As a cop working in a state where “bundling up” means wearing a thin sweater twice a year, detecting a concealed carry weapon is about as difficult as finding a Glock fan at an AR convention. Needless to say, I’ve been trained to stop and frisk actual and potential perps quickly, efficiently, legally and politely. I also know that there are plenty of legal concealed carry license holders who’ve never been the subject of a “Terry stop.” It can be a terrifying prospect. If you’re confronted by a police officer who’s going to frisk you, here are some basic tips to make the encounter a safe one, for both you and the officer . . .

1) Know your rights

Regardless of their legal status, everyone in the United States has Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Just thought I’d mention it. Because no matter what your rights you really need to . . .

2) Cooperate

If a police officer stops you, do what the officer says—even if the officer or officers has no legal right to stop you and/or search you.

While I’m sure that all police officers share my respect for the law and treat all citizens with dignity and respect [ED: wink wink], there’s no getting around the fact that your life may depend on the officer’s comfort level. Cops are most comfortable when people respond to their instructions without hesitation, complaint, debate or comment. That’s just the way it is.

You will not win a confrontation with a cop on the street; and the last thing you want is a cop who feels threatened and/or unsure of himself and/or your intentions. There will be plenty of time to lodge a complaint later.

3) Disclosure

If you are carrying a firearm, disclose that information to the officer. Do not reach for your gun. Simply show him or her your concealed permit at the same time that you hand over your identification.

No matter what your rights, I wouldn’t recommend refusing to provide ID. Again, you can take up that issue with the police chief, your elected representatives or lawyer after the fact.

By the same token, a stop and frisk is not the best place to debate constitutional law. Reminding an officer of their legal limitations is highly unlikely to convince them to back off. And highly likely to get their back up.

You want calm. So stay calm. If you have a legal right to carry a firearm your gun rights will be respected. If not immediately then eventually.

4)  Relinquish

During the stop the police officer may ask you to relinquish your weapon until he has completed his field interview. DO NOT REACH FOR YOUR GUN. Simply tell the officer where it is and allow him or her to remove it as they see fit. If the stop is based on suspicious activity, removing your weapon isn’t an option. The police officer will take your gun.

5) Replace your weapon . . . carefully

If all goes well, the police officer will return your gun. Handle it slowly and carefully. Replace it in your holster slowly and carefully. Maintain muzzle control and trigger discipline. If you’d like the officer’s badge number, now’s the time to ask. Do not issue threats of any kind to the officer.

If all doesn’t go well, your gun may be confiscated and/or your may be arrested. As discussed on this website many times, don’t say anything to the police officer except “yes” (if you understand your rights). Nothing else. When you get to the station ask to speak to your lawyer.

123 Responses to How to Deal with a Stop and Frisk

  1. Cooperate with the police? If you are being asked to cooperate, then that police officer has demonstrated that he considers you to be a criminal and wants to do what he can to ensure your imprisoned.

    Youre sure that all police officers have respect that law and treat citizens with dignity and respect? What city are you from? Over here in Chicago, the police dont give a fuck. Don’t belive me? Check out cop blogs like this:
    http://shavedlongcock.blogspot.com/

    Who cares about making a random cop comfortable other than another cop? You can confront a cop and insist on exercising your rights, and you can win, I’ve done it. I won not because they had respect for my rights but rather because they are concerned because their qualified immunity wont protect their personal assets.

    Why would you ever disclose to a cop you had a gun if there was no duty to inform? All your doing is guaranteeing they will search you can detain you further while they look for a reason to confiscate your gun to put you in jail.

    Why would a cop call for backup if someone insists on exercising their rights?

    Why would you ever ‘just say yes’ to the officer? Can you really be that dumb? Why would you go running around admitting to any crime the officer could possibly accuse you of committing, irregardless of what you actually did?

    Why doesnt TTAG get a defense attorney to write a followup to this article?

      • You should have said “an exceptional few”. Check out the comments on this blog post, about a member of CPD’s Special Operations Section, who was running around doing strong armed robberies while on the clock.

        http://shavedlongcock.blogspot.com/2011/08/lawyer-for-convicted-chicago-cop-says.html

        Heres a good one:
        “Anonymous said…
        Anonymous said…
        Rule number one, ACT ALONE tell NOBODY, EVER. Don’t say cutesie innuendos at the bar. Plan. Make it quick and decisive. Know the risks. Do it. Shut your mouth. Repeat keep your mouth SHUT. Conscience may bother you on occasion and give you doubt about your actions. Ignore it, it’ll pass. Remember you did civilization a solid.

        August 30, 2011 10:04 PM

        Well put!
        Dont forget to plunge the knife into the throat and walk away.ALWAYS have an alibi.
        August 31, 2011 7:47 AM”

      • It would be a lot funnier if the guy flipping out was not a pig with a gun.

        Notice how the cop tries to “buddy” his way into a consent to search. Another reason to never drop your guard when around cops. It’s a very common technique for them to try to make you think they are your “friend”. Do not be fooled. Police are the enemy and they’re usually looking for a way to screw you – even if all you’ve done is 57 in a 45 zone.

        Imagine how this might have played out if there had been no dashcam!

      • Same location. Same vehicle stopped. Different cop?
        Are these cops engaged in “stupid theater”? Or someone impersonating cops for “stupid theater”?

        Methinks the former. The grilling in the first video was too practiced to NOT be a cop.

  2. I think he meant say yes to their first question, do you understand your rights or not.

    Also, irregardless isn’t a word.

    • Irregardless is a word, check:
      Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged (1961)
      The Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology (1988)
      The American Heritage Dictionary (Second College Edition, 1991)
      Microsoft Encarta College Dictionary (2001)
      Webster’s New World College Dictionary (Fourth Edition, 2004)

      • Yes, “Irregardless” is a word, the same way “Sexting”, “retreat”, or “buttload” are words. All added to the dictionary because of wide spread use, instead of lingual validity or coherance.

        To be more accurate, “Irregardless” brings less value to the dictionary or human lexicon, because it is a double negative. The prefix ir- means “not” and the suffix “less” means “without”.

        You can certainly use it, it obviously exists, and its even in the dictionary. But it is generally accepted as bad form.

        • Double negatives are not a natural part of the English language: the idea was created by “grammarians” in the middle of the 1750s–they figured if one multiplies two negative numbers together, it becomes positive, so the same should go for language. I am not sure why they ignored the fact that if one adds two negative numbers together, the resulting number is a larger negative number, especially since the multiple negatives in a sentence had worked well for such writers as Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Milton.

          While purists might well argue that irregardless is a non-standard word, English is the richest language in the world because we are so flexible and willing to adopt new words into our word hoard. I am not a fan of the word, myself, but I know what it means, so it is pretty useful in conveying ideas.

          Let’s not even get started on the idiocy of insisting on not splitting infinitives in English since that is the way Latin works.

        • DUDE, thanks for saying that!

          Seriously, who called the grammar police? I thought we were talking about guns ‘n stuff.

