Constitution Day is an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental rights and freedoms we enjoy as Americans. But for many, it also provides an occasion to take note of all the ways in which the promise of liberty handed down by our forefathers has been broken time and again as our criminal justice system grows sufficiently enormous to terrify even the best-behaved among us.
True as that may be, Flex Your Rights has always believed that the long-term survival of our basic constitutional rights can be realized only by understanding, appreciating, and exercising them. That’s why today, we thought it would be appropriate to share a few of the wonderful 4th Amendment success stories our supporters have shared with us:
I was driving from New York to D.C., and I was pulled over going through Baltimore. The officer asked if I knew why he pulled me over. Having recently seen Busted, I made it a point to say, “I don’t know,” instead of “speeding.” He said he wasn’t going to write me a ticket, but wanted to search the car because they “were seeing a lot of drugs going through the area.” I told him I was in a hurry and really didn’t feel it was necessary. He tried to get all buddy-buddy and make it seem like I should “just help him out.” He said his boss really wanted them to be checking cars, so he’d “really appreciate it.” At this point, I said I did not wish to consent to a search and asked if I was free to go. He said “yes” and I drove off.
We had a Know Your Rights training (and showed Busted) for the American Indian Community at the IndianWorks community center. One woman who attended told us that her son and his friends were being harassed by a police officer assigned to his high school. The officer stopped them repeatedly when they hung out after school and constantly demanded to search their bags. Although her son was not at the training, she was eager to show him the information and she went home and ordered Busted off the website.
She called a month later to say that when the officer stopped her son and his friends as they walked home from school and demanded to search their backpacks, her son said, “Officer, am I being detained or am I free to go and I do not consent to a search” all in one sentence. The cop turned red in the face but returned to his squad car, sped off and has not bothered them since. With such great results, the mom has been showing Busted to all of the neighborhood youth.
Just two days ago I had an unfortunate run-in with the police. They were already in my house, to respond to an emergency that my friend was having. Due to the nature of his emergency, they requested a search of my house. Immediately, everything from Busted came rushing back. I think the only things I said (and repeated) were “I do not consent to a search”, “Are we free to go to the hospital now?” and “I think I need to contact my lawyer.” When I said “lawyer” the cop backed off. But I just couldn’t believe how astounded he was that I refused the search. He insisted that it meant I had something to hide over and over. And, too, the use of silence really came in handy. I have never been in a situation like that before, especially with the cops already inside my house. So, thanks for Busted. That truly saved me. It was the only thing I thought of the entire interrogation. Things could have turned out differently otherwise.
You can read many more of these here.