In the police accountability movement, we try to stay informed about the law, and about our rights during police encounters. Most of us know that we should try to film the encounter if necessary, and try to ask important legal questions such as “am I being detained” or “am I free to go.”
In a perfect world, knowledge of the law and exercising of one’s rights in this way should be enough to help them escape a police encounter. However, police often have no respect for the law and have no respect the rights of the individuals that they are stopping to harass.
Police will lie, cheat, steal and treat you like even more of a criminal for asserting your rights and questioning them legally.
Asserting your rights is definitely the best way to handle a police encounter. However, it still works – on very few occasions. It’s will be especially difficult if you have been profiled because of your age, race, appearance, or the time of day that you are driving.
The best bet is to attempt to avoid police encounters altogether, knowing that even if you assert your rights you still have a high chance of being assaulted, extorted or kidnapped. Travel on back roads, avoid traveling at night, and if a police car comes anywhere into view, change your direction and take a short detour to avoid the potential encounter. Using the phone app “Waze” is another important strategy to finding out where police are and avoiding them.
Knowing your rights and asserting them is essential, but it’s not guaranteed to keep you out of shackles. The best way is to do everything in your power to avoid being anywhere near a police officer when you aren’t in public, without being too obvious about it.
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.