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Can I Search Your Car?

I’m on a suppression win streak. My last two suppression motions in marijuana cases have been granted. Like any other criminal defense attorney I have had more than a few motions to suppress denied. As a NORML legal committee member these marijuana victories are especially satisfying.

Aggregating these cases produces some general advice on being stopped and searched.

First, cops will often try and trick you into granting permission to search your car. You should NEVER consent to a police search of your vehicle.

Why? The cop might be crooked, your friends might be drug users, and the officer has already decided you are a criminal.

Look out for this typical line the cops use to get your consent to search.

Cop- “You don’t have any guns, meth, hand grenades, or dead bodies in your car do you?”
You- “No.”
Cop- “Then you don’t mind if I search your vehicle.”
You- “Actually I do mind. Am I free to go now?”
See the trick. The cop is implying that only a person with something to hide would deny permission to search. He wants you to say “No, I don’t mind” before you have a chance to think about it. In this case the correct answer is “Yes, I do mind.”

Cops rarely ask for permission to search in a straight forward manner. They often backdoor their search request. Why? They want to get your consent, without informing you of your right to refuse.

Why do the police want to search your car? Not because they like you, or “just to check your vehicle” so they can let you go. The police only ask for consent to search because they think you are a criminal and they don’t have probable cause to search.

Asserting your rights will often make the police angry. Here is a typical response.

You- “I do not want you to search my car.”
Cop- “Well, if you have nothing to hide why can’t I search?”
You- “Am I free to leave?”
Cop- “If you don’t let me search I am going to bring out the drug dog!”
You- “Am I free to leave?”
At that point the cop is left with a decision on whether to actually call out the K9 unit, or let you go. Don’t feel bad for him. He is the one who caused this problem. You can still refuse to search, even if the officer is angry, or threatens you.

Start asking cops if you are free to leave. Cops hate this, but it is important. During a traffic stop the police should only be investigating traffic violations. They will inquire about the violation, check your DL/insurance, and check for warrants. If the police start asking about drugs, it is because they think you have them.

Finally, never try and stop an officer from searching. That’s always a bad idea. Even if you think he is acting illegally the side of the road isn’t the place to correct bad officer behavior.

Posted in: Marijuana and Police
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38 Responses to “Can I Search Your Car?”

  1. Robert, I greatly appreciate that you’re sharing such important know-your-rights info for the public. I think you’ll appreciate my nonprofit org’s website and instructional video, Busted: The Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters. You can watch the full video on our YouTube site at
    http://www.Youtube.com/flexyourrights
    Feel free to post the video to your blog, and call me if you’re interested in volume-rate DVDs for your clients. Thanks!

  2. JR says:

    Imagine if you were to go to Wal-Mart, and as you get out of your car, a stranger approaches you and wants to go through your glove box, check out your seat pockets, dig through your ash tray, etc. Would you let him? Would you feel violated if he did it anyway? You have a very good reason to deny a search of your car: you value your privacy and prefer to keep the nose of strangers out of your private property!

  3. Robert Guest says:

    JR,
    Thanks for the link. The situation is even worse than you describe. Not only is the Wal Mart stranger rude, they have already decided you are a criminal!

    That’s the situation with consent searches- The cops think you are a criminal, they just haven’t found the evidence yet.

    Thanks for helping to spread the word.

    RG

  4. Melanie says:

    You know…identity thieves will pay top dollar for quality information…fresh from current documents…easily copied roadside…anonymous…

  5. Jeff Craft says:

    I have watched the video from steven Silverman on your rights involving vehicle searches and thought I felt fairly secure within my rights and felt knowledge is good! But,… the film failed to mention anything about the police calling the drug sniffing dog and merely and plainly anyone can determine they are only useing the dog as an excuse to use the “well the dog hit on your vecihle and now we dont need a search warrant!” when it was clear the dog didnt hit on your car at all! now boils down to your word against the police and the clearly non trained drug dog! These warrantless searches are a violation of our constitutional rights! thxs for reading my vent But seriously this is out of hand! Whats next America? We are allowing an infringment on our freedom. well on the way to “land of the not so free” thxs.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I don’t mind letting a police officer search my car. I have nothing to hide. I am glad there are officers out there who are doing such a good job.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Agreed with other anonymous. If you aren’t a criminal, then I’d more than happy show off my car – ta da! However, for those who have something on them, the idea of the police being forced to bring their K-9 crew, will not sit well as you’re appearing in court. You might as well cooperate if you are a “criminal” and hope for a reasonable judge.

