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Citizens Guide to Surviving Police Encounters: Should you talk to cops?

Posted by Austin Petersen • 10 Sep 2013

“I will never speak to a police officer under any circumstances!”

Flex Your Rights is a non-profit organization committed to educating American citizens about their civil rights. From traffic stops to pedestrian encounters, they have created an excellent video series explaining how people should act if approached by the police. This 45 minute video presentation gives you real life scenarios to help you understand how you should behave. Watch it first.




“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” U.S. Constitution 5th Amendment

If police are talking to you, it’s because they suspect you may have committed a crime. Talking to the police does not help you in any way. If you’re guilty, confessing won’t lessen your sentence, even if the police tell you so. They have no authority to grant leniency or make deals. Police are allowed to lie to you in order to extract a confession, but lying to them is a crime, so don’t do it. Don’t talk to the police.

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James Duane is an American law professor at the Regent University school of law and a former criminal defense attorney. He is an expert on the 5th amendment and produced a video to help educate the public about why you should never talk to a police officer. Duane believes that perfectly innocent citizens can get into trouble even when police are doing their job properly. Bad legislation can ensnare good people and individuals can be accidentally admit to crimes they did not realize were crimes. Watch the 45 minute video below for a riveting lecture on why you should never speak to police.

“Did you know it is a federal offense to be found in possession of a short lobster?”

  • Dieter Gould

    Granted, there was a time when you could reason with the police, depending on where you live… Not so much the case these days. Lot of them are narcissistic assholes, and live to make people have a bad day! But, then again, when you have a corrupt system, these cops can’t do no wrong! I’ve seen both sides of the coin. Just don’t give them cause to go through your things! Unless, you have an attorney/ guardian angel to have your back!

  • Pepper O Rilley

    we have a situation in Western Minnesota in Becker county where the sheriff and Highway patrol offices are letting a few’ regenigate’ cops go wild. There is a Highway patrol officer by the name of Jeff P. who has a right to write citations and tag people from nearby states when they come in with outa state tags on not Minnesota Plates, because its a Felony crime in Minnesota not to put Minnesota Plates on your vehicle within 30 days of residency after being served with a citation, and the scam is this it costs more to hie an attorney to fight it than to complete with the initial order to register in Minnesota even if your there on and off for less than 30 days or own propety but show your a citizen of neighbor states and file taxxes there, its too little use to try and fight it without an attorney (120.00 to register) $ 7-1,000.00 to hire an attorney and go to court). so you end up putting expensive registration on your cars and the Investigator Highway patrolman in Detroit lakes, JEFF P. under the rules, actually gets a finders fee ( TIP program) turn in plates for writing citations and summons. Absoluely he is a Jerk and very Abusive when he stops people reaches into victims cars and talks in peoples face,. puts lots of fear into the driver or owner of the vehicle. Another example of the COPS gone BAD>

    • Hinikuna Dansei

      What does “regenigate” mean?

  • Liniborn

    Cops are all Otraitors gestapo now, I would not help one for anything, the cops family could be dying and I would laugh and go on my way.

  • heyheypaula

    Yes…do talk to a cop. Thank him (or her) for keeping us safe. Thank him for stopping and helping you when you’re stranded by the side of the road. Thank him for being the first on the scene of a wreck and pulling you out of a burning car. Thank him for finding your missing child, getting the drunks off the road or pulling the addict out of the gutter and taking him to the hospital. Thank him for destroying the meth lab, catching the dealer and calling you when your kid is found drunk or high in a car with his friends. Thank him for coming to your house in the middle of the night and checking around because you heard a bump in the night. Thank him for directing traffic when you’re trying to get to the ball game on time. Thank him for taking verbal and physical abuse every day from criminals, drunks and smart-ass kids and keeping his cool and doing his sworn duty.
    I’m the mom of two cops. Every day I fear for their lives from people who have a disdain and hatred for them just because of their chosen profession. So, every time I see a cop, I walk up to him and say, “Thank you for keeping us safe.” Because I know he is part of the thin blue line between the life we all enjoy and the chaos that would ensue were they not willing to do the hard, thankless job they do to protect us.

    • Abir Mandal

      Why do you think ordinary people have such disdain for cops?

      • ScarlettCarson

        Because they either are douchebags or celebrate the douchebag.

      • Paul Macleod

        good question.. it’s likely because they have more information available to them then ever before.. and the truth comes out.. it’s not pretty.. cops are dangerous .. if you want to go to a funeral , just call the cops and tell them there is domestic violence in your home.. stand back

      • Hinikuna Dansei

        I’ve never been harassed or mistreated by the police. Most of the time, the people who claim they are harassed or mistreated by the police are those who. through their actions and attitude, SHOULD be the ones the police are stopping and checking on. Why? Because they’re assholes, pardon my French.

        I live in a good sized city and have been pulled over many times, stopped on the street occasionally, and even detained in handcuffs once as part of an investigation. I never was mistreated or even sworn at. I have never gotten a ticket, nor faced any criminal charges. In the case of the detention in handcuffs, they thought I was a suspect in a robbery but once the victim told them I was not the person who did it, I was allowed to go and apologized to, and even given the business card of the officer who stopped me to show to my boss in case there was any issues of my being late for work. No issues with our police out here whatsoever.

        • Ree

          Well good for you then.

          I for one, with every encounter, have been harassed. The cops would come by and harass us because too many black people had congregated at the basketball courts @ the beach. They tried to cite a law which enables a male officer to go through our purses. They lied, stating a mental health bylaw. None of us were ‘assholes’ or disrespectful in return.

