In the video below, a guy is stopped for a “license check” – that is, a random and probable cause-free interrogation and inspection – which by definition is unreasonable and so ought to be unlawful but isn’t any more because of a despicable Supreme Court ruling that effectively rescinded the Fourth Amendment’s protections.
The armed government worker conducting the random interrogation and search then proceeds to violate laws still in force. The man stopped asks whether he is being detained, whether he is under arrest. The armed government worked answers no to each but when the man asks whether his is free to go, the armed government worker says no – which is an abuse of his authority under the law:
When you are told by an armed government worker you are not being detained and are not under arrest, you are – legally speaking – free to go.
Or should be.
The armed government worker – they style themselves, rather ironically, law enforcers – is apparently confused about the law. So he makes up his own. He accuses the man (first) of having a “modified” exhaust. Then (second) that the vehicle’s exhaust is “broken.” The man asks the armed government worker whether he is a mechanic.
The armed government worker uses the “modified” and “broken” exhaust as the legal pretext to demand the driver’s “papers” (ID, insurance/registration) and then demands the passenger’s “papers” as well. Which – again – he has no legal authority to do.
The armed government worker asks, “Is that your girlfriend?”
“It’s none of your business,” replies the courageous driver.
“How do I know she’s not wanted?”
The driver correctly (legally) replies: “You don’t.” In other words, it is not the legal obligation of the passenger to disprove she isn’t “wanted.”
Hilariously, the driver then asks the armed government worker whether he “has a warrant.”
The driver then advises the armed government worker that his passenger hasn’t broken any laws and hasn’t given the armed government worker any reason to suspect she has – demonstrating a knowledge of the actual law superior to that of the armed government worker (the law enforcer).
This flummoxes – and annoys – the armed government worker, who smirks and then attempts to get more information out of the driver:
“Did you have any interactions (with other armed government workers) earlier today? Did you already give your license to somebody.”
The driver does not engage and advises the armed government worker that “he doesn’t have to answer that.”
The armed government worker makes another desultory attempt to elicit “cooperation” – that is, to get his victim to provide information under duress that can and will be held against him – but fails magnificently.
Kudos to the driver for knowing the law more than the law enforcer. And for taking a stand for his rights against a thug given legal sanction to threaten and harass innocent people and to make up laws on the spot.
This is the way to go.
Give them nothing.
Submit – because we don’t have much choice – but do not play their game. Know the law – even if they don’t (or just don’t care). Politely decline to “cooperate” a millimeter farther than the law demands.
Politely decline to answer their questions. Politely refuse to consent to anything you are not obligated by the law to consent to.
Remember who they are – and what their “job” is.
They are not there to “help” you. They are there to “bust” you. By hook or by crook, using whatever tactics they feel like using, the law be damned.
Our only protection is to not help them.
They can – and will – do whatever they like to us.
But we have it in our power to make it a little less easy for them to do it.
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