Having run-ins with the law is always going to be stressful, even if you know you’ve done nothing wrong. Dealing with the police is terrifying since they’re going in with the worst-case scenario and, often, a trigger-happy response time. On their side, when they’re going in with a no-knock warrant, for example, they can’t know what to expect and therefore expect the worst. On your side, all you know is that your home has been invaded and there are people holding guns at you and your family.
These difficult legal situations where you’re not dealing with lawyers in a calm room but instead in the heat of the moment with police can be extremely challenging, humiliating, and terrifying. This is true for everyone, but it’s particularly bad for minorities. There have been cases of no-knock warrants resulting in innocents getting shot or the police going to the wrong house.
It’s hard to handle these situations “correctly” because the fact is they’re likely happening due to injustice in the first place. That being said, knowing what to do in advance can help you stay calm at the moment, so use these steps if you ever end up in a heated situation with the police.
You do not need to argue your case. The police don’t handle your case other than collecting evidence for the public prosecutor. If there is a gun in your face or police officers are getting aggressive, it’s best to just lie down on the floor with your arms and legs spread. Going docile takes the energy out of the situation and also makes it easy for the police officers to handcuff you. Going docile does not mean you will be safe, but it does take a lot of intensity out of the situation and can help diffuse a lot of the tension.
Police officers are enforcers. They do not make up the law. They also aren’t the ones who make any legal decisions involving your case. In short, there’s no reason at all to talk to them directly. It doesn’t matter if you’re clearly innocent. Unless you have a rock-solid alibi, it’s important to talk only to your lawyer so that nothing can get misconstrued or misunderstood.
Get a Lawyer
If you were aggressively handled or hurt, or there was a clear case of negligence (for example, a no-knock warrant was served at the wrong address), then you need to keep all evidence. That evidence should then be handed over to attorneys for no knock warrant cases. These compensation lawyers can then work on your behalf to get you compensation and some sense of justice for the terror you had to go through.
Dealing with challenging legal situations can be emotionally and mentally draining. Prioritize self-care to maintain your well-being throughout the process. Engage in activities that help reduce stress, seek support from friends and family, and consider professional counseling if needed. Taking care of yourself will enhance your ability to handle the situation effectively and make sound decisions.
Getting justice and compensation after the fact is, unfortunately, the only way to go. Trying to be calm, docile, and not speaking is your best bet. It’s known as going possum or playing dead. Once you have the chance to call a lawyer, do it. This can be a criminal defense lawyer if they think you committed a crime, or it can be a compensation lawyer if you’ve been the victim of police assault.
Remember, legal challenges are a part of life, and with the right mindset and preparation, you can overcome them successfully.