Here’s how to avoid “consensual” police encounters | Slate

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The crux of avoiding a consensual encounter is noncooperation—refusal to answer questions and to consent to police requests. As noted above, this requires a fair degree of self-confidence and a willingness to flout the conventions of common discourse which, of course, this is not. Nevertheless, it is the sine qua non of consensual encounter avoidance. “Can we see your driver’s license?” “No!” “What are you doing here?” “I am not answering,” or less politely, “None of your business.”

Saying “no” once may not be enough. Some courts have held that continued badgering after a first refusal causes the encounter to cross the line to a seizure, but others have permitted repeated questioning and requests for consent to search without concluding that a seizure had taken place. A reasonable person would thus be well-advised to say “no” repeatedly, and to reject any attempt by the officer to accompany her if she tries to leave. Some courts have found it significant that the refusals were delivered in a shout or scream, or that the individual ran from police in an attempt to get away. The cases thus not only encourage flatly rebuffing the officer’s inquiries, but also encourage doing so in the rudest, most confrontational, and most obnoxious manner.

via Stop-and-frisk Florida: Here’s how to avoid “consensual” police encounters..

4 thoughts on “Here’s how to avoid “consensual” police encounters | Slate

  1. Mike 02/01/2013 / 10:38 AM

    Reblogged this on This Got My Attention and commented:
    Good information to have. Know your rights. Read the full article in Slate if you want more detail.


  2. Brittius 02/01/2013 / 5:24 PM

    It’s a gray area. You might be handcuffed and taken into custody to determine true identity and possibly charged with Obstructing Governmental Administration. You do have a Right not to speak and for whatever reason, tell the police the reason, but to Refuse to Comply With a Lawful Order to identify oneself… I don’t know… Check State Law and then consult with an attorney licensed to practice law in that State, before you decide to do anything hasty. You do not need a driver’s license to walk around but you might be asked for an officially issued form of identification. That’s my personal opinion. Why escalate a few questions into an Appearance Summons or an Arrest? Think Zen, the path of least resistance and follow the flow of energy. Sometimes it is easier to comply than to stand there arguing, especially when they have lawful arrest authority. Depending on what you are stopped for, you will probably be forgotten quicker than you can say “doughnut”. Nine out of ten times, it’s always in an area where there are either drug sales or prostitutes. If you have nothing to hide, don’t be surprised if you find yourself having made a new casual friend, with a badge. I take these reports with a grain of salt.


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