MemberSince99 wrote:Many years ago back in the 80s I worked a retail job where they cut my hours dramatically, to the point it wasn't worth showing up for, so I quit. I think that was kind of what they wanted anyway. But since the pay was 3 dollars an hour and change, it wasn't a big loss.
Anyway, one night some detectives showed up at my door wanting to talk with me. I step outside to talk with them (there were 3 or 4 of them) and they proceeded to tell me someone phoned in a bomb threat to the mall I worked in, and they figure because I recently quit my job, it could be me.
I was like nope, I mean seriously, do you think some minimum wage job is worth a bomb threat? So then they tell me well no bomb went off, so it's not a big deal so why don't you just admit you did it? I was like if it's no big deal, why are you here questioning me about it? They didn't like that answer so started getting more aggressive with me. I said look I didn't do it, and I don't know who did, sorry, or I'd tell you. (The truth). They said why don't you come down to the station and take a lie detector test? I said why would I do that? I have nothing to gain and everything to lose as I didn't do this, but if that test says otherwise, all I've done is screw myself over something I had nothing to do with. I said if you want to arrest me and haul me down there and force me to take that test then do it now, but I want an attorney present before I answer any further questions. They really did not like that and responded how I should stop with the TV crap. I said you think our civil rights are just TV crap huh, when our parents fought and died to protect them, kinda sad if you ask me.
They went to leave, and I said if you ever get proof on me, you know where to find me. I wasn't worried, I didn't do it. Now I would never say that stuff, you egg them on, they will take you in and torture you until they get a confession, and it's your word against theirs and we all know who is going to win that one. Give them enough time they will torture you into confessing you did stuff that happened before you were born and you will swear you did it and probably pass their lie detector test that you did.
I used to respect the police, I thought most of them were good guys and there were just a few bad apples. Now I think the only difference between them and the bad guys is they carry a badge. I fear them more than the criminals.
Your first mistake was the smart-Alec answer, something I was instructed never to do by my uncle since that only gives the officer an excuse to press further. Im_mr_awesome is right..being prompt, polite and efficient is clearly the way to go, even in the situation you described. Being a wise-ass only makes them think they were right on their initial hunch to come interview you, even if the original question was trying to get you to subject yourself to interrogation no attorney would dare let his client submit himself towards. Cops are allowed to ask people to volunteer that stuff anyway (and some people do).
As for traffic stops, I was taught by my uncle the cop the following tips:
1. If the cop pulls behind you with lights, put your hazard lights on and look for a place to pull over. The hazard lights indicates to the officer that you've seen him and are looking for a safe place to pull over.
2. Roll down all of your windows, front and back and if night time, turn all your interior lights on. Cops want to see if anyone is hiding in the backseat that could cause trouble for them. I was told that this one act causes a cop's traffic stop anxiety to decrease considerably since they realize that you know how to act at a traffic stop.
3. Put your hands on the steering wheel and wait for him to approach the vehicle. This way the cop can see your hands and that you aren't holding or have hidden a firearm. When they ask to see license, registration, and insurance, ask if you can go for your wallet or purse and open the glove box to retrieve paperwork. Again, this tells the cop that you know how to act at a traffic stop.
4. If asked "Do you know why I pulled you over?", you can answer "was I doing something wrong?". This will get the officer to offer more specific information rather than "gee, I guess I was speeding"....unless it was clearly obvious you were speeding..no need to act dumb on that one.
5. Again, act calm, upbeat and professional. Use eye contact. Address the officer with "yes sir" or "no ma'am". Try not to make excuses for your behavior. It doesn't matter how bad a day you are having...it'll be worse if you act poorly in front of the officer,
Many officers who have stopped me over the years accept my attitude affirmatively and just want to run my plates to makes sure nothing else is amiss, then give me a warning and off I go. My first time in behavior management with the law was when I was 17 in 1982 and I was going back to my car at midnight after playing video games at an arcade with some of my friends. Detectives literally boxed my car in at the parking lot after I had entered my vehicle with my friends. I began the interaction exactly as I spelled out above. I was then asked to exit the vehicle while they called in my information (no license photos in those days and my license was a temporary one since I'd lost the license two days earlier). Again, I acted calmly, asked the officers what I could do to assist them and indicated I was going to be extremely patient. Then I got lucky...the one black cop of the four recognized me...not because I was a local high school basketball star, but because my mother had dated his brother several years ago..he had last seen me when I was 9 years old, to which he told his buddies they got the wrong guy.
Later I heard from my mother that the officers were looking for a tall black youth of high school age and several friends who were thought to have committed a series of local robberies. One of them saw me and my friends enter the arcade, so they called for backup and waited for us to exit the establishment. I was told that my language and demeanor was their first clue that they had the wrong kid, but then the one cop remembered where he'd seen my name and then the whole incident quickly ended.