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10 Rules for Dealing with Police
April 21, 2010 7:00 PM   Subscribe

1. Always be calm and cool. 2. You have the right to remain silent. 3. You have the right to refuse searches... 10 Rules for Dealing with Police.

Movie Trailer. YouTube

BUSTED: The Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters 45 minute YouTube

How To Act If You're Stopped By the Police Comical HowCast YouTube
posted by alms (119 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
Previously (deleted, but still...)
posted by Nothing... and like it at 7:11 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Related post from 2008: Don't talk to the police.
posted by hot soup girl at 7:11 PM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Very similar to the ACLU's know your rights downloadable card.
posted by pappy at 7:16 PM on April 21, 2010


Course, none of this will help when you encounter cops like these.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:17 PM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


So I...pull over to the side of the road
I heard "Son do you know why I'm stoppin' you for?"
Cause I'm young and I'm black and my hat's real low?
Do I look like a mind reader sir? I don't know
Am I under arrest or should I guess some mo'?
"Well you was doin fifty-five in a fifty-fo' "
"License and registration and step out of the car"
"Are you carryin' a weapon on you I know a lot of you are"
I ain't steppin out of shit all my paper's legit
"Well, do you mind if I look round the car a little bit?"
Well my glove compartment is locked so is the trunk in the back
And I know my rights so you gon' need a warrant for that
"Aren't you sharp as a tack, you some type of lawyer or something'?"
"Or somebody important or somethin'?"
Nah, I ain't pass the bar but i know a little bit
Enough that you won't illegally search my shit
"We'll see how smart you are when the K9 come"
I got 99 problems but a b**** ain't one
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:20 PM on April 21, 2010 [26 favorites]


"However," he said, "if you have nothing to hide and police are doing some kind of investigation, you should tell them whatever they need to know. Police are there to protect the society and the community in which we work."

That's accurate if you replace "the society and the community in which we work" with "the wealthy and the status quo."
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:26 PM on April 21, 2010 [25 favorites]


flapjax, the only thing I can thing about when I see that video is thank god there was someone taping it.

That and how happy I am that some thug cops are going to lose their jobs and probably be brought up on brutality charges, plus the guy that was beaten is going to get rich off of this.
posted by darkstar at 7:28 PM on April 21, 2010


The very idea that we need some "rules" for dealing with our own agents of peacekeeping points to an intractable and rather desperate state of affairs.

(Not that these rules are top notch and bear repeating at all).
posted by digitalprimate at 7:32 PM on April 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


On what planet can these rules be applied because I'd like to visit it sometime.

Nearly every encounter I've had with police has been tinged with a sense of "Oh sure you can refuse a search but please know that I will bash your fucking head in if you so much as look at me funny." I am the damn nicest guy in the world when it comes to dealing with them because I quite literally fear for my well-being. Probably from watching too many LiveLeak videos but still.
posted by Kskomsvold at 7:33 PM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


11. Don't make fun of Sting's acting.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 7:36 PM on April 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


I pass these two comics by Ellen Forney around and feel they contain sound advice for everybody, not just pot smokers.
posted by maniactown at 7:36 PM on April 21, 2010 [14 favorites]


Really, all of these are predicated on you having 1)someone who cares and has or can easily get money to post bail/bond for you 2)money for a decent attorney. Otherwise, be prepared to rot in the county jail while people with money get off with suspended sentences and probation.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:42 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is what people in think tanks do in the middle of the day in the middle of the week in Washington: They take big, complicated issues, such as unintended consequences of everyday events, and turn them into products the rest of us can understand.

Gosh, thinking is so hard, and with my active lifestyle it is increasingly difficult to make time for it. Luckily the Cato institute is there to distill all that effort into a simple product that even I can understand.
posted by Pyry at 7:44 PM on April 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


darkstarHe's going to get rich off of money good, honest people paid in taxes.
posted by item at 7:45 PM on April 21, 2010


Just another reminder that these days it's more important than ever to prevent erosion of your constitutional rights (if you're an American, of course).

The more people let cops get away with this shit, the more the cops will do it.
posted by bwg at 7:45 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Cato Institute?

Yes, I know what Libertarian should mean, but this is not something I think that (the actual) people that oppose truth in labeling laws because you can just pay more to guarantee you get the good stuff (I don't follow it either, but I've heard them say it often), would be doing.

To the best of my knowledge, Cato, or at least the people who support Cato, have been for every expansion of police powers and every law attacking the 4th and 5th amendments.

So is this a shadow show or am I missing something?
posted by Some1 at 7:53 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


My rule #1 for dealing with police (especially in a traffic stop) is to admit to something minor and very specifically describe what plans I already have to correct it ("Yes, I know my taillight is broken; I was just trying to get home so I could get the whole rear end fixed when Villa Automotive opens in the morning" got me off with a warning when I really did not want my car searched), appearing totally open without saying anything important. Being a blond-ish white guy certainly makes it easier, but playing the "game" (and, remembering that, sadly, it is a game) is absolutely necessary.

He's going to get rich off of money good, honest people paid in taxes ...which, if life were fair, would be taken out of the Police Department's budget, and as a good, honest person who still has a much more reasonable fear of the local cops than the Evil Federal Bureaucracy, anything a victim of police brutality gets is one of the better uses of my tax dollars. Sorry it isn't yours.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:55 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


rule #1 for dealing with police: be white
posted by desjardins at 7:55 PM on April 21, 2010 [43 favorites]


Being a blond-ish white guy certainly makes it easier

That's 95% of it right there. Aside from that, never admit guilt to anything, even going 5 MPH over the speed limit. Let the cop do all the talking first and then you can be on your way with a warning or citation.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:57 PM on April 21, 2010


How Not To Get Your Ass Kicked By The Police.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:59 PM on April 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


3. You have the right to refuse searches...

Yeah right. And if you're in Arizona, you must reveal your immigration papers, or else (not sure if you have to disclose whether you're packing heat or not).

And in the "more signs America is bonkers" category: eleven years after Columbine, and we've yet to close the "gunshow loophole."
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 8:03 PM on April 21, 2010


rule #1 for dealing with police: be white

What if s/he's a black cop?
posted by Malice at 8:05 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


darkstarHe's going to get rich off of money good, honest people paid in taxes.

