If you find yourself in a situation where you must interact with a police officer, it is important to be respectful and avoid saying anything that could be interpreted as aggressive, confrontational, or otherwise uncooperative. With that in mind, here are seven things you should never say to a police officer:
1. “I don’t have to answer your questions.”
While it is true that you have the right to remain silent when questioned by the police, this should not be interpreted as a free pass to be uncooperative. If you are asked a question, it is generally best to answer it truthfully and concisely rather than trying to invoke your right to silence.
2. “You’re violating my rights.”
Again, while you do have certain rights when interacting with the police, it is important to remember that the officers are just doing their job. If you believe that your rights are being violated, it is best to calmly state your concerns rather than becoming confrontational.
3. “I know my rights.”
This is another statement that, while technically true, is best avoided when interacting with the police. Officers are likely to interpret this statement as a challenge to their authority, which is not likely to result in a favorable outcome for you.
4. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Even if you didn’t do anything wrong, it is important to remember that the police officer is not your friend or advocate. Statements like this are likely to be interpreted as defensive and uncooperative, which is not the best way to endear yourself to the officer.
5. “I don’t have to show you my ID.”
In most situations, you are not required to show the police your identification. However, if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that you may be involved in a crime, he or she may request to see your ID. It is generally best to comply with such a request rather than becoming confrontational.
6. “You can’t search me.”
Under certain circumstances, the police may search you or your belongings without your consent. If this happens, it is best to remain calm and avoid saying anything that could be interpreted as an admission of guilt.
7. “I’m going to file a complaint.”
While you are certainly entitled to file a complaint if you feel that you have been mistreated by the police, it is best to do so after the interaction is over. Making threats or ultimatums during the interaction is likely to only make the situation worse.