In a video uploaded to YouTube on October 2, a man receives a written warning for having his headlights off. Then he meets the “friendly, good cop”, just your old buddy who is out to make small talk- which may allow him to violate some rights. Luckily, the driver knew exactly how to handle the situation.
After handing the driver the written warning, the cop proceeds to make conversation- asking him if he plays frisbee golf. The driver states that he does and next we see the true motives of the seemingly casual banter.
“I need you to answer me a question; why is it, everybody that plays frisbee golf smokes weed?” the officer asks.
The driver explains that it is not everybody, that it’s a select few, to which the officer replies “it’s everybody, man.”
We all know where this is heading.
“You can’t tell me you’ve never smoked weed before,” the officer continues.
The driver keeps his cool and does not answer the officer one way or another.
“How much weed do you have in the car tonight,”? the cop asks, as if he is an old friend.
The driver informs the officer, who is seemingly desperate to make quota, that there is nothing in the car, to which the officer begins the “so if i searched your car…” bit.
“You understand you’re free to go and everything, but you wouldn’t have a problem with me looking through your car?”
On what planet should someone who’s free to go, consent to a search? Does this line work?
The driver refuses the search, which according to the officer, means he must have weed on him. He then claims the driver admitted to having smoked weed in the past, which was an absolute lie. The driver simply asserted his right not to answer.
As he explained this to the officer, correcting his false claim, the officer again states that his refusal to answer equals a yes.
The man informs the cop that he is being filmed and the officer finally wraps up his attempt at trapping them into an illegal search.
Bravo to the driver for knowing and exercising his rights, the only thing that should be pointed out is that he forgot the single most important phrase you need to recite when dealing with police-
“Am I free to go?“
The police must have reasonable suspicion to detain or search you.
The easiest way to determine if they have reasonable suspicion is to determine if you’re free to go.
You can find out by asking, “Excuse me officer. Are you detaining me, or am I free to go?”
If the officer says you’re free to go, leave immediately and don’t answer any more questions.
More on your rights when filming police can be found here.
More on how to stop cops from searching your vehicle can be found here.