With this Covid-19 pandemic in full swing and police illegally writing citations, what are my rights if I am illegally stopped and the officer is not maintaining our social distancing? In theory the officer could potentially be putting my life in danger by being a host of the the Covid-19.

  • Turn it around, you may be putting the officer's life in danger because you being a host. Why are you "illegally" stopped? What makes the stop illegal? – Ron Beyer Apr 17 '20 at 21:48
  • I would either have to be breaking the law or they would need reason of suspension. They can't just stop you and in the state of Texas checkpoints are illegal, they are doing both and if they are stopping vehicle after vehicle I can you promise you the chances of them being infected are far greater than mine. – Goodson67 Apr 18 '20 at 2:08
  • Your rights are the same during any illegal stop, whether or not a pandemic is occurring. That you believe police are regularly "illegally writing citations" needs some very strong evidence to support it, but in any case is largely irrelevant. – Nij Apr 18 '20 at 3:56
  • You're getting downvotes because you are putting down weird assumptions and not going into detail on them. Why is it illegal for police to write citations? Are you driving a vehicle at the time? What jurisdiction are you in? And please link whichever laws or emergency orders you are referencing. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Apr 18 '20 at 21:43

If you are illegally stopped by the police, any subsequent action against you may be overturned on appeal. You have the right to remain silent, and the right to refuse a search, though if you are arrested, that trumps your desire to not be searched. (That's for a personal search, a warrant would be needed to search your vehicle, though). However, you do not have the right to resist arrest if you feel that a stop, citation or arrest is illegal. The is true with or without a pandemic. You suggest that officers are violating the governor's orders regarding "social distancing", but don't explain in what way and how that bears on an interaction with you. Here is the March 19 order, and this is March 31. You should note that law enforcement is an essential service. You should also note that the orders distinguish between recommendations and actual orders (look for "should" = recommendation versus "shall" = order).

  • But having subsequent actions overturned does absolutely nothing for anyone that gets infected due to an officer overreaching their powers, I am essential according to the governor's orders but that doesn't give me the right to put others at risk. I have over 500 employees that I'm responsible for and keeping them safe is my number one priority, a police officers is the same (To protect and serve) and by pulling over individuals to check for proper paperwork is not only illegal but it is putting themselves and the public at risk. – Goodson67 Apr 19 '20 at 16:43
  • Yes, there are risks in life. Police has "extra" legal rights pursuant to doing their job. I sort of understand what you want, but that requires a substantial change in existing law. Politics SE is where you can ask "How to I change the law regarding police-civilian interactions?". You have the legal right to do anything you want, unless it is specifically prohibited by law. Philosophy SE is the place to ask questions about moral rights. – user6726 Apr 19 '20 at 17:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.