Despite growing concerns about police misconduct and the excesses of the war on drugs, this important information has remained largely unavailable to the public.
The Innocence Project has helped free hundreds of wrongly convicted people from prison in the last decade, and they point to studies which estimate that between 2.3% and 5% of all prisoners in the U.S. are innocent, which suggests that roughly 46,000 to 100,000 people are currently serving time for crimes that they did not commit. Keep that in mind the next time you are tempted to believe that your innocence will protect you from prosecution.
What few people understand, but police know all too well, is that your constitutional rights only apply if you understand and assert them. Unless they have strong evidence (i.e. probable cause) police need your permission to search your belongings or enter your home. The instant you grant them permission to invade your privacy, many of your legal protections go out the window and you’re left on the hook for anything illegal the police find, as well as any damage they cause in the process.
Police Plant Evidence
The lie is that police won’t manufacture evidence unless it is a murder case but planting and manufacturing evidence is a very common practice. The temptation is great when and if an officer thinks you are guilty of some crime, even if not this one. After all, if you are a “criminal” in his mind, he is doing society a favor by framing you. Try to have a friend videotape any arrest just in case, and if you suspect that anyone witnessed the planting of evidence, get their names and phone numbers so your attorney can talk to them.
Police Steal Video Equipment
The police often feel that citizens do not have a right to videotape them in action. But the right to do so has been recognized by most courts so far. That does not mean officers will allow it though. Police officers still routinely claim the right to take cameras from bystanders or to destroy videos. If you are arrested and friends are videotaping it, tell them to load the video to a social media site immediately to stop the cops from destroying the only copy. Do the same yourself, if you are the one with the camera.
Police Coerce Confessions
Television programs and movies make it seem that the police never get the wrong guy, and so that anything they do to get a confession is okay. But you might be surprised how often innocent people confess. Geragos and Harris point out in their book that of the hundreds of people wrongly convicted and then free through the Innocence Project’s introduction of scientific evidence (usually DNA testing), the defendant had confessed in one third of the cases. We all like to think we would never do so, but after hours of grilling and a lack of sleep it is easy for people to say what is demanded and sign whatever is placed in front of them, sometimes thinking they can correct the confession later, or sometimes no longer caring as long as the torture of the moment ends. Police officers are humans, and make mistakes, and have egos. Once they think they have the guilty party, pushing and pushing for a confession, and even suggesting what it will say, seems justified to them. And once you are convicted, they usually don’t want to admit they were wrong.
Under the current law after your arrest the police are allowed to keep asking you questions even if you have already told them that you don’t want to say anything. This repeated questioning period can last for hours and hours. During this time you have to keep repeating that you have nothing to say.
On serious cases the police may tell you that if you take a polygraph test you can clear your name if you pass. Remember that you are under no legal obligation to take the test. Remember that the results of the polygraph cannot be brought up in court. Remember that the guy giving the polygraph test works for the police. He is likely to tell you that you have ”failed” the test and then the cops come in and start the questioning by looking you in the eye and saying, “Well we know you are lying. The machine says so. Why don’t you tell us the real truth”. Most people by this time start sweating and talking. Don’t fall for this trick. There is no such thing as a truth machine.
The police may try to get you to talk by bringing a form in and say something like, “All right, we understand that you don’t want to talk to us but we have to get some basic information, where do you live?”. You do not have to comply with any of their request for information. This is a trick to get you to start talking to the police. You can choose not to say anything apart from your name and date of birth. Most people who don’t know these police tricks and tactics and start talking actually help the police convict them.
This may surprise you but under the law the police are allowed to lie to you when they are questioning you. They may tell you things such as, we have your fingerprints and DNA all over the scene. They may tell you, we have video of you at the scene, what do you have to say about that? They may say that your buddy that you did the crime with has made a full confession and told us that you were the one who planned this crime and he just stood there, what do you have to say about that? Once again you have to be strong under these conditions to exercise your right to remain silent.
Good cop bad cop
Sometimes the police will play the old good cop bad cop routine. This is the classic tactic where one guy will be a total asshole and the other guy will be much nicer. When the asshole is not around the nice cop will “confess” to you that he does not approve of what the asshole guy does and how he does it. He will pretend to be your friend and try to get you to talk because now you will have a common “enemy”. You would be surprised how often this routine works and people start talking.
There are times when police will send you back to the holding cells after their first attempt at getting you to talk and put an undercover officer in the cell beside you. This undercover officer will try to get you to talk by saying things like, he too is being screwed by the cops etc. Sometimes the undercover officer will pretend to be asleep and just listen carefully to everything you mutter or say aloud to yourself or to other prisoners. These undercover cops are usually excellent actors and look the part of belonging in a holding cell.
