Even though I’ve been straight for a long time, I still get a twinge whenever I see a cop. If you have ever had your name entered into the system, it never gets expunged. Most Americans don’t know this, but if you give your name to police officer and they enter it into their system, it remains forever along with whatever else that officer decides to write.
I am not talking about arrests or anything else… I am talking about any exchange of information whatsoever. I know that most of you are law-abiding citizens, but if you have been watching the news you may be aware that your local police force is an arm of a corporate-sponsored prison system that makes a great deal of money for its investors. It is essentially a hotel that charges three hundred bucks a night and is guaranteed 95% occupancy every night forever. Plus all the ancillary profit items, everything from soap to phone calls, all marked up to the highest possible margin.
If you think that you need only fear this if you’re a criminal, think again. Ask any black person if they share your view. I am here to tell you one thing: don;t talk to the police, ever. “But what if they ask me some questions?” you say. Well, here’s an example.
Cop: “Pardon, sir. You mind if I ask you some questions?”
Me: “Am I being detained?”
Cop: “No, I just want to ask you some questions. May I see your ID?”
Me: “Am I free to go? Am I being detained? I don’t answer questions.”
Cop: “No, you’re not being detained.”
Me: (walks away).
It helps if you’re filming this. And tone of voice is everything. Don’t seem belligerent or threatening. Be polite and calm, but do not answer questions no matter what they tell you. You have no idea why they stopped you or what ideas they may have. All they need is your permission and they can see every exchange you have ever had with the cops along with whatever comments might be there. In my case, it’s a felony conviction and God knows what else. In your case, who knows?
Prison is full of innocent people who said yes at the wrong moment.