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Number23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 05:14 AM
Original message
What to do when stopped by the police
(A helpful brochure created by the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc.)

'What to do when stopped by the police'

"If the police knock at your door and ask to come into your home, you do not have to let them in unless they have a warrant that has been signed by a judge. If they do have a warrant, ask for a copy of it first. If it is an arrest warrant, make sure that you look at the name on the warrant to make sure they have the right person. If it is a search warrant, make sure it is for your specific address and note to see what is listed on the warrant to be searched for in your home. If the warrant is proper on its face, you must step aside and let the police enter your home."

"...If you are stopped while driving your car The BEST THING to do is to simply pull over and sit tight. If you are stopped at night, turn on your interior lights and show them that nothing is wrong. It is best to do and say nothing that would give the officer a reason to search further. Having your light on and keeping your hands on the wheel will usually put their mind at ease. When they ask for your ID, if it is in the glove compartment, tell them it is there so that they do not think you are trying to either hide something or remove something that they think will be used to hurt them. If there are others in the car with you, advise them to get their selves together, just as you have.

Spread the word. I suggest that we all get VERY familiar with these guidelines, particularly any black males under the age of 50.

I genuinely appreciate the brothers and sisters who put this together, but damn. Do they honestly believe that this will reduce the number of black people harassed or unfairly treated by police officers?
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 01:28 PM
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1. It might save some from further harassment...
Ya think? :shrug:
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psychmommy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. It might save a life.
How many times have young black men been shot because they reached for something-scared trigger happy cops shoot first ask questions when they're dead on the ground. I am gonna print this out for our teen bible study. thanks.
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Number23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. You're welcome

And yes, I do think it could save a life. Or at least, that's exactly what I hope it will do. As I said, I genuinely appreciate the black cops who put this together.

But when reading stories about black women who have been repeatedly tasered by the police who are responding to a 911 call that THEY made, I tend to be in the corner that yes this is a valuable resource, but the onus shouldn't be on citizens to have to protect themselves from officers sworn to protect and serve. Hopefully, this document will be accompanied by and not in lieu of some desperately needed diversity and sensitivity training by the police.
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Kweli4Real Donating Member (792 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 04:55 PM
Response to Original message
4. Good Advice ...
I would add, whenever you are stopped by the police in a car, take out you cellphone and call someone (an adult) and explain that you have been stopped, then switch on the speaker phone function and set the phone on your dashboard -- nearest to the window. That way someone will hear everything that happens.

Further, NEVER, under any circumstance, whether you have been drinking or not, submit to a Field Sobriety Test. While your refusal will likely piss off the officer, FSTs are completely subjective.

Best stratgey (if you have not had anything to drinking):

As politely, and non-confrontational, as possible refuse the FST; but offer to "blow" (Breathlyzer) or (if you have a lot of time to kill) offer to submit to a blood draw (provided the draw be done at a hospital, or at the station-house by a certified phlebotomist). But you must offer both. Example: "Officer, I will not submit to a Field Sobriety Test; however, I will "blow" or, if you wish, accompany you to the nearest appropriate facility and submit to a blood draw."

Best stratgey (if you have been drinking):

Upon being stopped, do the cell-phone thing while getting your license and insurance papers out. Roll down your driver's side window (approximately 2 inches) and your passenger side window (about half way down) before the officer gets to your vehicle. When the officer approaches, hold your paper work out the window.

Answer only questions for which you can give one or two word answers ... and do so, while looking at your steering wheel. (Do not allow the officer to see your eyes or smell your breathe).

When the officer attempts to further engage you by asking you more questions and/or telling you to roll down your window further (and he/she will), tell the officer: "I will not answer anymore questions until I have had an opportunity speak with (or have the presence of) my attorney." The object near is to stall for time.

This will certainly piss the officer off and you will no doubt be asked (ordered) to step out of the vehicle and transporting to the nearest precinct. And you will probably be threatened, if not charged, with failing to comply with a directive from the officer (a misdemeanor at most); However, with the person on the other end of the phone, you will have something for your attorney to work with should you be charged with DUI.

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Number23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Kweli, don't you think that the potential is there to actually CAUSE a confrontation?
If the cop realizes that they are on speakerphone, wouldn't that make them more hostile towards you??

