Don’t Talk To Cops Ever

January 21, 2012

All Posts, Editorials

There are, to paraphrase a common biker saying, two kinds of people: Those who have been arrested and those who will be.

The video below, published here at the urging of a reader, presents a brief primer on the pitfalls of talking to the police. It runs almost 50 minutes but if you have not yet been arrested it is worth that investment of your time.

The recording is of a presentation made to law students at the Regent University chapter of the Federalist Society in Virginia Beach, Virginia. March 14, 2008. The lecture was titled “In Praise of the Fifth Amendment: Why No Criminal Suspect Should Ever Talk to the Police.” If you have not already memorized the advice it contains you should probably watch the video and take notes.

The first speaker is Regent Law Professor James Duane. The second speaker is Suffolk County Virginia Commonwealth Attorney George W. Bruch. At the time of the recording Bruch was a detective for the Virginia Beach Police Department.


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36 Responses to “Don’t Talk To Cops Ever”

  1. Grumbler Says:

    Some folks should be shot just over their heads (hypothetically speaking, of course) to dissuade ’em from getting stoopid with cops.

    Was late renewing my motorcycle registration online last month and there was NFW I was gonna ride it, even with the temp print-out, until I got the new tag. The expired one would’ve given ’em probable cause to pull me over.

  2. PigPen Says:

    10guage, respect for saying it perfectly.

  3. Glenn S. Says:

    Now THAT’s funny. Maybe you left that jail a wiser rat. I take it you did not try to help the jail staff (poor people, having such shitty jobs) by pointing out which of your fellow prisoners had contraband.

  4. sherides Says:

    I thought for sure that the car parked at the far end of the booth would turn out to belong to BALDWIN…. just seems like something a cop would do. (park his personal vehicle illegally and issue tickets to all of the other cars).

  5. Jim666 Says:

    It,d be nice to see em put a law on the books that would give a mandatory 20 yrs for snitching,,,,,

  6. 10guage Says:


    Hopefully you learned your lesson and will not be snitching out strangers and mind your own fuckin business


  7. Rebel Says:

    Dear Krymsun,

    First time? Welcome to justice in America. In el lay you also would have been cited for disorderly conduct, public nuisance and possibly, bleeding on a sidewalk. Then they would have lost your paperwork real good.


  8. Krymsun Says:

    My story: I am Stephen George Weber. A few years ago, coming home from work in Atlanta on a Friday afternoon, I got off the Metro rail-line at its southern terminus, Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, where I waited out front of Terminal 1 on the sidewalk, where my roommate would soon arrive to pick me up for the last leg of my commute. While idling there, I noticed a police officer (guy by the name of BALDWIN) ticketing cars illegally parked in front of the terminal.

    Back then, there were 4 traffic lanes, two immediately before the building and two more, separated from the closer two by a small, curbed ‘island’ on which was a windowed security-booth, the on-duty officer’s station. During my wait, I watched officer BALDWIN, wondering what pooch he’d screwed, to be assigned as an airport meter-maid, surely one of the least-coveted assignments a police officer could draw. During my wait, I watched officer BALDWIN, busily enforcing the no-parking zone.

    I observed BALDWIN as he chose to write up other vehicles, including one that hadn’t been left as long as another that I had noticed, an empty car that had been left unattended on the far side of the booth, a car which had been there when I first came outside, perhaps as yet unnoticed by BALDWIN, since it was parked on the far side of the booth from where he stood, while BALDWIN wrote up yet another ticket for a car that had just been left. Taking a small measure of pity on BALDWIN for having drawn such duty, I thought to give BALDWIN a small assist by bringing to his attention the car he had been seemingly ignoring.

