We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.

Questions tagged [police]

Use this for questions about interaction with law enforcement, as well as their procedures and regulations.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
74
votes
4answers
15k views

How can you tell if you have to follow a police officer's instructions?

If a police officer gives me an order, how can I tell whether or not I'm legally obligated to follow that order? If I ask the officer, is he/she required by law to answer truthfully? If the police ...
58
votes
5answers
42k views

Is it illegal to run away from a police officer in a way that provokes them, in the US?

So I know this is very silly and obviously hypothetical, but I've wondered about it for a while. Let's say you aren't doing anything (else) illegal, you don't have anything illegal on you, and you ...
52
votes
7answers
14k views

Suing a Police Officer Instead of the Police Department

My car was towed in Seattle for an alleged parking violation. I paid $350 to get it back and then went to court and had the violation dismissed. The police officer who wrote the ticket and called for ...
46
votes
5answers
9k views

Can a Resident Assistant be told to ignore a lawful order?'

Today I have an interesting question involving Police, Fire and university administration. A little bit of background: for the past few years, my University has been involved in a small, awkward ...
44
votes
3answers
14k views

Can illegal aliens claim sanctuary in a church?

This tweet (as quoted in a Washington Post article), seems to suggest that illegal aliens can claim sanctuary in a church: #GuadalupeGarcia attorney says @ICEgov has lied to him and he will advise ...
38
votes
4answers
7k views

Consent to searches: Who wins “my-word-against-yours?”

Hypothetical Officer testifies citizen consented to be searched. Citizen denies consenting to be searched. There is no other evidence (that weighs net in favor of either party). Question Whom ...
38
votes
2answers
5k views

If the police search my vehicle or house without my consent, and they don't find anything, what recourse is there?

I understand that if the police perform an illegal search, then any evidence found during that search will be excluded from a trial, but what if they didn't find any evidence? If the police do an ...
24
votes
1answer
4k views

Under what circumstances am I obliged to show ID to a police officer?

In the UK, if a police constable stops you on the street and asks for your ID, when are you required by law to give it to them? Must there be reasonable suspicion of a crime? What about if you're ...
22
votes
6answers
6k views

First amendment and employment: Can a police department terminate an officer for speech?

The following article from CNN describes a Michigan police officer being put on administrative leave for having KKK material at his home: https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/10/us/michigan-officer-placed-on-...
21
votes
5answers
8k views

Can I booby-trap my property against police?

Inspired by this question: Suppose I'm paranoid (perhaps justifiably) that law enforcemen might conduct a warranted raid of my property. So I setup booby-traps that are designed to either: A. ...
19
votes
2answers
7k views

Can a police officer film me on their personal device in my own home?

A police officer was allowed into my home by another occupant before I arrived. During the encounter, I began recording the situation. After attempting to have me remove my sunglasses and stop ...
17
votes
3answers
8k views

Am I legally able to use lethal force against a police officer in defense of another?

Hypothetically, let's say I come across a police officer about to discharge his firearm at a person laying face down on the ground, hands in my clear view, clearly (to me) unarmed and apparently ...
15
votes
5answers
7k views

What happens if I shoot a police officer in self-defense during a SWAT raid?

No-knock SWAT raids are very popular, especially in the US. But how do you know that the heavily armed persons are policemen? Isn't it very easy to mistake them for robbers? What if I try to defend ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the arrest of Huawei's CFO legal?

Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of the Chinese company Huawei was recently arrested in Canada, and is facing extradition to the US, allegedly on charges of breaking violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. The thing ...
13
votes
3answers
9k views

(When) are police required to identify themselves?

It was my understanding that when a citizen asks for an officer's name and badge number, they're required to provide it to you (in Michigan). Is there a law pertaining to this? If so, is it only the ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

Can I defend myself from excessive police force?

