National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Avoiding Tickets

From  msn money:

To increase your chances of a receiving a warning rather than a ticket:

  • Make it an easy stop. Pull over quickly, turn your interior lights on and keep your hands in sight on the wheel. When an officer approaches a vehicle, says Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Scott Bright, he or she will be looking at how many people are in the car and where their hands are.
  • Be respectful. If you were looking for a way to ensure a ticket, being argumentative, angry or rude is a great way to do it. “There is no guarantee that a driver will receive a warning based upon behavior,” says Colorado State Patrol Capt. Jeff Goodwin, “but it certainly helps to be respectful and less confrontational.”
  • Save the excuses. Law enforcement officers have heard them all, so save your sob story. Answers to any questions should be brief and noncommittal. (For example, if the officer asks if you know why you’ve been pulled over, say no, legal experts advise.) Don’t argue. This isn’t a court.

Roadblocks and Checkpoints

It’s a common police trick–fudge a statement so the citizen thinks he just heard a police command, but, technically, it was only a request.  Here the police say “Do me a favor … and go over to secondary screening.”  Most of us think, “Oh well, something I have to do … don’t want to disobey the police.”  The driver doesn’t fall for it–he is quick to reply, “No thanks  – I want to be on my way.”   The police try to up the pressure–after all, it works all the time!–but here it fails.  Knowing they don’t have a valid legal basis for a detention, the police let this citizen go on his way.

The root of the problem in this situation is the policy, not the police officers caught on camera.  The police in the video were told to set up a checkpoint and screen drivers and passengers for citizenship.  They were professional and followed their training.  When their training  trick didn’t work, they gave up fairly quickly.  (Tho one officer, at the beginning, crossed the line and tried to coerce a response by saying, “if you don’t answer, we can detain you”).  It is good that this driver is asserting his rights and showing others how to do so. 

For additional background, go here.