          I was pulled over for speeding to have the cop ask if I was “half & half” which has absolutely nothing to do with a speeding ticket. My sister has also been threatened with “deportation” because she knew her rights and wouldn’t answer the cops’ questions when they confronted her as she waited for a bus. Neither of us were exhibiting asshole-like behavior.

          I have had to call the police because a neighbor was beating on his wife and even experienced unnecessary ignorance from an attending officer. I guess I was a wee bit of an asshole for not wanting my neighbor to continue beating on his wife.

          Hopefully you will never “act like an asshole” and get harassed by the police when you are just merely going about your business.

          • Hinikuna Dansei

            Unfortunately we’re only hearing one side of the story here, so it’s falling on deaf ears.

    • Jerry

      I agree with you. I have family members on the job and know what cops go through. BUT, doing their jobs correctly does not give them the right to behave badly toward innocent civilians. It is not a case of either/or. Doing 99 heroic things and then beating or killing an innocent civilian does not make a cop a hero; it makes him a thug…

    • workingstiffdad

      I think most sane, sober free Americans respect your perspective, Paula. I personally know my Sheriff, many Deputies, and many of our City Police and they are all upright people doing a good job. We are just not naive in thinking ALL people who take the oath are 100% incorruptible. Eyes open! All the time.

    • Paul Macleod

      well it’s hard to agrue with the mother who has cop sons… but not everyone will have the same experience as you.. most who have had to deal with cops, lately, have regreted it greatly.. cops kill things these days and ask question later.. they are the worst trained professionals in American history.. Killing dogs with wagging tails, shooting 80 year old men while they are in their bed in their own home.. killing an elderly woman standing in her own backyard late at night scared do death that someone was breaking into her home.. shooting a 13 year old child who had a plastic gun.. .beating the living crap out of a homeless guy for not cow towing to their foolish demands.. and the list goes on and on and on and on.. that’s America’s cops…

      • Fred Parker

        1.5 million cops, hundreds of millions of contacts every week and you cite 2 or 3 examples of possible or actual wrong doing. Thats a better corruption rate than priests or politicians. Way to sterotype. Biased much?

    • politicstick

      When they “thank me” for doing MY job, I will thank them for doing theirs……all of those things you listed are job duties, not favors……

      • Fred Parker

        And you risked your life doing your job, when?

      • Hinikuna Dansei

        What do you do for a living, politicstick?

        • politicstick

          My living is NOT the point, the point is they are being PAID to do those tasks, they are “Thanked” every payday….

          This does NOT mean I don’t respect what they do, it takes GOBS of courage, more than I posses, that’s why I don’t do what they do….

          • Hinikuna Dansei

            How can we thank you for doing your job if we don’t know what it is?

            • politicstick

              I am retired at 54 and I do NOT need anyone thanking me. How can you continually miss the point?

              • Hinikuna Dansei

                Nobody even knows what point you’re trying to get across. So if you don’t need anyone thanking you for your job, why are you up in arms because people are thanking other people for doing theirs?

    • Inconsistencies

      Thank you for shooting my dog. Thank you for beating to death that homeless person in the alley. Thank you for busting down my door at 4 a.m. and pointing your guns at my children and wife because you got the wrong apartment. Thank you for the SWAT raid on the organic farmers down the street. Thank you for stealing money from me because I wasn’t wearing a seat belt. Thank you for ruining a man’s life by locking him in a cage for years because he was growing a plant. Thank you for accepting federal funds to militarize the local police department with tanks and grenades and machine guns to intimidate the citizens you supposedly work for. Thank you for sexually assaulting me on the side of the road because you think I might have drugs. Thank you for lying under oath and falsifying evidence to bolster your felony arrest record and get that promotion. Thank you for stealing my cash because it “might” be drug money. Thank you for harassing me because I legally carry a sidearm on my hip. Thank you for tasering me when I didn’t immediately follow your every barked order. Thank you for conducting roadside checkpoints to bolster revenue under the guise of “safety”. And most importantly, thank you so very much for mindlessly following orders and enforcing the dictates of morally corrupt politicians.

      I’m sorry your kids are the bad guys. It’s a tough thing for a mother to hear. A good cop is an oxymoron. When good people do evil things, they are no longer good.

    • David Taylor

      There is no law requiring Cops to keep others safe, or even respond to 911 calls. Most are not even close to altruistic by nature. Your boys might be an exception, but most cops are not ‘good cops’. If they are good cops, pray harder for their safety as it is just a matter of time before they start acting like those they associate with OR become the target of the same. Ask your boys if they have ever arrested a cop for anything, or given one a ticket? I bet the answer is ‘no'; because cops rarely dare to act with integrity regarding their own. (I am a former Navy LEO.)

  • Paul Emery

    We have reached a seemingly scary time in our country where we are not just split by ideology but more so by our own government either you are part of the government or you are not and the government has been killing the rest of us for little of nothing, I have read this statement from others and thought what the hell is his problem, well then I start reading and paying closer attention and damn there are a lot of dead civilians and not hardly any convictions of cops and yeah that does include unarmed civilians and lots of them old folks, young folks, homeless, and homeowners, black, brown and white. Oh and by the way cops being killed by civilians is way way down compared to what it use to be, what does all this mean, I have no idea but like I said these are scary times…..

  • Inconsistencies

    “You can’t bargain with a thief.”

    Cops are there to “take” from you; your freedom, your money, your dignity. They can not help you at all with any problem, they can only make things worse, because the only tool they have at their disposal is force. They can only be a negative force in ANY situation.

    Avoid them like you would avoid any other criminal element.

    • Jeremy Michael Frechette

      I totally agree

  • Jack L Eich

    talking to a cop is like trying to reason with adolf hitler

  • bones327

    Very Good Advice!