The good, honest people who hired those brutal assholes to act as their agents. If good, honest people are concerned about their tax dollars being wasted on incidents like this one, they need to let police departments know that this kind of behavior is unacceptable.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:09 PM on April 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


Really, all of these are predicated on you having 1)someone who cares and has or can easily get money to post bail/bond for you 2)money for a decent attorney.

This is sort of a derail, but please, please don't contribute to the idea that people need to hire an attorney for that attorney to be decent. Depending on where you live, there's a very good chance that your local public defender is going to be a very good attorney, probably better than most people can afford. Hell, in a major metro area, the public defender's office is likely going to give you better representation that you can buy pretty much anywhere.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:13 PM on April 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Hell, in a major metro area, the public defender's office is likely going to give you better representation that you can buy pretty much anywhere.

That really doesn't seem correct. Not to mention that you'll have to be basically certified as indigent by most courts before you can qualify for a free public defender. I've not really had to deal with this, but data would suggest that people who can afford bond and attorneys tend to do far better in court than those who cannot.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:16 PM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


What if s/he's a black cop?

Malice, what makes you think that black cops are any less likely to profile black citizens than white cops are?
posted by alms at 8:18 PM on April 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


My job has given me the opportunity to get to know a couple of police officers pretty well. I even went on a ride-along with the LAPD last month, which is an eye-opening and rather thrilling thing to do. You (that's the universal you) ought to go out with your local police sometime. There were a few moments of high adventure, going "code 3" through red lights with the siren wailing to respond to a shots-fired call, getting flagged down by a carload of teens with a bloody and beaten friend in the back of their car, doing a slow cruise past a biker bar and getting the thousand-yard stare. But far more time was spent trying to figure out how to get a one-legged schizophrenic man back to the institution he'd sneaked out of that morning.

Most of what I learned was that the cops were just dudes (mostly) who wanted a little adventure in their lives. "I'm just a guy who grew up to be what he wanted to be when he was eight," one told me as we stood next to a cruiser eating donuts. His partner was hitting forced retirement, 38 years(!) working South Central Los Angeles, refusing promotions, staying on the streets. His friend told me later he was scared what would happen to the guy once he was off the streets. "It's all he's got," his friend told me. "A lot of cops die the year they retire."

The cops I know might be a little quick to judge the people they label "knuckleheads," a catch-all phrase that they apply to everyone from a drunk driver to a cop killer. They make mistakes, like people do, and when they make mistakes people can get hurt or even killed. And yes, some cops are pig-mean and do more than make mistakes, and that's very serious, and that's why we have lawyers and the free press. But if all you know about cops come from teevee and news reports and maybe a traffic stop that wasn't fun, I understand why your view of the cops isn't great. Get to know some and you might gain some perspective on the shitty cops (like the ones in FAM's link appear to be) that always make it to the blue.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:23 PM on April 21, 2010 [22 favorites]


rule #1 for dealing with police: be white

rule #1 for dealing with police: be white and don't have a mental illness
posted by francesca too at 8:27 PM on April 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


Malice, what makes you think that black cops are any less likely to profile black citizens than white cops are?

What makes you think they are? Or that all white cops are out to get black people, for that matter?
posted by Malice at 8:28 PM on April 21, 2010


2. Do NOT talk about Fight Club.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:29 PM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


rule #1 for dealing with police: talk like Desmond from Lost.

"What can I do for you, brother?"
posted by bwg at 8:30 PM on April 21, 2010 [12 favorites]


Forgive my ignorance, but if you refuse a search aren't you just going to get arrested in which case they'll have probable cause to do a search? And you'll now be arrested, and even if the charges are dropped isn't going to be a particularly pleasant experience. Yes, everything I know about the law comes from watching The Wire. And I've missed some episodes.
posted by Keith Talent at 8:37 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


bwg: "What can I do for you, brother?"

I call cops "sir" and "ma'am." If they're upstanding members of the force, they deserve my respect for doing a difficult job. If they're dickheads, it can't hurt to be polite.
posted by desjardins at 8:38 PM on April 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


Forgive my ignorance, but if you refuse a search aren't you just going to get arrested in which case they'll have probable cause to do a search? And you'll now be arrested, and even if the charges are dropped isn't going to be a particularly pleasant experience.

Basically. I would think that unless you can cite specific statutes the police aren't going to be terribly impressed with any refusals and will simply use whatever means (search dogs, maximum detainment periods, etc) to get around that and search/arrest you anyway.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:40 PM on April 21, 2010


The always even-handed and never controversial Violent Acres has a pretty good guide to getting out of a traffic ticket.
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:41 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


The list doesn't seem to mention being polite - like, polite-to-a-headmaster polite, but throwing in "officer" all the time, instead of "sir". Show that you have at least formal respect for their position of authority.

Also, "Determine if you're free to go" is good, but doesn't go all the way. I'd put instead "Don't be afraid to (politely) ask if you are obliged to [whatever]" - where [whatever] can be things like "answer these questions" / "submit to this search" / "remain here" etc. Basically, anything they might ask you to do. But don't be a dick about it.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:42 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


What if s/he's a black cop?

And on the other hand, without a gun they can't get none
But don't let it be a black and a white one
Cuz they slam ya down to the street top
Black police showin out for the white cop
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:43 PM on April 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


That really doesn't seem correct. Not to mention that you'll have to be basically certified as indigent by most courts before you can qualify for a free public defender. I've not really had to deal with this, but data would suggest that people who can afford bond and attorneys tend to do far better in court than those who cannot.

Bond is a whole separate issue, and it's true that being able to afford bond is obviously a good thing. It's also true that you have to qualify to be given a public defender, but if you qualify there's a good chance you want to take it.

The reason why you want a public defender, and not a hired attorney is this: public defenders are in criminal court, representing people like you, basically every day. They're people who got into indigent criminal defense because they're passionate about it. A lot of private attorneys are more general practitioners, so they just don't have the passion or the expertise. The private attorneys are also motivated by getting paid, which provides an incentive to get cases resolved (i.e. plead) as quickly as possible.

The better public defender's offices are incredibly competitive in their hiring, and they only take people who they think will be very talented trial lawyers. For example, the Public Defender Service in DC gets something like 100 applicants for every slot they fill. That private lawyer you hired? He just hung out a shingle, you have no way of knowing how qualified he is.

