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Thread: FIrst Step to OC- mental preparation

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    I have been told that any unwanted LEO interactions should run something like this:

    LEO: What are you doing, may I ask you a few questions?

    JOE OC: No, you may not. Am I being detained?

    LEO: Yes. (or better yet: No, you are free to go.)

    JOE OC: I do not consent to be searched, I am requesting to speak to a lawyer and am invoking my Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

    However, I found that advice difficult to follow in the heat-of-the-moment until I saw this video that explained why:

    Running time is about 50 minutes, but it is well worth it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Washington Island, across Death's Door, Wisconsin, USA

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    It is right and salutary that we give thanks...errr, it is right and salutary to use the search function to see if there are existing threads/topics identical to what one desires to post. And even that won't work if the title/description are not descriptive.

    The uninformative URL is to YouTube's 'Don't Talk to Police' video.

  3. #3
    Founder's Club Member
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    Dec 2007
    Dallas, TX, ,

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    For those who think this sounds familiar, it is; this is the lecture by a lawyerto a Virginia college class regarding the 5th Amendment, with Officer Bruch giving the afterword. This video has been seen by practically everyone.

    However, there is wiggle room here. You'll know in the first ten seconds what the police officer wants to talk to you about, and hopefully at that point you will also know his intentions. I want to make this very clear: Given that you have done nothing wrong, you have little to fear from a police officer. However, also given that you have done nothing wrong, a police officer usually has no reason to approach you. There are NO absolutes in any interpersonal relationships; that's why "people skills" are so valuable, and proper protocol and manners are taught really before you know how to speak. Therefore, any interaction with another human being is a balancing act. That's especially true with someone who has authority over you.

    What I'm trying to get at here is the Golden Rule; treat others how you wish to be treated. The police spend most of their time dealing with people who grossly disobey that rule. It's gonna rub off. That does not excuse them,but when their behavior is not in keeping with that rule it doesn't excuse you either. Stand in their shoes for a second and think of how rude it looks to an officer trying to investigate apossible crimewhen theirquestions are interrupted with an insistent ostinato of "Am I being detained?" Forget that it's totally legal and your right as a citizen not to be unfairly questioned or suspected; would you do that to anyone else?

    Now think of the consequences of doing that to an officer. It gets you out of that situation, but the cop just got a hell of a lot more frustrated with the people he's supposed to serve and protect and deepens the "us vs them" mentality. It's totally at cross purposes to what we want to do, which is get officers to see us as good guys.

    Instead of the absolute, how about a more flexible approach; During the initial encounter, say the first 10 seconds, make an effort to be friendly and courteous. It's exactly what you'd want. The officer may just want to know if you saw a suspicious black Lincoln Town Car cruising the block while you've been getting coffee. He may want to know what kind of gun you're carrying. Or he may think you're about to go postal. In any case, policemen are pretty good at coming to the point; they have a job to do and they do it efficiently and by-the-book in most cases. After 10 to 15 seconds you will know what this encounter is all about and you can proceed from there. If you feel you are being interrogated, Mr. Nice Guy can very easily and quickly give way to Mr. "Am I being detained". It's harder to start being nice to someone whom you formerly treated like the scum of the earth.

  4. #4
    Regular Member
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    Jul 2008
    Phoenix, Arizona, USA

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    While I see your point about not immediately being hostile or defensive (and I think you can stand your constitutional ground without being either), I also caution against volunteering ANY information.

    For example, if the cop asks, "what exactly do you think you are doing?" Instead of immediately asking, "am I being detained?" you might try something like: "enjoying the night air. Is there a problem?" (Note answering a question with a question- very important). I would recommend against answering with something like: "walking to my brother's house" or something similar, which gives them information that could potentially be used against you (watch the video if you don't see how that could be used against you). They don't have any right or need to know what you are doing, or where you are going. If they insist on trying to find out, THEN is a good time to go into defensive mode and refuse to talk, other than to ask if you are free to go, or to state you don't consent to any searches, or that you wish to speak to a lawyer.

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