  8. Robert Guest says:

    Anons,
    Thanks for reading. The belief that only criminals assert rights is not one I agree with.

    Rights protect you from criminal police action. Say the cop is friends with your soon to be ex wife (Tray Boswell), or if the cop is a member of a drug cartel (Collin County Sheriff).

    Anon 2,
    Asserting your rights will not hurt you in court. If you are innocent, why would you let the police search your car?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well it is always good to get on these websites and see what the defense attorneys tell people to get their money. I am glad that I work so hard to keep innocent people safe at night while they sleep. It’s nice to know that while I am working I probably protect the innocent defense attorney who is sleeping peacefully in his bed. I as a cop have never back doored a consent to search. I believe that most citizens know that they have a right to deny a search of their vehicle. I further more believe that if a officer was attempting to obtain consent to search a vehicle and the driver/owner says “no” the threat of bringing a K9 dog would be considered coercion. Then again what do I know I am only a police officer who misleads and thinks everyone is a criminal. After all I didn’t go to law school and I don’t take peoples money to bring up some type of doubt in a persons mind that things were not followed legally. Like I said it is always nice to see what kind of smoke a defense attorney puts up to get more clients.

  10. casey says:

    I have nothing to hide, but i don’t want people rummaging through my car. Especially people that are power tripping. I have no respect for authority that is doing things the wrong way. On the other hand i have great respect for officers that are doing their job the right way and not abusing their power. Just in case you do run into a cop that decides he just doesn’t like you very much, I strongly recommend carrying a pocket recorder. Most phones have a recording function and can save you in many cases.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Oh yes, carry a pocket voice recorder in your pocket. You really need this if you are doing nothing wrong. You people are crazy. Why would you need to go through all this trouble if you are not out somewhere doing something you shouldn’t be doing? If you people were such innocent citizens then you would not be on this website. Furthermore, you would not be posting things like using a voice recorder to keep yourself out of trouble. It’s kinda funny because you guys are so worried about the officers catching you doing what you shouldn’t be doing that you need to post your comments to other people. Well the next time that someone breaks into your house and steals everything you have then don’t even call the police. The next time someone is creeping in your yard in the middle of the night don’t even call just go out there by yourself and handle the problem. Oh yeah, you wouldn’t do that because you are scared so you call someone else to come and handle your problem. It’s funny though the cops are the bad guys to you people until you need them to come and do something for you. You guys probably think that all of the troops in Iraq should be pulled out immediately too. You guys probably disagree with war and do not understand the cause and effect of a war. Then I think the majority of you people are probably democrats too. This post is not intended to the people who posted prior to me about thinking their local law enforcement professionals are doing a great job. This post is for the dumb defense attorney who runs the web site and all the “perfect” citizens who have nothing to hide.

  12. anonymous says:

    First we’d all like to believe that police officers are there to help us. In our town we have 2 well-known juvenile harassers who judges don’t even believe when they state their own name for the record in court. Just this week, my juvenile son was pulled over by one of these officers. His first question was “do you like hot-rodding down *** St.?” My son said, “No. I wasn’t speeding.” Officer, “I didn’t say you were. I could get you for reckless op.” He then asked my son where he was coming from. My son told him so-n-sos house. The officer stated that “well he does drugs, can I search your car?” My son refused the search. Officer said he called in the K9 unit…and are you sure you don’t want to let me search your car? My son said go ahead and bring the dog. They said the dog alerted (no bark no scratch no sit–said dog lifted its nose)so they searched. Found nothing, let my son go, and only gave him a verbal warning.
    The officer said his probable cause was “where he was coming from,who his friends are, and oh yeah he was swerving. Well, a formal complaint is on its way….So know not all officers are good, and many treat juveniles like criminals with no cause. I have informed my sons never consent to a search and never answer any questions. They know our lawyers name and are to give it to the officers who want to question them. As I’ve heard: “Nothing good can from a juvenile talking to the police without a lawyer present”

  13. Ryan says:

    Yeesh.

