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March 31, 2010 1:10 PM   Subscribe

Ten Rules for Dealing with Police.
posted by chinston (56 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: police now oficially on the list of "things MeFi doesn't do so well at so maybe you want to take special care when making posts about them" category. Sorry for the late notice. -- jessamyn



 
A vaguely menacingly titled single-link to a Web page for a libertarian think tank whose content mostly consists of an 80-minute discussion of the film (at least, that's what it seemed to be; I only watched five minutes of it? You couldn't even link to the film's accidentally hilarious trailer? Or the Washington Post story, that actually has all 10 rules? (my favorite: 6. Don't do anything illegal; that's number six?)
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:19 PM on March 31, 2010 [5 favorites]


I really wish you could've fleshed this out more. I don't have time to watch an 82 minute video. A single link to Cato? Really? Sorry to diss, I find the subject fascinating, but this could've been better.
posted by msali at 1:19 PM on March 31, 2010


The MeFi Rules for Dealing with Police:

Remember: The police are extremely dangerous and if you see a police officer you should either remain perfectly still or drop to the ground immediately, or face a beating that will be your own fault. Fail to guess correctly if you should remain perfectly still or drop to the ground immediately will also lead to a beating that will be your own fault. Lets face it, you're going to get a beating and it's your fault for going outside. Or staying inside, should that happen to be the case, you police provoking asshole.

Most of all you should just count yourself lucky they don't shoot you, because really they have every right, and you should be thanking them profusely that they didn't.

posted by Artw at 1:21 PM on March 31, 2010 [10 favorites]


String should have showed this to his soldiers yo.
posted by turgid dahlia at 1:21 PM on March 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


10. You don't have to let them in.

This is the one that everyone in my campus paper's Police Beat seems to screw up on. They always let the cops into their dorm room and always voluntarily surrender their bowl and weed.

The people who don't fess up and let the cops in? They never end up in the paper.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:22 PM on March 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Artw, it works for bears, why wouldn't it work for cops?
posted by qvantamon at 1:24 PM on March 31, 2010


1. Always be calm and cool.
2. You have the right to remain silent.
3. You have the right to refuse searches.
4. Don't get tricked into waiving your rights.
5. Determine if you're free to go.
6. Don't do anything illegal.
7. Don't run.
8. Never touch a cop.
9. Report misconduct: Be a good witness.
10. You don't have to let them in.
1(a). Don't be a dick.

I mean, seriously. They have guns. And can make your life miserable even if you're in the right.
posted by Nothing... and like it at 1:25 PM on March 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


According to my dad: If the cops are clubbing you, make it sound like they're hurting you way more than they are because they'll feel satisfied with themselves and stop sooner.

What you DON'T do is go "What kinda sissy cop are you, anyway? Is that the best you can do? Who gave this boy scout a badge?".
posted by dunkadunc at 1:25 PM on March 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


Didn't Chris Rock do this years ago and in under four minutes?
posted by valkyryn at 1:26 PM on March 31, 2010 [6 favorites]


Chris Rock did it way better, too.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:28 PM on March 31, 2010


A study of the NYPD revealed that, when dealing with police during a stop, it's better to be known as a violent cop assaulter than it is to be even the slightest bit rude. Seriously. As much as it sucks, keep your mouth shut unless you want to get beaten, tased, or murdered. Of course, sometimes they will shoot you no matter what you do, so the best advice is to keep your driving to a minimum and for the love of god don't be black or hispanic
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:28 PM on March 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


A vaguely menacingly titled single-link to a Web page for a libertarian think tank whose content mostly consists of an 80-minute discussion of the film (at least, that's what it seemed to be; I only watched five minutes of it?
Uh, the video includes the entire film, starting at 5:32. The presenter says "Okay, we're going to show the film now" at 4:95"
posted by delmoi at 1:29 PM on March 31, 2010


11. Assume the 'Party Escort Submission Position'.
posted by The Whelk at 1:29 PM on March 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


1(a). Don't be a dick.

Unfortunately, doing anything that is within your rights (like exercising your right to refuse a search) is often taken as "being a dick" by some cops.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:29 PM on March 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


According to my dad: If the cops are clubbing you, make it sound like they're hurting you way more than they are because they'll feel satisfied with themselves and stop sooner.

Well, these days they'll just tase you.
posted by delmoi at 1:31 PM on March 31, 2010


This one's a lot better
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08fZQWjDVKE
posted by hamida2242 at 1:32 PM on March 31, 2010


Uh, the video includes the entire film, starting at 5:32. The presenter says "Okay, we're going to show the film now" at 4:95"

That would have been useful to explain in the FPP.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:32 PM on March 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I hate cops.
posted by PuppyCat at 1:34 PM on March 31, 2010


Neat. I work in the same building as Billy Murphy. He once gave me a lengthy critique on the type of soup I was ordering from the place downstairs, and how the soup he was about to order was vastly superior. Apparently he's not a fan of the chicken noodle from Au Bon Pain.
posted by electroboy at 1:35 PM on March 31, 2010