Obviously, public defenders are overworked, and this is not to say that you're better off with a public defender no matter where you live, but I firmly believe that the best (non-white collar) criminal defense attorneys in this country work in public defender's offices. Believe me, I've worked with public defenders, and I've sat in court and watched the private criminal defense bar at work, at least where I am(Washington, DC/Montgomery County, MD) there's no comparison. If I got arrested tomorrow, I'd being doing whatever I could to make sure I qualified for a public defender.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:46 PM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


To the best of my knowledge, Cato, or at least the people who support Cato, have been for every expansion of police powers and every law attacking the 4th and 5th amendments.

Seriously? Every expansion, and every law? Cite, please.

Just off the top of my head, Cato keeps track of botched police raids, and employs Radley Balko, a reporter who focuses exclusively on criminal justice issues (yes, from a civil-libertarian standpoint). And, oh, hey, the first thing I found in their civil liberties section is a document that decries how the Bush administration eroded 4th amendment protections with security letters. In what world would a people who oppose the 4th and 5th amendments support an organization like that?

I really disagree with Cato on some issues, but that doesn't excuse making up shit about them.
posted by ripley_ at 8:48 PM on April 21, 2010 [17 favorites]


If I got arrested tomorrow, I'd being doing whatever I could to make sure I qualified for a public defender.

A quick search just informed me that my locale (Harris county) has no public defender's office, which is probably why I had this perception. If someone here is in need of services and can't pay, they have to basically beg the presiding judge to appoint someone who is then doing pro bono work. Not so great here.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:50 PM on April 21, 2010


Nearly every encounter I've had with police has been tinged with a sense of "Oh sure you can refuse a search but please know that I will bash your fucking head in if you so much as look at me funny." I am the damn nicest guy in the world when it comes to dealing with them because I quite literally fear for my well-being. Probably from watching too many LiveLeak videos but still.

Could be that, Kskomsvold. No encounter I've had with the police has ever been tinged with that implicit threat. I've been stopped as a passenger in a DUI (waaaay drunk, and they grilled both of us for 20 min because of a weapon in the car), had asshole cops laugh when I brought a complaint of a homeless man threatening people with a gun ("Just tell the nigger you have one too!" - stay classy, Providence RI pigs), and had doughnut-eaters take a glazed-eye report of my home's burglary (that they never filed) - so it's not like I'm a big fan of the police in America.

But, I don't generally feel physically threatened. Either your area is very different from mine, or you are the difference.

As the man says, attitude is everything. You're half-beaten, and they haven't even touched you yet.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:53 PM on April 21, 2010


To the best of my knowledge, Cato, or at least the people who support Cato, have been for every expansion of police powers and every law attacking the 4th and 5th amendments.

No. You are flatly incorrect. You can remedy this with 5 seconds of using your search engine of choice.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:02 PM on April 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


...as we stood next to a cruiser eating donuts.

Good to see some stereotypes are being adhered to.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 9:04 PM on April 21, 2010


I'll throw in one thing that people forget a lot ... recognize that police are citizens, regardless of whether they're on duty or not. So, anything you can legally do, they can legally do, too.

I can walk up to you on the street and ask you what you're doing. I can ask you if you live around here. I can follow you around and ask you all sorts of questions. You may not like it. You may even find it very strange and pretty intimidating.

But provided what I ... or what a cop ... does, doesn't rise to a different level, there's nothing whatsoever wrong with it. It's not harassment to just ask questions, wear mirrorshades and stand there with your arms folded.

Cops know this. They're trained to know it, and trained to use it to their advantage.

Moreover, this "I'm just doing stuff any citizen is allowed to do" is possibly the biggest tool in the arsenal.

When you see a police officer searching someone's car in the field? Nine times out of 10 it's because he simply asked the driver, and received permission from the driver. Mind if I look inside your car's trunk? Can you open it for me?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:05 PM on April 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


DUI? Dealing Drugs? Better Call Saul!
posted by republican at 9:10 PM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Earlier today, I had a coworker about 10 years my junior ask me when the public perception of cops went from "helpful public servants " to "not to be trusted and perhaps to be feared," roughly. (I don't recall his exact wording.)

I was working, so I did the short rundown of "well, y'know, police forces disproportionately arrest nonwhites, certainly people here in LA who were around in the 80s and 90s remember the late Darryl Gates as a corrupt authoritarian, you have no way of knowing when you're stopped if you're about to encounter a good cop or a cop who will violate your civil rights and possibly injure you, I'm sure things have been like that to some extent for years but the civil-rights movement of the 1960s really started to put the spotlight on the abuses of power some cops commit." (This is, actually, probably longer than what I said. I was in IMs.)

He thought about that for about six minutes and said:

"Oh, so the media did it."

...I, really, I don't know about the kids these days.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:14 PM on April 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Mind if I look inside your car's trunk? Can you open it for me?

"Mind simulating oral sex while I jerk off over you?"

Harvey Keitel must have been wearing his regular perve hat at that point, not his bad lieutenant cap.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:15 PM on April 21, 2010


My trick for dealing with the police is to try to be white around them. When possible, I try to be extra white. Caspar white. I'm a ghost, a ghost who walks through speeding tickets. Boo.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:25 PM on April 21, 2010 [11 favorites]


Bulgaroktonos wrote: "Believe me, I've worked with public defenders, and I've sat in court and watched the private criminal defense bar at work, at least where I am(Washington, DC/Montgomery County, MD) there's no comparison. If I got arrested tomorrow, I'd being doing whatever I could to make sure I qualified for a public defender."

Around here in the middle of the country, what you want is an attorney with connections. Either that or one with a reputation for always winning. The former can often be inexpensive; you just have to figure out who is friends with the prosecutor and is willing to badger them for a good deal. The latter is usually incredibly expensive, but utterly worth it if you're on the hook for twenty to life. They tend to either win outright or make excellent plea bargains solely on their reputation.

Only the badgery prosecutor's-friend attorney can help you if you've admitted your guilt, though. And even then only if you weren't an ass about it.

The public defenders around here pretty much never take anything to trial, no matter how not-guilty the person actually is. It's a shame that all the good lawyers (around here) seem to run over to the prosecutor's office if they feel like doing "public good."

Other than once having a gun pointed at me for the crime of walking in my front yard at 11 at night, I can't say I've ever had a terrible experience with the police, aside from the one who outright lied about the speed I was traveling when he wrote me a ticket. The prosecuting attorney made it not worth my while to contest, though. $100 and nothing on my driving record is worth not having to defend a case in municipal court.

