Saturday, May 17, 2008

Protect and Serve Yourself

This is not an isolated story, though i hope it becomes an increasingly less frequent one, soon.

ALBANY -- Two years ago, Tunde Clement stepped off a bus at the city's main terminal downtown.

Clement, a black man, was carrying a backpack and coming from New York City. That may have been enough to pique the interest of undercover sheriff's investigators scanning the crowd with their eyes.

They cornered Clement and began peppering him with questions.

He was quickly handcuffed and falsely arrested. He was taken to a station to be strip-searched and then to a hospital, where doctors forcibly sedated him with a cocktail of powerful drugs, including one that clouded his memory of the incident.

A camera was inserted in his rectum, he was forced to vomit and his blood and urine were tested for drugs and alcohol. Scans of his digestive system were performed using X-ray machines, according to hospital records obtained by the Times Union.

The search, conducted without a search warrant, came up empty.

In all, Clement spent more than 10 hours in custody before being released with nothing more than an appearance ticket for resisting arrest -- a charge that was later dismissed.

read the rest, here

Obviously, this is an overstep on the part of the police department, both in policy and in execution, but i wonder if Mr Clement could have better protected himself.

Im not saying that something shouldnt be done about a police department that drugs people without their consent, but i am saying that, if this was you stepping off of a bus and being approached by two obviously edgy police officers, that you are still provided with some measure of rational protection. I know i write alot about how slowly, (and sometimes rapidly) the freedoms and liberties we so cherish are being torn from us, as we are more and more subject to the will of the new state, the police, the corporate and government interests, but the fact is that we are not yet without the ability to protect ourselves in one way or another. And in fact, we must.

Even in prisons, there are rules even guards have to follow, and there are ways for prisoners to protect themselves. This is still a Civil Society, and as of this day, that civility, even as its pushed to its breaking point is all that the average citizen has to defend himself. Im sure that Mr Clement didnt think this could happen to him, and so, he failed to protect himself. When he realized what was happening, im sure he lashed out, in fear, like many of us would. But for Mr Clement, it was already too late, he had already given up his defensive tools, one way or another, and at that point could only flail futilely at officers who far outgunned him, both litteraly and metaphoricly in the categories of ability and force. You, like the prisoner in a jail, cannot reasonably expect to make it anywhere with strength or force. You are outgunned in every respect. But you are not without defense. There are Rules, there are Limited Rights, there is a system that you can follow, not to regain your absolute liberty, which is not the issue here, but simply to protect yourself against further infringement. And you must protect yourself, because when you are face to face with those men in blue, sworn to "protect and serve", and they are coming after you, there is no one else to protect you. You can turn to no one but yourself, and you cannot fight your way out.

No, the only place you outgun a police officer is in the category of rights, not force. You have rights, albeit limitted ones, and, with careful use, you can defend yourself there, far before it gets to a contest of force which you have no chance of winning, and which will even make things far worse than would sheepish submission. You must defend yourself, with these rights, on this basis of civility because if you give up those rights, you give up that defense, and if you later discover that you need them, you will have no chance to pick them back up.

These are not tools for only criminals to defend themselves any more than guns can only be used to defend a criminals right to commit a crime, they are tools availiable for the mother to protect the child, the father to protect the wife, the family and the individual to protect itself from a system and society that more and more consistantly is inconsistant in its rationality and security.

How you can protect yourself durring a police confrontation. Your rights as a defense against police abuse.
AKA: The Rules.

Rule #1 - Never talk to a police officer. Keep your mouth shut! (You never have to answer any questions a police officer may ask, except for your name, address and date of birth.) This is your right, protected by the Fifth Amendment

Rule #2 - Never talk to a police officer.
Shut up! (How can you be charged with something if you haven't said anything?) Remember anything you say or do can be used against you. It cannot be used to help you.

Rule #3 - "Am I Free to Go?"
As soon as a police officer asks you a question, ask the police officer, "Am I Free to Go?" If you are detained or arrested by a police officer, tell them that you are going to remain silent and that you would like to see a lawyer. This is your right, protected by the Sixth Amendment.

Rule #4 - Never talk to a police officer. Keep your mouth shut! (You will be asked to cooperate, and told that if you have nothing to hide, you should answer a few questions, but what you are really being asked to do is to lay down your sheild, and hope that you are not run through on the point of a sword) You have nothing to hide, but you have no reason to strip away one of the only protections you are afforded.

Rule #5 - Safety. Never bad-mouth a police officer. Stay calm and in control of your words, body language and your emotions. Always keep your hands where the police officer can see them. Do not clench your fists or gesture wildly. Do not move suddenly, Do not run away and never, ever, touch a police officer in any way.

Rule #6 - Refuse to Consent to Searches.
Just say NO to searches! Remember if the police didn't need your permission, they wouldn't be asking you. Never give permission to a police officer to search you, your car or your home. If a police officer does search you, don't resist!

Rule #7 - Refuse to Consent to Searches. Just say NO to searches! Nothing that could be found could in any way be used to help you. Again, this is not a matter of "If you have nothing to hide..." This is common sense, and memorize the following phrase "I do not Consent to Any Searches." Say it often. This is your right, protected by the Fourth Amendment.

Rule #8 - "Am I Free to Go?" As soon as you have denied a police officers request to keep you for a search, ask the police officer, "Am I Free to Go?" If you are told you are free to go, ask what you are being held for. if you are free to go, thank him, and go on your way quietly and courteously.

Rule #9 - Safety. You may be frustrated. Never bad-mouth a police officer. Stay calm and in control of your words, body language and your emotions. Do not raise your voice. Always keep your hands where the police officer can see them. Do not clench your fists or gesture wildly. Do not move suddenly, Do not run away and never, ever, touch a police officer in any way.

Rule #10 - Ask for a Supervisor. If all else fails and you feel the police officer is abusing your rights, ask him to call his "supervisor" to your location. Ask him politely, note his badge name, and do not make demands or accusations. State firmly and calmly that you feel the situation is not playing out properly and that he should please call his supervisor to the location, you would be happy to wait.


Self Defense is a Human Right. Inalienable and uninteruptible.

Protect yourself and yours.

1 comment:

Vistonie said...

You are a human being although the men in blue do not often see you that way... Protect your rights... use your rights... Never Ever freely give up your rights