I have the pictures below in my office on display for clients to view depicting advice to follow during an encounter with an individual in law enforcement. It is in a place where I want anyone coming into my office to see. I am passionate about trying to inform the general public about what their rights are when they find themselves in an encounter with the police. I have found that almost all of the common public are misinformed about what to do, and almost always do the exact opposite of what should be done. Often, people don't pay attention to information such as this, thinking that it will never be applicable to them. I cannot tell you how many times potential clients I meet with, after discussing their case with me - and what they should have done during their interaction - wish they had known information like this BEFORE coming into my office.
Police officers have a job to do - and we are thankful they work to make our world a better place. However, they are given wide leeway to conduct investigations in the best way possible in order to gain the most evidence to use at court. This even means lying to a person, being untruthful, and/or being completely dishonest. For those that watched the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer - you know exactly how this scenario can unfold.
Nonetheless, below are pictures in my office that provide a short summary of what one should do during an encounter with law enforcement. Each item has a rationale for the advice given, and in a separate article I will detail exactly why one should follow these rules, and what the laws are pertaining to them. If you do nothing else, just follow the advice below and you likely will come out better with your situation than if you do otherwise. The basic list is as follows:
1. Always Be Calm & Cool
2. Remain Silent
3. Don't Get Tricked
4. You Have the Right to Refuse a Search Request
5. Determine If You Are Free To Go
6. Don't Expose Yourself
7. Don't Run
8. Never Touch a Cop
9. Report Misconduct
10. You DON'T Have To Let Them In!