        • +111111111111111111111111111

          I had just sat down to write such a brief history of the concept of negation in the English Language. Without delving too deep into the use of derviational morphemes or the vast history of the English and the changes that it has gone through I would like to add one important tidbit to the discussion with regards to Language Regulators. The English Language does not have a single governing body tasked with creating grammatical rules and making decisions on the introduction of new words to the standard language. What this means is that despite the loudest objections from style manuals like the A.P.A, The Chicago Manual of Style, The M.L.A., Merriam-Webster and others is that none of them are worth the paper they are printed on. The English Language has always been controlled, developed and pushed by it’s users and not by any group pretending to be it’s governing body. Frequently style manuals will contradict each other and dictionaries do little more than to confuse the situation. I abhor the notion that English can be broken into a standard and non-standard language because it’s standardization is wholly dependent on the region of the users speaking it versus the very same users who cannot write like it in the same dialect with which they speak. In other words, irregardless is no less or no more a word than any other word in any dictionary you can think of.

        • Irregardless, this wasn’t 20 mins of my life I won’t get back from rereading this comments…

        • The style manuals are designed to assist writers with composition in particular disciplines, so contradiction is not really a concern: they are written for different audiences with different needs.

          You are so correct about standardization and power. This is true in all languages and all stages of development; although, a standardized form of language does make effective communication possible. Think of how much easier it was for Romans to communicate than it is for people who speak the many Romance Languages: Romanian, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, French, and many more–these are all corruptions, or, taken to an extreme, non-standard Latin.

          Again, you are so right about “governing bodies.” Grammar, in its purest, is a way of describing how a language works. It does not create rules that create usages.

        • Meh…lets all just agree to go with a simple litmus test. Imagine your on a first date with a very sexy, but anally retentive college English major. Do you use the word “irregardless”? No. No you wouldn’t. Because even though you could make a very articulate argument for its validity as a word…why risk losing the chance to get into those panties?

          That said, this has to be the oddest, side track I have ever traveled down.

        • hahaha, I always thought of irregardless as anouther way of saying “Not just no, but hell no!” or “No Effing Way”

        • I have had this conversation with English Professors with PHD’s and everyone one of them has agreed that the double negative “rule” shouldn’t apply. More to the point, other romance languages use negation, why English doesn’t is based on a poor understanding of math. It’s a simple litmus test, ask a college professor, or a linguist annd you will find that the double negative rule it worthless.

        • I want to no who ya’all think you ins are. This is a gun sight not a friggin grammer sight. Shame on any one who crittersizes anothers english. I wood neva do IT. Its a disgrace.

  3. “If a police officer stops you, do what the officer says—even if the officer or officers has no legal right to stop you and/or search you.”

    Are you kidding with that?! I am a very straight and narrow, law abiding, tax paying CITIZEN who generally supports the service that the Police provide but I will not be intimidated by the overreaching authority of any agent of MY Government. The Constitution was written specifically the way it was to protect us from compulsory compliance vs. threat of force from the Police.

    You stay on your side of the Constitution and I’ll stay on mine!

    • Just like the comedic line “There will be plenty of time to lodge a complaint later.”

      Yea – a complaint that will be ignored because the cops already got to abuse the fact that they’re legally allowed to shoot anyone they feel like, for any reason.

    • I suppose that’s why we British still hang on to the concept of ‘policing by consent’. Too many people (police included) forget “The police are the public, the public are the police”, Robert Peel.

  4. I have never been stopped while armed.
    That is irrelevant.

    When pulled over,

    The last thing I would do is try and lecture the officer on Constitutional Law, or my rights.

    As frustrating as it must be, just go with the program.

  5. I’ve been stopped while carrying before when I lived in FL. I handed over my id’s along with my fire badge (professional courtesy does still exist). Asked me to step out, so I did, and locked my car as I got out. Asked me to hand over my weapons (i carry a knife or two) asked him why and he had no response other than “because”. Told him no, he called backup and his superior showed up. He looked at my id’s, made sure I was clean in their system, and simply asked in the case of a shooting who do I treat first? I told him children then police. Told me to have a nice day.

      • Cops are representatives of the rule of laws, not men. An assault on a cop is an assault on the rule of law. I think it is not unreasonable to elevate the police to a special level of care given what they represent every day, though were I a cop, I would ask that normal triage be carried out, and that if me and a civilian were equally hurt, that the civilian would be treated first.

        • An unwarranted assault on a cop may be ‘an assault on the rule of law,’ but only if the corollary that a defense of oneself against the unlawful acts of a cop constitutes the upholding of the rule of law.

          Unless you have a problem with everyone being considered equal under the law.

        • I’ll beg your pardon! An assault on a police officer is an assault on a man who gets about 41,000 a year to ride in a police car and nothing more. Police are not a higher class of citizen, nor are they above the law. They do not represent the law, they are paid enforcers of the law. They are out there to do one job – arrest you – and if that also means keeping the peace, then they do that as well.

          I think that you are a real something, thinking that it’s better to let a man bleed out on the side of the street while a cop gets his knee wrapped. He’s a CIVIL SERVANT. And if you don’t get it, you are not the Civil he serves.

    • This is a great video – one that every American should see.

      One caveat: Since the video was made, the Supremes, in all their vaunted wisdom, have determined that you cannot simply remain silent. Now you must break your silence to inform law enforcement that you are invoking your right to remain silent.

      Utterly stupid – but then, I’ve often said the criminal justice system is more criminal than just.

    • You should never, ever, ever cooperate with the police. They ARE the enemy. They are there to arrest you, and every verbal judo they hit you with is to get you to say something that will give them cause to put the cuffs on you. If you think they are there for you, imagine this… This is from the Police Handbook – if you are under fire, and have a suspect in the rear of the vehicle, then do NOT attempt to protect the suspect or remove him from the situation if it could cause you to be injured. Deal with the situation, and then deal with your suspect.

      In other words, no other words are needed.

  6. So, no matter what quickly and subserviently submit to every illegal command given by our friendly thought police. Have a nice day.

    • And while you are at it, offer to polish his shoes, take out his garbage for him, and offer him a place to walk while crossing the street in mud.

  7. I’m TTAG’s resident defense attorney, and I have no bones to pick with anything Mr. Fusaro writes here. I might clarify that the crucial thing is *physical compliance* with the officer’s security-related requests.

    Physical compliance means not resisting, not moving fast, and informing the officer well before you take any motion at all, so you won’t get shot. It means sitting down if so instructed, and it means putting your hands behind your back to get cuffed. Peacefully. You needn’t be happy about it, but you still better do it.

    Physical compliance does NOT mean servile acquiescence to the officer’s every request. DON’T incriminate yourself. DON’T consent to expanded searches beyond the stop and frisk. Don’t explain why you carry, and don’t be a smartass either. If the questions go any farther than name, address and phone number, politely ask for a lawyer.

    I know the legal stuff, but Mr. Fusaro knows street law as well as or better than I ever will. I’ve been held at gunpoint by police four times (all cases of mistaken identity) and cuffed twice. When things checked out, I went home. You can too, if you think fast and move slow. Very slow.

    • “I’ve been held at gunpoint by police four times (all cases of mistaken identity) and cuffed twice.”

      Who do you look like, Jason Voorhees?

    • Thanks Chris, I think some people are missing what I am saying. I couldn’t have said it better then that.

  8. Sad as it is, if a cop orders you to do something, you either do it or you become forced into it. Like the man said, you’ll never win in a confrontation with a cop. Do what he says (within sensible reason), pursue complaint later, and you’ll look much better for it and garner much more support for the discipline of that officer if he did something wrong.

    I do have to disagree about letting a cop know you’re carrying. If you live in a state where notification is not required, it’s no one’s business but you’re own. Cops are human, and some anti-civilian-ownership cops may enact their prejudices if they know you’re carrying a gun.

