Law enforcement officers are trained to intimidate people into consenting to searches. You may be asked SEVERAL times during the detention if they can search your car or person. ALWAYS refuse and youıll be fine. The only legal reason they have to search you without arrest is that they feel they are in danger of being attacked which should not be an issue with rainbows.
If you do find yourself under arrest for any reason, always exercise your right to silence. Continue to refuse to allow any searches and politely inform them that you will not say anything until your attorney is present.
At rainbow gatherings in the past, officers have been known to plant drugs in cars after consent to search is given. You can avoid this problem by refusing to consent.
If you are stopped by an officer outside of a vehicle, your contact with him/her will fall into three categories. Consensual contact, detention or arrest. We are mainly concerned with consensual contact and detention as this document is intended to help you in NOT GETTING ARRESTED.
If the officer asks, "can I talk to you," reply with something like "I'm sorry, I'm in a hurry and don't have time to talk to you right now." If he/she insists, ask, "Are you detaining me? Am I free to leave?" You should ask this several times to make sure the officer will remember you asking if the encounter results in an arrest and court case. If it is really a consensual contact, the officer is required to let you go on your way if you ask to. If you don't verbally ask to leave, the court will presume you consented to whatever follows.
This means they can't detain you on a "hunch." They must have observed something about your behavior or character that links you with specific criminal activity. If you are detained without SAF, you are detained illegally. If this matter ever lands in court, you may be able to get off because the original detention on their part was illegal.
When you use terms like "detention" and "specific and articulable facts², the officer will usually back down a bit. The majority of a police officerıs power in the united states comes from intimidation and prey on the publicıs ignorance of its own rights.
It is crucial that you let the officer know that you are not consenting to talk with him and that the only way you will talk to him is if he detains you which he can not do without SAF.
By refusing to consent to a search of your vehicle, though, you are maintaining your position. They may get impatient and search the vehicle without a warrant which is completely illegal. If this happens, anything they find in the vehicle will not be accepted by the court because it was evidence obtained illegally.
Those are the basics rights you have when involved with the police. By exercising these rights and using a little common sense, you should be able to have a safe and happy gathering. Below are some legal contacts you may find yourself in need of if placed under arrest.
For everyday police harassment, call COPWATCH at 510/548-0425.
If you feel your rights were violated or that you are being charged unjustly, contact the National Office of The American Civil Liberties Union at 132 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036. or call 212-944-9800.
Love your brothers & sisters with guns even when they are misguided.
Know your rights. Spread the light.