Time: Mon Aug 11 19:35:57 1997
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	Mon, 11 Aug 1997 17:26:43 -0700 (MST)
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 17:25:37 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Just say NO to the Police (fwd)

>--------------------- Forwarded Message ---------------------
>From: Shirley Friar (Dixie Rose), 
>We Hold These Truths [http://www.vdim.com]    
>The following article is from a leaflet that has been distributed by the
>Libertarian Party in New Jersey. Written by an attorney, it deals with the
>subject of talking to police or other government agents.
>          *************************************************************
>                       **** DON'T TALK TO COPS ****
>          *************************************************************
>By ROBERT W. ZEUNER, Member of the New York State Bar
>"GOOD MORNING! My name is investigator Holmes. Do you mind answering a few
>simple questions?" If you open your door one day and are greeted with those
>words, stop and think! Whether it is the local police or the FBI at your
>door, you have certain legal rights of which you ought to be aware before you
>proceed any further.
>In the first place, when the law enforcement authorities come to see you,
>there are no "simple questions." Unless they are investigating a traffic
>accident, you can be sure that they want information about somebody. And that
>somebody may be you!
>Rule Number one to remember when confronted by the authorities is that there
>is no law require you to talk with the police, the FBI, or the representative
>of any other investigative agency. Even the simplest questions may be loaded
>and the seemingly harmless bits of information which you volunteer may later
>become vital links in a chain of circumstantial evidence against you or a
>Do not invite the investigator into your home! Such an invitation not only
>gives him the opportunity to look around for clues to your lifestyle,
>friends, reading material, etc., but also tends to prolong the conversation.
>And the longer the conversation, the more chance there is for a skilled
>investigator to find out what he wants to know.
>Many times a police officer will ask you to accompany him to the police
>station to answer a few questions. In that case, simply thank him for the
>invitation and indicate that you are not disposed to accept it at that time.
>Often the authorities simply want to photograph a person for identification
>purposes, a procedure which is easily accomplished by placing him in a
>private room with a two-way mirror at the station, asking him a few innocent
>questions, and then releasing him.
>If the investigator becomes angry at your failure to cooperate and threatens
>you with arrest, stand firm. He cannot legally place you under arrest or
>enter your home without a warrant signed by a judge. If he indicates that he
>has such a warrant, ask to see it. A person under arrest or located on
>premises to be searched, generally must be shown a warrant if he requests it
>and must be given a chance to read it.
>Without a warrant, an officer depends solely upon your helpfulness to obtain
>the information he wants. So, unless you are quite sure of yourself, don't be
>Probably the wisest approach to take to a persistent investigator is simply
>to say: "I'm quite busy now. If you have any questions that you feel I can
>answer, I'd be happy to listen to them in my lawyer's office. Goodbye!" Talk
>is cheap. But when that talk involves the law enforcement authorities, it may
>cost you, or someone close to you, dearly.
>P.S. "This leaflet has been printed as a public service by individuals
>concerned with the growing role of authoritarianism and police power in our
>society. Please feel free to copy or republish."

Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

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