Flex Your Rights‘ straightforward, informative video 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police gives us the know-how on upholding our Constitutional rights and ensuring equal justice.

10 Rules was created in response to what Flex Your Rights founder and civil rights activist Steve Silverman saw as a disturbing trend:

The vast majority of people are mystified by the basic rules of search and seizure and due process of law. Consequentially, they’re likely to be tricked or intimidated by police into waiving their constitutional rights, resulting in a greater likelihood of regrettable outcomes.

Tricked by the police? Shocking!

Presented in a series vignettes showing what could go wrong and how to make it go right, 10 Rules is designed to help us understand the differences between probable cause and reasonable suspicion; and to teach us how to respond to warrantless searches and uphold the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments.

Consenting to a search during a traffic stop or noise complaint simply because the police ask, and well, you’re a nice person with nothing to hide, could cost you. The police do not have to treat your possessions nicely, and there’s always the risk of a medical marijuana roach left over after Granny drove her canasta club to Lazarium Presents Liberace. The phrase

I do not consent to a search

is invaluable, as is the revelation about Miranda: No, the cops don’t have to read you the catechism drilled into us during hundreds of hours of police shows on the teevee:

You have the right to remain silent…

You have that right. Use it by declaring it when you are arrested. Let

I’m going to remain silent. I would like to see a lawyer

be your last words to the police.

Flex Your Rights is a non-profit foundation dedicated to educating the public about how the Bill of Rights protections apply during encounters with law enforcement. With funding from the Marijuana Policy Projects grants program, Flex has been able to create and distribute their videos, reaching over 2.5 million people, including students, lawyers and police instructors. The message about our Constitutional rights is simple:

Use them or loose them!

10 Rules for Dealing with the Police is subtitled in Spanish, with a bonus feature for non-U.S. citizens, as well as a question and answer bonus feature.

Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.