Hypothetical situation: Say the police are chasing me. I get tackled after which I go limp and stop resisting. Subsequently the officer starts throwing elbows to my face. I'm not sure why he's ...
12
votes
2answers
5k views

Legal standing for a Police Officer to force you out of a private vehicle

Lets say you're sitting in a fast-food parking lot eating the food you just purchased from the establishment. Your windows are rolled up and the vehicle is turned off. A police officer pulls into the ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

When can a US police officer stop me from recording our encounter?

During any encounter with a US police officer, under what circumstances would the officer have the right to force me to stop recording our encounter with my smart phone, and can he prevent me from ...
12
votes
5answers
136k views

What laws are there regarding being pulled over by an unmarked cop car/undercover cop?

Although this has never happened to me, I've read and heard about people driving on the road and then being signaled (in some way, usually with reds and blues) to pull over for a ticket and the car ...
11
votes
2answers
535 views

Police encounter: “Why do you think I stopped you?” Is there any legal downside in answering “I don't know”?

Many police encounters in the United States start with the police officer asking "Why do you think I stopped you?" Is there any legal downside in answering "I don't know"? If state-specific, I am ...
11
votes
1answer
6k views

Placing a Police Officer Under Citizen's Arrest

If you place a police officer under citizen's arrest, does that officer still hold the authority to arrest you?
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Is homeowner liable for police injury during raid

Hypothetically speaking, let's say that a person is very paranoid about intruders, government, end of the world, so on. They decided to buy some land and have a fence around the property with clear ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

How do US municipalities get their authority to govern?

Municipalities in the US can: Make laws that apply to all people who find themselves within their boundaries. Tax residents. Tax economic activity (e.g. sales). Arrest people and apply other police ...
10
votes
1answer
6k views

Does a black belt have to tell the police that he/she is a black belt

Someone I knew told me that if a black belt in martial arts is pulled over, he/she has to tell the police that he/she is a black belt because he/she is a deadly weapon. I told him that I didn't ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it legal to lie to a US federal law enforcement officer?

If a law enforcement officer stops someone on the street and asks questions related to an investigation, the person is not under oath. The person therefore presumably cannot be prosecuted for perjury....
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Does a police officer have to get permission to break the law?

Does a police officer require permission before breaking the law? Justice Brandeis states: Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same ...
10
votes
1answer
941 views

What liabilities do the police/CPS have if you are found innocent?

Being accused of a crime you did not commit is an expensive problem. The police may kick your door in and ransack your house looking for evidence. They may deprive you of your property (phones, ...
10
votes
3answers
336 views

Under what circumstances could law enforcement hack a server?

I recently read a wired article about Silk Road and the arrest of Ross Ulbricht. The article describes how an FBI agent attempted to discover the true IP address of the Silk Road Server: Tarbell [...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Self incrimination vs. obstruction of justice / destruction of evidence

Suppose a police officer has probable cause to arrest me based on evidence in plain sight. He wants to initiate a search pursuant to arrest. Before the officer can detain me, I put the (alleged) ...
9
votes
1answer
321 views

Can law enforcement legally force someone to unlock a device themselves in the US?

We're all likely aware of the big Apple vs FBI case where the FBI wants to force Apple to open a back door in its encryption on iPhones, and we'll soon discover what the law will decide on that, but ...
8
votes
3answers
759 views

Is it legal to record conversations with police?

If I am stopped by the police for questioning on the street, would I be within my rights to record the conversation on my phone to avoid any looseness with accounts of what was said on either side? ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

If police get a search warrant, does it have any limitations? Must the person turn over all passwords?

I'm not sure how to phrase this question and I guess it depends on circumstances. Say the police suspect you of building a bomb and a judge issues a warrant. To what extent can they search you and ...
7
votes
1answer
8k views

Can police enter a dwelling to intervene in a suicide attempt in a state where suicide is not a crime?