    For my good deed, BALDWIN cited and arrested me for “interfering with a police officer in the course of his duties”. Likely because I politely protested, BALDWIN compounded his incompetence by filling in the citation incorrectly, probably to interfere with my booking. In the boxes on the citation for the accused’s name (clearly labelled Last, First, Middle), BALDWIN wrote mine in, first, middle, then last, causing me to be later called from the precinct’s holding tank as George Stephen, not Stephen Weber. The delay created by this snafu caused me to suggest that my jailers were no more competent than BALDWIN, the arresting officer. As it was a Friday night, I had to remain in jail for the entire weekend; for BALDWIN, this was merely a happy coincidence, no doubt.

    At my arraignment on Monday, the judge noted that the citation’s charge against me was unsupported by any explanation, which should have detailed the reason for the charge, required to have been written in the area on the bottom half of the ticket, which BALDWIN had left blank. The judge asked if BALDWIN was present in court, to explain this over-sight, and provide just cause why I should be there. BALDWIN hadn’t bothered to attend this hearing, of course, so the charge against me was dismissed. ‘No harm, no foul’? Well, none suffered by the public or police, only me.

    Unless you are not concerned about the very real possibility of gaining an arrest-record, suffering the inconvenience, discomfort, hassle, irritation, and righteous anger at such treatment, then do feel free to perform your good deed for the day, and help out the next police officer you can.

  9. Freedom Says:

    I am becoming quite worried about the increasing trend of criminalizing everything in the United States and around the world. While many laws are necessary, life is becoming so regulated that almost everything humans do is becoming illegal. How can anyone obey the law if everything is illegal? Banning every activity doesn’t make people respect the law more.

    Americans like to say they love freedom, but there are few freedoms left in the US. The government is tightening the noose to strangle Americans with ever-increasing nanny state laws so much that the US is starting to look like North Korea.

    Most of the following actions have been outlawed just in my lifetime:

    Fast food restaurants have been banned.

    Feeding homeless people has become a crime.

    Sex tourism has been outlawed.

    Sex offenders have been required to register with the police and are forbidden from living near schools and parks.

    Sex offenders can be held for life under indefinite civil commitment laws even after they complete their original sentences.

    Drug users have been banned from receiving welfare or student aid.

    The US Constitution has been overruled by the Patriot Act that has legalized wiretaps without a warrant and allows the government to deport and strip any American of his or her citizenship.,8816,449497,00.html

    Guantanamo has been used to keep and torture suspected terrorists without trial.

    Domestic violence abusers having been banned from having guns.

    Mandatory seatbelt use laws have been enacted.

    Seatbelt checkpoints are being conducted.

    DUI and drug checkpoints have been allowed.

    Governments are now allowed to seize the property of suspected prostitution clients, drug users, and drunk drivers.

    “John TV” shows that embarrass and punish people arrested on prostitution charges are now allowed.

    The US now has a secret panel “kill list” of Americans who are targeted to be assassinated without a trial.

    Car owners are now required to have liability insurance.

    Americans are not allowed to travel to Cuba.

    People who owe child support are not allowed to have passports.,0,123074.story

    People who have defaulted student loans are not allowed to have professional licenses.

    The US is one of the few countries that has the death penalty.

    Americans must report any currency that they carry over $10,000.

    Americans must pay sales taxes on services.

    Americans must now pay sales taxes on mail-order products shipped from other states.

    Americans must pay US taxes on worldwide income.

    Americans must also pay income taxes to foreign countries when they work overseas.

    Americans must pay taxes on gifts given and received.

    The drinking age has been raised.

    Drunk driving has been outlawed.

    Homeowners cannot rent rooms in their homes.

    Debtors with defaulted student loans are forbidden from having driver licenses.

    Americans cannot have US or foreign bank accounts while living overseas.

    Americans who do have overseas bank accounts must report them to the US government every year.

    Adultery is illegal.

    Foreign workers are forbidden from working in many countries.

    Unmarried couples may not live together.

    Oral sex is illegal.

    Some countries require websites to be licensed by the government.

    Panhandling is illegal.

    Loitering is illegal.

    Homeowners are legally required to mow their lawns.

    There is now a 5 year lifetime limit on welfare.