They left off saying "I'm not resisting arrest!" to all within earshot and recording devices when they beat you down. It's not that I hate cops. I just feel a lot better when they're not around.
posted by birdherder at 1:36 PM on March 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's basically that your cops suck and are encouraged to suck.
posted by Artw at 1:38 PM on March 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


My individual liberty gives me the right to provide this post with a hearty "meh."
posted by Madamina at 1:39 PM on March 31, 2010


Don't Talk to Cops
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 1:39 PM on March 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


1. Always be calm and cool. - Even if they are raging assholes for no reason at all.
2. You have the right to remain silent. - Because they will try to draw an admittance of guilt out of you.
3. You have the right to refuse searches. - Polightly do not give consent to searches.
4. Don't get tricked into waiving your rights. - See #2
5. Determine if you're free to go. - At some point make sure to ask "Am I free to go?"
6. Don't do anything illegal. - And if you do, don't admit to it because you will go to jail. (See #2)
7. Don't run. - See #1
8. Never touch a cop. - See #1
9. Report misconduct: Be a good witness. - Except it's always better to keep your damn trap shut until you have a lawyer because you'll be a witness against yourself.
10. You don't have to let them in. See #3

posted by P.o.B. at 1:39 PM on March 31, 2010


polightly???
posted by P.o.B. at 1:40 PM on March 31, 2010


Don't you tell me how to deal with cops meow.
posted by special-k at 1:40 PM on March 31, 2010 [7 favorites]


A cop once told me you don't have any rights until a judge gives them to you. Beaten by a cop? Was it deserved? We'll let the judge decide. Were you excercising your rights or were you an uncooperative material witness? We'll let the judge decide. Since there is rarely any backlash on the cop, who was just doing his job, there is no incentive for (most) of them to give a shit.
posted by Gungho at 1:41 PM on March 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


What did you just say meow?
posted by P.o.B. at 1:42 PM on March 31, 2010


*always* bring the trolley back
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wCXb77VOSo
posted by Damienmce at 1:42 PM on March 31, 2010


So I don't see anything on the list about not killing one of them and then attacking his funeral with machine guns and claymore mines. I'm assuming that nothing has changed in the last few days and that's still frowned upon, right?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 1:44 PM on March 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


And in related news: G20 police officer cleared of assault
posted by knapah at 1:44 PM on March 31, 2010


2. You have the right to remain silent.

4. Don't get tricked into waiving your rights.

9. Report misconduct: Be a good witness.


Aaahhh-HHHaaaaahhh!!!!

Did you follow rule number 9? If so, you fail, because you forgot rules 2 and 4! Iiiidiiioooott!!
posted by The World Famous at 1:45 PM on March 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Beaten by a cop? Was it deserved? We'll let the judge decide.

In Michigan the judge doesn't even get to decide: if the police beat you and you don't fall to the ground quick enough it's an actual crime you can be beaten for, and then because you were being a criminal you had no right not to be beaten. It's awesome.
posted by Artw at 1:45 PM on March 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


G20 police officer cleared of assault

Oh man, that's some seriously angry making news.

Note that it happened at protest marking the death of Ian Tomlinson, who the police flat out murdered.
posted by Artw at 1:48 PM on March 31, 2010


i think the rules are wise and I appreciate whomsover posted teh other four after the first six
posted by infini at 1:50 PM on March 31, 2010


Seriously, a good one to remember is: Never offer up any of your illegal items ( drugs, whatever) if you have any. They may tell you it'll make it easier on you if you volunteer the contraband but it's a trick so they can charge you with showing it in public. Just deny everything or remain silent. There was article about this in the Village Voice couple years ago.
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:53 PM on March 31, 2010


Thanks for the post chinston. For those on the fence about watching, it's a 35 minute film with a five minute introduction and 35 minutes of question and answer following it.
posted by acro at 1:54 PM on March 31, 2010


12. Always blow on the pie. Safer communities together.
posted by qvantamon at 1:57 PM on March 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


11. Keep your hands visible.

It's one of those things that most people don't really think about, but it really puts cops at ease if you endeavor to make sure they can see you aren't armed, or reaching for a weapon.
posted by quin at 1:57 PM on March 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, and:

12. At no time during your interaction with a law enforcement agent, should you use the phrase "Dead man's switch".
posted by quin at 2:01 PM on March 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's an utter shame that libertarians can't deemphasize the dumbest parts of their ideology since they do at least manage to display some worthwhile common sense when it comes to issues of police vs. citizens and civil liberties in general. But the same can can easily be said for what passes for liberals and conservatives in the U.S. Everyone is blinded by the party line in one way or another - the cult of personality prevails and we suffer for it.

There is no reason for us to fear the police so long as they're concerned with doing their jobs with good will, but that has not been the case in a very long while. Someone needs to clean up the mess left when there is a horrible accident or something like that. Why though, is there this assumption on their part that we, the common citizen, are such a threat to them? Are these police officers members of our communities or not?