    The assertion that using a voice recorder implies guilt is ludicrous. Police wrongdoing and corruption, while not the omnipresent spectre some would claim, is still very real. A voice recording would eliminate any verbal ambiguity. An officer’s verbal testimony certainly carries more heft in court than that of a defendant, but an officer couldn’t possibly refute his/her own voice.

    If the officer’s not doing anything wrong, why would he/she have a problem with someone recording his/her voice? Uh oh! Now I’m using your own arguments against you!

    During a traffic stop, a definite imbalance of power exists. Police officers are accorded advantages and rights that non-officers are not. This is necessary in order for police to do their jobs, but it also creates a potentially abusive situation. As a driver, even if I have not committed any crime, I am largely at the mercy of the officer. I can’t drive away. I can’t punch the cop in the face and tell him to stuff his nightstick up his bum. I can’t call my cohorts to come back me up (though the officer can). What I CAN do, as a United States citizen, is assert the rights given to me by the FREAKING UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION (remember that piece of paper?). I can refuse a search. And please, find a law that tells me I can’t record the voice of a government employee from within my private property (my car). I’ll be floored if you do. The bottom line is: if I haven’t done anything wrong, I don’t owe anything to anybody, no matter what an officer wants to believe.

    Heck, I definitely know there are good cops out there – I actually got pulled over today for speeding by a Maryland state trooper. He was cordial, direct, and efficient (I was pulled over for roughly 5 minutes), and I certainly couldn’t dispute the charge levelled at me. All in all, he did exactly what he was trusted by the state to do: protect and serve. I felt respected, and in turn I gave respect back.

    BUT!!! Not every officer behaves in such a manner. I know from personal experience. But no journalists wrote about me, so here are some links to noteworthy cases of police misconduct that did elicit media coverage. Cut ‘n’ paste ‘em:

    —————————
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18328267/
    (Atlanta police kill 92-year-old woman during failed drug raid; two later plead guilty to manslaughter)

    —————————
    http://archives.cnn.com/2000/LAW/10/16/lapd.corruption.tria/
    (commonly called the Rampart Scandal, LAPD’s CRASH unit, purportedly an anti-gang unit, involved in widespread corruption including unprovoked shootings, forged evidence, and drug trafficking; link leads to article about trial of first four officers charged)

    —————————
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE4D81E3DF933A05754C0A965958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all (New York State Police forge fingerprints in several cases over nearly a decade; at least three officers convicted with multi-year prison sentences)

    —————————
    Aaand two from my beloved B-more:

    http://baltimore.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/pressrel06/ba061606.htm
    (Two Baltimore officers federally convicted of various robbery, drug trafficking, and firearms offenses; combined, their prison sentences exceed 450 years)

    —————————
    This link in particular provides an excellent illustration of the wisdom in civilians making visual and/or audio recordings of interactions with police.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=9GgWrV8TcUc
    (Officer Salvatore Rivieri puts headlock on and throws to ground a 14-year-old skateboarding illegally in Inner Harbor area; after video became well-known, Rivieri’s police powers were suspended and he was reassigned to administrative duties)
    —————————
    The fact is: bad (nay, terrible) and undeserved things happen to good people. Authority should be wielded deftly, not clumsily. To trust blindly that you are in absolutely no danger of becoming a victim of police misconduct if you are, indeed, not engaged in illegal activity is just that: blind. Authority derives true legitimacy from proper application, not from the unquestioning deference of those under said authority.

    Mmmkay?