    Bankruptcy has been outlawed.

    Watering and not watering lawns are both illegal.

    Fat taxes are being added to food.

    Smoking indoors, in parks, at beaches, and on public transportation has been made illegal.

    Sales of cigarettes to minors has been outlawed.

    Airline passengers can now be added to “no-fly” lists, searched, and required to have an ID.

    Driving while using a mobile phone has been banned.

    Americans are now required by law to have health insurance.

    Cars are required to have air bags.

    Americans are now required to have a passport to visit Canada and Mexico.

    The minimum driving age has been raised.

    Curfews have been enacted.

    Homeowners must have a permit from the government to remove trees from their own private property.

    Homeowners are banned from installing fake grass on their lawns.

    Premarital sex is illegal.

    Teaching about polygamy is illegal.

    Homeowners are legally required to shovel snow from sidewalks.

    Sex toys are illegal.

    Selling a toy gun is illegal.

    Background checks are required for gun buyers.,9171,1004884,00.html

    Soft drinks are banned from schools.

    Skateboarders, bicyclists, and motorcycle riders must legally wear helmets.

    Skateboarding on roads is illegal.

    Sleeping on the beach, in parks, on public streets, in alleys, or in a parked car is illegal.

    Wearing baggy pants is illegal.

    Redlight cameras are being installed at intersections.

    Speed cameras are being installed at intersections.

    Pick-up trucks are required to be parked inside garages at night.

    Using leaf blowers is illegal.

    Bloggers are required to have business licenses.

    Loud stereos are illegal.

    Indoor tanning bed use is banned.

    Putting indoor furniture outdoors is now illegal.

    Fireworks are illegal.

    Plastic bags have been banned.

    Children are now required to ride in child safety seats.

    Using Silly String is illegal.

    Selling alcohol on Sunday is illegal.,5623601,4512959,full.column

    Feeding pigeons is illegal.

    Sitting on a milk crate is illegal.

    The recently signed National Defense Authorization Act allows the indefinite detention of any American or foreigner accused of terrorism without trial by the US military on US or foreign soil.

    Enough is enough. America doesn’t sound so free if everything is illegal. If you care about your liberty, talk about the changes happening to the US with your friends and family, vote, donate to the ACLU, contact the media, and write to your elected officials. Governments would love to take away all your freedom if they could. Thousands of Americans did not die fighting for freedom and democracy in wars to have liberty denied in the USA. Please do not let their sacrifice go to waste. Our freedoms are diminishing, not growing. Stand up, fight for your rights, and protect our freedom and values now!

    First they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me, but there was no one left to speak for me.

    If only one person is not free, then no one is free.

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

  10. Shyster Says:


    Now THAT was the type of story I like to read.

    I was pulled over last year by the local Highway Patrol. My license plate is a vanity plate that is commented on often. When the cop approaches me he says “what’s with the plate?”

    I immediately replied “I’m an officer ….. Of the court!”

    I shit you not he walks back to his car and drives away. I’m still laughing.


  11. sled tramp Says:

    BTW,We also learned that WA state has been doing “Fake construction zones”.A cop puts a hard hat on,stands along the road with what appears to be a transit but in actuality is a radar unit and shoots your speed,there are a couple of cops down a tad to get you and of course the hard hat makes it a construction zone so fines are doubled.

  12. sled tramp Says:

    This evening,a number of brothers and I were invited to an ABATE meeting,which was held in a bar.Now I normally don’t go to these things but what the hell, it meant 9o miles omy sled and that’s as good an excuse as any.So there we were,drinking coffee,wearing colors and listening to the legal info.The owner of the bar came over to let us know the local PD was staked out down the street watching our bikes (oddly, we were the only ones that rode in) which was no surprise and nothing that concerned us.I sent a prospect out to check the sleds and received a good report.
    So, meeting ends,we leave,mount up and the absolute second my front whell moves,I get lit up.Not by one, nor two but five units. Alleys,both ends etc…
    Heavy sigh…..
    L.E. jumps out screaming,lotsa impressive noise,I hand over the usual and start talking to my brother about which barmaid I wanted to have my children.
    They start taking our pictures with full face helmets on mind you (?!)
    pics of the bikes etc…when it slowly dawns upon the cops that there are maybe 70 people coming out of this bar at them.
    And they’re not drunk.
    Next thing these guys know, they’re being explained to that this is a bikers rights meeting,there are legal people all through the crowd,the cops names are being taken and witnesses are volunteering …attorney’s names are being called…
    I have never,EVER seen cops do such a complete flat out reversal of attitude in my life.We went from “Looks like some patch holders are going to holding hehehe” to “Thank you sir,please have a great evening and we hope we haven’t bothered you guys”.
    I was LMFAO for 50 miles…..

  13. ncpagan Says:

    I consider these the three basic tenets: Stand up; Shut up; Lawyer up.

  14. B&WSupporter Says:

    Nobody talks,everybody walks…… SYLBW

  15. not-a-hippie Says:

    The feds don’t care about civil rights. They will try to make a case, then cover their tracks. They want to instill fear and break you if they can. It just serves to piss me off even more.

    I fuck with them every time and let the lawyer straighten it out, if it comes to that.

  16. Woodstock Says:


    Yeah its a civil matter in Alabama. Thanks anyway.


  17. Shyster Says:


    Sure. Just ask Rebel for my e-mail address. Also, I have only become particularized with California criminal law. So if the question, for example, is a family law issue out of Texas, I would have no clue. Take care.


  18. Woodstock Says:


    Could I contact you via e-mail with a legal question?


  19. IrishDragon Says:

    Exactly don’t let them use any of there tactics on you. Like Shyster said “I want a Lawyer”.


  20. ANARCHY Says:


  21. Shyster Says:

    It is simple yet very difficult for most people to do. Here goes:

    Cop pulls Joe over …

    Cop: license, registration and insurance

    Joe: (hands over documents) Am I free to leave?

    Cop: No

    Joe: I want a lawyer.


    Cop(s) approach Joe with or without a warrant

    Cop: We want to speak to you?

    Joe: I want a lawyer.

    Caveat: the law as it stands today allows one to invoke their 5th Amendment rights BUT the cops can re-contact you a short time later to attempt to get you to waive your right and talk. Thanks to a conservative US Supreme Court


  22. Goldsboro Williams Says:

    Phuquehed wrote, “it was a ‘military or 10 years in the can’ deal…”

    Ah, memories.

    Anyways, for a view from the other side of the fence: Talking is what gets people jail. If it was not for confessions, the conviction rate would plummet. Most people get put into that small room, and wait. And they get nervous. Then, their friend (he’s friendly, so he must be alright) the cop comes in and begins his or her routine.

    Believe it or not, some of these guys are so practiced, that they can get most people to WANT to tell them “their side of the story.” When that happens, “their side” often ends up with them being jailed. Now, when it comes to pedophiles and the like, I am all for them talking.

    Normal folks though should always (repeat, ALWAYS) shut the hell up and ask to speak to an attorney. Who told me this? Why, a detective, of course, way back when. Yes, you might still go to the county that night, but you won’t be putting the noose around your neck.

    This lesson that Rebel provided should also be told to your friends, because even when someone is wise and asks for a lawyer right away, one of his friends almost always wants to clear the air – and they screw their friend over in the process whether they mean to or not.

    A simple proof of this is the solved versus unsolved rate for homicides. The ones where the shooter is known, or a local druggie, or a relative almost always end with a confession.

    The ones where the shooter is a pro are almost never solved. Even when they are 99% sure who did it, they can’t prove it. Despite the tv shows, forensic evidence can only give the police so much. The rest is developed through interviews.