    • You’re kidding, right? Other than the rare incident where the entire world is made aware of criminal behavior by an officer, when has filing a complaint ever lead to actual consequences for Officer Tough Guy?

      I think we should take a page from the UK and disarm the police – without that unjustified sense of power they get from having a gun, they’d be much friendlier.

      • Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have delusions that every or even most cases would result in much, but the unfortunate truth is you won’t win a confrontation with the police the way things are. And should the situation escalate, more often than not, you’ll be made out to be the bad guy by the police PR.

        I don’t think disarming the police is the answer; I think more stringent and honest hiring and monitoring policies would be better. But I don’t have much hope in that either.

        • You don’t think if Officer Tough Guy didn’t have a gun to provide him with an unjustified sense of “toughness” that they’d be nicer? Even if you’re unarmed, most cops will come down to Earth pretty quick if they no longer have the gun to hide behind.

        • Your stereotypical asshole cop is going to be that way no matter what because some people are just assholes, if he wasn’t hiding behind his gun he would be hiding behind his taser or pepper spray or night stick or just his general position of authority.

        • Except someone with average self defense knowledge can do a hell of a lot more against mace or a baton than they can against a gun.

        • No arguments with you there, I’m just making the point that it isn’t necessarily the equipment that makes them an asshole, they would be a bad person anyway.

      • I think we should take a page from the UK and disarm the police – without that unjustified sense of power they get from having a gun, they’d be much friendlier.

        Don’t you believe it……..

  9. “If a police officer stops you, do what the officer says—even if the officer or officers has no legal right to stop you and/or search you.”

    So, if a cop tells you to get in the back of his car and pull your pants down… just do what he says?

    If the cop tells you to reach for your gun… just do what he says?

    “If you are carrying a firearm, disclose that information to the officer.”

    Um, no. Know your rights – here in OR you are not required to disclose that you have a CC licence, or that your are carrying unless the officer asks.

    “During the stop the police officer may ask you to relinquish your weapon until he has completed his field interview. DO NOT REACH FOR YOUR GUN.”

    But you just said that we were supposed to do whatever the officer asked us to do – what if the officer orders you to reach for your gun?

    “You will not win a confrontation with a cop on the street; and the last thing you want is a cop who feels threatened and/or unsure of himself and/or your intentions. There will be plenty of time to lodge a complaint later.”

    I disagree. while I don’t think that you should be confrontational, you should certainly voice your objection to anything that you are not comfortable with or that you know is outside of the authority of the police.

    Don’t consent to a search of your car, person, property either. They can do a pat down to check for weapons, etc. on your person but you should still tell them that you don’t consent. Make them get a warrant if they want to search your property that bad. Respectfully refuse – “I do not consent to a search of my car, person, etc.” You cannot physically stop them but by verbally telling the officer(s) that you do not consent you have legal ground to stand on. If you don’t refuse a search then there is almost nothing you can do.

    Even if you have noting to hide – exercise your rights.

  10. Great job Chris. I know several Police Officers and they’re all good guys who aren’t out to screw anyone. I’ve heard that some cops can be a pain in the butt, and you’ll just have to deal with them because if you piss off a cop with attitude he’s going to cause you a lot of problems. I’ll never understand why people have to smart mouth a cop even if you’re in the right, because you’re not going to win. It’s a lot easier to just be polite and you’ll be on your way. Here’s a link to some good advise from Massad Ayoob http://www.gunsandammo.com/2011/05/27/tips-when-stopped-by-police/

    • Joe, I also know a few police officers that are good guys. Then one day I was home, wearing my weapon, and someone drove by shooting. I came out armed – it’s not that kind of neighborhood. The police came, saw, took notes, and were leaving when one of the captains noticed I was openly armed. The confrontation that resulted ended up getting him terminated from the police force. But ONLY because I was persistent, angry, and he had stolen my weapon.

      The point I wanted to make is this. All of those happy friendly police officers that I had known for years stood by with their hands on their guns, ready to shoot me down while on of their own violated my rights, my property rights, and my 1st, 2nd, 4, 9, and 10th and 14th amendment protections. ONE of the officers advised me on how to not get additional charges levied (made up) against me, ONE of them, and he was a fellow soldier.

      NEVER EVER EVER TRUST THE POLICE – EVEN IF THEY ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND.

  11. Since I’m a retired lawyer, nobody can say that I’m trying to drum up business. So here goes.

    To form a legal basis for a Terry stop, an officer needs a “reasonable suspicion,” not probable cause. Reasonable suspicion is a very low threshold. It only means that he needs an articulable reason, not a good reason. “Because I felt like it” is not a reason. “Because there was a report of a man with a gun” is a damn good reason. If you saw the video of the holder being braced by Officer Krumke, you know that the officer asked for the man’s ID because he felt like it. The cop didn’t have a legal leg to stand on, and he knew it. He also had a lot of witnesses watching, and he knew he couldn’t shoot them all. The cop backed down.

    You are well within your rights to ask why you were stopped. Most cops will give you their reason, even if it’s a lie. Your lawyer will prefer it if the officer lies. Pin the officer down to a story so you can sue him and his department later, if legal action is justified. If he won’t tell you, so much the better. If he threatens you, than as your lawyer I’m already planning to buy that vacation condo in Waikiki that I’ve had my eye on.

    If you are an African American, you already know why you’re being stopped, but ask anyway. Just don’t pin yourself down. If the cops says that some guy saw you do something, STFU. If the cops says the sky is blue, STFU. If the cops says yo mama is a ho, STFU. In other words, STFU.

    Speak firmly and respectfully when you ask what the stop is about, but loud enough so that your voice will be easily understood on the recording. When a conversation is being recorded, I want my client to sound like a reasonable, calm person and the officer to sound like a belligerant ass, not the other way around. Remember that officer in Ohio who threatened to cap a legal CCW holder? The cop (who we can refer to as Officer Hairless) sounded like a Nazi on speed, while the CCW holder sounded like a reasonable, decent guy. That’s the way I would want you to sound.

    If the officer wants to pat you down, ask why. If he won’t tell you, that will help your lawsuit. From here on in, act as if your life is in danger, because it is. Protest the patdown. Do not consent. If you protest, the patdown may never happen. If you physically fight the cop, you’ll get shot, now or later when his buddies on the SWAT team show up at your door.

    Do not physically resist the officer if he insists on patting you down. If you do, you are setting yourself up for criminal charges or worse. Register your protest verbally, loudly, again. State “I do not consent to this search. You have no right to search me.” If you’re spoiling for a fight, go ahead and fight. One of my fellow attorneys with an active practice will represent your estate. You’ll be dead, but heck, you’ve made your point, right?

    If the cop breaks your balls, do not ask if you are being detained. Of course you’re being detained. WTF do you think a Terry stop is? Ask if you’re being arrested. If the answer is no (which is the likely answer at this point), tell the cop to leave you alone.

    If you’re carrying, know the law in your jurisdiction relative to disclosure. In my state, I do not have to disclose to an officer that I’m carrying. Your state may differ. If I couldn’t avoid a patdown, the first words out of my mouth when it comes to my concealed mohaska would be “I have a license to carry,” not “I have a gun.” The cop would certainly ask me where my gun is located. I’d tell the cop where my license is located and then where my concealed firearm is carried. I wouldn’t reach for either because I don’t need to win a lawsuit brought by my executor. The proceeds might just about cover my funeral expenses.

