by M.D. Creekmore on August 9, 2013 · 27 comments
An law school professor and former criminal defense attorney tells you why you should never agree to be interviewed by the police.
I agree that you should never speak with the police unless an attorney is present. Police in general are becoming more violent, more militaristic, and less concerned with the individual’s constitutional right. Police have developed an “us vs. them” mentality and unfortunately we are “them”.
Thats why Revolutions get started , and the ones that end up on the wrong side …………go to Gulag .
Generally this is true and a good safety measure in most cases. I would state that as in most situations–make your decisions based on what works and what the reality is at the time. I do my best to remain flexible and have very few “always” scenarios as there seem to be exceptions and variables in life. I do my best not to get locked in to any ridged thinking that would prevent wise action.
One exception would be if you live in a small town rural area as I do and KNOW the police well and know their character and values. I once saved my husband and myself of being very unfairly charged with a crime (which was a lie and I had the signed paperwork to back up the truth.) By meeting with two police and quickly showing them the evidence BEFORE the charges were finalized I saved us a lot of grief.
The police asked if I wished to have an attorney present and I simply said “No, we are not guilty of these charges and I trust you to handle this fairly after you see the evidence.” I knew if I waited and brought in an attorney that the charges would be processed without my evidence.They did not often get that response and were very open to looking at the material I brought. Had I behaved otherwise, my husband who is totally disabled would have been arrested and so would I. Plus we would have had to pay outrageous attorney fees.
We did not have the available funds to defend ourselves–it costs around a minimum of $12,000 to get any decent representation in our area–and most of that has to be paid up front.
It was a trumped up charge brought by greedy people who thought they could financially abuse us due to our circumstances and age. They lost and after the police saw the material and also knew who we were, they let the accusers know LOUD and clear that they were wrong and that no case would be brought forward. They were the guilty party, not us. We could have filed charges against them but did not as we try to stay far away from courts.
While there are bad police and those who just work against you out of an “us and them” mentality–they are not all like that and it is important to know when and where to react. It can work against you in certain cases and ALWAYS “lawyering up” can make you look guilty when you are not.
My husband and I have suffered far more at the hands of unscrupulous lawyers than we have from our local police. Just getting a lawyer will not mean you are fairly represented. Quite often there is a LOT of “trading” going on between lawyers and judges and cases are actually determined most of the time before it gets into the court room. Most of the public has no idea how the law operates behind the scenes. Our justice system in America has deteriorated into a money making scheme and cannot be trusted anymore. If you have a lot of money, you get a lot of protection. You will very rarely find any wealthy people in prison–just a few for “examples” and some who didn’t play ball with those in power. I am sure there are some fine ethical judges and courts but the way the system is designed–all about money–it will not work for those who do not have it.
That reminds me of the joke. @ lawyers are in an elevater. They see a beautifull woman walk by the open door. One lawyer says to another. I would love to screw her. The other lawyer says, out of what?
First…I’m a lawyer and that’s a good joke. Lawyers actually like lawyer jokes. My favorite one is “What do you call 6000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?”……”A good start.”
Second…Doris was lucky. If you know the officers PERSONALLY, and I mean dinner at their house and kids playing together…maybe OK. And she’s also correct about the “system.” We do not have a “justice” system in this country. That’s long gone. It’s a legal system. And it, in most cases, is all about money. Both for the lawyers and the state. It makes me sick. That and the fact that I have to deal with the scum of the earth, defend them “zealously” (I swore an oath) whether I know for a fact they are guilty or not, to make a living. If I’d know that 30 years ago I would not be in this business today, My dad was a lawyer also. It was not always as it is now. ‘Tis the way of things, as is said. We all know it. Some of us have souls. I hope I won’t rot in hell. Most lawyers will.
Third, and last (and this IS “legal” advice), DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, talk to a police officer. Their job, and they are trained specifically, by lawyers, to do, is to build a case against you. That is all.
Given recent supreme court “opinions” you must know…well…chokehold the cops by saying: “I am specifically invoking my fifth amendment right to remain silent and I wish to speak to an attorney.”