Fuck it. I hate the bastards, to be honest about it, and as antisocial as I am, I know many others who feel just the same. And those others are not necessarily Teabagger types or anything; they're simply tired of feeling like they're living under an occupying army of over-armed cops whose function seems to increasingly be to serve as armed guards to protect an elite that gives not a damn about any of us.

The escalation continues unabated, the police have bigger and better ways to take us out one at a time, starting, always, with the marginalized. Liberals these days seem to be utterly fucking clueless, the so-called conservatives more so. Damn it it ever tiresome to try and wade through all the bullshit and come to some understanding of just how very screwed we are!

And we are absolutely lousy with ratfinks and stoolpigeons in this country. What is the appropriate way to deal with them?

I don't know.
posted by metagnathous at 2:08 PM on March 31, 2010


Here's one thing that I think few people realize: if you're in custody (handcuffs or something else prevents you from going on your merry way) and you say "I'm not talking without a lawyer," questioning has to stop. Not for a while, not while the cops get coffee, but until you get a lawyer. If you are in custody, saying this phrase is a very good idea.

That said, wishy-washy responses aren't going to cut it.
"Do you guys think I should have a lawyer?"
"Maybe I should get a lawyer?"
"You know who I like? Lawyers."

Those don't cut it. Be clear about it, and questioning stops.
posted by craven_morhead at 2:08 PM on March 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, these days they'll just tase you.

Or they'll shoot you point blank in the back, while you're cuffed and restrained, and then say that they meant to tase you.

posted by anoirmarie at 2:10 PM on March 31, 2010 [6 favorites]


I can't remember where I read it (here? some novel? who knows) but someone said that he was fond of using the phrase "I can't help you with that, officer"

I like it because it's polite, makes no admission/denial of anything, and it conveys the idea that you're going to be cooperative but not helpful. I find it a useful phrase (with modification, of course) in my personal life when someone is asking a question I'm not really keen on answering. Thankfully, I have no idea if it's as helpful when dealing with actual police.
posted by stefanie at 2:14 PM on March 31, 2010 [5 favorites]


11. Keep your hands visible.

I dunno, I can see how trying to do this could lead to "too much moving", and then beating and an arrest for being beaten, and it will of course all be your fault.
posted by Artw at 2:16 PM on March 31, 2010


Avoid use of the phrase 'Fuck you, flatfoot! You'll never take me alive!"
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:21 PM on March 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


"I'm well armed and I know where you live!"
posted by Artw at 2:26 PM on March 31, 2010


If you're pregnant, be sure to sign anything they tell you to sign, or you might get tased for two.
posted by yeloson at 2:28 PM on March 31, 2010


From the Sarah Silverman show:

Cop: Do you know why I'm pulling you over?

Sarah: Because you got all C's in school?
posted by longsleeves at 2:28 PM on March 31, 2010 [11 favorites]


How Not to Get Your Ass Kicked by the Police.
posted by zardoz at 2:29 PM on March 31, 2010


I should have said that the movie followed after a short intro, but on advice of counsel I remained silent.
posted by chinston at 2:31 PM on March 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cop: Do you know why I'm pulling you over?

Never, ever say "yes".
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:34 PM on March 31, 2010


Kinda sad that this shit has reached the level of a reflexive joke: ha ha! the police beat people and shock them like lab rats! ha ha ha!

I mean, I know why we react like this -- look at all the jokes from the Soviet Union -- but it's still damned disappointing. As is the "tl;dr" reaction to this sort of education, as if an eighty-minute video on how not to get your ass beat into the gutter is less important than watching Avatar again. My country, tis of thee...
posted by vorfeed at 2:40 PM on March 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


> Don't Talk to Cops

That's a great link. I didn't have a half hour to spend watching it, but I did anyway, because the guy is irresistible. I hope he doesn't come to my house to sell me an encyclopedia, because I'll buy it. And boy, I am never talking to the cops!
posted by languagehat at 2:40 PM on March 31, 2010


Cops not facing any penalties for their bad actions is the worst problem. We were having a small, fairly quiet party in the front yard, the cops mistook us for the party they'd actually been called to (which we could hear, two blocks away) and ended up arresting five people, one of them for calling 911 and complaining about how the cops were acting.

The case was dismissed, but there was no penalty for the arresting officers. At least none of us got beaten or shot.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 2:43 PM on March 31, 2010


It's an utter shame that libertarians can't de-emphasize the dumbest parts of their ideology since they do at least manage to display some worthwhile common sense when it comes to issues of police vs. citizens and civil liberties in general.

It makes sense if you only see civil power structures. And I think that's what's happened with a lot of libertarians: they have a blind spot when it comes to the abuse of private and in particular economic power. It's not hard to imagine why, either. Civil power is a lot easier to spot: you can see how much money the state is collecting from you in taxes on your returns, you have a target for your frustration when officers direct their authority towards you. Meanwhile, the taxes extracted by private rentiers are hidden to the casual observer... as are the yields from civic/state projects from the inattentive.
posted by weston at 2:56 PM on March 31, 2010 [5 favorites]


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