Listen, I understand the desire/need to give yourself an extra layer of protection. I don't know a single black person that doesn't have their own story. As I've said before, I knew a brother who was harassed by the cops so often he wound up going to law school just so he would KNOW the specific laws they were violating by harassing him.

But I just worry about doing things that could actually make what could already be a potentially bad situation worse.
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Kweli4Real Donating Member (792 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Possibly ...
The point of doing the cell-phone thing is for the purpose of put the officer on notice that he is being "observed", if only telephonically. This will upset him/her; but will make him/her follow the rules.

Refusing the FST but offering to blow or get stuck, again, will upset the officer; but it is your right. And, more importantly, is proof-positive of your sobriety.

Here's my story:

Not long after I got to Tucson, I found a (cowboy) bar on that side of town. The bar had a couple of pool tables and weekly pool tournaments ($100-200 1st prize, $50-100 2nd prize). After a couple of visits, I knew that I could beat everyone that frequented the bar, so I made it my Friday night routine ... go home change into my raggedy jeans and a tee-shirt; go to the bar; collect $50-200; head to the other side of towns; get my party on.

Well, one Friday -- at winning another tournament -- I got pulled over for a burned out tail light. The officer asked me where I was coming from and where I was headed. My normal response would have been "back there" and "that way", respectively; but this time, I told him the name of the bar since I saw him pull out from the parking lot across the street from the bar.

He asked me whether I had been drinking and I honestly responded that I had not. He told me that he had been watching my car (a Benz) for over two hours because it did not "fit in the community." He then told me he did not believe that I had not had at least one drink, "What else could you be doing in a bar for two hours ... Selling drugs?"

I told him that I was shooting pool and had had had two sodas (I had to keep my head straight to get paid). He asked if I wouldn't mind "Blowing." (Since I was almost certain that he was referring to a breathalyzer, and not something else) I complied. Of course, I blew zeroes; but none-the-less, the cop ordered me out the car to do a FST.

Again, I complied until he wanted me to stand on one leg, with my head back and say the alphabet backwards. I told him in no uncertain terms what he could. This resulted in my being cuffed and taken to jail.

At my bail hearing, I recounted what had occurred and the judge asked me, "Are you saying that officer XX had you submit to the FST after you had done breath-test?" When I told him yes, he turned to the officer and asked if this was true. The officer said, "Yes, but ..." And the judge asked him, "what did he blow?" And the officer said, "Zero, but ..." and the judge let loose one of the most venomous rebukes I have ever heard in a courtroom (and in my previous jobs, I have spent a lot of time in courtrooms).

The judge threw out the case on the spot.

About two weeks later, I happened to be in that judge's courtroom on another matter. He remembered me. At the end of the matter, he asked me to his chambers and went on and on about how cops were abusing their authority, especially when it came to FSTs. That's when he gave me the advice that I have passed on.

After hearing his advice, I recall telling him, "Your Honor, I appreciate your counsel; but as a Black man, it is my purpose to avoid jail. And, it has been my experience that antagonizing the police is the quickest way to end up in jail, or worst."

The judge acknowledged that there is that risk; but said with a smile, "In this town, with the cell-phone, excepting the worst, your trips to jail could be very lucrative."

I thanked him and took it under advisement.

Since then, I have been stopped and asked to submit to a FST more times than I'd like to count. Each time I called my wife and placed the phone on the dash and refused the FST, offering to blow instead. Each time, I have been let go ... most times without having to blow.

Though on one ocassion (not related to a FST), a police officer told me to hang up my phone, to which a replied, "I'm sorry, but no; I will not hang up my phone." And that was the end of the stop, as the officer mumbled something about letting off with a warning; though he never said what he was stopping for.
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firedupdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-11 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Kweli...
I've never liked the cell phone thing. I have always told my boys to keep their hands on the wheel, because if they reach for anything and get shot 477 times, it will be said that they could have been reaching for a gun. Wasn't that the excuse for shooting the man in New York a million times?
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mstinamotorcity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-06-11 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
7. Well most of us
get Bar mitzvah early in the game!!!
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Number23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-11 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
9. And similarly:
Race gap seen in justice system
Charlotte School of Law forum discusses why the city and the U.S. still have a disproportionate number of blacks and Latinos in jail or prison.

Side note, this is probably the 12th thread I've done on this topic over the years. I'd love to know when things will start to get better on this.
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