Know Your Rights!

1. Always be calm and cool; a bad attitude guarantees a bad outcome.

2. Remain silent; what you don’t say can’t hurt you.

3. You have the right to refuse searches; saying no to searches can’t be held against you.

4. Don’t get tricked; remember, police are allowed to lie to you.

5. Determine if you’re free to go; police need evidence to detain you.

6. Don’t expose yourself; doing dumb stuff in public makes you an easy target.

7. Don’t run; they’ll catch you and make you regret it.

8. Never touch a cop; aggressive actions will only earn you a more aggressive response.

9. Report misconduct; be a good witness.

10. You don’t have to let them in; police need a warrant to enter your home.

For more information, visit

  • Mike Rhodes is the executive director of theCommunity Alliance newspaper and author of the book Dispatches from the War Zone, about homelessness in Fresno. is his website. Contact him at

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