Unlike Nicolas Cage, What Not to Do When Cops Pull You Over

Unlike Nicolas Cage, What Not to Do When Cops Pull You Over

Don’t ask Nicolas Cage how his weekend went. The 47-year-old Academy Award-winning son of The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola and ex-husband of Lisa Marie Presley was arrested over the weekend, in part, for being drunk and belligerent in the presence of New Orleans police officers.

Apparently, Cage didn’t get the memo that NOPD have shot people and set them on fire just for the hell of it. But I digress. There are certain things you should definitely not do when peace officers want to detain you on the street for questioning. Namely:

1. Don’t be a wise guy: If a cruiser’s lights blare behind you, pull over to the right safely and quickly. But do not slam on the brakes so that the cops have to swerve in order to avoid colliding with you. That’s not how you want to start off the interaction with a man or woman with a firearm, a billy club and pepper spray on his gun belt.

2. Don’t make sudden moves are hide your hands: First off, roll down your window all the way. You may also want to turn off the engine, place your hands on the steering wheel, and, if it’s dark, turn on your interior light. This will tend to allay any fears the officer may have. Police officers have been attacked and killed in the course of these “ordinary” traffic-stop situations, and as the officer approaches the vehicle is when it is potentially the most dangerous.

3. Do not take too long to pull over and definitely don‘t flee. Just ask Rodney King what happens when you try to lose the police in traffic and/or the dark. In fact, just watch an episode of “Cops”.

4. Don’t speak first. You may be annoyed or in a rush, but don’t flash an attitude to the cops. Especially don’t start off with a defensive or hostile “What’s the problem?” or similar words. Let the officer start talking. He or she will probably ask to see your license and vehicle registration. Many people make the mistake of insisting the officer tell them why they were stopped before they’ll comply. Don’t make that mistake. Reply “okay” or “sure,” then hand over the documents.

5. Unless you are Huey P. Newton raised from the dead, then you definitely don’t need to curse aggressively or move menacingly at police, cause you could wind up dead — especially if you are a black male. If you are illegally carrying a firearm [or even if you are carrying it legally], do not under any circumstances flash it. You may even want to alert them to the presence of the heat tucked under your shoulder or in the glove compartment. Trust and believe, this will alleviate complications that will arise when they discover it. –terry shropshire

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