Arizona & Reasonable Suspicion

Defenders of the strict new immigration law claim that the law’s reasonable suspicion requirement will prevent abuses. This argument gives Cato Institute scholar and Flex Board of Advisors member Tim Lynch his own reasons to be suspicious.

The police are going to ask questions and request to see papers in a variety of circumstances — whether they have reasonable suspicion or not. From a legal, constitutional, and practical perspective, the key issue is this: What are the consequences, if any, for the person who stands his ground and declines to answer questions or declines to produce identification papers? If a person declines, will the police back off and say, “Well, that is your right, sir, you may go” or will the police escalate the situation by ordering the person to answer questions, ordering the production of identification, detaining the person, or threaten the person with arrest on bogus charges?

Lynch digs deeper into the practical dilemma faced by laypeople attempting to Flex their rights.


One Blogger Complies with TSA Agent, One Doesn’t. Guess Who’s Smarter.

Frishling, tell him to get a warrant. Crap. Too late.

There’s lots of web chatter about the two travel bloggers who got home visits from Transportation Security Administration agents. Following last week’s attempted underwear bombing, the bloggers had posted a leaked TSA memo with instructions to airlines. The most familiar and ridiculed requirement blocks passengers’ access to bathrooms, blankets, video entertainment, and carry-on bags during the last hour of flight.

So in an attempt to plug their own administrative leak, the new law enforcement agency did what law enforcement agencies do: they sent agents to investigate. While it’s terrifying to imagine TSA agents harassing us at our homes beyond the confines of airport security, this should surprise no one.

Also not surprising is the fact that one of the two bloggers failed to flex his rights in the face of police intimidation and trickery.

According to the AP:

Steve Frischling, said he met with two TSA special agents Tuesday night at his Connecticut home for about three hours and again on Wednesday morning when he was forced to hand over his laptop computer.


Jury Rights: The Next Flex Thing

Contents: 1. What are “Jury Rights”? 2. Movie Overview 3. Campaign Objectives 4. Budget & Plan 5. Donate & Give Me Feedback Since 2002, Flex Your Rights’ films have taught you and yours how to assert your constitutional rights on the road, in your home, and on the streets. As part of our ongoing effort […]

Video Preview! 10 Rules for Dealing with Police

As promised, 10 Rules for Dealing with Police is nearly complete! I think you’ll agree that it’s the most sophisticated and entertaining film of its kind, and I can’t wait to get DVDs into your hands. Pre-orders will begin shipping in time for the Jan. 25 Feb. 12 late Feb./early Mar. 2010 release date.

In the meantime, enjoy the 10 Rules trailer. And check out our special holiday offers below — including discounts on both 10 Rules DVD pre-orders and our classic offering, BUSTED: The Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters.

Three Special DVD Discount Offers:

1) 10 Rules DVD Pre-Order for $15 (save $5.00)

2) Order 5 BUSTED DVDs in time for Christmas for $50 (save $25.00)

3) 10 Rules DVD Pre-Order + 5 BUSTED DVDs in time for Christmas for $60 (save $35.00

(Please Note: 10 Rules DVD pre-orders will ship by late Feb./early Mar., 2010. BUSTED DVD orders will ship within 48 hours of your order.)


File under “Things that seem to contradict Flex Advice”

Gotta love the ACLU for fighting for the First Amendment rights of a jackass motorist who gets arrested cited for flipping a cop the bird.

So says Sara Rose of the ACLU…

“The law is clear that using one’s middle finger to express discontent or frustration is expressive conduct that is protected by the First Amendment.”

Finger Flinger David Hackbart will likely get a $50,000 payment from the city of Pittsburgh. But after lawyers fees, he’ll probably net about $10,000.

I wonder what Peter Griffin thinks about this?


Flex Fan Arrested After Refusing to Show TSA His ID

Hours after I met Phil Mocek at the Drug Policy Alliance conference in Albuquerque, he was arrested at the local airport after he refused to show Transportation Security Authority officials his identification.

While we at Flex Your Rights start by educating folks on how to avoid arrest, we admire the Flex experts (Flexperts?) like Phil who know their rights and are prepared to take an arrest in order to test bad laws in court.

And this is where things get weird with the shadowy world of the TSA: Phil didn’t break any written laws. Refusing to provide ID to TSA agents isn’t a crime — yet he was charged with disorderly conduct, concealing identify, resisting arrest and criminal trespass.

Presumably, most or all of these charges will be dropped. And Phil is likely to fight things out in court if they are not.

Regardless of the outcome, Flex gives major props to freedom fighters like Phil and John Gilmore who put their freedom on the line to expose new and strange limitations on everyone’s personal freedoms.