That's another place where the right attorney can make a huge difference. Traffic tickets, most especially DUI. Unless you kill someone, you won't lose your license here for a first (and usually even second) time DUI if you retain counsel. If you don't, you will lose your license. Period.
posted by wierdo at 9:34 PM on April 21, 2010


11. Don't post videos of them on YouTube.
posted by Tenuki at 10:03 PM on April 21, 2010


Tenuki wrote: "11. Don't post videos of them on YouTube."

Was that the guy with the camera attached to his helmet? What an idiotic officer. The law specifically requires that the recording be surreptitious. It would be pretty hard to argue that a helmet-mounted camera isn't in plain sight.

11. Pressure your local departments to better train officers on the law.
posted by wierdo at 10:07 PM on April 21, 2010


It is true that individual people get rich from police brutality/harrassment compensation cases, or is this a media-myth? While compensation may be a punishment against an organisation, and thus may be a high figure, the payment to the person beaten up should presumably also match what's happened to them?
posted by jjderooy at 10:09 PM on April 21, 2010


Was that the guy with the camera attached to his helmet?

Yeah, you can see the camera on the helmet about 1 minute in.
posted by Tenuki at 10:13 PM on April 21, 2010


I've only received one traffic ticket in my entire life, and it was when I lived in rural Japan. I had a big, beautiful V6 Mitsubishi Diamante (1997), and I had a part-time job as a consultant that took me all over the place on the Japan Sea coast.

The Japanese expressways are engineered so that you can easily drive at 120 km/h (although the speed limit is 80). I was often in a hurry, and that car was engineered to drive fast - computer controlled suspension, a nice big GDI engine. There was one 30 kilometer stretch between Yamanaka-Onsen and Mikawa (you drive through the Komatsu world manufacturing center), almost on the beach, where the Hokuriku expressway is as flat as a pancake and as straight as an arrow, and I would routinely crank the Diamante up to 160 km/h.

But I was never caught.

On one trip home, in order to avoid road tolls, I took a back road home. It wasn't a secondary road - the road branched off into minor tributaries, and meandered around hills, and along the shore of a river, and through rice fields. I came to a t-intersection, stopped, and turned left.

Moments later I was pulled over by a police car.

In Japan they make you get out of your car, and you have to sit in the back of the police car, with the cop.

"You went through that stop sign back there. We saw you."

I didn't say anything.

The cop made some notes on a pad.

"Okay, sign here."

It basically amounted to a confession.

Now, I had not blown through the stop sign. I had stopped, and I had signaled. However, I signed the confession. What was I supposed to do?

By refusing to sign the confession in the cop car, I would have basically opened a whole can of worms. The cop most likely would have hauled me back to the police station, and I would have encountered a whole lot of low-level bureaucratic nastiness.

So I signed my confession and paid my $200 fine.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:18 PM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


The "be white" rule doesn't apply in Japan.
posted by knave at 10:42 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Yes, sir, Officer, I cannot tell a lie. I put that envelope underneath that pile of garbage."
posted by neuron at 10:45 PM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I worked for a while in the district attorney's office of a major (US, coastal) metropolitan area, and I have to say Bulgaroktonos is 100% right on.

Public defenders may be overworked, but private attorneys are overworked in a way that makes them more scattered. PDs work in a single county or city, or possibly even a single courthouse; private counsel have to run all over the place, they're always late to everything, and they never know the prosecutor or (more importantly) the judge very well.

Moreover, the PD's office in a given jurisdiction functions like a single law firm - a single law firm that does LOTS of criminal trials. If a certain police officer or frequent prosecution witness has a problem, the PDs will all know immediately and it will only trickle down to the private counsel at some point later.

Also, I find not at all accurate the idea that the PDs will try to plead you out and avoid trials. Many of them are there specifically to get trial experience; it's a thankless job, defending not only drug users and DUIs, but also rapists, child molesters, and anyone else who walks in the door. If the PD advises you to take a plea, you should probably damn well take it. Private counsel, on the other hand, hate to get caught up in a weeks-long trial with a defendant of meager means who will probably start complaining (and/or stop paying) once the fees run into the 5 digits. Their plea advice seems far more suspect, frankly.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 11:37 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hell, in a major metro area, the public defender's office is likely going to give you better representation . . . the Public Defender Service in DC gets something like 100 applicants for every slot they fill.

As soon as I read your first sentence, I knew you were going to bring up DC. I think if you were to do a little research on the actual, you know, "major metro areas" of the United States - New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston - you'd find that extrapolating the reputation of the truly exceptional DC public defender's office to the rest of the country results in generalizations which are not entirely accurate.

Traffic tickets, most especially DUI.

DUI is not a traffic ticket. DUI is not a traffic ticket. DUI is not a traffic ticket. Repeat after me. DUI is not a traffic ticket. DUI is a crime responsible for tens of thousands of deaths every year in the United States. DUI is not a traffic ticket.
posted by thesmophoron at 11:42 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


11. Don't post videos of them on YouTube.

There needs to be an inalienable right to record police-citizen interactions.
posted by weston at 11:47 PM on April 21, 2010 [9 favorites]


12. Don't do silly stuff that attracts the attention of cops.
posted by Damienmce at 12:38 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Malice, what makes you think that black cops are any less likely to profile black citizens than white cops are?

What makes you think they are? Or that all white cops are out to get black people, for that matter?


Of course its not "ALL" but it is significant enough that its considered a given...everywhere in America.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:40 AM on April 22, 2010


So I signed my confession and paid my $200 fine.

Good move. Regardless of what country you are in, don't mess with cops in the countryside. In remote areas (especially those with fewer economic opportunities), the money the cops hustle out of visitors is an important source of income.

Trust me: It's worth more to them than it is to you.

That being said, I've never had any trouble from Japanese police officers. They've always been courteous and professional. The one's I've known on a personal level were wonderful human beings (but I am sure that is true for 97% of police officers out there). The only shakedowns I got were in countries with real economic hardships. When traveling abroad, remember this rule: The danger to you from a police officer is directly proportional to the size of his hat. Strange, but true.

When interacting with police officers, be friendly, courteous and understanding.

Yes, understanding. Have you ever tried to reason with an angry drunk? Ever got between a couple fighting? Do most people you interact with insult your intelligence with really obvious lies? Did you ever make the mistake of shining a flashlight into the face of a crystal meth addict who is tweaking? (Not a good idea, by the way.) How many times a year do you see mangled corpses? Do people you interact with as part of your job suddenly flee forcing you to run, sweat, jump fences and tackle them?

