We are happy to see when people use the flyer and love that they took video. But it’s important to note that they did not follow the instructions on the card.
The video is below, and the action starts around 5:55 in.
What did they get wrong?
1. They talked.
When you use this flyer, you should not talk at all. Not a single word. By talking you give the police the opportunity to claim your speech sounded impaired or slurred, and they will use that as an excuse for intensifying the encounter.
2. They had their window partially open.
When you use this flyer, you should keep your window completely shut. If a police officer forces you to open the window, they’ve crossed the Fourth Amendment line and your lawyer should be able to win your case based on that – especially if you’ve recorded the encounter.
What counts as force? If the officer says: “I’m ordering you to open the window,” then he or she has crossed the line. If the officer threatens you or threatens to break the window, that’s crossing the line.
Once the officer has crossed that line (make sure it’s clear) then you can open the window and a good lawyer will use that to get suppression of any evidence that comes afterward.
On the other hand you could continue to refuse to open the window and make the officer force it open by breaking it or other means. We don’t recommend being that confrontational to most people, but if you’re looking for a civil rights lawsuit or just to make an extreme YouTube video, you could go that route.
3. Have your license ready.
It’s hard to tell from the video, but it looked like the driver did not have his paperwork ready to show the officer. In Florida where this occurred, state law requires you to show (not give, but show) your license, registration and insurance to the officer. Most states have similar laws. We recommend putting these documents up against the window so the officer can see them.