    If you are taken in — and I can’t imagine why you would be — you will be Mirandized. Well, if you need a Miranda warning to know that you should STFU, you haven’t been paying attention. But once you hear that warning, you’ll stop Shutting TFU long enough to say “I want a lawyer.” Say it immediately and again any time that Steve McGarrett wants to talk to you. Notice I said “talk to you,” not question you. If his mouth is moving, your mouth is saying “I want a lawyer.” Other than those four little words, STFU. Have I said that before? Have I said that enough?

    There are cops who will make shit up, but most won’t. After the stop has been completed and your firearm returned to you, get the officer’s badge number and name. Hell, ask him for his business card. He has one. The stop may have been handled respectfully and professionally. You might be satisfied with the cop’s explanation for the stop. You may think the cop is a champ, the kind of guy you’d like to have beer with. If so, great. If not, you can have your lawyer send his chief a summons and complaint.

    Here’s a tip: if you physically fight with the cop, you’ll need a criminal lawyer if you’re lucky. If you’re unlucky, you’ll need a probate lawyer. The lawyer will get paid either way. Whether you’re around to collect your share is your call. Frankly, most lawyers won’t care which.

    • Well said.

      It has been a few years since I worked patrol, but that is exactly what I wanted my suspects to do. STFU. Answer my questions and only my questions. The time to talk about what you are going to do if the stop does not go your way is EITHER after I have left and can’t hear you OR when you are speaking to your lawyer. I get paid either way.

      Yes, there are a few jerks with badges. Officer Harless is an example of that breed. But of all the cops I have served with, few fit into that category.

      Most law enforcement officers I know get into the career because they want to serve. They want to round up bad guys. They want to talk to kids at school about staying off drugs. But years of low pay and having to listen to someone’s baby’s mama yell that they want the suspect locked up this time can wear on your soul. If they have reasonable suspicion to stop you, then they are about to exercise duly appointed and legally sanctioned action against you. Cooperate. If these aren’t the droids they are looking for then they will ask you to move along. Shake hands and say “have a nice day.”

      Get confrontational and your estate planner will have earned his money. The police officer is drawing from an unobstructed retention holster. You are drawing for an obstructed concealed holster or back pocket. The police officer is wearing a bullet vest. You are wearing a t-shirt with your local college team logo on it.

      Didn’t do anything wrong? Believe me your lawyer is going to make the cop look stupid. For all those angry that cops never pay a price, you are ignoring reality. Usually, there is a community relations board or police oversight committee. Those bodies are not lawyers and they will hear you. Our city just fired three officers after a complaint of excessive force during a traffic stop. And the driver admitted he was speeding. The cops lost their jobs. One may get his job back on appeal, but that is after hiring a lawyer and he is still not being paid during the appeal.

      • ” For all those angry that cops never pay a price, you are ignoring reality.”

        Hardly. Yes, you pointed out the cops that got fired for excessive force – the the sad fact is that they’ll most likely be hired on at another department soon enough. Until police start having to do jail time for breaking the law – not some “unpaid suspension” crap – they won’t have motivation to follow the law. They also need to know that they will NOT be getting any sort of law enforcement job again, nor will they ever (legally) be allowed to touch a gun again if they get fired (hey – that’s the rule for soldiers, it only makes sense to apply it to police as well).

        • Totenglocke, I was a partner in a law firm that had a lucrative subspecialty in Sec. 1983 claims against police departments. We won a lot of cases and took a lot of money from several jurisdictions. And there used to be a lawyer named Johnny Cochran who made millions for his clients — and for himself — by suing PDs.

          Who gives a shit if the cop who busted your balls is fired or not, if you’re living in a mansion after you collect on your lawsuit against him and his PD? That bad cop may never lose his job, but he’ll be pounding a beat in Shitsville for the rest of his career. Towns and cities don’t like to write checks. So when you drive past Office Krumke in your Jaguar, don’t forget to wave.

          Living well is the best revenge.

        • No, living well while he’s getting what he deserves from the general population in the country prison is the best revenge. Why? Because in your scenario he still gets to bully and / or kill pretty much anyone he feels like with little to no consequence.

        • Okay then, get yourself killed. Years from now we’ll have a memorial for you, if we can remember your name.

        • Because you falsely assume that life in and of itself is a worthwhile goal, without bothering to think about the QUALITY of said life. That comes from fear, plain and simple. I’m sorry that your life is ruled by fear.

      • Yes, there are a few jerks with badges. Officer Harless is an example of that breed. But of all the cops I have served with, few fit into that category.

        That’s because you’re looking at things through cop-colored glasses. If a citizen is smart, he will only answer those questions he is legally obligated to answer. Nothing more. The police are NOT your friends. They are the enemy. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a criminal or an honest citizen, all cops fall into three categories: Those who want to save the world, those who are clocking a job, and those who have tiny dicks and want to push people around. The third category is the one that is growing fastest.

        And go peddle that “low pay” crap to someone else. Most cops are grossly overpaid for their level of education, intelligence and work.

        Our city just fired three officers after a complaint of excessive force during a traffic stop. … The cops lost their jobs. One may get his job back on appeal, but that is after hiring a lawyer and he is still not being paid during the appeal.

        And what would have happened to Joe Citizen if he had done to the cops precisely what they did to him? Would they have killed him on the spot? Would he have been sent to prison? I think that in every case where a cop breaks the law (for example, by ganging up with his hommies to kick the snot out of some guy whose crime was driving too fast), the cop should get DOUBLE the maximum sentence a civilian in his position would have received. Why? First of all, the cops have a “monopoly” on force. They kill someone or kick the crap out of them, get together and lie about it, and usually get away with their crime. Second, they’re supposed to know the law. Third, they’re entrusted to enforce the law. That three cops could beat up a guy over speeding and not spend time in prison is criminal. That one of the three pigs might get his job back is obscene and insane!

      • When I see a police officer take a 14 year old black girl, harass her for over an hour, get her to upset that she’s crying, then wait until she gets past it into anger, then beat her down, then I know I’ve seen the potential of the police. You may not understand it, but the potential is what I fear. The Potential is what gets people killed.

        The police have no civilian oversight. They need to have a civilian group watching every officer, every stop, every encounter – if a complaint is filed. Why?

        When I went to the police station to file a complaint against the four officers who beat this kid down, I was told in no uncertain terms, “We do not accept complaints against our officers, please leave if you have no other business here.”

        When I was assaulted by the police (and I handled it mostly by the book) I filed a complaint, and if the officer had not stolen my property and implicated me as a suspect in a crime he knew for a fact I had not done, he would STILL be on the force, and after challenging him, my life would be in constant danger.

        Police were once just paid peace keepers. Now, they are little more than a branch of the military. A branch who does not have the safeguards of the true military.

      • The court stated that the stop was legal, and that the officer could confirm the anonymous report visually. A visual confirmation would give rise to a right to frisk. However, the court stated that an anonymous report, without something more, lacked sufficient credibility for the court to support a right to frisk.

        That’s what the court said. Here’s what the court really meant: It’s all too easy for cops to make up a story about an “anonymous report” as a pretext for a Terry stop.

  12. I won one confrontation with a cop, he complained that my knife was over sized for their weapons ordinance. I argued that my knife was a tool and not a weapon, made him open the blade and see that it said MAC TOOLS, not Mac weapons. he walked away mumbling and I kept the knife.

  13. There’s a fascinating sub-current here in some of the replies that would seem to suggest something other than verbal non-compliance with a police officer’s requests.

