If an individual is approached by a police officer in Arizona, there are steps they can take to help reduce the chances of the encounter escalating into something more serious. The first and most important thing for individuals to remember is to remain calm. While it is certainly understandable for a person to feel nervous or intimated after being stopped by an officer, they shouldn’t let their fear or anger get the best of them as it could only cause the situation to worsen.
Some other things individuals might consider doing to avoid a bad encounter with an Arizona police officer include:
- Comply with officer commands.
Even if an individual thinks they were stopped without the officer having a valid reason for doing so, it is best they comply with the officer’s request. Because police officers are allowed to question an individual or even briefly detain them when they have reasonable suspicion or probable cause, it isn’t recommended for an individual to become noncompliant. Officers who feel challenged or hindered from performing their duties may resort to applying physical force which could potentially lead to a person suffering serious or even fatal injuries.
And this isn’t something anyone wants happening to them or their loved ones.
- Keep hands visible at all times.
When an officer feels threatened, they are likely to react with force. Therefore, if an individual is stopped while walking or even while driving in their vehicle, they should place their hands where the officer can clearly see them and keep them there at all times.
- Don’t lie or provide an officer with false documentation.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona recommends that individuals who are stopped by police officers provide them with accurate information and legitimate documentation. When a person lies and an officer is able to detect it, it will only cause the situation to escalate as now the officer is going to question why they were lied to.
- If an officer is adamant about making an arrest, it is best not to resist.
Hundreds of people are falsely arrested in the U.S. annually and although no one wants to go to jail, especially when they did nothing wrong, it is best not to resist. Resisting arrest could lead to a person getting severely injured by the officer and even charged with additional crimes on top of the one the officer is using as their basis for making the arrest.
Steps to Take After a Bad Encounter with an Arizona Police Officer
In the event a person’s encounter with an officer goes sour even after they implemented the tips provided above, they should seek legal help from a qualified Arizona police brutality lawyer. USAttorneys.com can help an individual find and retain a police brutality attorney in any city, including Tucson, Mesa, or even Chandler. An Arizona police brutality lawyer will be able to help a victim of police misconduct file a formal complaint and even help them understand what legal remedies might be available for them to take.