How to Avoid Consensual Police Encounters
In today’s society, average citizens are finding themselves in “consensual conversations” with police officers that are leading to more trouble then they initially thought would happen. Due to the fact that police officers carry guns, handcuffs, are seen as authority figures, and ultimately have the power to arrest you, many people appear to be intimidated by the police and are more forthcoming with information because they feel like they’re obligated to answer questions. In reality that is simply not true. You are by no means required to speak with a police officer, unless it is for the purpose of an investigation, or of course if the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that you in fact committed some type of crime.
Knowing your rights and choosing to assert them is completely up to you. If an officer attempts to have a conversation with you, simply explain that you are not interested in participating. The hope is that the officer will respect your choice and simply move on to someone else; however, there are times that officers can become hostile and more forceful in hopes to intimidate you into complying with them. This could lead to further consequences (perhaps a court appearance), hence why it is extremely important that you make your intentions very clear to the officer from the get go.
There are instances when simply saying “no” is not enough. Officers of the law are trained in questioning, and many times will continue badgering you until they get some type of answer. Do not let this technique intimidate you. If you do not want to involve yourself with the matter at hand, merely continue to say “no” and explain that you are not interested in continuing. It is important to note that saying “no” goes directly with never saying “yes”. That basically means that it looks a lot less suspicious if from the beginning you explain that you want no part in this conversation, as opposed to cooperating at some points and then deciding that you no longer want to participate.
On a day to day basis, police officers are faced with extremely violent and stressful situations, such as DUIs and Drug Related Crimes, and they follow protocol for these situations to the best of their ability, nonetheless, there will always be exceptions to that thought process. As a citizen of the United States it is in your best interest to be aware of your rights, and understand when it is appropriate to assert them.