Commenter on Metafilter: “Here is what the police will do:
Whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want to. They are tiny gods, moving among us, deciding who gets shot today and who merely gets hauled away. Any attempt to assert your rights will result in you either being arrested (because you HAVE done something illegal, know it or not) or even worse — being flagged in the system for continued harassment. The police hate a smart ass.
And here’s the thing — you think there are rules. There aren’t. The police will lie to you, they will beat you up, they will gas you, they will restrain you, they will hit in places where the bruises don’t show, and then they will lie about it on the stand.
Assuming you actually have the gumption to bring a case to trial. So much easier and cheaper to just plead out. Because taking a case to trial just ties up everyone’s time — the judge resents you, the prosecutor resents you, your attorney resents you: why not just plead out, you’re only going to make them angrier.
My attorney said that to me.
He was right, but I’d rather do jail time than the newfangled Orwellian nightmare that is “court diversion” wherein they set a series of increasingly elaborate bureaucratic hurdles in your path and threaten you with jail at each one. Fuck that, I’ll just do the time up front.
I live in what is by any metric is one of the more murderous cities in a nation known for murder and I am not scared of gangs. Gangs have rules. Gangs have codes. I’m scared of COPS.
I have been beaten up, seriously on the ground bleeding in a fetal position, three times in my life. Once by a gang of street thugs in a New York City park. And twice by the police.
I have had guns pulled on me three times. Once by a scared kid in a parking lot who fled before trying to rob me. And twice by police SWAT teams searching my house.
The police have made their point to me quite clearly.
I am terrified of them.”