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“Dealing with the Police After” By Michael Brown

Tulsa Police Officer


1) Survive the initial problem. This should be self-evident but some people think so much about the police response that they forget they have to live through the initial confrontation. 

2) Be the first to call or be the first to tell someone to call and don't leave the scene unless necessary (hospital or tactical retreat).It is an unfortunate fact of life that frequently he who calls first is the victim. 

3) Don't be standing there with gun in hand when the police arrive. This does not mean forget about the problem in front of you but remember that you could have been portrayed by a caller as a homicidal maniac.

4) Follow the officer's orders. You may not like what they do, but now is not the time to deal with it. Follow orders until the scene is secure. If you don't like how the officer treats you, file a complaint later. For now go along.

5) Do not clam up but don't go verbal spastic either. Be cool. Breathe deeply before you speak. Make sure the police understand that you are the victim and want to file charges against the person who just tried to murder you or someone you had the right to protect. Do not just say "I want my lawyer." Politely agree to cooperate. You need the police on your side from the start if you can, so don't compromise your rights but don't be stand-offish either.

6) Use One-Down Negotiation. Negotiating with people who have authority was more effective if you remain humble. You don't have to be a groveling idiot but remember that police officers are generally alpha males/females and are used to being forced to be in charge. Keep the police on your side. You can think whatever you want privately and say whatever you want privately. This does not mean the police officer is smarter, better-looking, or more of a man than you; that is irrelevant at this point. What he/she is, is a person with a certain level of authority at this point. Personally I'd rather walk away thinking that a police officer was a jerk and file a complaint later than have to bail myself out and prove to someone else that I was right. In some states (including Oklahoma) the D.A. makes the choice to prosecute not a Grand Jury. The D.A. typically relies a great deal on the police reports to make his/her decision. Thus they can go a long way in determining what kind of experience that you have with the criminal justice system. Keep the police on your side.

7) Get a lawyer who defends innocent people. An innocent person needs a lawyer who defends innocent people. A good lawyer at this point will help you make your affirmative defense (self-defense) not tell you to shut up and make them prove you guilty. Self-defense is affirmative and must be asserted not claimed later. Judges will often disallow claims of self-defense if you don't say so from the beginning.

8) Don't get worked up about being detained. It has to happen. The police have to investigate. If you are going to be arrested, don't get worked up about it at the police station or jail. It will do you no good there. Let your lawyer handle it. Chances are in Oklahoma that everything will be fine and you will not be arrested. You may not even have to go to the police station. But if it doesn't work out that way, be cool. Let your lawyer deal with it.

9) Expect your gun to be taken as evidence. Do not get mad. It will happen whether you like it or not. Ask for a receipt but if they do not, it’s a secondary concern. File a claim later if you don't get your gun back. You will get your property back after the investigation has concluded in your favor.

10) Don't lie. This could be the difference between being prosecuted and not. The truth DOES set you free in self-defense cases. Again, this doesn't mean get verbose, but always tell the truth. Lots of folks have acted justly but still been prosecuted because they didn't tell the truth and it changed the appearance of the incident. Don't be one of them.

11) Avoid dealing with the media. The media really can't do you any good and they can do you a great deal of harm.Don't be a jerk and start pushing camera-men. Just say "I'm sorry folks, I have to be with my family now" and politely walk away. Don't give them a noose by saying "No comment" or "None of your business."





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