    Don’t. Doesn’t matter who you are, if a cop has stopped you, physical resistance is only going to end badly. Possibly with you dead. Game over. No respawns.

    The idea is to be successful in any encounter with an opposing force, police included. Ending up dead is failure. Ending up in jail is failure. Ending up in the back of a squad car is failure. Ending up with a warrant for your arrest is failure.

    Being a dick to a police officer is not a strategy that will bring success under any circumstances where you aren’t a violent criminal at the end of it. A criminal record is also failure.

    Protest verbally all you want, but physically do whatever the officer says unless you are convinced that doing so will be immediately fatal for you. Don’t get killed. Don’t end up with a criminal record. Honor and pride are worth less than both of these things. If you don’t agree, well, Somalia isn’t that far away if you desire to live an an area that doesn’t have any truck with ‘rule of law’. If you like the benefits of a first world nation, swallow that pride until you are no longer in the presence of an officer of the law.

    Some of you talk of ‘rights’ like they are worth dying for. Generally speaking, the rights have already been paid for by the blood of others before us. En mass, they are respected. Rarely, shit happens and they are not. Your death will not solve these exceptions. Staying alive and fighting the battle in the courts is much better for you than fighting it in front of a cop car.

    Just don’t be an idiot and cut your nose off to spite your face. Remember what matters to you in the long run.

    • “The idea is to be successful in any encounter with an opposing force, police included. Ending up dead is failure. Ending up in jail is failure. Ending up in the back of a squad car is failure. Ending up with a warrant for your arrest is failure.”

      So I suppose all the people who had those things happen while fighting for civil rights 60 years ago were failures? Some things in life ARE worth dying / losing a job / spending some time in jail for. Standing up to an oppressive government thug is definitely one of those things.

      You pay lip service to “rights”, then sneer at those willing to DO something to defend them. I don’t know whether you’re a cop or not, but your attitude of “Don’t you dare disobey your master!!!” is a great reason for why I don’t have much respect for police.

      • If your actions would change things, then yes, certainly it’s worth it. Generally speaking though, unless there’s a massive problem with rights being respected, an isolated incident where a CCW holder is given the short end of the stick isn’t going to change jack.

        One. The rest of the population does not sympathize. “Oh, he had a gun. The officer was justified.” THE END.

        Two. It’s worth standing up for something if it gets you somewhere. Call me utilitarian, but sitting in jail and getting a shiny new criminal record is a very high price to pay without some serious, serious gain. If you are jailed for years and stripped of your rights to carry guns (if they manage to make a felony out of it) and at the end of the day, no one cares what happened to you, you’ve lost.

        I’m not saying that under any circumstances, going along with the government (their power stems from the barrel of a gun, mind you) is always the correct thing to do. I’m saying just do a cost:benefit analysis first. Humans in general are bad at risk assessment. No need to perpetuate that.

        • But do you really want to live in a world like that? Haven’t you ever heard the expression it’s better to die free than live as a slave?

        • They’re cops, not an assassination squad. But hey, you go for it. I admite that. I really do.

          Me, I’d rather live and crush the cops with a lawsuit later than leave my kids without a guardian—OK source of financial support.

    • “There’s a fascinating sub-current here in some of the replies that would seem to suggest something other than verbal non-compliance with a police officer’s requests.”

      No, what you see is that people are getting sick and tired of being harassed, beaten, and seeing loved ones killed while police officers walk away with a grin and a giggle.

      Trust me, unless the problem is addressed, you may find the physical resistance taking an entirely new form.

  14. Colorado Concealed Weapon Permit has a nice lamanated card with instructions on the back (including a mis-spelled word, see if you can find it).

    1. After an officer had advised you why you were contacted, advise the officer that you are in possession of a CCW permit and firearm.
    2. Advise the officer where the firearm is located.
    DO NOT REACH FOR THE WEAPON
    DO NOT MOVE YOUR CLOTHING TO SHOW THE WEAPON
    3. If the officer determines that he/she must temporiarily relieve you of your weapon, comply with their request.

    “Legally armed citizens” is still a new concept in Denver. Some of the Police are still getting used to it.

    Thank you, Ralph, for your post. Well written, sir.

    • Funny, my El Paso County (Colorado Springs) permit doesn’t have anything like that on it… Sorry to hear you live in the People’s Republic of Denver.

      In Colorado, you don’t have to notify an officer, but if they ask, you must say “yes.”

  15. Easy solution. Open carry. No probable cause or RAS to stop me. Possession of a firearm on the hip in a holster in plain view is not a crime in my state.

    Am I being detained? Am I free to go? Rinse, repeat. Most cops hate this, a few catch on and realize what is going on and learn to leave us alone

    • Like. I open carry frequently in the summer (In AZ this is 9 months out of the year) and sometimes it is a relief to not WONDER if you are printing or if your gun is hangin out.

      • I’m forced to conceal carry in my state. I carry openly in my own property, and while driving. It’s totally wrong feeling – to think that I have to have a permit to enjoy a right.

  16. The author’s premise is that the Fourth Amendment protects against illegal search and seizure. Thus if a cop engages me and attempts to frisk, I’m going to politely ask for probable cause before any frisk is initiated. If cop can’t give good reason, I’m going to refuse. This is not a question of winning or losing the argument with the cop as the author contends, both the cop and the citizen are both protected and constrained by law and both should have the sense to know better.

  17. This is some terrible advice. Just give up your rights and complain after the fact? Idiotic.

    Sorry, I’m not going to roll over and give up my rights to anyone no matter what their shiny badge says. The bill of rights are the most BASIC of human rights. Police who do not respect them should be fired and jailed.

  18. Apparently Christopher thinks a Terry stop is a fishing expedition. He seems to have forgotten the requirement for an articulable suspicion that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed. Mere possession of a firearm does not meet that standard.

    Second, if the cop already knows the person is armed, the rationale for a “frisk” gets pretty thin. What is the cop looking for if he already knows you have a gun? Is he just some sex pervert looking for a free feel?

    As for the cop’s “comfort level” (“there’s no getting around the fact that your life may depend on the officer’s comfort level”): Perhaps the cops should start considering that when a citizen’s life depends on how comfortable a cop is, the citizen’s choices fall into two categories: 1) Give the cop a snifter of cognac, a blowjob and fetch his slippers, or 2) Kill the cop before he kills you.

    Cops are the ones who need to wise up. I for one have gone from viewing them as “friends” to seeing them as “gang members with badges”. Where once I would have supported cops generally, that support is now very much on a case-by-case basis. I see examples of cops lying, stealing, raping, and engaging in all manner of criminal activity on a DAILY basis. Why should I believe that the next cop who stops me for no reason isn’t planning my execution?

    One used to see malfeasance by cops and think, “that’s the exception to the rule”. But nowadays, it’s coming much clearer that the cops who isn’t on the take, throwing his weight around, abusing citizens and generally being a dangerous asshole is the exception. And while Christopher’s article is probably well-meaning, it’s just another example of how a cop views his “comfort” as more important that the rights secured under the Constitution he has been hired and has sworn to uphold. And when that’s the case, the individual is no longer fit to be a cop – and should resign or be fired immediately… before his screwed-up mindset gets someone killed.

    • Chris is a firm believer in Second Amendment rights. He’s just being realistic. You are better off following the cop’s instructions than not. No matter what. If you want to make a stand, you increase the odds of something bad happening. Why? The place to make a stand is in court. IMHO.