Cops have to put up with a lot of shit. Essentially, it's their job to deal with people who nobody else wants to deal with. It's a shitty, thankless job. If you treat them like human beings providing a much needed service at great expense to themselves with little reward, I find that they can be quite nice.

That being said, the pressures of the job are no excuse for beat-downs, racial profiling, illegal searches and other violations of human rights and/or the law. Guardians of the law who do not abide by the law are no different than the criminals they were hired to catch. There is only one law. It applies to all people, uniformed or not.

Golden Rule: The police are not your friend.

Being courteous and understand with police officers does not mean they are your friend. They have quotas to meet. They need to arrest people to justify their budget. Your interests are diametrically aligned: you don't want to be arrested and they want to arrest you. You are not their friend. They are not yours. Being friendly and being friends are two totally different things.

Don't make their lives any more difficult than they already are but don't make meeting their arrest quota any easier than it has to be.
posted by stringbean at 12:53 AM on April 22, 2010 [11 favorites]


Keith Talent: Forgive my ignorance, but if you refuse a search aren't you just going to get arrested in which case they'll have probable cause to do a search? And you'll now be arrested, and even if the charges are dropped isn't going to be a particularly pleasant experience.

Burhanistan: Basically. I would think that unless you can cite specific statutes the police aren't going to be terribly impressed with any refusals and will simply use whatever means (search dogs, maximum detainment periods, etc) to get around that and search/arrest you anyway.


So glad a friend of mine didn't take Burhanistan's advice. When I was much younger, a friend and I got pulled over late at night ("You crossed the yellow line when you made that left turn about ten miles back."). The police officer said that the car smelled like weed, so he was gonna go ahead and search the car. Friend says, in the nicest way possible, "I think I know my rights, so I'm going to refuse the search. I'm really sorry about that, officer." Cop says, "Fine, have it your way, we'll just bring in a K-9 unit," and calls it in on his walkie talkie and ambles back to his car. After about five minutes of waiting, he walks back up and just tells us to have a nice night. No dogs, no maximum detainment, nothing but a really tense five minutes.

To echo what others have said: these rights, you have them! Just try not to be an adversarial dickhead when you're deploying them.

Protip: if you're carrying in a car, be sure that everything you have can be chewed and swallowed in a moment's notice. No bongs/onies/vapos/whatever, and try not to travel w/ more than you need.
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 2:46 AM on April 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


knave: "The "be white" rule doesn't apply in Japan."

Unless you are a Hollywood celebrity pimping something to drink.
posted by bwg at 3:05 AM on April 22, 2010


How NOT to act when stopped by the police.
posted by bwg at 3:13 AM on April 22, 2010


Speaking of Public Defenders, it looks like the PD's office in my not-so-large-but-not-so-small (population 265,000) county is kinda broke. This can't be good.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:20 AM on April 22, 2010


rule #1 for dealing with police: be white

Fuck.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:25 AM on April 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


License and registration and step out of the car"
"Are you carryin' a weapon on you I know a lot of you are"
I ain't steppin out of shit all my paper's legit


I fucking hate Jay-Z because this is wrong and can get your ass killed. If a cop asks you to step out of the car, you fucking step out of the car. This is no place for arguing about your rights or about the legitimacy of "yo papers" and failure to comply with an officer's instructions can land you in a world of dead.

I understand it's important to look like a big tough guy for your audience, but people quote this crap like it's gospel and it's going to get someone hurt.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:38 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


If a cop asks you to step out of the car, you fucking step out of the car.
posted by Civil_Disobedient


uneponysterical
posted by ActingTheGoat at 4:15 AM on April 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


So I think I should clarify - I think it's bullshit that money won is a brutality lawsuit doesn't come out of the PD's budget. It should be known I'm very far removed from being a fan of the tactics the police use to bully and intimidate. Time and again I've seen firsthand how those sadistic thugs get their jollies.
posted by item at 4:18 AM on April 22, 2010


Forgive my ignorance, but if you refuse a search aren't you just going to get arrested in which case they'll have probable cause to do a search?

In NYC, they've been posting cops at the entrances to subways for the last few years, randomly selecting people to do bag searches. I've been asked to have my bag searched about 4 or 5 times, and each time, I just politely decline and they say, sorry, then we can't let you into this subway station. Which is annoying and stupid, but since there's usually another station not too far away, I just suck it up and go to the next one (or even a different entrance to the same station).

The last time I declined, it was clear that the cops had just been through some kind of training or something related to my right to refuse a search; I said, "I'm sorry, I decline to be searched," and the cop starts vigorously nodding, rotely and a little-too-loudly sayng, "Yep, yep, you can do that, that's your right, that's within your rights, yep."
posted by Greg Nog at 4:49 AM on April 22, 2010


I wonder what rights, if any, were violated when our Brinks went off twice. The wind opened the door that wasn't closed all the way. Brinks couldn't get a hold of us so cops came. They went through our entire house.

Not cool when DH's favorite time is 4:20.
posted by stormpooper at 6:32 AM on April 22, 2010


11. Don't post videos of them on YouTube.
That officer definitely lost his temper, and approaching the motorcyclist out-of-uniform with a drawn gun was dumb and over the line.

That being said, I'm glad the cop tried to arrest him. The motorcyclist was doing wheelies at over 100mph in the right lane of the highway. That's a little more rude than grar-inducing bicycles on the sidewalk.
posted by anthill at 6:41 AM on April 22, 2010


> How NOT to act when stopped by the police.

You know, that cop showed a lot of restraint, and I respect him for that. But it's fucking hilarious how the incident is presented all like "can you believe the things cops have to put up with?" as if it's some sort of counterpoint to all the videos of scumbag police physically abusing people.
posted by ericost at 7:07 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


ericost: "> How NOT to act when stopped by the police .

You know, that cop showed a lot of restraint, and I respect him for that. But it's fucking hilarious how the incident is presented all like "can you believe the things cops have to put up with?" as if it's some sort of counterpoint to all the videos of scumbag police physically abusing people.
"

Actually I don't think that was the purpose at all; this happened in 1992. I just posted it because I always get a kick out the cop being so calm and then waving 'bye' at the end.
posted by bwg at 7:10 AM on April 22, 2010


Yeah, you are right, it is not the purpose. I still find the "here is hard evidence that they actually say this stuff" from the cop at the end ridiculous and tone deaf.
posted by ericost at 7:17 AM on April 22, 2010


Forgive my ignorance, but if you refuse a search aren't you just going to get arrested in which case they'll have probable cause to do a search?