  23. Woodstock Says:

    Were you all paying attention? Last thing the cocksucker says is I don’t try to send innocent people to jail. First point he made at the beginning of his talk was you are ALL guilty of something.

  24. IrishDragon Says:

    There always trying to get you to admit to something. Like Philo said most people probably wouldn’t be locked up, if people would just STFU!


  25. Phuquehed Says:

    I have been trying to remember this and been telling friends and forums I’m on about it for a few years now –

    I imagine this is similar to the video I can’t watch, heh. Learnt a long time ago not to talk to pigs, but learned it the hard way – it was a ‘military or 10 years in the can’ deal afterwards…at least I got to see a lot of the world in the Navy.

  26. MTPenguin Says:

    Right Arm Rebel!

    A lawyer who doesn’t ~want~ to lie. And a cop who brags about it. Interesting how the cop is now a persecutor.


  27. Philo Says:

    “Tricky Tramp Says:
    January 22nd, 2012 at 3:46 am

    Even a fish wouldn’t get caught if it kept it’s mouth shut.

    Now THAT is Fucking Funny!


  28. Glenn S. Says:

    A very good video, Rebel. You’ve provided a public service by sharing this. One thing I hope every one realizes is that the cops can and do lie. The cop can tell you he’s investigating a (fictitious) murder in Slingshit, North Carolina when they really want you to admit to being in Bumfucked, Tennesee on a particular night. Sometimes they just want you to add a piece to a puzzle you don’t even know exists.

    There was a guy in prison when I was in, probably still is. The cops found a dead woman in a public bathroom downtown, rounded up everybody in the area not wearing a suit and tie. One of them was a retarded man. They promised him he could go home if he would confess to killing her and the retarded guy, having been told by his parents that the police were his friends, did so. Who knows whether or not the guy really did it. Then, after his parents hired appeals lawyers who won the appeals in Federal court, and while the US marshals were at the front gate of Perry Correctional Institution to enforce a court order that he be released, a department of corrections official told the guy that if he was retried and convicted, he’s have to go back through R&E as a new prisoner, might be assigned to a different prison, and would lose his “A” custody status. This guy allowed the SCDC to slip him to the Greenville County Courthouse, where he pled guilty. Even though the time had elapsed for the state to retry him and the marshals were there to enforce an order that he be released!

    It didn’t surprise me that the retarded guy was that stupid, after all, that’s why they called him retarded instead of a genius. The rest of us should be smarter. So many people are not.

  29. RVN69 Says:

    The cops and prosecutors (persecutors) are never your friend, they never have your interest at heart. Never agree to a search, make them get a search warrant or conduct an illegal warrantless search. Don’t talk to them at all if possible, even casual conversation WILL be turned around to make you look guilty. Learn your rights and never waive them. Remember for the most part, cops, prosecutors and the judge and jury are all on the same side.

    Potius Mori Quam Foedare

  30. Phuquehed Says:

    Crap, can’t watch it….dial-up sucks!!!

  31. Cap'n Bill Says:

    Amen! (as ‘they’ say…)

  32. Tricky Tramp Says:

    Even a fish wouldn’t get caught if it kept it’s mouth shut.

  33. Philo Says:

    I’ve seen this before, but had forgotten about it. Good post Rebel. I had a lawyer tell me once, never talk to the cops and never give them permission to search anything. Even if they search anyways chances are they will fuck something up technically. I’d bet that about 90% of the people locked up right now wouldn’t be there if folks could keep their God damned mouths shut.


  34. sled tramp Says:

    Last time I got stopped,I was bored and checking out a number of young ladies driving by.The cop kept asking me,”Are you paying attention to all this? This is a traffic stop you know”. I replied,”You have your priorities,I have mine”.
    That’s the most I’ve ever said in that type of situation.

  35. Rashomon Says:

    Seen it before but it’s always worth another look – sort of like a refresher course.

    Thank you.

  36. troyez Says:

    I have this video in my favorites, I put it there a few years back after reading a story here! Thanks again for all you do.

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