters.

BUSTED: The Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqMjMPlXzdA)

Kavey
06-01-2012, 3:56 PM
"Officer, I preciate you've got a job to do. However, I wouldn't be doing my job a an upstanding free citizen to allow a search without a warrant. I'm sure you understand."

Well, stated Jason P.

A long time ago when I announced, "I have no problems with letting an officer search may car, after all, I never have anything to hide." A late retired undersheriff friend of mind responded by leaning across the coffee shop table to say, "You don't know what you have to hide until he finds it." He settled the whole issue for me with that one crystal clear statement.

Meety Peety
06-01-2012, 4:02 PM
There's a time and place for each reaction. The situation you happen to be in greatly impacts the choices you make and how you react. I've only been pulled over for a traffic stop twice, both were fix-it tickets. I was nothing but polite and everything went smoothly. I did however fall into a booby trap of sorts one time while coming home from dinner in my fiance's car (Her driving) and I responded pretty heavily to both officers that were involved. I'd say it turned out pretty well, we were on our way in a matter of minutes. Basically what happened was "someone" put a large computer screen dead center of an alley (A really high traffic alley mind you) and conveniently two police officers sat and watched it. There was absolutely no getting around this thing, so when we pulled up to it, I got out and walked towards it to move it to the side so we could pass. Before I even closed the door behind me, lights lit up and two officers told me to get back in the car. They were immediately aggressive from the start and as a result, I was more than what most people would consider "Rude" when they immediately started asking us if we had been smoking and or drinking. They never asked for a license or registration, and almost immediately asked if they could search the car. I finally got one of them to tell me that we were stopped for "Suspicious activity" and that they "thought we were trying to steal the computer monitor" that "Someone" had placed in the middle of the street. So I laughed, told him that I was simply trying to move it out of the street and asked if we were free to go. The officer in my window seemed pretty pissed, but he agreed and we went on our way. Glad I had been in the car though, because my girlfriend (Now fiance) pretty much froze up and didn't know what to do, didn't know what to say.. and likely would have ended up sitting on the side of the alley for an hour plus while these fishermen desperately tried to find something against her.

One thing to keep in mind is that you should never meet a friendly face with an attitude. You can usually tell right off the bat if the officer (Or anyone for that matter) wants to be a *****, and you should always be as respectful as possible until they give you a reason not to. Also, don't forget that while it may be against your morals, it is not illegal to lie to police. If you are coming from the range and have guns in the trunk, you don't have to tell them that. If you do, rest assured you'll be sitting through an e-check at the minimum, and doing so could potentially set you up for disaster. It's just not necessary.

Now, something that I almost never see posted about directly is detainment. This is an area that I'm not too comfortable with and don't know much about. What happens when you aren't under arrest, but aren't free to go? How long can you be stuck into this situation? What always comes to my mind when I think about these situations: "You're not under arrest for now, but let's wait for my Sergeant to arrive..." Who wants to fill me in on this?