      • And a court will politely tell you to f-off and do what the thug with the badge says.

        How many millions of gun owners are there in the country? If they got together and said “We’re done with this shit of cops abusing their power”, they could make some serious changes. Even the military would have an extremely hard time fighting off a militia of over 10 million people.

      • He may have fooled you. He’s not fooling me. His view of the Constitution is that it’s all well and good – as long as no rights stand in the way of cops being omnipotent. In short, the Constitution takes second place to police power. His piece amounts to “How to survive an encounter with the Gestapo/Stasi/NKVD/KGB/Tokku”.

        What cops don’t seem to realize is that abuse, whether inflicted by themselves or by their co-workers, has a price. Eventually there will be individuals who will decide not to put up with abuse by the “crown” in the form of police actions, and who will fight back. It could become the beginning of a second Revolutionary War.

        Cops are all very brave when they outnumber unarmed people 10 to 1 and can beat, electrocute or shoot them. But we know from the L.A. riots that cops are cowards when confronted by superior numbers.

        The point is, when the state begins to abuse the People as a matter of course, the People are inclined to take it… for a while. And then they push back. Could we have an “arab spring” in this country? When unemployment surges, the dollar crashes, people lose their homes and are starving – anything can happen. I’m thinking that a long train of abuses isn’t going to win the cops any friends. And when the SHTF, a lot of cops will reap what they’ve sown.

      • if you make that argument then you forfeit your right to make the argument that gun rights would prevent the holocaust. if the jews were to give up their guns temporarily to the ss and then complain about it after the fact do you really think they would return them.

  19. Question for Officer Fusaro: You advise, “Simply tell the officer where it is and allow him or her to remove it as they see fit.” What if my gun is in my pocket? Is the officer allowed to reach in there? (I’m not thrilled at that prospect.)

    • I am not asking anyone under any circumstances to surrender their rights under the U.S. Constitution. I’m a firm believer in individual rights. Hell, I served my country to defend it. I’m simply saying that it’s a fact of life that you could be face to face with a law enforcement officer who is questioning why you are at a time and place not normal for a law abiding citizen. And you may or may not be able to dispel his alarm.
      You may also be carrying a weapon at the time. In Florida alone, there are over 2,000,000 concealed carry permits. No one’s asking you to submit to the will of the government. I’m just making a point that you will have your day of reckoning. Only answer the questions that you feel are necessary, name rank and serial number, if that makes you feel better. Police are human and we have lives. We live in the same imperfect world that you do.

      • “Simply tell the officer where it is and allow him or her to remove it as they see fit.”

        “I am not asking anyone under any circumstances to surrender their rights under the U.S. Constitution.”

        Sure you are. You are advising that I allow myself to be disarmed in order to make the officer more “comfortable”. You are advising that I, however temporarily, reliquish my 2nd and 4th amendment rights. Just call it what it is.

        • I think you are missing the part that said “During the stop the police officer may ask you to relinquish your weapon.” All the officer can do is ask.

        • And you advise compliance. My statement stands. You advise the relinquishing of rights in order to assuage the feelings of a man with a badge and a gun.

        • Of course I’m advocating compliance; two wrongs don’t make a right. Someone has to be the bigger man. There is accountability today and officer will be held liable for their actions.

        • I did as you asked. I was confronted for carrying a weapon in a place I had every right to be, which was my front yard.

          The officers justification for stopping me? A shooing in the neighborhood, and him seeing me armed and “Not Knowing Who I Am.”

          I was arrested, my gun stolen by the officer, then told in a voice loud enough to be hear streets away, “You homeowners think you have rights? You don’t HAVE ANY RIGHTS I don’t TELL you you have! You do what a cop says, and you NEVER talk back to us!” But what was it I did so wrong? I politely asked, in a very low key manner, for him to justify his stopping me.

          I filed a complaint, it was looked at, nodded to, and dismissed with prejudice. Seems that I really HAVE no rights in the face of my masters.

          I was the neighborhood watch captain, involved with the police on a regular basis, and active in my community getting others to call the police to report suspicious people. I was active in every way, and well known to the police officers (but not the one that stopped me).

          Now, I no longer call the police. I no longer advocate calling the police. I no longer talk to the police unless I have to, and then only guardedly. The poolice are not your friend, they are truly the enemy, and an enemy that is more terrifying than the criminals. See, you can defend yourself against a criminal, you cannot defend yourself against a police officer – if you try, you die.

          Now, don’t bother to tell me that it’s an isolated incident, if you do, then you will be faced with a question… if a man jaywalks across the street and refuses to show you his ID, then walks away from you while you are talking to him, do you, or do you not have a legal right to restrain him – and if he resists, then can you escalate the level of violence all the way to killing him for non-compliance?

          If you can kill me for not complying with you, then you are not the police, you are my master/owner.

      • Actually, I don’t live in a world where my coworkers make a habit out of beating the snot out of people for not wearing a seat belt http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/35/3572.asp
        engage in burglary
        http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/52495183-78/murray-campbell-arrest-vernal.html.csp
        set people up and then murder them
        http://www.bendbulletin.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110829/NEWS0107/108290349/0/NEWS01
        steal firearms
        http://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-heard/archives/2011/08/30/cops-confiscate-lakewood-ladys-arsenal-motive-pending
        retaliate against people who record police malfeasance
        http://www.infowars.com/man-faces-life-in-jail-for-recording-police/
        slap 10-year-old boys
        http://www.ketv.com/news/28975303/detail.html
        run prostitution rings
        http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/08/30/pittsburgh-police-officer-charged-in-prostitution-ring-2/
        engage in wanton destruction and violence (including killing the family puppy) to help a has-been actor hype his new show
        http://tv.yahoo.com/news/steven-seagal-threatened-lawsuit-over-police-raid-taped-192501428.html
        or commit rape
        http://www.nwcn.com/home/?fId=128715928&fPath=/news/local&fDomain=10212
        and expect everyone to just look the other way.

        Take one of the less serious crimes: The case of of cop who slapped the 10-year-old. What does a typical parent get in the way of punishment for child abuse? What will this cop get (besides his job back!)?

        And if that’s not enough, this isn’t a list compiled over months or weeks. These are just examples from TODAY. There will be a whole new list tomorrow.

        No, Christopher, you and I live in very different worlds. You live in a world where corruption and deceit is the daily trade, where crimes by people in the right “gang” are sanctioned with a nod and a wink and where every person not in the gang or in a position of authority over it runs the daily risk of being beaten, shocked or shot. In my world, cops would be held to a standard at least as strict as the average citizen, honesty and integrity would be requirements to hold a badge, and every single one of the criminals in blue would be spending long stretches in prison.

        • My perfect world would be great food and awesome service, but my experience at TGI Fridays last night changed my views on the entire food industry. Adding insult to injury when I left the restaurant sick and insulted by a crummy waitress, my new/used car I bought from this seemingly honest car salesman wouldn’t start. I had to call a tow truck and he took me 3 miles to my house and only charged me 200.00. Thankfully that same car salesman recommended a trust worthy mechanic and he fixed my car for a mere 1,000.00. After feeling taken advantage of by my ever smiling car guy and his brother mechanic, I paid 175.00 to talk to a lawyer for a half hour only to have him tell me that my case was weak but for a 3,000.00 retainer fee he’d take on my case.. Now, I have food poisoning, a crappy car, a lousy tow truck driver, and a dime store lawyer on retainer. But I view the world through rose colored glasses because deep down I’m aware those people aren’t indicative on those industries as a whole.