Nothing else, until you do see an attorney, court provided or not.
By doing this, you stop them in their tracks. They must then decide to charge you and arrest you, or not. Don’t help them.
Threescore and ten I can remember well:
Within the volume of which time I have seen
Hours dreadful and things strange; but this sore night
Hath trifled former knowings.
I have always though I was smart enough to know “what to say when”. After hearing this talk, I think I am now convinced that I should say nothing even when it is against my better judgement.
My only concern is that it is only from his point of view he is correct. I can believe, like he said, every defendant standing in court has harmed himself by voluntarily waiving his god given 5th amendment rights. But, how many people speak with the police give them information about a crime and are never considered suspects? If those people were all silent where would justice be?
The INSTANT anyone starts to even IMPLY you might be involved or know more than you should, you should immediately terminate the interview. If they refuse to let you walk, then immediately demand an attorney — do NOT wait for them to read you your rights. As soon as you make that demand, technically they are no longer allowed to speak to you (other than to order you around, of course). Any information they dig out of you AFTER you requested an attorney (and which the attorney is not present for) is, again technically, “fruit of the poison tree” and inadmissible in court. Obviously, if certain elements in our government and/or society get their way, these rules will no longer save you, but as long as the authorities at least pretend to follow the Constitution, your attorney at least has SOMETHING to work with.
I don’t mean to abuse cops or imply they would do anything improper, but if you actually ask a real cop, he or she will say the exact same thing I just did. When you’re a suspect, odds are the only thing talking will do is get you in worse trouble, even if you are innocent!
I was a Federal Police Officer for 31 years… freely tell anyone and everyone I can. DO. NOT. TALK. TO. THE. POLICE. I got people to say all sorts of things they really didn’t want or mean to say. Usually I had good reason and at least some evidence to back me up in doing so. No , I wasn’t perfect. Having said that, I also took people down paths I really didn’t want to go and neither did they… Thankfuilly for my own sense of worth and well-being I came from a different time when Cops were and mostly deserved the respect they got. Sure, a lot of us started so we could wear a badge, carry a gun and boss people around.. those of us that stayed with it and became successfull stopped being LAW ENFORCERS somewhere nbetween 8 and 12 years in and became PEACEKEEPERS Not PeaceMAKERS, but PEACE KEEPERS…Nowadays MOST Cops are hourly workers at best and never grow out of the moronic Law Enforcing bullies…part of the reason I walked. I was a training officer from 1985 to 2012, trained my guys and gals to do right… year by year more and more didn’t and bosses wouldn’t, so I don’t. Also, NEVER SAY YES TO A VOLUNTARY SEARCH! Never know who did what in YOUR car… a kid’s buddy or botfriend/girlfriend might have dropped a roach or pill completely by mistake, but it’s your car and your bust…
I’ve always considered when Christ said, “Blessed are the Peace Makers” one of the groups that He was talking about were the Police.
There are good and bad in all groups, I’ve known Pastors that I would not trust with my check book, wallet, or DW either.
Thank you for your service Ol’e Wolf and God Bless.
Remember: A growing number of cops (and soldiers) are Oath Keepers. Before you paint all with the same brush, please consider this…
I said elsewhere that I don’t want to imply that all, or even most cops would take advantage of you, but since the bad ones don’t carry a card saying “Don’t talk to me,” I prefer to err on the side of caution. If that makes one of the good ones feel bad, I’m sorry, but I’d rather he felt bad than I spent even a single day in prison for a crime I didn’t commit.
I’ve waffled back and forth over signing on… my problem is a simple one… I KNOW what some federal agencies have done to access digital information, legally and like McGee in NCIS… one of the reasons I dropped out of NRA and don’t comment on blogs very often… I stopped trusting my government. I know if it ever does come to a martial law situation everyone of these databases are grabbed and anyone on them is screwed… I KNOW who and what I am. The man in the mirror is my judge. Thank You for your comments… there are a lot more of us than most of my fellow Libertarians realize…
I recently spent a year on a grand jury. One city cop made a routine of asking folks if he could search their vehicles in routine traffic stops. Got a cracked tail light lens or blown bulb, he’d pull you over and ask for permission to search. Next thing you know he’d be before us trying to get a true bill for the drugs or other contraband he had found. After a few months we got to asking him a question every time. We’d say, did you have probable cause to search their vehicle. He’d say no.