It depends on how much of a hassle it is for the cops to get a warrant/dogs/whatever, how likely they think it is that you're hiding something, and how long they want to hang around on the shoulder of the road not meeting some quota for tickets. The key is to work their internal cost-benefit calculation in your favor, taking into account that they may get sadistic if you piss them off.

I'm in favor of a "you have a job to do, but my friend/sister/uncle/whoever is a lawyer and made me promise never to consent to a search, even though I have nothing to hide." That does three things:
A) it keeps it from getting personal;
B) it lets them know you're the sort of upstanding person who does what they're told by authority figures; AND
C) is a subtle way to let them know you'll be a pain in the ass if lawyers ever get involved.

It's sorta your duty to refuse consent to a search if you really care about these things, especially if the opportunities for the officer to beat you are pretty limited. The more dead ends they pursue, the more they're forced to reevaluate their tactics.
posted by paanta at 7:28 AM on April 22, 2010


To the best of my knowledge, Cato, or at least the people who support Cato, have been for every expansion of police powers and every law attacking the 4th and 5th amendments.

You know, this is an internet comments section -- you can't just make a statement like this and expect people to take it as authoritative. By default, I'm going to assume that the people at an avowedly libertarian (not conservative) think tank, no matter how much you or I might disagree with many of their positions, have been careful to take positions that are favorable to civil liberties. If they haven't, then by all means let's criticize them for their inconsistency. But I don't see the point in characterizing people-we're-not-supposed-to-like as being in favor of lots of unconstitutional stuff, with no details or evidence to back this up.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:31 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


rule #1 for dealing with police: be white...

...unless you are walking with a person of color and the white police officer says, "Don't think I'm going to go easy on you just because we're both white." [true story, small town Missouri]
posted by badger_flammable at 7:40 AM on April 22, 2010


ericost: "Yeah, you are right, it is not the purpose. I still find the "here is hard evidence that they actually say this stuff" from the cop at the end ridiculous and tone deaf."

Agreed. Funny thing is, the first time I ever saw this clip it wasn't on Court TV and there was no interview, just the clip itself, which was more than enough.

I remember being amazed that the cop didn't get angry and threaten the guy with something else (his mention of a littering summons was more sarcastic than threatening).

I also came away thinking that it would be nice if more cops were as calm as that one was.
posted by bwg at 7:56 AM on April 22, 2010


I fucking hate Jay-Z because this is wrong and can get your ass killed. If a cop asks you to step out of the car, you fucking step out of the car. This is no place for arguing about your rights or about the legitimacy of "yo papers" and failure to comply with an officer's instructions can land you in a world of dead.

yeah I know. But I love Jay-Z because he's like James Bond. And there's so much wrong with everything that mainstream rap culture is promoting - hell, that mainstream popular culture is promoting in general:

- that it's ok to smoke weed in public
- that it's ok to carry guns everywhere
- that it's ok to abuse and marginalize women and children
- that it's ok to sell drugs to your neighbors
- that it's ok to drive huge wasteful cars and have 10x more house and stuff than you need or can afford
- that it's ok to shit in the living room
- that school and conventional success is for suckers
- that conserving resources and saving money is weird
- that anybody who disagrees with you is a bad person, or maybe not completely human
- that nonwhites are not really human

And why does Jay-Z have to be responsible for all the stuff that's killing young black men? As far as I can tell, he's just the mailman. How come he can't get a pass for art? Because "99 Problems," as much as I hate what it represents, is a great song.
posted by toodleydoodley at 8:35 AM on April 22, 2010


> How NOT to act when stopped by the police .

You know, when I was in the academy, they showed us this video, and told us afterward that the trooper was either disciplined by the department, or flat out fired, for his sarcastic tone.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 8:52 AM on April 22, 2010


Frankly, they should teach this shit in high school. I mean, I had a mandatory law class in high school, I assume many other folks did, and this would have been invaluable. I got lucky the first time I got intimidated into letting a cop search my car—it was so goddamned messy, he didn't find the weed or the jerry-rigged bong. But I was 16 and dumb and high. Nowadays? No, officer, I'm sorry but I have to refuse consent.

(The second time, I'll always remember some Missouri state trouper sniffing around my trunk for drugs while I stood next to him with a quarter ounce of weed in my pocket. Though there he was nominally looking for beer, since we were underage.)
posted by klangklangston at 9:17 AM on April 22, 2010


"- that it's ok to smoke weed in public
- that it's ok to carry guns everywhere
- that it's ok to abuse and marginalize women and children
- that it's ok to sell drugs to your neighbors
- that it's ok to drive huge wasteful cars and have 10x more house and stuff than you need or can afford
- that it's ok to shit in the living room
- that school and conventional success is for suckers
- that conserving resources and saving money is weird
- that anybody who disagrees with you is a bad person, or maybe not completely human
- that nonwhites are not really human
"

Wait, what?

And of course it's OK to sell drugs to your neighbors. What, you only deal to cross-town visitors?
posted by klangklangston at 9:18 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Nobody will care, but it bears mentioning that the standards for dealing with cops IN THE UNITED STATES are not necessarily the same standards in other parts of the world. Despite this, arrestees the world over have learned to demand their "Miranda Rights," which is about as hilarious as arrestees demanding their mythic phone call.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:20 AM on April 22, 2010


Being courteous and understand with police officers does not mean they are your friend. They have quotas to meet.

Police do not have "quotas." You're an idiot if you believe this.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:25 AM on April 22, 2010


I am not talking about the genteel vending of weed to friends, klang. I am talking about a large wholesale drug business in your home, where a stream of people goes in and out, day and night, and you employ a third the children and teens in your neighborhood, and you sell to the rest. this is not good for neighborhoods.
posted by toodleydoodley at 9:28 AM on April 22, 2010


You're an idiot if you believe this.

Hmm...

Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the
issues, topics, and facts at hand—not at other members of the site.


Hmm...
posted by thesmophoron at 9:30 AM on April 22, 2010


Police do not have "quotas." You're an idiot if you believe this.

