Yeninko of the Umlaut

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I will decline to answer that officer.

I tend not to get overly libertarian on this blog (trying to keep it real, yo) but it is very important that we protect ourselves against self incrimination, since that can get serious very quickly.

My brother who is an attorney recommend to me at a young age, to never talk to cops. If they want to interview you, just clam up and ask to speak to a lawyer, regardless if you have done something wrong or not.

But cops are very good at making you talk. For example, what do you say to a question like "Do you know how fast your were going?"
a) Yes (you sound like an ass)
b) No (you sound incompetent)
c) 99 (you just confessed)
d) 35 (you're lying)
e) Nothing (you sound like an ass again)

This 27 minute video I found on youtube (skip part two, it is informative, though only mildy interesting) might help you understand why a simple statement like, 'I decline to answer that question', or a return asking 'Am I legally obligated to answer that?' is your best bet. It'll piss off the cop but they are trying to get you to say something that will, in the end, cost you money and time.

Remember we all have a job to do. The job of the police job is to catch criminals, and with a literally an unknown number of laws on the books, we are all criminals. Even telling the truth to the police about a crime you did not commit can have consequences.

It is our job to protect the constitution by exercising our rights, including the right to not incriminate oneself, even or especially if you are 'innocent'. We protect the constitution but using the rights granted in the constitution. Those rights are eroded when we choose to not exercise them.

(The next post will be about something mellow like unicorn power and related subjects.)

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  • "I think I was doing 65"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:22 PM  

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