    Oh, and “Anonymous” (two posts above mine)? “[D]umb” people don’t pass the bar exam!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I wrote the post concerning my son being pulled over, k9 searched, and let go with a VERBAL warning. Now, through my research, I am finding that it is “dangerous” to file a police complaint directly to the police department. I do not need for my sons to be harassed more, but I DO NOT want to let these officers continue their abusive behavior either. So, I am stuck right now not knowing how to proceed. I do know that I will not let this go…a month prior to my son being pulled over, this officer stopped some friends my son had stopped to talk to..ask them who was in that car and then stated, “I’ve been trying to get that car, but haven’t been able to”. Tell me this is not harassment!

  15. Anonymous says:

    What a statement that is “dumb people don’t pass the bar exam”. I can personally introduce you to many people who have passed the exam and are indeed dumb. I just find it absolutely hilarious that you find such an invasion of privacy by letting an officer search your vehicle. I mean after all most people who commit crimes do not hide things in their cars. As a matter of fact they usually leave them out in plain view. You can post many links that show your side of the story in a positive light. To add to everything else why would you as an attorney not want citizens to get arrested? After all if they weren’t arrested how would you make a living? Wow, let’s talk ourselves out of a job! So do you still think dumb people don’t pass the bar exam?

  16. Robert says:

    Anon 4:08,
    I am trying to talk myself out representing defendants for drug possession. I am a member of NORML, LEAP, and StopTheDrugWar.org.

    Possession cases are a huge part of my law practice. However, I would gladly trade that work to end Prohibition.

    Prohibition is a perpetual failure, and a disgrace to American values of liberty and limited government. The sooner it ends, the better.

  17. John says:

    It’s interesting how your views of cops can change. I used to be the whole, “Cops can’t search my stuff without a warrant man. Stop trampling on my constitutional rights dude” kind of guy.

    Amazingly, once I stopped doing things I shouldn’t have been doing, I realized wow, I mainly thought that way because I didn’t want to get in trouble. Cops GENERALLY don’t ask to search you unless you are up to no good.

    If you truly are innocent, then say yes right away, let them search, and then you can be the smug jerk afterwards and tell them “I told you so”. They’re not doing a strip search or anything, its really not demeaning to have them search. They deal enough with real criminals saving your butts, why give them more guff for no good reason?

  18. Robert says:

    John,
    You share a common misconception that is it somehow rude to not allow the police to search. I disagree. It is rude for the police to assume you are a criminal and ask to search.

    RG

  19. Anonymous says:

    Cops suck…..they don’t do the job they are paid to do…NEVER let them search you!

  20. Corey says:

    thanks for the info i wasnt sure about that its nice to know that some one somewhere knows our rights and is willing to share them with us even if people dont want us to know them

  21. Brandon says:

    I understand wanting to observe your civil rights. This is how criminals continue to infest our society with drugs, guns, and other illegal items. Every law abiding citizen who has nothing to hide and knows that officers are merely doing their job in an effort to keep us safe to the best of their ability will let an officer conduct a search. The laws of search and seizure are primarily controlled by case law, and the officer is human, if he or she develops reasonable suspicion that something is not right about a particular traffic stop, allow him to probe further to satisfy his suspicion. If he finds nothing is there, he/she will release the person stopped with a what ever enforcement action that prompted the traffic stop. An officer’s job is tough enough as it is. Why compound things making it difficult. We should respect them for the job they do. Remember, when every something goes wrong or things happen out of the norm, who do we call. Typically, its our law enforcement officers who work long shifts and all most all holidays. Crime and public responses do not stop after 5pm Monday thru Friday and on holiday. Its those officers who are out there trying to make a difference the best way they can according to their training.

  22. John says:

    Well,the truth is,the police can do what they want(outside of brutally beating a completely innocent person into traction). If they really want to search you’re car they will do so and denying a search will be a massive red flag for them. They are not there to help you in those situations,a police officer is only looking for an arrest at that point of suspicion. This “keep us safe” thing is exactly what police officers should focus on,not arresting a bunch of “dangerous” stoners(watch out cheetos,they will kill you!)Seriously,until cannabis is legalized and law enforcement is forced to stop arresting people who consume cannabis,then “getting away” with pot,for me,is like rosa parks staying on the damn bus. I won’t throw away my principals and what I believe in for propaganda filled minds,officers or not. “But it is the law” does not cut it any more…it is immoral and I choose to dissent no matter the cost because it is so.I have never needed the help of an officer and they are not guarding me.They are civilians with guns to handle violent people,but because of the drug war,there stress,budget and time is spent on useless arrests that fill jails and prison cells with people who cause NO HARM.