I have often heard claims that the reason suicide (and attempted suicide) is criminalized (at common law, if not statutorily) in some states is that it allows law enforcement personnel to enter a ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

Status of Police “Do not cross” tape in England

Police use plastic tape marked "Do Not Cross" to cordon off an area temporarily. It's clear that this could be useful and convenient while the police are actively dealing with an incident. However, ...
6
votes
3answers
27k views

Parking Ticket while parked in our driveway

I can't upload my image, so I will do my best to explain the visual. I also apologize if this sort of question is not to meant to be asked on this branch of Stack Exchange. I, along with the other ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Can a doctor/nurse legally force me to take a drug test?

I am in California, and had an appointment today to establish care with my new doctor. The nurse checking me in noticed my high blood pressure and sores on my face from psoriasis, both conditions ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Can a US President give police a “kill order”?

Warning: spoilers for the TV show Designated Survivor ahead. The American TV drama Designated Survivor is set in a hypothetical world where terrorists have successfully attacked the State of the ...
6
votes
2answers
551 views

Can a law-enforcement officer share a crime report with the alleged perpetrator?

This is one of a few questions I will ask. I understand that no one can give legally binding advice and I am not asking for it. I am looking primarily for information and terminology I need to ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Simple techniques to take away from police officer's credibility

Are there any simple and easy methods to try to detract from a police officer's credibility? I'm interested in the US legal system. Example When challenging a traffic ticket, you can take notes or ...
6
votes
2answers
618 views

How to win against a moving violation ticket that was issued different than what I had allegedly committed?

I was stopped by an officer that claimed I sped over a 30mph speed limit. When he saw that I have a radar detector, he proceeded to "cut me a break" and gave me a ticket for "failed to signal" (but I ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Does handing keys to police under duress constitute consent to search?

Suppose a police officer demands, through a closed window, to search your car or dwelling. Knowing your rights you say, "I do not consent to a search." The officer then declares, "I don't care ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Does a citizen have to open the door to UK police if they do not give a reason?

I just watched a video of English police talking to a lady through her door. She refused to open up unless they told her why they were there. The police refused and told her to open up or they would ...
6
votes
2answers
405 views

Why do cops make up funny stories when detaining people?

In case cops are decent human beings, and these answers are true and the nature of their stop just does not allow them to truthfully tell their victims the reason for the stop, why do they make up ...
6
votes
1answer
389 views

Constitutionality of neighborhood lockdowns and road blocks

Increasingly police in the United States have resorted to "locking down" buildings, blocks and even entire neighborhoods. For example, recently police in Baltimore reacted to a cop getting shot by ...
6
votes
3answers
858 views

Why would you wait for a lawyer before talking with the police if you're innocent? [closed]

Let's say you were arrested and detained for a crime that you didn't commit. The police/detective starts questioning you but before they get anywhere, that old saying of, I want to speak with my ...
5
votes
2answers
711 views

Can a police officer lie?

In the unfortunate event, someone finds themselves being questioned by the police in the US, and they ask for a lawyer, but in an unlikely event the police officer says "you don't need a lawyer you're ...
5
votes
3answers
520 views

Are cops required by law to have “reasonable suspicion” in order to detain a person? If so, do they have to inform the detainee about the suspicion?

I was stopped while cycling on hwy 59 in Texas, about 50 miles south of Huston. Officer started asking me questions about my travels. I asked: "Have I done anything illegal? Officer: "No, but I ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

If roommate steals, can police search other people's rooms too (US)?

I was speaking with my friend, who sounded real nervous, saying she thinks her roommate might be stealing from work. It's been going on for a few weeks and she can't tell for sure, because her ...
5
votes
1answer
545 views

What law determines when you have been ordered to pull over for a traffic stop?

What laws in the U.S. (specifically, Massachusetts) govern when you need to pull over for a traffic stop? I understand that if a police vehicle comes up behind you with lights flashing it's clear ...
5
votes
2answers
294 views

Can a suspected thief see who called the police?

I recently lost my cell phone and then saw a Craigslist posting of a cell phone that looked similar to my cell phone with the exact same model and storage capacity and color, but its screen was ...