Tag Archives: Flex Your Rights

Via Submission: Seek Higher Ground Then Stand Firm and Flex Your Rights

The videos and description within this post were shared with the CopBlock Network by a reader named Mike V, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

In the post, Mike describes an encounter he had with two police officers from the Clarkstown Police Department, in New York State. Although it’s not entirely clear if Mike is referring to a romantic relationship or just him moving from his former residence when he mentions a “bad breakup,” he and the landlord are apparently not getting along well. As a result, the landlord called the police on him over where he parked his moving van.

Instead of remaining outside or opening his door to potentially allow the police access to his house, Mike proceeded to talk to them from the roof of the building. Although that’s a bit of an odd choice, Mike has the right idea in doing whatever he can to avoid contact with the police. Generally nothing good can come from that. Oftentimes, such contact leads to a kidnapping, assault, or worse. Even if you have to climb the walls, maintain your distance whenever possible.

Date/Time of Incident: Sept 17th 930pm
Department/Officers Involved: Car 2217 – Clarkstown (NY) Police Department
Department Phone No.: (845) 639-5800
Department Facebook Page: Clarkstown Police Department on Facebook
Department Twitter Account: @Clarkstown PD

Me and the landlord are currently going through a bad breakup. I moved most of my stuff today and came home around 9pm.

After that, I had a friend pick me up and within five minutes my roommate called saying the cops were there because the moving truck was blocking her son from pulling into the driveway.

Part one of the video shows the first encounter as I pulled back up. Part two of the video shows the encounter when they knocked on my front door to talk to me. I wisely talked to them from the roof instead of opening the door and giving the armed thugs access to my house.

I stopped the video too short because they said they were going to ticket the truck for no front license plate after the video ends. I said its on private property and they replied “it’s within 10 ft of the road” I told them to leave the ticket on the windshield and have a good night. The never issued a ticket…

Just more lies, threats, and intimidation tricks, as usual.

Stand your ground everyone. Flex your rights.

– Mike V

Part One:

Part Two:

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Knowing When And How to Assert Your Rights When Dealing With Police

The post below was shared with the CopBlock Network anonymously, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.  The person that submitted the story wanted to share his story about dealing with some Road Pirates from illinois in order to point out how important it is to both know your rights and to assert them any time you deal with police.

If you don’t use them you’ll lose them.

Effingham, Il. City Police

So I was pulled over around midnight heading home from work.  On my way, I noticed a local cop car following about 20 feet behind me, with no lights.  After about four miles, he flashed his lights and I pulled over at a gas station. “No big deal” I thought. Then another car pulled in with his lights on and parked horizontal to the front of my truck, blocking me in.  Two more pulled up by the rear sides of my truck and I was completely blocked in.  A fifth cop car parked in an actual parking spot.

I was pulled over for “no license plate lighting” and was issued a warning.  The officer who issued the warning went to his car to put in the ticket or something.  When he left another cop walked up to the window and asked me stupid questions like, “What type of illegal drugs do you do?”  And “Do you have them with you?”  I kept asking to leave, but that guy was taking forever.

While the second cop was asking me questions, the others were looking over my truck with flashlights.  One officer walked up to the passenger window and asked if he could look in my tool box; of course I said, “No”.  He smiled, looked to his left, nodded, and then the tool box in my bed opened!

“Hey, man!” I yelled, reached for my door handle, and pulled it out as the officer in the driver’s side window locked my door just before I could open it.  Someone said, “There’s an uncased firearm.”  I replied, “What!?! That’s not true!”

The officer unlocked my door, opened it, and held out his hand like a butler would holding open a door.  He pulled out an air soft handgun with an orange tip.  When I got out, I noticed they had taken everything out of my toolbox and put it in my bed.

I’m leaned against the parked car away from my truck and they ask me to turn out my pockets.  I said, “No.”  Then I said I’m not doing anything else until I call my lawyers and parents.  I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of that sooner!  They were probably worried sick!

I pulled out my phone and he held out his hand.  I laughed, so did he.  The rest of the officers gathered around, including the one with my ticket.  I asked the officer who had originally pulled me over if I could leave.  “Not until you hand over the phone, boy” one cop said.

I used to read my fathers law books and I’m working on getting a law degree myself, So I manned up and laid out the facts.

“Alright gentleman.  Let me start off with letting you know my parents represent the Charleston (IL) police department, we’ll be expecting an apology, or your jobs, know-your-rightsor both.” The asshole in my father was coming out of me!

“Second off, the Fourth Amendment states you need a warrant to search my phone, or truck for that fact. The Fifth Amendment states I don’t have to give you my phone and I don’t have to let you search my truck.  It’s to prevent self-incrimination.  I have nothing to hide, but it’s my right, and I’m going to use it.  Now, may I please leave?”

They kind of looked at each other and one said, “Okay, but it’s officer safety.  You’ll be arrested for refusing to cooperate.”  I smile and say, “Section 1983, title 42 of the U.S. Code states that I CANNOT be punished for refusing to give up my rights.”  My father pulled that card when the school tried to take my phone. “So go ahead and arrest me, let’s tee it off in “police brutality” case.  After all you didn’t harm me, but tried to strip me of my rights, right?”