  23. Disgusted in Dallas says:

    My question is how do you prove (after the fact if you have no recording)that you refused a seach that was done over your protests and repeated requests to be allowed to leave, AND the cop later files a report stating that the search was consensual? I am speaking of a one educated, intelligent defendent, one cop, no witnesses and no video from the cop car available.

  24. deeznuts says:

    casey! you are the type of person that causes problems from all the people out here that value there freedom. that do not want drug plating cops placing drugs in there car or how about the next time your on the 405 lets see you spend 4 hours detaned in a road block bacause you refused to give the cop blood or saliva…. who is the bad guy any one abuseing power

  25. Ian says:

    To all of the people on here who say “if you aren’t doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to hide”- At what point do you draw the line? Would you mind if the police knocked on the door to your home and said “sir/ma’am, do you mind if we take a look around your house?”
    Well by your logic, I guess you wouldn’t mind this because if your not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to hide.
    I disagree with this thought process, because I do believe in our constitution (that many men and women including police have given there lives to protect) and I value my right to privacy. That is why I will not consent to a search of my vehicle during a traffic stop even though “I have nothing to hide”. This is only one point, and I could go on with more reasons, but I don’t think this is the right forum to write a book on the subject. I would like to respond to a few of the opinionated posters on here:
    To Casey- What the hell does the Iraq war have to do with this topic? No, I am not a Democrat.

    To Corey- If a police officer has a “reasonable suspicion” he will not ask to search your car. He will just search your car. Probably after you are in handcuffs in the back of his car. But to be clear a few example’s of “reasonable suspicions” are seeing drugs out in the open, prior felonies or warrants when they run your license, physical evidence that you are driving away from a crime, 911 call with physical evidence coinciding with callers story, etc.
    “Reasonable Suspicion” is not a cop thinking he smells marijuana.

  26. Richie Rich says:

    One poster says: Law abaiding people have nothing to hide”. So, I guess that the p[olice can install cameras in your bedroom and bathroom and entire home and monitor them 24/7…right? I mean, if you have nothing to hide..right?

    People, wake up.Privacy ALONE is enough reason to always refuse consent,. not even condisering constitutional rights. The same whining cops that want us to throw away our precious Rights also would say they support the troops in danger…NOT!! The troops dying overseas are doing so for the CONSTITUTION, a document that cops shred and spit on every time they ask US to give up those blood bought rights..shame on them.

    NEVER give consent, never discuss why, and always stand firm when dealing with thug cops. Cops respect NOTHING but lawyers and force. They fear standing in a Federal courtroom and explaining why they violated the rights of a citizen.

    If more people sued this would really make a difference…cops need to be watched like a hawk as they always tend to press their’ authority’ to the edge of facism. Only a cop with NO PROBABLE CAUSE ould have the gaul to demand that we grovel and wait on the side of a road while they trash our belongings, just hoping for some petty contraband so they can ruin another life. Damn the war on drugs and every cop who asks for consent.

  27. Leah says:

    I agree with Ian.

  28. True Conservative says:

    My comments to statements made mostly by anonomous cop :

    ” I further more believe that if a officer was attempting to obtain consent to search a vehicle and the driver/owner says “no” the threat of bringing a K9 dog would be considered coercion.”

    You believe that based on what? The courts throwing all cases in which it happened out and ordering all people arrested under such circumstances released even if they do not go to trial? Threatening to bring a K9 is very common in Texas so are you admitting that police coercion is very common?

    “Then again what do I know I am only a police officer who misleads and thinks everyone is a criminal.”

    You did say that you think everyone who carries a recorder is a criminal even though its not illegal to carry one. BTW Do you carry one?

    Also you did say that everybody on this website is a criminal. And you are on this website.

    And if you honestly never mislead anybody then you are not a very good police officer because you were trained to mislead.