        • The difference is you can walk away from a crummy waitress, a rapacious tow truck driver, a dishonest car salesman or a sleasebag attorney.

          But what happens when a citizen tries to walk away from a cop?

          As for going along peaceably with officer friendly, from today’s list of cop crimes:

          kidnapping, rape, molestation, shooting (with conspiracy to obstruct justice and hide evidence)…

          http://www.kbtx.com/home/headlines/Precinct_2_Deputy_Constable_Arrested_for_Kidnapping_128863788.html

          http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/128829973.html

          http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/01/BADU1KUV3E.DTL&tsp=1

          http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Deputy-faces-investigation-for-allegedly-fondling-2149805.php

          http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/seminole/os-seminole-sheriff-shooting-settlement-20110831,0,2647732.story

          http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/aug/31/ex-knoxville-police-officer-gets-probation-in/

        • All these videos represent malfeasance by police officers. Thankfully, they were caught on tape or documented, so those cops can be prosecuted and or disciplined for their actions. Thank you for recognizing problems and spreading the word, that violence towards any citizen will not be tolerated; especially in the powerful position of serving and protecting.

        • …those cops can be prosecuted and or disciplined for their actions… violence towards any citizen will not be tolerated

          Man, what universe do YOU live in?

          The problem is these officers are NOT prosecuted. They get the traditional “suspended with pay pending investigation”, then, once the furor has died down a bit, the cops who are “investigating” the cops give them a pass and send them out to kill more citizens.

          You may think cops are punished for their wrong-doing, and sometimes they are. But in the majority of cases, the “punishment” amounts to a slap on the wrist and criminal cops are back on the street in a few weeks or months. Even in cases where they are FIRED for their criminal behavior, they are often hired by OTHER POLICE AGENCIES.

          I think every case of cop malfeasance should be handled the same as if a civilian had performed the act. And if convicted, the cops should get double the maximum sentence because they are supposed to know and enforce the law.

          Here’s an example of the problem.
          http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/08/videographer_of_alleged_melvin.html
          I didn’t have to go far to find it. Front page of today’s “KeepandBearArms.com”. It’s a case where cops beat a man with a flashlight, until, “… bones all over his face were broken and he was partially blinded in one eye.” One cop did the smashing, while three others looked on. One of the cops standing by watching the beatdown got a 45-day suspension… and filed a criminal complaint against the person who videotaped the incident! [That in itself is a pretty good indication of the problem. A cop gets caught doing the wrong thing, and he wants to strike out at the person who caught him!]

          From my perspective, the cop who administered the beat-down needs about 15-30 years in prison to think about it. The other three pigs should have lost their jobs and been barred from ever holding a position in law enforcement again – for life. And while there’s no legal “duty” to protect any particular person, I would prosecute this as a criminal conspiracy case – where the three cops who stood around watching the beating were part of the support that the pig doing the beating relied upon. I’d send the 3 who stood around doing nothing to prison for 5-10 years. All four should be subject to civil penalties and damages. The one doing the beating should never have more than $20 in his pocket again for life.

          Final note: If the woman recording the incident on video had shot the abusive cop and killed him, I would have been hard-pressed to find her guilty of anything but the JUSTIFIED use of deadly force – that is to say, she would have been performing a public service.

        • Here’s how “discipline” works. Smash a guy’s head against a marble wall and get a 10-day suspension.
          http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2016104441_spddunn04m.html
          Perhaps a better way to determine length of suspension would be to take damages and costs out of the cop’s pay. So in this case, where damages paid were $35,000, and figuring costs, fees and lawyer time is another $20K, the suspension equates to $55,000 worth of cop time. And because senior officers should know better, we use the rookie base-rate to compute time. So if a rookie makes $40K, the cop gets suspended for 16.5 months without pay.

          And if you try to record cop malfeasance, you can become a target:
          http://articles.philly.com/2011-09-03/news/30109223_1_cops-arrest-police-cruiser-cop-car
          We should enact laws that any cop who wilfully destroys video evidence receives an automatic, mandatory 15-year prison sentence, no parole.
          Note: Regardless of whether the person doing the recording was doing anything else that the cops allege, there was no reason to destroy the recordings – except to coverup police malfeasance. Thus, in addition to the mandatory 15-year sentence, destruction of the video record should act as proof that other allegations against the police are also true.

  20. I appreciate everyone here being vigilant about protecting our rights, but cops, judges, teachers and tax clerks aren’t perfect. Thank you, Chris, and thank you for your article.

    • Wow, really? You’re going to call blatantly breaking the law and violating your job to protect citizens “not perfect”? People like you are just as much of the problem as Officer Tough Guy.

      *Edit – this was supposed to be a replay to Rokurota. Not sure why it posted on it’s own.*

  21. Story time, everybody!

    My wife and I were driving home after visiting my parents. My three children (ages 8, 6 and 4) were in the car with us. I noticed a cop following us. Like most people, I immediately glanced at the speedometer. Nope, 65 mph just like the sign says. The cop turns on his lights. I carefully pull over, open my window, and shut off the car.

    “Daddy, what are you doing?”
    “The policeman just wants to talk to Daddy for a minute, honey.”
    Officer Whatevermynameis walks to my window, wearing what I’m sure he thinks is his trademarked scowl.

    “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
    “No, officer.”
    “You really have no idea?”
    “No, officer.”
    “License and registration.”
    “Here you go.”

    He walks back to the cruiser. He stays there for a minute or two, then returns to my window.

    “Do you have a permit to carry?” In Minnesota, you are required to inform the officer (if he asks) if you are carrying a weapon, so I respond:
    “Yes, officer, and I am under arms.”

    He two steps backward, draws his weapon, and aims center-mass. “Exit the vehicle, now!”

    Time seems to slow. I notice that he’s holding a Glock. 9mm or .40, it doesn’t matter. At this close range, the bullet will go through me, the seat, my 4-year-old daughter, maybe her seat. Things have suddenly become Not Good. I very carefully place both hands through the window, open the door using the outside latch, and sloooooowly stand up out of the car. Kids start crying.

    “Turn around!” “Hands on your head!” I comply. I am yanked backward and slammed on the hood. “Where’s the gun?!”
    “Right hip,” I manage between gasps for air.
    He removes the gun from its holster, cuffs me, and puts me in the back of the cruiser. I can see that he’s talking to my wife. After a few minutes, he gets me out of the cruiser and takes off the cuffs.
    “You have a taillight out. Sign here.”

    I do, and he hands me the ticket.

    “Get back in your vehicle.”
    “Are you going to return my property, officer?” “Get back in your fucking vehicle!”

    I comply. Once I am in and have fastened my seat belt, he comes back over to my side of the car. He holds up my weapon.

    “You can get out to retrieve this once I’ve driven off.” He tosses it on the ground, and leaves. I get out, grab my piece, put it away, and we go home and try to comfort the kids.

    I learned two things that day:
    1. Police are not to be trusted.
    2. A cocked and locked 1911 will not fire if dropped from a height of about five feet

    +10 internets to the first person who can correctly guess the status of my taillight.

    • If I’ve learned anything from movies, he broke it on the way back to his car. There is also going to be a big fight scene at the end because you are selling drugs to kids.

