Knowing your rights as a citizen can greatly help in any situation. flexyourrights.org is probably the best resource to learn about your rights in confrontation with the police. If you go on youtube you can literally watch 100s of videos of knowing citizens putting officers in check during confrontations. There are also introductory books in the knowledge of rights.
This is a crash course in any police confrontation:
1. Know the laws for your area. If your area has laws that make open carry legal than keep this in mind if you decide to walk down the street with your firearm on display.
2. If there are any laws in addition to a specific law follow them also. Such as you can open carry but the weapon may not be loaded and/or you can not be under the influence of alcohol obey that.
3. When confronted by police, initiate the confrontration with a positive, open, and respectful attitude. This could defuse 90% of the issues before they even begin.
4. Understand that the 4th Amendment right (for those who have not waived this due to terms of probation or parole) means that the police can not search you unless you are being detained, arrested, or they have a warrant, bottom line. If you are pulled over, stepping out or off your vehicle makes it an abandoned vehicle in the eyes of the law.
5. The easiest way to enforce your 5th Amendment right is don’t say squat. It’s appropriate to address the officer with a, “Hello officer, how may I help you?” if the response is, “Do you know why I did blah blah blah?” Don’t open your mouth. If they continue and then ask “What were you doing?” The most simple answer is the best one, “I was going for a walk to get exercise.” or ” I was driving home from work/school.”
6. The two most magical phrases in a police confrontation are, “Are you detaining me, am I free to go?” and “I’m going to remain silent, I would like to see a lawyer.” The first phrase should be used if you are beginning to be questioned excessively. It’s reasonable to be asked why they stopped you and try to figure out what you are doing, but don’t give up more than the bare minimum and unless you are being detained or arrested the only other question that would be reasonable to ask is, “Do you have any questions or concerns?” If you are being arrested or interrogated beyond the standard questions, use the second phrases. This gives the legal system 0 rope to hang you with. The more you say the more rope you give to hang yourself with.
7. Be cooperative within your rights. If you are pulled over, pull the vehicle over promptly when safe to do so, keep your hands in clear sight, remain calm, and turn off your vehicle. This alone may avoid and unwelcome confrontation with the police
8. If asked to be searched, wheather its your person or your property, promptly say, “I don’t consent to searches.” Nothing more. Keep in mind you may have to repeat this to those stubborn cops who want to be bullies.
9. If at any point the officer asks if you are some sort of law student or something, don’t get cocky or carried away. That is usually a comment that is best left unadressed or left at a short yes or no answer. Also never say you know your rights, the cops may take that as a challenge to their authority, causing more issues than you started with.
10. Police can legally lie to you, so undercover cops don’t have to disclose they are undercover cops, and cops can say damn near anything to get you to do what they want. Don’t let them trick you, sticking to your guns can help in a legal battle.
11. Refusing to let police search is not a sign of guilt or probable cause, period.
12. Unless you are being arrested or detained you are legally free to leave at any point in time. Just ask the magic phrase, “Are you detaining me, or am I free to go.” Don’t wait for the police to dismiss you.
13. Never run from the police. This throws all your rights out the window.
14. If you are ever stopped and frisked only verbally express your non consent to searches
15. Never touch a cop unless it’s the appropriate time to shake their hands and you feel like doing so. This again is a means of throwing your rights to being search out the window.
16. In certain states you are not required to show I.D. to police if you are walking down the street.
17. If misconduct still occurs, document it as well as you can, make sure you have as accurate information as possible, including details about the officers themselves
18. You don’t have to let police into your home. They can do their job just as well from your front porch as they can your living room. But once they’re in your living room anything is fair game. Unless they have a warrant don’t let anyone with a badge in your home. The magic phrase here boys and girls is, “I can’t let you in without a warrant.”
All this information is available on flexyourrights.org I am not being encouraged by this website to talk about them, but I have seen the information they provide and it is the kind of knowledge everyone should know.