I have no idea if this will work. I have never tried it. I pass this along to our community since I had never before heard of this suggestion, but it seems plausible to me, and, if it works, it would be very helpful. The motorist should give the policeman a sheet of paper with this printed on it:
I have hearing damage. In order to assist you in performing your duties, please indicate below what you require of me and the legal authority for your demands:
Officer Name: _____________________________
Agency Name: ____________________________
Officer I.D. Number: ___________
Warrant: Yes ____ No _____
Detention Status: Detained_______
Under Arrest/In Custody_____
Free to go/ Consensual Contact______
Legal Cause for Detention/Arrest (Specific Violation/Code and Section): ________________________________
Documents Demanded: Driver’s License___ Vehicle Registration___ Passport ___
CCW ___ Military Discharge Papers ___ Proof of Insurance ___
Officer Signature: _____________________
If you are interested in the background of this, how it came to me, etc., keep reading
Rather than just venting anger at police misconduct and bullying, I
thought I would try to come up with something constructive. I hope you can
take a few moments to review my idea and offer whatever comments or
criticisms you feel appropriate.
After viewing many youtube videos of citizen/police contacts where ID
is demanded by the officer without legal cause, I came up with an idea.
Just give any officer demanding ID the attached piece of paper (remove part
about hearing impairment if not applicable). The paper asks the officer to
specify his reason for demanding documents, and forces the officer to
clarify the detention status of the citizen. This should work well at
suspicionless stops like border patrol checkpoints and DUI checkpoints. If
the officer indicates “free to leave/consensual contact” then just leave.
If the officer indicates “detained,” the officer must spell out the
crime/violation he is alleging. If they can’t it is an unlawful detention.
It is important that the citizen should not talk to the officer at
all; just hand the officer the form and wait for them to hand it back. If
the officer refuses to complete the form, identify themselves, or specify a
legal cause for the detention, the citizen can fill in the form themselves
writing “Officer Refusal” in the appropriate spaces.
If the officer fills in the form honestly, and has a legitimate reason
for the detention, then I suggest cooperation. If the officer is unwilling
to identify themselves or specify in writing their justifications, then the
form will be valuable evidence in court that the officer was unreasonable.
This form can be modified to suit each individual’s circumstances (i.e.
don’t list a CCW or discharge papers if you don’t have them). You could
also add “I do not consent to any searches or questioning without counsel
present” to the form if you wish.
Again, do not talk to or argue with the officer. Just hand them the
form and watch them squirm if they are detaining you illegally.
Retired Deputy Sheriff (22 years)
Wow. Looks reasonable to me. I have no idea if it will work or not. Do you have any experience with this?
Thank you for responding. Yes, I do have experience in this area. I was a Deputy Sheriff for 22 years in California, back when we were more like Peace Officers (pre 9/11 and Rodney King). I was smart enough to realize that a lot of what we did was bluff, demanding ID from people when we knew they were not required to provide it (i.e. passengers in cars we stopped, witnesses to crimes, people innocently walking late at night). We implied they were required to provide ID, but we knew they were not required to by law. I confess, with great regret Sir, that I was a Statist enforcer.
After I retired in 2007, I started to re-school myself in libertarian thought after reading Smedly Butler’s book War is a Racket. I had been in the Marine Corps before becoming a cop, both as an enlisted man and Officer, for 5 years of active duty. I don’t believe I ever heard the Marine Corps talk about Butler and his book. I started visiting Lew Rockwell.com., reading Rothbard, Spencer, you, and others. I realized I had been lied to by the State.
Just a couple of more thoughts about the police contact form. The US public is fed up with police misconduct, and if this piece of paper where properly publicized I think it could cause a shift in the paradigm. Imagine if a large group of people all started simply handing a piece of paper to the police when contacted/stopped/harassed. Imagine if Eric Garner in NY had simply handed a piece of paper to the officer who first accosted him. Or if Michael Brown had a piece of paper like this in Ferguson. The paper forces the officer to articulate the basis for their actions, which they are loathe to do when bluffing their authority. It creates a record.
However, one of the problems I see with my idea is that it works best if the person remains silent when contacted by the police. The Fifth amendment does no good if the person can’t keep their mouth shut. Many police officers take pride in conning suspects to waive their Fifth Amendment rights. I know. I was taught how to do it with the something called The Reid Technique when I worked in Detectives. The problem is most of the public are too brainwashed towards obedience to the State to actually remain silent when questioned by an authority figure.
Anyway, thanks again for writing back. I grant you express permission to use or modify my idea any way you see fit if it will advance the cause of liberty from State aggression.
AH4:07 pm on July 28, 2015 Email Walter E. Block