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Don't Let the Cops into the House


(permanent link) added: 2011-03-29 20:48:04 sponsor: TRICOV (last reply: 2011-04-04 21:26:33)

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Mr. Doe is alone at home. Doorbell rings. He opens the door. Two men in dark suits. "Mr. Doe? Police." They show a badge. "We have some questions. May we come in?"

Poor Mr. Doe has only two choices.

1) He's polite and a good citizen. He says "Ah, uh, sure." He steps back and lets them in.

2) He's surprised. He stutters "Wha, wha, huh? What is this about?" The cops grin broadly and charge forward. Mr. Doe has to jump aside to avoid being hit. They get in.

One of the cops will sit with Mr. Doe in the living room and ask the questions. The other one will start walking around, looking at everything, even though they have no search warrant. He will check the bookcases, look into the drawers, go through Mr. Doe's stuff on his desk, and, if the computer is on, he will even start browsing Mr. Doe private files. If Mr. Doe notices and tries to do something, the other one will yell "SIT DOWN AND ANSWER THE QUESTIONS!" When Mr. Doe finally gets angry, it's too late: the searching cop has already found juicy bits of evidence. "Oh, Mr. Doe, you have porn in your bookcase? And there's a gun here in an unlocked drawer. That's against the law! And what are these naughty pics in your computer? The girls seem underage."

Police-themed TV shows have been doing this for decades. Every police show ever aired has scenes like this one. You'd think it's about time for citizens to start getting genre-savvy, and learn that the cops have no right to invade your house if you don't want them to, and that, if they try the "charge forward" trick, all you have to do is stand your ground and they will be forced to back off. You can answer their questions in the garden, or the garage, or the bar next block. Just don't let them in your house.

Examples: every crime television series has this. Here are a few:

  • CSI, all of them
  • Inspector Morse
  • Law & Order
  • Lewis
  • Miami Vice
  • Inspector Lynley Mysteries

replies: 23

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