Natt Hentoff among Century’s Outstanding Journalists

Legendary journalist, Cato Instutute Scholar, Flex Your Rights Beautiful Testimonial Writer, and all-around Badass of Freedom Nat Hentoff was selected among "the 100 Outstanding Journalists in the United States in the Last 100 Years."

That reminds me: I need to send him a new 10 Rules for Dealing with Police DVD. I’m not sure if he’s got a working player yet, but he’ll certainly appreciate it.

I’m not saying that blindly. Mr. Hentoff’s an analog kinda guy. He’s so analog that when I sent him a pre-release review DVD, he didn’t watch it. Instead, he requested a copy of the screenplay — via snail mail! 

So if you ever see this, Mr. Hentoff, Mazel tov!

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5 Reasons You Should Never Agree to a Police Search (Even if You Have Nothing to Hide)

Flex Your Rights Associate Director and 10 Rules for Dealing with Police co-creator Scott Morgan has an important article in The Huffington Post.

Do you know what your rights are when a police officer asks to search you? If you’re like most people I’ve met in my eight years working to educate the public on this topic, then you probably don’t.

It’s a subject that a lot of people think they understand, but too often our perception of police power is distorted by fictional TV dramas, sensational media stories, silly urban myths, and the unfortunate fact that police themselves are legally allowed to lie to us.

Read and share full article here.

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Over 16 Million YouTube Views Served!

Thanks to you, the Flex Your Rights YouTube channel has reached an astonishing 16 million views and 35 thousand subscribers!

If you’re not yet subscribed to our YouTube channel, please do it now. Whenever we upload a new video, you’ll be one of the first to see it. And by subscribing you can "like" our videos and submit your questions in the comments. (Doing these things helps attract more viewers too.)

You’ll see that we created a new “How to Deal with Cops” video log (vlog). This is for all of you who want to become more intelligent know-your-rights advocates. Here Scott Morgan and I will address current events and discuss topics not fully covered in our full-length videos, BUSTED: The Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters or 10 Rules for Dealing with Police.

Also, if you already "like" us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, you may have seen our new "How to Flex Your Rights at Protests" article. (This is also the topic of our newest vlog episode.)

So whether you like Facebook, Twitter, or good old-fashioned email — please watch and share our stuff with all your friends.

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Introducing the Flex Your Rights Guide to Dealing with Cops at Protests

Whether you like to Occupy, Tea Party, or Bikini Flash Mob — the First Amendment protects your right to peacefully protest.

Courts have tended to support a strong and vibrant First Amendment. Its protections are far-reaching and give you great freedom to express your views loudly and publicly.

But before you make your voice heard, you want to be prepared in case your peaceful protest turns confrontational.

View this article.

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Police Say Flex Your Rights DVD is Evidence of Criminal Activity

A controversial police raid of the popular Capitol Hemp stores in Washington, D.C. has become more interesting with the release of the affidavit filed by an undercover officer seeking a judge’s approval to search the premises for evidence of drug paraphernalia distribution. Police allege that water pipes and other tobacco accessories sold at the stores were intended for illegal use, and their evidence includes the fact that Capitol Hemp sold Flex Your Rights DVDs!

Check out this section from the search warrant affidavit, available in full at DCist:

4. While your Affiant was looking at the smoking devices U/C [redacted] observed a DVD that was for sale entitled "10 Rules for Dealing with Police". The DVD gave the following listed topics that were covered as:

     A. Deal with traffic stops, street stops and police at your door.

     B. Know your rights and maintain your cool, and;

     C. Avoid common police tricks and prevent humiliating searches.

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Victory! NYPD Chief Orders Stop to Improper Marijuana Arrests

On Friday NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly issued a directive to all precincts ordering them to stop arresting New Yorkers for small quantities of marijuana if the marijuana is not in plain view.

This is a major reversal for a department that took great pride in its aggressive policing policy. Conducting 600,000 stop-and-frisks, the NYPD made more than 50,000 marijuana possession arrests in 2010. Although marijuana is decriminalized in New York, making possession only a ticketable offense, police have exploited a loophole in the law, routinely tricking and intimidating citizens into "voluntarily" revealing their contraband. This so-called "brandishing" of marijuana is a misdemeanor crime.

The widespread abuse of this tactic inspired the street stop scenes in our two films, BUSTED: The Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters and 10 Rules for Dealing with Police .

The campaign to end the arrests was led by the Drug Policy Alliance (a major Flex funder). According to DPA’s Evan Goldstein, Flex videos played an important role in the effort.

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How to Stop a Police Search (Texas Style)

We just added this gem to our growing Success Stories page

I recently got pulled over by the Texas Highway Patrol for an expired registration.

The cops double-teamed me — one at the passenger-side window and one at the driver’s side window, both talking to me at the same time, trying to confuse me. Each took turns sticking their heads as far as they could inside the car, looking around, and inhaling deeply.

After about five minutes of continuous sniffing, I finally asked one of the officers if everything was okay. "Just making sure you don’t have any weapons. It’s a safety thing. You mind if we take a look around?"

Of course, I knew the response. "I know you’re just doing your job, but I don’t consent to any searches."

About ten minutes into the encounter, one of the cops excitedly pointed at my cup holder. "Sir! What’s that white residue on your cup holder? I need to be sure that’s not something dangerous!"

I explained that the white residue was dust — dead skins cells and detritus that you normally see in a dirty-ass car like mine.

Anyway, I kept cool, asserted my rights in a calm manner, didn’t consent, and drove away without being searched. Not that I had anything to hide, but it felt good to assert my rights.

 Thanks for helping me do that.

— Paul from Texas

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