Monday, July 23, 2007

Practical Individual Sovereignty II

Again, as with "Practical Individual Sovereignty" [a separate article], nothing below should be construed as legal advice. These are my opinions, and I assume no liability whatsoever for any errors or omissions.

Here is a brief guide to dealing with Peace Officers. This is a very tricky area; proceed with caution, and at your own risk. It all depends on how far you want to take things.

Peace Officers are, above all else, human beings. Some are “good”, some “bad”, and some are a mixture…like most of us. The tricky part is that they do have authority over us in certain circumstances…and they do have weapons on them everyday. Despite that, their authority has limits.

Following are some legitimate questions that can be asked of Peace Officers. Ask these questions either before or immediately after presenting your ID. [Some people refuse to present their ID until they have verified the Officer’s ID. I think that’s a good idea, but it’s risky…especially with an Officer who is out-of-sorts at the moment, or one who is on a power trip.] There are a few folks in the individual sovereignty movement who claim that a sovereign individual (who has done nothing illegal) does NOT have to present an ID when asked to by a Peace Officer. I agree that it should be that way, but I know for a fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled otherwise.

Questions for Peace Officers [Except for the first one, these are not in any order. The remainder should be asked whenever you feel that it is appropriate for each one. That will require careful listening and not being intimidated by statements such as, "I'll arrest you for obstruction of justice!".]

1. Could I please see your badge number, ID, and business card? [Be certain that the badge number on the business card matches the one on the badge.]

2. Are you giving me an order? If the answer is “Yes”, and even though to your knowledge you’ve done nothing wrong but wish to comply to avoid conflict, state clearly that you are complying “under protest and duress, with all rights reserved”.

3. Who is your immediate supervisor?

4. Are you aware that gross negligence by a public servant is equal to fraud?

5. Are you violating my Fourth Amendment right to be secure in my person, house, papers, and effects from search and seizure without a warrant? [If the answer is “No”, then ask, “Exactly what is it that you want?”.]

6. Are you violating my First Amendment right to free speech? [If the answer is “No”, then ask, “So I am free to speak, correct?”.]

7. Am I under arrest? [If you are, IMMEDIATELY ask for an attorney...and stop talking.]

Always remember that lying during interrogation is standard police procedure, and allowed by law. If you are not under arrest, you still have the choice to not answer questions. If the Officer states that though you are not under arrest, you should come to the police station to answer questions, ask, "Are you ordering me to go with you?". If the answer is "Yes" (which it shouldn't be), state clearly at that moment AND when you arrive at the station that you are doing so "under protest and duress, with all rights reserved".

Finally, exercise common sense: never physically resist, and always be polite and respectful.