firebyrd: (Default)
In addition to the videos from earlier, check this one out. It's from the ACLU and it goes specifically into what you should say and do in order to keep your fourth and fifth amendment rights intact when interacting with the police. Be polite, but do not let them see inside your house or vehicle any more than they can simply from you opening your door and exiting. Do not invite them inside-that's giving them consent to search.

I know there are those who would argue that if you have nothing to hide, you should just cooperate. This is wrong. We all need to stand up for our rights whenever possible. Our attempts to prove our innocence outside of a court of law can actually cause us to end up in trouble as police twist our words for whatever reason.

Are there good cops out there? Absolutely. However, they have a ton of power and we all know that power corrupts. Additionally, due to their jobs, many cops tend to see the worst in people because of dealing so frequently with those of varying levels of evilness and wrongdoing. My stepdad Bruce used to be a cop in a relatively small town that even now, despite the population boom it's experienced since then, is often listed among the safest cities of its size in the entire country. So even though he was working in a relatively crime free area full of good people, he quit because he didn't like what it was doing to him and what he saw it doing to other officers. On top of all that, given the extremely dangerous nature of the job, it's only natural for them to be more concerned with dominating and intimidating people in hopes of cowing the accused into not acting violently rather than preserving their rights.

When the Constitution was being written, some of the Founders argued against having a Bill of Rights, asserting that such God-given rights were self-evident and that if things were laid out specifically, that people would assume and act as if those were the /only/ rights a person had. Given how much the government and its agents assault our rights as laid out in the Bill of Rights, it's a very good thing it was written, otherwise all of our rights could be justified away easily. We all must stand up for every right we are granted. It's part of our responsibility as citizens of this country, because if we don't, we will lose those rights regardless of what's written in the Constitution. Just look at what's happening regarding gun laws and animal rights laws for examples.
firebyrd: (Default)
Every American should read this page and watch the videos. It's incredibly important information that can save you from being in a world of hurt. This doesn't just apply to the police. Never let any government official into your home without a warrant, including animal control and child protective services. Don't let them see your animals or kids. Be polite, of course, but you have a right to not talk to them (or allow unreasonable search and seizure). If you let them in, it will almost certainly come back to bite you on the butt.

For example, one of my bird friends had animal control called on her as a retaliatory move after some crap in the bird club. She let them in. Now, she has/had a lot of birds (including a couple of large colonies of zebra finches, which breed like mice. She took a lot in when owners unexpectedly ended up with babies), but they were very well cared for. In fact, animal control said they were better cared for than if they'd been at animal control and took her name and number so they could call if they had birds come in and they had any questions. All seemed to be well. However, because there had been an inspection, there was a record about the complaint and the resolution. The city council got wind of it, and completely ignoring the fact that the birds were in great condition, they just looked at the numbers involved. Mind, somewhere between 30-50% of those numbers were just the zebra finches in a couple of large aviaries. But being the ignorant gits they were, the city council flipped out at the number and promptly passed a law restricting numbers of animals in general a person is allowed to have in that city, with /no/ grandfathering clause.

The moral is never let anyone associated with the government, whether local or federal, inside unless you absolutely have to (as in the case of there being a search warrant).

October 2012

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