    “Oh yes, carry a pocket voice recorder in your pocket. You really need this if you are doing nothing wrong. You people are crazy. Why would you need to go through all this trouble if you are not out somewhere doing something you shouldn’t be doing?”
    Why would you care if people carry a recorder if YOU are doing nothing wrong? What do YOU have to hide?

    “If you people were such innocent citizens then you would not be on this website.”

    Neither would you.

    “Well the next time that someone breaks into your house and steals everything you have then don’t even call the police.”

    Trust me I wont. I did not last time either.

    “The next time someone is creeping in your yard in the middle of the night don’t even call just go out there by yourself and handle the problem.”

    I might or might not go out there but I promise I will not call the cops.

    “It’s funny though the cops are the bad guys to you people until you need them to come and do something for you.”

    I have never needed the cops (at least not for anything they could help me with) and cannot imagine it ever happening. Its possible that I might be required by law under some circumstances to call you but otherwise you will not be hearing from me. I will never volentarily call you especially if I am in danger. Also, you are the only one I have noticed reffering to cops as “bad guys”.

    “You guys probably think that all of the troops in Iraq should be pulled out immediately too.”

    Nope. Iran would take it. That would be incredibly stupid. It may happen though.

    “You guys probably disagree with war and do not understand the cause and effect of a war.”

    So you agree with war under any and all circumstances? For any reason or for no reason? I do not. I do agree that there was just cause to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. I also believe there is just cause to invade Iran and Pakistan. I understand that all military officers are sworn to uphold and protect the constitution which contains the rights you believe we should give up. So I wonder if you understand? I understand that one of the effects of the wars we have fought are the rights that we enjoy. The same rights that you think we should volentarily give up like our 4th ammendment right. We do not even need an ammendment for the right to carry a tape recorder but you still think we should give that up too. I think YOU are probably a democrat! More likely a socialist actually! Say hello to Howard Dean for me.

    “Then I think the majority of you people are probably democrats too.”

    Maybe the majority of us are but I am not. But even if I were how would that make me less of an American than you are? I am a true conservative and you embarrass me. People like you make us all look bad.

    “This post is not intended to the people who posted prior to me about thinking their local law enforcement professionals are doing a great job.”

    What if I am undecided? If I were you would have just tipped my decision towards not thinking they are doing a great job. It is interesting that if I think law enforcement is doing a great job then I am OK but if I do not think that then I deserve all of your venom. Are you the thought police? What if I think the police are doing a great job but I carry a recorder? What if I do not think the police are doing a great job but I do not carry a recorder and I allways consent to searches? Would I be ok then? Or do I have to be just like you to be ok?

    “I don’t take peoples money to bring up some type of doubt in a persons mind that things were not followed legally.”

    As long as you follow “things” legally then you should have nothing to worry about. Thats what you said about us enemies I mean citizens.

    “It’s nice to know that while I am working I probably protect the innocent defense attorney who is sleeping peacefully in his bed.”

    Are you actually saying that you protect people? Hypothetically if I called the cops (which I will not) and said some guy is going to beat me up sometime tonight you would come over and sit with me all night and protect me? Im sure if he killed me you MIGHT arrest him but I would still be dead and I doubt that I would feel very protected. What if 5 people called and said the same thing. How could the police possibly protect everybody unless the ratio of police to non-police were 1 to 1? I am not a cop but I know several and you are the only cop I have ever heard actually claim to be able to protect anybody even if they wanted to. Firefighters protect me even though they do not get paid nearly as well as you do.

  29. no name says:

    Anyone who would go threw the trouble of trying to help people do things that are illegal should be arrested as co conspiritors. and by the way cops read this stuff to

  30. Anonymous says:

    Why in the world would any person guilty or not allow a duche, sorry cop to search you. Casey spoke of the war over seas well those people are over there dieing for our rights. So what your saying is that they are dieing for nothing. Let our rights go to waste and not exercise them. You are an idiot my friend. I did need the police once, when my car was stolen you know what those useless a holes told me??? Drive down to the police station to fill out a report. You sir are a moron and I would never consent to a search weather i have something or not. I would rather them bring the dog and waste hours of that officers day then to just allow him to look through my stuff. Rights not exercised are rights wasted.

