I have seen several videos recently where police officers in the USA approach or detain someone, and then open a binder with laws/codes of the area and show the people what they violated.

Question is, do police officers usually carry such binder? If so, what is it called?

Also, can a person call into doubt the officers actions by demanding to review that binder?

1 Answer 1


It is possible that there is such a booklet in some jurisdiction, and that local police are required to carry that booklet and show it to persons on demand. This link (apparently) publicly provides the police manual for the city of Seattle, except it is 5 years and a major lawsuit out of date. No provision seems to exist that requires showing authority to detain, when requested. There is no general requirement for all police and all laws, in the US, and the full set of state, county and city codes would be impractical to lug around. If required by law to carry and display some such document, then by law a person can demand to see a police officer's authority to detain. Even without such a law, you have a First Amendment right to challenge the detention, but that does not also enable you to resist arrest. A detention is not invalidated by the fact that the detainee is unsatisfied that the detention is legal.

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