Do not talk to the police
The police are experts at questioning. You give an inch and they will take a mile. A small detail that you got wrong will be used to make you look like a liar. In my view there is no advantage to talking to the police upon your arrest. Remember that if you talk about your innocence to the police some judge down the road at your trial may even say that the story you told at the police station was false and self serving. In my opinion, there is no upside to talking to the police once you have been arrested. It is always much better to wait until trial to tell your side of the story.
Remain silent: what you don’t say can’t hurt you.
You have the right to refuse searches: saying no to searches can’t be held against you.
Determine if you’re free to go: police need evidence to detain you.
You don’t have to let them in: police need a warrant to enter your home.
Report misconduct: be a good witness.
Don’t get tricked: remember, police are allowed to lie to you.
The police have a very long history and pattern of abuse. Do a Google search and you’ll see that this problem is nothing new.
Don’t want your information monitored online? Whatever you do, don’t Google.
Beat the Police
By Christopher R Rice
Independent Media Center – Great site for news. So great that the government shut the site down for a few days to investigate and steal records.
LEAP – Law Enforcement Against Prohibition: Current and former members of law enforcement who support drug regulation rather than prohibition.
Fully Informed Jury Association – Their mission is to inform all Americans about their rights, powers, and responsibilities when serving as trial jurors. Jurors must know that they have the option and the responsibility to render a verdict based on their conscience and on their sense of justice as well as on the merits of the law.
Cop Block– Film the police. Record the truth.
The Innocence Project– They work to exonerate the wrongfully convicted through post conviction DNA testing; and develop and implement reforms to prevent wrongful convictions. This Project only handles cases where post conviction DNA testing can yield conclusive proof of innocence.
Who’s a Rat.com – REAL LIFE – REAL PEOPLE largest online database of informants and agents. Locate a RAT and let’s dispose of these RATS!
The Young Turks – Get The Young Turks Mobile App Today!
Download the iOS version here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-young-turks/id412793195?
Download the Android version here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tyt
Raise The Fist – This was the original site shut down by our Government, and is running again by Professor David S. Touretzky at Carnegie Mellon University. “Mirror Site”
October 22 Coalition – Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation!
Police-State – In A Police State Atmosphere Fascists Will Rise To The Top.
Pursuit Watch – This website for information about high speed police pursuit.
Civilians Down – This site is dedicated to the civilians killed by police officers in the United States.
Botched Paramilitary Police Raids– Locate these botched police raids in your state.
Fight Internet Censorship & Protect Online Free Expression
Tapping Officials Secrets –State FOIA laws examined.
RCFP.org – The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Great Site!
The Smoking Gun -Great site! Large collection of public documents on crimes, celebrities, politicians, and the FBI.
I think it’s too bad that everybody’s decided to turn on drugs, I don’t think drugs are the problem. Crime is the problem. Cops are the problem. Money’s the problem. But drugs are just drugs.
For people of color – especially African Americans – the idea that racist cops might frame members of their community is no abstract notion, let alone an exercise in irrational conspiracy theorizing. Rather, it speaks to a social reality about which blacks are acutely aware.
Criminal justice, as it pertains to the Goldmans and Morgan Stanleys of the world, is not adversarial combat, with cops and crooks duking it out in interrogation rooms and courthouses. Instead, it’s a cocktail party between friends and colleagues who from month to month and year to year are constantly switching sides and trading hats.
My own perception of cops was that they came into your neighborhood, they roughed up people that you loved for no reason and took them away. As a child you saw that.
Touring a segregated America – forever being stopped and harassed by white cops hurt you most ‘cos you don’t realise the damage. You hold it in. You feel empty, like someone reached in and pulled out your guts. You feel hurt and dirty, less than a person.
~B. B. King
There’s a really classic cliche every time you switch the TV on – you see cops arguing. I have spent a day a week for many years in the presence of police and I have never seen them argue. It’s a military hierarchy. They do what they’re told. There’s no bickering.
“I get it,’ said the prisoner. ‘Good Cop, Bad Cop, eh?’
If you like.’ said Vimes. ‘But we’re a bit short staffed here, so if I give you a cigarette would you mind kicking yourself in the teeth?”
~Terry Pratchett, Night Watch
“Whether the mask is labeled fascism, democracy, or dictatorship of the proletariat, our great adversary remains the apparatus—the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier of the battle lines, which is not so much our enemy as our brothers’ enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this apparatus and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others.”
“Most middle-class whites have no idea what it feels like to be subjected to police who are routinely suspicious, rude, belligerent, and brutal.”
“Police business is a hell of a problem. It’s a good deal like politics. It asks for the highest type of men, and there’s nothing in it to attract the highest type of men. So we have to work with what we get…”
~Raymond Chandler, The Lady in the Lake
“The cop wanted to know what was in the bag. I said, Another cop.”
~Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not FOR SALE
“I just quit the Please Police. No need to say Thank You or protest or start a riot. But you can buy me a cocktail—and make it a Molotov.”
~Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not FOR SALE
How to file a complaint against a police officer
How to beat police investigations
Know Your Rights With Police Officers