As a 33-year law enforcement veteran and former training commander with the Maryland State Police and Baltimore Police Department, I know how easy it is to intimidate citizens into answering incriminating questions or letting me search through their belongings.
This reality might make things easier for police looking to make an easy arrest, but it doesn't always serve the interests of justice.
Frustrated and scared, Darren immediately breaks Rule #1: Always Be Calm & Cool. The point is that the choices you make during the course of such encounters have a massive impact on whether it ends with a simple warning, a tasing -- or worse. While being calm and cool is key to getting the best possible outcome, it's not enough to keep police from violating your constitutional rights. Intimidated and unaware of other options, he consents to the search.
Mouthing off to the officer, Darren aggressively exits the car and slams the door. For example, when the officer commandingly asks Darren "You're not hiding any AK-47s in there? The officer carelessly dumps his bags, accidentally shattering Darren's laptop on the asphalt.
Citizens who understand their rights are much less likely to experience negative outcomes, both on the street and in a court of law.
Until each of us has the ability to protect our individual rights and recognize injustices against others, we're not likely to accomplish much in the realm of broader policy reform.
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What few people understand, but police know all too well, is that your constitutional rights only apply if you understand and assert them. 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.
It was produced by the civil liberties group Flex Your Rights and is narrated by former federal judge and acclaimed Baltimore trial lawyer William "Billy" Murphy, Jr.
The opening scene portrays Darren, a young black man getting pulled over. This is the fifth time he's been pulled over in a year.