  31. 30-year street cop says:

    OH MY GOD!!!

    I just happened to wander into this while I was looking up some other stuff on the 4th Ammendment. All I can really say is that if you have the great misfortune to encounter one of the badge-heavy Neanderthal-types in a uniform, then for Godsakes, go back to what Mr Guest wrote in his original piece of free advice. Keep in mind that you are in an ARMED ENCOUNTER!!! Again, if you have already determined that you are being treated unfairly/unjustly, or un-whatever; you must come to the realization that you are ultimately involved in a life-or-death situation! Why in God’s name would you ever choose to anger, piss-off, or otherwise thwart an armed individual who has already proven to you that he is a moron? One of the VERY first things they teach us in the Police Academy is the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights for all our citizens. We are taught the awesome power that is granted to us as law enforcement officers, in relation to exercising our duties “to protect and serve” the public. No doubt, in over thirty years as a street cop, I’ve seen my share of folks who’ve disgraced the very uniform I swore to wear with total dedication to that honored principle. People, keep your head about you. Be a good witness. Survive this encounter and go home!! Make an intelligent complaint to the department’s Public Integrity Bureau. Have your laughs later with your teeth intact, your record unblemished, and your dignity restored. And don’t think that the police brass will or can ignore an intelligently-presented complaint about an abusive officer. Try as they might, no one has yet figured out a way to put those uniforms out on the street without stuffing a human being inside of them. We, ALL of us, have the God-given gift of free will. We ALL have the exact same capacity for good or evil. Please do not, in the face of evil, especially acting under the color of law, give in to foolish pride. I won’t be returning to see how anyone responds to my comments. I offer them only from my heart, with the painful knowledge that some of my colleagues have lost their way. Do not fall prey to your pride! God Bless!

  32. Reckless Mann says:

    This should never be an issue about having something to hide, rather it is an issue of preservation of Constitutional rights.

  33. Mark says:

    Well Robert,
    I just never feel my time is wasted when I arrive at your site. Several things I would like to point out to the readers, specifically the police. I was raised in foster care and my entire young life has been involved with police and social workers lawyers and judges, so much so that I went to law school. However, I chose not to actually be an attorney as I did not want to defend someone I knew was guilty of a heinous crime nor to prosecute someone I knew was innocent. In thousands of encounters with police from all over the U.S. I found not a single one who could convey any sense of being forthright. And there is a constant erosion of the constitution and civil liberties. I never consent to anything, I will not even offer my ID if I am not driving. If they want to go through all that , I “I will find something to convict you of” bull then I am all for it. If they say they are bringing the dogs, bring it on. I have more audio/visual equipment installed in my home and vehicles then MGM has in their studio. The equipment in my cars are worth more then the cars themselves. It is about privacy and the erosion of our rights. I was stopped just before I posted this at a 7-11 and I asked why they were stopping me and they replied “because I can” I laughed and said arrest me or i will assume I am free to leave. well, I am here!

  34. James Ebernathy, says:

    Wow! Did “30-yr street cop” really imply that police carry a gun for intimidation purposes so you better just swallow your pride and bend over at their whim? As soon as a cop pulls you over for a minor traffic violation and asks to search the vehicle, he is no longer there to ‘protect and serve’. He wants to find something, anything to bust you on and he’s definately not your friend. How do you know an empty beer can didn’t fall under the seat the last time you hauled cans to the recycler? At least by refusing consent you stand a chance of getting that evidence thrown out. The point is you never can know what they will find or how they will interpret it…everything is to your detriment. Why risk it? You hope being nice the officer will make it easier on you? In that case why is the officer even searching you? You can’t get in trouble by asserting your rights so don’t let them coerse you through intimidation. We all have rules to live by, including the police.