    • And this is exactly why I feel no sympathy for cops who gets shot during routine harassment. I’d also be suing the police department for assault, emotional duress (both you and your family), and for a new gun after the asshat scratched yours up by throwing it on the ground.

  22. There will always be enough people “who will just do their job.” Ve ver jus followink orderz.The way this country is headed, I think it’s possible I’m going to not cooperate with the police someday. But I will not cooperate on my terms. From a long way off.

  23. Officer Fusaro – you knew you’d start a shit-storm with your post and you stayed the course with opinions on how to manage a given situation. Regardless of how I feel about the advice, I applaud your effort here.

    • I don’t. You are the Gods of the people, and what you say is law, or death. I no longer trust you, and feel that the courts have given you entirely too much power. You are not out there to protect anyone, and are simply out there to enforce laws… even former police officers say to tell you to NEVER TALK TO POLICE!

      I’ve been pulled voer by a cop who spent more than an hour looking at my documents. Then pulled over again a block away by a different officers who held me there for another hour, then pulled over a THIRD TIME IN A ROW and held for over an hour, bent over my car, searched without my permission, and threatened with death for daring to ask a question or act upset. (me being upset because of three pullsover in the three hours I was there was justification to get me out of my car) and why I was stopped? Suspicion.

      Just days later I heard of someone talking back to police, he was arrested, he was also dead. Seems he ran into the bars of his jail cell hard enough to break his head open. He had to do it multiple times and did it with the side of his head. Of course it was suicide and that cell had no cameras, oh so sorry to the parents, but your son did not comply with our requests.

      Oh, why I was pulled over? I was driving a cab, and my fare was a lady that was in her 60’s who lived in the hood. It was night. I was white, and not allowed to go in there at all. What was sickening was that while I was pulled over, I could see, just a block away, kids selling crack to people driving up. I was told it was an Isolate and Destroy policy. Isolate the blacks in a neighborhood, let them drug themselves to death, and keep white people out.

      That’s “Law Enforcement?” Welcome to Port Charolette Florida.

  24. Who the &@!# cares about officer safety?

    Johannes Mehserle? Or Oscar Grant?
    Daniel Harless? Or William Bartlett?
    Pima Co. Sheriff’s Dept.? Or Jose Guerena?
    Las Vegas Metro PD? Or Erik Scott?
    New Jersey Police? Or Brian Aitken?
    Lon Horiuchi? Or Vicki Weaver?
    FBI and BATFU? Or 19 children under age eighteen and 61 adults shot or burned alive?

    There is no such thing as a good cop. Even the ones not robbing and murdering innocent citizens are covering for, and rewarding, those who do.

  25. Hello there, simply turned into aware of your blog thru Google, and found that it is really informative. I?m gonna watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. A lot of other folks will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  26. Officer Fusaro, I randomly came across your article on the internet and could not believe what I was reading. Especially since you are a supervisor. Your article wreaks of how much more training yourself and other LEO’s need to perform their jobs efficiently. You have been indoctrinated by your department policies that has produced a belief that all citizens are criminals. LEO’s have become revenue collectors for their local/state/federal agencies, nothing more. With the injection of DHS in local agencies, citizens constitutional rights have been thrown into the ditch and all of you can hide behind “qualified immunity” to cover your atrocities as an LEO.

    Don’t say that a few bad apples ruin the bushel. This day and age, all LEO’s are bad apples but every now and then, I run across a LEO that is so professional and well informed when it comes to constitutional rights, a tear comes to my eye.

    I will give you credit in one place though. You served your country and my hat is off to you sir. I served as well, and I am very proud of it! You took the same oath as a soldier as you did as an LEO. Maybe you should put more weight on the oath you took as a soldier and you might gain the trust of the american public again. One day, someone is going to pull the Constitution out of your rectum and force you to read it again. Then, and maybe then, our country will return to where it once was, FREE!

    To every citizen reading this post, research your rights when encountering police. They vary from state to state so research the state you live in. State governments have websites that will list every law on the books. Resist through verbal statements, not physical threats. In some states, it is legal to record audio and video with only one persons consent. That one person is you, the citizen. Be wary of wire tap laws on the books in your specific state. Record, record, record! Be polite but be firm when you express those rights. If we don’t exercise our rights, we will lose them! Always remember, it is LEGAL for a LEO to lie to you for whatever reason but not the other way around!

  27. And this article is exactly why I don’t respect ANY police, whatsoever!!! The fact that one cop is offering his ‘help’ in dealing with this situation, and for all intents and purposes is telling me to bend over and spread my cheeks, reeks of power-tripping bully harassment, and you ALL can go to hell!

  28. Now, let me give you some advice. This is for the police as well as the person stopped. And yes, this is legal advice, because I only advise on the issues I have the legal right to.

    Right. Have you ever thought about what the word means? Definitions are important, meanings are important. If you don’t know what a Right IS, then how can you know if you have a right, or the person confronting you has a right.

    A Right is a legal, Ethical, or Moral Title or Claim to the possession of property or authority.

    Wow that told you, well, nothing.
    Now, look at the rest of it.

    Since we’re dealing with a Moral Right, then Moral is defined as “The example drawn from a story or past actions.” So a Right to Bear Arms, or the Right to be Free from an illegal search, is based on past stories of abuses by police, soldiers, and others who would use that power to harm you.

    Title and Claim are next. A Title is a word or phrase that you assign to a specific property or authority. The Title of this page is “The Truth About Guns.” The title is the Right of the person who owns the story, and who has authority over it. In dealing with guns or stops, Bearing Arms is your name for an action YOU DEFINE. Not the state, not the city, not a police officer, YOU. Which brings us to Claim. See, a Gold Claim means the claim belongs to you, totally. A Claim to the Right to Bear Arms means that you are the legal holder of the right, and that only YOU control it.

    Are you starting to get it? What has been hidden form you about YOUR rights?

    Possession means to be in control over an item, or an authority. If it is yours, then your ownership is assured, protected, and set in stone.

    Property means the things that you have. Your possessions. Yours to do with as you please.

    Authority is an interesting word. It means functional control over. If you have authority over an employee you can direct them to do what you want them to do. Author – ity is to be the Author Of the Power Concerning. The ultimate end of the chain of command. If you have Authority, then only YOU have authority unless you have agreed otherwise.

    Now are you getting it?

    A terry stop is a violation of your rights. It must be a legitimate stop, or everything that comes from it is fruit of a poisoned tree. If a police officer feels the need to deprive you of your rights (Arrest them) then he must be justified in his actions enough to warrant it to a court. Otherwise it is an illegal violation of your rights – the rights YOU own and he has only marginal control over, and only in matters you have previously agreed to.

    When did you agree? When the Constitution was written giving the government police powers over the people.

    See, we knew that it would be an issue in the future, and that is why we wrote the Bill of Rights, and required them to be incorporated into the Constitution before it was ratified by the states.

    The Officer has the Rights he has been granted by you, and those before you – and no more. Not one single step more. If he violates those rights, you can take action against the police according to the right that he violated. Each right is different.

    Just remember, he is working for you. But he is also your enemy. Treat him as you would a loaded gun – carefully… but never, ever allow him to exceed his Powers (a right given for enforcement is a power) and if he does, then it is your DUTY to fight back in appropriate ways.

  29. Was stopped once in PA, for speeding, while concealed carrying. I told the copy I have a concealed carry license and a gun on my person. He simply said ok and then ran my license. Came back with a warning. He couldn’t have cared less that I had a gun. Generally: give respect, get respect.

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