About Interactions with Police

If you find yourself in the presence of a police officer, know that you have certain rights. While it’s never in your best interests to challenge or confront a police officer, at the same time, you do not have to give permission to a police officer to search your person, your car, or your house. If the officer has a search warrant, he likely has the authority to search the item(s) described in that warrant. But unless confronted with that inevitability, it’s never in your best interest to give the police permission to search anything.

Politely and calmly communicate to the officer that you do not give the officer permission to search anything. Inform the officer that you would like to leave and go on your way. Ask the officer if you are free to leave.

Some police departments provide body cameras for their uniformed officers. If they are wearing a body camera, know that your encounter with the police will be videotaped. But even if the officer is not wearing a body camera, most police cruisers are equipped with cameras that capture either video and/or audio of the exchange between the you and the officer.