Eh, for the most part police departments are forbidden by law to have actual stated quotas as a matter of official policy, but it's common knowledge that patrol officers are under pressure to both write lots of traffic citations and be sure to show up in court in case a ticket is contested. Calling someone an idiot for grokking that isn't so great
posted by Burhanistan at 9:41 AM on April 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


"I am not talking about the genteel vending of weed to friends, klang. I am talking about a large wholesale drug business in your home, where a stream of people goes in and out, day and night, and you employ a third the children and teens in your neighborhood, and you sell to the rest. this is not good for neighborhoods."

To play devil's advocate for a moment, at least they're employing people and bringing in trade to the neighborhood. The problems are the attendant violence and drug-grubbing junkie behavior, not the drug dealing itself. Well, and the lack of legality, which makes legitimate reinvestment a difficult prospect.

And the shitting on the floor? What the hell were you on about with that? I've never heard a rap song that was like, Just drop ya drawers/ take a shit on my floors.
posted by klangklangston at 9:47 AM on April 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


bwg: Actually I don't think that was the purpose at all; this happened in 1992. I just posted it because I always get a kick out the cop being so calm and then waving 'bye' at the end.

That......is.....

the.........................................................................................most........laid........................






back.....................................





trooper...............





any where.............zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...............................
posted by Skygazer at 9:48 AM on April 22, 2010


To play devil's advocate for a moment, at least they're employing people and bringing in trade to the neighborhood. The problems are the attendant violence and drug-grubbing junkie behavior, not the drug dealing itself. Well, and the lack of legality, which makes legitimate reinvestment a difficult prospect.

so, given the extremely high overhead and worker health and safety issues, maybe not so helpful?

And the shitting on the floor? What the hell were you on about with that? I've never heard a rap song that was like, Just drop ya drawers/ take a shit on my floors.
posted by klangklangston at 12:47 PM on April 22 [+] [!]


not shitting on the floor, shitting in the *living room.* Can't believe I can't find a cite for this now, but it was a commonplace when I was growing up, up North, as an expression for why people generally loathed organized criminals but in some ways respected them - because they fucked up other people's neighborhoods but kept things clean at home.
posted by toodleydoodley at 9:51 AM on April 22, 2010


And in the "more signs America is bonkers" category: eleven years after Columbine, and we've yet to close the "gunshow loophole."

I don't understand. Some of the guns used in the massacre were from gunshows, where the "friend" didn't have to pass a background check to purchase the weapons. But would the friend have had any trouble passing a background check? I definitely think the loophole should be closed, but I hope gun control advocates are not exploiting a tragedy to further their agenda.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 9:53 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


uneponysterical

Oh please. Standing your ground and risking your life for a worthy cause is the height of human nobility.

Notice that worthy cause part?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:05 AM on April 22, 2010


11. Don't drive 55 in a 54.
posted by slogger at 10:26 AM on April 22, 2010


How NOT to act when stopped by the police.

Holy crap, my favorite part is when the truck actually started *rocking back and forth* from the force of the driver's ranting. The trooper's response and demeanor are amazing and commendable. That he had the judgment to not escalate the situation and risk a situation where violence is more likely to occur is amazing and a tribute to the self-control that law enforcement officers demonstrate on a daily basis.

You know, when I was in the academy, they showed us this video, and told us afterward that the trooper was either disciplined by the department, or flat out fired, for his sarcastic tone.

Oh.

There might be some systemic issues here.
posted by stet at 10:26 AM on April 22, 2010


11. Don't post videos of them on YouTube.

There are more details on that story here: Motorcyclist jailed for 26 hours for videotaping gun-wielding cop
posted by homunculus at 10:27 AM on April 22, 2010


Frankly, they should teach this shit in high school. I mean, I had a mandatory law class in high school, I assume many other folks did, and this would have been invaluable.

Part of my driver’s ed class covered what to do when a cop pulls you over with a DWB/DWH. It boiled down to being polite and respectful, don’t admit anything, ask for their badge number, and namedrop anybody you know that’s either a lawyer or an officer. I think I was the only white kid in the class (I don’t remember exactly, it was eight years ago), but the teacher also made a point to tell me if I drove through the wrong neighborhoods, cops would assume that I was looking for drugs. I got a similar talk about what sort of rights we had during the constitution exam.

I guess the point of this is: at least some teachers are already on top of that.
posted by dinty_moore at 10:54 AM on April 22, 2010


Oh please. Standing your ground and risking your life for a worthy cause is the height of human nobility.

Notice that worthy cause part?


I think it was less an illustration of some philosophically unsound basis for your statement, and more an illustration of the somewhat funny contrast between the statement and your username. Because, well, it was kinda funny.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:55 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


These are great rules. It also helps to be nice and courteous while sticking to these rules.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:24 AM on April 22, 2010


This American Life on Barry Cooper of NeverGetBusted DVDs and KopBusters catching cops violating the Bill of Rights.
posted by morganw at 11:28 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


One thing that I've learned is that, during a traffic stop, one of the big reasons for an officer's tension is that he's worried for his own safety. When approaching your car, he doesn't know if you have a weapon or hate cops or have a warrant out on you or what. Out-of-sight-hands are very worrying. So it's worth keeping your hands visible, either on the steering wheel or, if you want to seem very accommodating, on the sill of your driver's-side window. When you're asked for you insurance/registration, tell them that you're going to be reaching into the glove box, etc.
posted by craven_morhead at 12:19 PM on April 22, 2010


A friend of mine made some news over his creative method for dealing with the police in Seattle.
posted by scalefree at 12:41 PM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would add "never look like you might be reaching for a weapon." Unlike most women, I carry a wallet in a hip pocket. When pulled over, I keep my hands in sight (on the steering wheel or on the handlebars away from the throttle, kill switch on). When they ask for ID I tell them where it is before I reach for it.

Last time this happened, the officer asked if I were carrying a concealed handgun. I said, "No, sir, I just don't want to reach out of your sight near my belt without telling you why and what I'm doing." He thought about it for a few seconds, then thanked me.

(Still wrote me a ticket, which he told me to fight, then made sure got changed into a non-moving violation in court. Kept points off my record. I don't think he'd have gone to that kind of trouble if I hadn't shown I was thinking of his safety as well as mine.)

But, I'm a white middle class middle aged woman. I'd have to mess up pretty badly to get arrested. I still fear the police because I see them stomping black kids on my stoop, pushing Arabs around (literally) when I go back to Dearborn and pulling over people for DWB, but that isn't rational.
posted by QIbHom at 12:55 PM on April 22, 2010


Yeah right. And if you're in Arizona, you must reveal your immigration papers, or else (not sure if you have to disclose whether you're packing heat or not).

