Police arrest thousands of individuals without warrants every month. Yet many of these arrests and subsequent instances of police brutality can be prevented through effective communication. If law enforcement personnel stop you while you are going about your daily business, here are some tips for speaking effectively with them and avoiding brutality:
Answer Questions with Respect
When police officers are walking around a neighborhood, they are most commonly engaging in community caretaking. If a uniformed officer asks you a question, answer it in a courteous and respectful manner. You may feel put upon or offended that you were singled out and asked – but quickly responding to a police question is more effective than evading questioning. Even if you have something to hide, evading police questioning in the street is an easy way to create the reasonable suspicion necessary to undergo a stop and frisk.
Comply With all Instructions
Another tip for effectively communicating with a police officer is to follow his or her instructions. Even if you disagree with what you are commanded to do, appeasing an officer is easier than publicly challenging their instructions. Police can charge you with a city or state citation for insubordination if you do not comply with their orders.
Remain Aware of Your Rights
Speaking with police does not affect your Constitutional rights. You still have the right to remain silent and the right to deny law enforcement the right to search your car without a warrant. Whenever possible, make clear, calm, unambiguous statements if asserting your rights in the face of police questioning.
If police overstepped their boundaries and violated your civil rights, you likely have a legal claim against the police department. Philadelphia residents who were victims of police brutality should contact the Law Office of Patrick Geckle to learn about building a case against a state or city police office. Call our office today at (267) 234-7708 for a free case evaluation.