I hold out my wrists and stare at the cop that asked the questions in the face.  I looked around and he looked back at me and said, “Have a nice, fucking, night,” and walked off.  The rest followed except for the original cop, who pulled me over.  He asked, “So are you gonna refuse to sign this?”  I said, “No, hasn’t stopped you yet,” and signed it; which after all, really is a traffic violation.

When I told my dad, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him more proud!  He made calls and we were invited to Olive Garden to eat with the police chief.  He paid for the whole thing out of his own pocket.

The Effingham Police mission statement on their website states:

We, of the Effingham Police Department, dedicate ourselves to serve the citizens within our jurisdiction and endeavor to treat all people in a fair and impartial manner.

We commit ourselves to providing professional, high quality and effective police service in partnership with the community.

We hold ourselves to the highest standards of conduct and ethics as we regard it an honor to hold the public trust.

We regard our employees as THE most important asset to our organization. We encourage the intellectual and physical development of our people through training and education.

It seems that the Effingham Police Department left out a section about honoring their oaths to the Constitution of the United States.  After all, it’s just a piece of paper.

You have to invoke your rights, folks.  Officers are counting on you NOT knowing your rights. They can and will use that ignorance to ensnare you into any kind of frivolous charge that they can get you on.  Invoking your rights is not the same thing as being uncooperative.

Do not fall victim to their tactics of intimidation.  There are many resources out there to educate yourself on your rights.  CopBlock.org also has a resources section that can provide you with a wide range of information and direct you to other resources about your rights and protecting yourselves against the police state.

BTW, one of those rights that you should always be exercising is the right to film the police. they aren’t always so quick to back down just because you know your rights. Don’t leave it up to their word against yours.

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“Let Me See Your I.D.” Stop and Identify Statutes – Know Your Rights

Stop and ID Statutes Map States Nevada Cop Block

Everyone should know their rights regardless, but it’s even more essential that you do if you intend to go out and film the police. Therefore, you should know if the state you live in has passed “stop and identify” statutes. If that is the case, then you should also know what is and isn’t required under such laws.

In 24 states police may require you to identify yourself. (If they have reasonable suspicion that you’re involved in criminal activity.)

“Stop and identify” statutes are laws in the United States that allow police to detain persons and request such persons to identify themselves, and arrest them if they do not.

Except when driving, the requirement to identify oneself does not require a person who has been detained to provide physical identification. Verbally giving identifying information is sufficient to satisfy that requirement.

In the United States, interactions between police and citizens fall into three general categories: consensual (“contact” or “conversation”), detention (often called a Terry stop), or arrest. “Stop and identify” laws pertain to detentions.

Consensual

At any time, police may approach a person and ask questions. However, the person approached is not required to identify himself or answer any other questions, and may leave at any time.

Police are not usually required to tell a person that he is free to decline to answer questions and go about his business. A person can usually determine whether or not the interaction is consensual by asking, “Am I free to go?”

Detention

Police may briefly detain a person if they have reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime. Embedded below are videos from Flex Your Rights describing what reasonable suspicion is and when you are required to provide ID to the police. Police may question a person detained in a Terry stop, but in general, the detainee is not required to answer.[10] However, many states have “stop and identify” laws that explicitly require a person detained under the conditions of Terry to identify himself to police, and in some cases, provide additional information. (As of February 2011, the Supreme Court has not addressed the validity of requirements that a detainee provide information other than his name.)

Arrest

A detention requires only that police have reasonable suspicion that a person is involved in criminal activity. However, to make an arrest, an officer must have probable cause to believe that the person has committed a crime. Some states require police to inform the person of the intent to make the arrest and the cause for the arrest. But it is not always obvious when a detention becomes an arrest. After making an arrest, police may search a person, his or her belongings.

Variations in “stop and identify” laws

  • Five states’ laws (Arizona, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, and Ohio) explicitly impose an obligation to provide identifying information.
  • Fourteen states grant police authority to ask questions, with varying wording, but do not explicitly impose an obligation to respond:
  • In Montana, police “may request” identifying information;
  • In 12 states (Alabama, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Wisconsin), police “may demand” identifying information;
  • In Colorado, police “may require” identifying information of a person.
  • Identifying information varies, but typically includes
  • Name, address, and an explanation of the person’s actions;
  • In some cases it also includes the person’s intended destination, the person’s date of birth (Indiana and Ohio), or written identification if available (Colorado).
  • Arizona’s law, apparently written specifically to codify the holding in Hiibel, requires a person’s “true full name”.
  • Nevada’s law, which requires a person to “identify himself or herself”, apparently requires only that the person state his or her name.
  • In five states (Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island), failure to identify oneself is one factor to be considered in a decision to arrest. In all but Rhode Island, the consideration arises in the context of loitering or prowling.
  • Seven states (Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, New Mexico, Ohio, and Vermont) explicitly impose a criminal penalty for noncompliance with the obligation to identify oneself.
  • Virginia makes it a non-jailable misdemeanor to refuse to identify oneself to a conservator of the peace when one is at the scene of a breach of the peace witnessed by that conservator.

What is Reasonable Suspicion?

When Are You Required to Provide ID to the Police?

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