If you believe the media, more and more Americans are willing to take up arms in violence as a way to “protect their rights” from government encroachment. Just look at any antifa (anti-fascist) protest (though I wonder if they know what fascism even means), which seem to be growing in number.
But, for those of us who just want to live our lives and be left alone, there is another way to stay out of issues with law enforcement: staying silent. What I mean by this is not literally saying nothing but not volunteering information, not insulting law enforcement, not blowing up and shouting and swearing, but keeping your cool and following the minimum dictates of the law without allowing yourself to be bullied into giving away your rights should you come across an officer who is a bully.
Jack Burns gives us a great example:
The traffic stop started with the officers approaching [Phillip] Turner on his passenger side and asking if Turner could roll down his window more. Knowing his rights, Turner refused and said if the duo wanted to see his license they’d have to come around to his side of the vehicle where they could feel free to see both items through his window.
“Texas law states I only have to exhibit them, I don’t have to hand them over…I don’t want you to think I’m reaching for something,” he said when asked to reach over his license and registration and hand them through the window to the officers.
The officers then asked Turner why he thought that he had been pulled over. Burns continues,
Knowing his rights, Turner refused to answer any leading questions such as, “Do you still live at the same address as your license…Do you want to tell me why you got pulled over or do you want to remain silent?…Did you happen to see me sitting on the side of the road back there a couple miles?…Were you aware you were following that close?…How far away were you from the vehicle you were following?…So you were aware how far away you were from the car you were following?…Do you know how fast you were going when you came by?…When’s the last time you got a ticket?”
Through each and every question, Turner didn’t fall for the fishing expedition of the officers. What most motorists are probably unaware of is that law enforcement asks these questions in order for motorists to incriminate themselves. All Turner would say is, “It’s on my dashcam,” and refused to answer those questions.
The police eventually let Turner go because they were unable to find anything to cite him for.
Of course, for his own protection, it is a good thing that Turner had a dash cam installed on his vehicle so that he could also record the entire interaction, but the bigger point is summed up by what Turner also said: ““Don’t answer questions, remain silent, and let them do all the work.”
So, should you get pulled over for no good reason (we’re not advocating that you knowingly break the law), know your legal rights about how you are required to cooperate, and keep your mouth shut. Let them talk themselves out and go away so that you can get on with your life.
How would you have handled Turner’s encounter with the police? Tell us below.