  35. darkfall13 says:

    Well it looks like you summoned a fail whale “Cop-per Anon July 17, 2008 6:29 AM.” And sadly NO the average citizen doesn’t know their rights. Miranda anyone?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08fZQWjDVKE

  36. annonymous says:

    I was pulled ober the other evening and told the reason i was stopped was i stopped past the white line. immediatly i was asked about illegal drugs or weapons, then dtd i mind if he searched, having nothing to hide, i consented. when the officer pat me down he took a switchblade knife from me, never even noticed what it was, and needless to say when he finally let me go approx. 45 minutes later it was still on the hood of his k-9 trailblazer. now , at the time i didn’t know that my registration had expired,and was’nt aware untill 2 days after the search, and guess what, the asshole that fabricated the excuse to pull me never even noticed it either. when he and the other county officer that showed up to destroy my truck couldn’t find anything to arrest me for, the officer wrote me a warning and then i couldn’ believe when he handed me the warning, he asked me if i was hideing anythind under my nutsack, I’m 48 yrs old, no felonies, no drug charges ever in my life so where in the world does the protect and serve policy play into this picture? i told the officer “you sob, you just want to see my dick and at the same time i was dropping my pants and shakind my dick at him. sir, i will never give those retards my consebt ever again, and I have never called the police for anything, and you can bet your sweet ass if i ever do, its because i have shot the bastard lurching around my yard in the middle of the night. Mr. protect and serve, I was just wandering if the chickenshit comes with the badge, or if you supplied that yourself, but never mind you have to supply it thats why you wanted the badge. they give gadges to all the sorry mf’rs too sorry to work! like you!

  37. Scott says:

    I am a husband, a father, a small business owner, and a Concealed Handgun License holder. I am a law abiding citizen and have nothing illegal in my home or vehicles. I know what my rights are. One of them is the right to refuse a search by a police officer who doesn’t have a warrant to do so. A couple of months ago my wife and I had just woke up and the kids began waking also. The doorbell rang and my wife answered the door. A police officer was standing there and he stated that a 911 call had originated from our home. My wife said no there was no call from our home. The officer wanted to come inside and make sure everything was ok and there were no bad guys inside. She refused as we both know is the appropriate thing to do keeping with our rights, and said she would go get me. She closed the door and came and got me and I went to talk to the officer. He explained the same thing to me. He stated that my wife was acting suspiciously! I asked him what number the call came from, and he couldn’t tell me. He asked to come inside the house to look around. I said you are more than welcome to come in and look around all you want… as long as you have a warrant authorizing such. Conversation abruptly stopped and the officer huffed and turned his back to me and left without saying another word.
    I immediately went inside and called 911 and stated that there was just an officer at my door asking for entry. They confirmed a call and gave me the number the call originated from which turned out to be our fax line. All of our landline phones keep a log of numbers that were previously dialed. I checked them and the fax log and there were no 911 calls from any of our phones or fax machine. About 30 minutes later the same officer returned with another officer and claimed that there was another 911 call and I stated I know I just called them to see why an officer was trying to get in my house. The second officer tried to convince me that they are not the bad guys and “We don’t care if you have anything illegal inside” we are only trying to make sure there are no bad guys inside. I explained that if there was a bad guy inside I would have called them to come and drag his body out because I would have shot him.

    Observation:
    The officer already was suspicious of my wife who had no reason to act suspicious other than the unexpected knocking of a police officer at our door first thing after getting out of bed. I wonder what else they would have found suspicious after coming inside… No thanks! I will stand on my rights.

    We have seen the youtube videos also “Don’t talk to police” and “Busted” and I believe every American should view them.

  38. anonymous says:

    Some of you people are just plain ignorant of one of the most important principles, in fact the basis of our supposed Justice system. Innocent until proven guilty. It is the whole reason that our justice system exists. To protect that most important principle. It is upon that principle that it is built. Any cop who would presume my guilt and try to coherce me out of my bill of rights is crooked in my view. The “cops” propogand machine is just that. desensitizing us into a lax state of mind by showing this tactic used on primarily the worst cases. The fact is that the great majority of people are doing nothing wrong and we should not allow our rights to be ever diminishing by bying into this crap. Respect my Constitution and I will respect your actions, otherwise forgetabodit.