We’d say, if they had said no what would you have done. He’d say that he would have let them go.
I can’t say more than that.
I agree with not talking with the cops. I’ve met a few who are crooked and willingly twist the truth to fit what they want the outcome to be. I do not trust many lawyers either though. There have been a couple of them in my county who were arrested for fraud. They stole from their clients.
Normally I would have to agree with this video, its been out for years, and there is a lot of truth to it. However I will just say sometimes different circumstances can dictate what happens… Or should I quote T.R. and scream the gulag…
Speaking as a former unit commander in the military, one lesson I took away from that experience is NEVER, EVER waive your right to an attorney. If a cop stops you and asks you any questions about a crime that he seems to think YOU might have been involved in, immediately refuse to answer any questions without an attorney being present, and then STOP TALKING. If they ask you more questions, simply look at them, or say, “When my attorney arrives.” Don’t sign anything, don’t say anything, don’t even gesture if you can avoid it. Become log-like. If they tell you they WANT to help you, but unless you talk with them, they can’t, do NOT speak to them. They are lying and WILL use anything you say or do against you in court. You should also be able to extrapolate these rules from watching Law & Order….
Yeah… the only ones they are helping are themselves. The 5th amendment is your friend. If you don’t talk.. then it’s all on them to find crap to bury you with. Sadly some judges are crooked and fail to follow the constitution.
Two cases come to mind. In both cases the owner had his computer encrypted. One judge said you cant force him to hand over the encryption key because that violates his 5th amendment rights. The other judge… said you have to turn it over. We’re talking federal judges here in district courts making the rulings. If Im not mistaken… the one from CO was the one not following the constitution.
Those were very interesting cases, details here:
EVERYTHING I have is encrypted. There’s not anything illegal about it (in my situation at least). As best I can tell, and there simply is no case law that I know of, I cannot be compelled to decrypt anything. Attorney client privilege. This is running around the ABA now. Speak up if you know otherwise, I’ve been researching this issue. As have others.
I use this:
It’s VERY secure.
While conducting my duties as a PI, the police get dispatched occasionally to see why I’m sitting out for long hours over multiple days – I always turn on my digital tape recorder when the officer(s) or anyone else pulls up or approaches my vehicle and covertly record our conversation. It has saved me from issues with the law on more than one occasion!
And there is an app for that with your smart phone… so it wouldn’t even look weird just holding your phone down by your side. ;)
Just look for voice recorder where you get your apps.
There is another part of this video. It’s a former police officer that explains, again, why you should not talk to police. He makes it very clear that what you say will be used against you no matter how innocent you are.
Also , VERY important !! they will continuously offer you coffe , soda , water ……..they are not being nice , its designed to make you have to pee and be uncomfortable , they DONT have to let you go to the bathroom . Get a lawyer as fast as you can and plead the 5th until they arrive .
Piss your pants of you have to. I’ve seen this.
I would ask several times to go to the bathroom ( remember , everything is being taped ) , then I would stand up and piss on the wall . 9 times out of 10 , any judge will throw the charges out the window that they make for you doing that .
It’s also a way for them to get fingerprints and DNA. Remember… trash is not private property and therefore doesn’t require a search warrant.
I have Boston’s book “You and the Police” everyone should read this book. It covers all kinds of interactions with cops and really hits home that the police are not our friends any more.
Knowing lots of law enforcement from local to federal, they are all on the same sort of goal, find a guilty party within 24 hours or someone to pin it on in 48. It’s not written anywhere, just like giving tickets to out of town people can’t really be proven.
Also, refuse any drinks given, any ‘trash’ is acceptable to take and get your fingerprints and DNA.
Comments on this entry are closed.
Previous post: Friday Miscellany
Next post: What is Your Favorite Survival Fiction Book?
Join 13,489 Subscribers and get FREE updates by Email or RSS!