So I can tell my brown friends, what to do if you are NOT an immigrant and, therefore, do not have the papers? Sheriff Joe's Posse hasn't had a problem with rounding up legal residents from mistake racism.


I'm a tiny non-threatening polite white girl who says "sir" and "ma'am" to all. Yet I'm still really afraid of the police. Only about 15% of my encounters have been with the ideal type of police officer. Even as the victim of a crime, I encountered abusive behavior from the police. (Post-rape was AWESOME! <>)

And, one of these days, I'll have one of my belligerent seizures and they'll taze me to death.
posted by _paegan_ at 12:56 PM on April 22, 2010


So I can tell my brown friends, what to do if you are NOT an immigrant and, therefore, do not have the papers? Sheriff Joe's Posse hasn't had a problem with rounding up legal residents from mistake racism.

I totally worry about this, because what do you do if you're:

a) a naturalized citizen
b) a natural born citizen from a place where people are brown and english isn't official (eg Puerto Rico)
c) a natural born citizen of brown appearance regardless of origin or ethnicity?
posted by toodleydoodley at 2:03 PM on April 22, 2010


ethnomethodologist said:

Police do not have "quotas." You're an idiot if you believe this.

Hi. I think you may be in the wrong room, ethnomethodologist. YouTube is down the hall. Here on MetaFilter, if you want to call someone an idiot you need to provide sources to back up your claim.

Police quotas are illegal in 17 states. Illinois is working on a bill to outlaw police quotas so it may be 18 states (the bill was quashed more than once but I think they are still pushing it). For obvious reasons, the police can't admit to having quotas. I see the words "expectations" and "goals" used a lot but the sad reality is that they are, in fact, quotas. Officers who do not meet these quotas are punished directly or indirectly.

Canton Ohio Police Chief Dean McKimm said:

“there are no set quotas for the traffic safety enforcement officer.” However, “that is not to say that there are not periodic reviews of the performance of these officers... We have a figure in our minds (of) what we think is a reasonable workload.”

NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne told WABC:

"Police officers, like others who receive compensation, are provided productivity goals and they are expected to work."

Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said:

"The evidence presented under oath in this arbitration proves once again what police officers have long lived with: There are established quotas, and if you don't meet them, you will be punished."

The Fraternal Order of Police (Cincinnati) Keith Fangman said:

"The Cincinnati Police Department's policy has always been that they do not have quotas... I have heard reports recently of officers being put on desk duty and walking patrols for not meeting quotas. Obviously, this appears to be a major change in police department policy as it relates to quotas."

All of the above quotes were from the following sources...

Sources:
House Again Stalls Ticket Quota Bill
Ladue, Former Police Chief Trade Allegations
More Traffic Enforcement Means More Tickets, Revenue
NYPD Officer Claims Pressure to Make Arrests
NYPD Quota: Arresting Innocent People (YouTube)
NYC Police Reportedly Confirm Ticket Quotas
Internal Memo Shows Cincinatti Police Given Quotas

Related Discussion:
Fact or Fiction: Police Officers Monthly Ticket Quota? (from our very own Ask MetaFilter)

You can go on believing that police departments don't have quotas, ethnomethodologist, but you do so at your own peril.
posted by stringbean at 2:04 PM on April 22, 2010 [10 favorites]


Thanks stringbean for so thoroughly refuting that claim. If you didn't, I was going to start posting some of those links (the NYPD ones especially since that's local to me).
posted by Brian Puccio at 2:50 PM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


On the "be a white guy" and "just do what the rural cops say" front, my husband, who is 6'4", long-haired, and has the coloring of a Viking, tells a few hairy stories about trouble he's run into while driving between Houston, Austin, and Dallas over the years.

One of the lessons is, don't be a long-haired hippie-looking dude on the back roads. Another one is, don't be in a van full of your long-haired musician friends. Apparently long-haired dudes are cop bait once you get off the main highways, or even far enough out of urban areas.
posted by immlass at 3:03 PM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine made some news over his creative method for dealing with the police in Seattle.

"Twenty to thirty people are detained over a Styrofoam ball?" said Dan Kaminsky, an internationally famous Internet security expert himself, who was not arrested, but was among those detained for questioning. "This is ridiculous."

MeFi's own!
posted by homunculus at 3:41 PM on April 22, 2010


This guy...just...wow.
posted by Balonious Assault at 6:07 PM on April 22, 2010


Skygazer, I'm beginning to wonder if the cop had maybe just smoked a fatty before pulling that guy over, but nah, if he had he wouldn't have bothered to pull him over.

And personally, I thought the sarcasm was awesome: why use a tazer when you can just be snarky?

"Aw! Aw! You're fucking CRAZY!" [rock, rock]
posted by bwg at 6:20 PM on April 22, 2010


stormpooper wrote: "I wonder what rights, if any, were violated when our Brinks went off twice. The wind opened the door that wasn't closed all the way. Brinks couldn't get a hold of us so cops came. They went through our entire house."

At least in the state I previously resided in, the police had the right to look in any location which a human could hide. A desk drawer would be off limits, unless it was unusually proportioned, but a closet would be fair game. Even then, it would not be legal for them to rifle through the contents of any area they could legally search for a person, such as opening shoeboxes in a closet or whatever.
posted by wierdo at 12:55 AM on April 23, 2010


"so, given the extremely high overhead and worker health and safety issues, maybe not so helpful?"

I support Drug Dealers Local 420.
posted by klangklangston at 7:47 PM on April 23, 2010


"so, given the extremely high overhead and worker health and safety issues, maybe not so helpful?"

I support Drug Dealers Local 420.
posted by klangklangston at 10:47 PM on April 23 [+] [!]


you are fighting a losing battle. in this country the unions are on the run...
posted by toodleydoodley at 4:14 PM on April 24, 2010


Ft. Lauderdale cop arrests man for asking for his badge number
posted by homunculus at 10:59 AM on April 29, 2010


homunculus wrote: "Ft. Lauderdale cop arrests man for asking for his badge number"

When will the fools learn? Probably not until they face consequences for their actions.
posted by wierdo at 3:01 PM on April 29, 2010


Video of SWAT Raid on Missouri Family
posted by homunculus at 6:27 PM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


The power (and challenges) of viral internet
posted by homunculus at 2:20 PM on May 7, 2010


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