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Tips on maintaining your positve relationship with the Law

Dealing with the Police
by SuperHero of Clearwater, FL

Knightstrike asked me a question on myspace:

How exactly did you curry such favor with your local police force? I mean, sometimes reading your blogs you seem to actually be officially sanctioned by the authorities or something. How exactly does that work? Does it help that you don't have a secret identity? I'm just curious. You'd think that they would classify you a vigilante, therefore an outlaw, or even worse a nutjob and stop you.

Stay Super!

SH: Well Strike, I put a LOT of emphasis on Police relations. Clearwater has one of the Top SWAT teams in the country. They always finish in the top 20 at the Roundup every year, sometimes in the top ten! & they compete against teams from all over the world. Being a Police Academy Grad, I have a deep respect for these men, and when I found out how badly undermanned they are, One of the first big "Hero Missions" I set out on was to support them, Bring Lunch when they don't have time to eat, Be a extra set of eyes & ears for them, etc. So they pretty much classify me as "Nuts, but the good kind of nuts" I think. Also most of the SWAT guys work out during the day at my gym, I know these men on a first name basis, so I have an unfair advantage over most heroes in that department, BUT that does not mean YOU can't build a rapport with your Local police the same way. Stop & talk to your local cops, call in wrecks, help at accidents UNTIL they arrive. Cops are not out to get you, you'll make friends.

Does it help that you don't have a secret identity?: Yes it does, I've never been a big fan of hidden Identities anyway, But Police are wary of anybody they don't know. This way, I don't have trouble with "Let's see some ID" & red tape like that.

You'd think that they would classify you a vigilante, therefore an outlaw, or even worse a nut job and stop you. I have almost been shot once, arrested once too. I accidentally interrupted a Domestic Violence call thinking it was a lost child. That's a serious offense & I didn't know the officers involved. Fortunately my actions carry a little weight & when I said: "I'm Superhero" the next words out of the cops mouth were "Oh yeah! I know who you are!" with a big smile. (You think he would have seen the big SH on the car & my chest before hand though, scared the crap outta me.) The Police do NOT view me as a Vigilante, BUT they have no official stance on me either. When WTSP called them for an interview all they would say was 'No Comment". I'm no Vigilante I operate well within the law. One time I helped pursue a hit & run driver who killed a kid. The police found him first, which was good because I had every intention of yanking this guy outta his SUV and jamming all his teeth down his throat. "Officer Tom" told me "If I see you doing that, I gotta haul you in too." The law is the law & you guys have to remember that. Equal force ONLY! You guys CAN build up this kind of relationship with your local police, Talk to them, don't evade them. I think MR. X even walks right into his Local PD and tells them when He'll be on patrol. If they request you stay out of a certain area of town it's for YOUR safety. Just be respectful, they'll respect you back. We're all in this together."


How to Avoid Getting Shot by a Police Officer

Hey guys. For those of you who patrol frequently, odds are this might be an issue. Like I mentioned in a previous blog, don't be shocked if law enforcement mistakes you for a criminal.Hereshow to walk away from such an encounter without extra holes to breathe out of.
Taken from: http://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-Getting-Shot-by-a-Police-Officer

Know What to Do

Even if you have done something wrong, there is no reason to be shot by a police officer -- that is, unless you give them one. Here are some ways to avoid personal harm in situations with a police officer that has their gun drawn.


  1. Stop. Do not move unless directed by the officer. At this point, any movement you make that is unexpected is one step closer to getting shot.
  2. Keep your hands in clear view. If the police officer cannot see your hands, he or she will assume you are going for a weapon. This can lead to you getting shot.
  3. Follow all directions. The officer will tell you exactly what he or she wants you to do. That typically includes putting your hands on the back of your head, walking backwards toward the sound of their voice, or lying down on the ground. Do it. At this point you've either already broken the law and don't need to make it worse on yourself, or you are the victim of a misunderstanding and need to cooperate to help prove your innocence.
  4. Do not talk. Chances are good that there is not much you can say to help the situation. If the officer has drawn their weapon, you will almost certainly be arrested, and there is not much you can say to stop that from happening. If they've drawn their weapon, they're certain it's needed. There will be plenty of time to talk once you are in cuffs and no longer considered a threat. You may wish to consider answering questions posed by the police officer-however, you have the right to refuse to do so. Answering questions, if you choose to do so, is the only exception to this rule.
  5. Go slowly. Sudden movements make officers nervous and nervous officers are more likely to whip out their guns.
  6. Don't brandish a weapon. If you have got a gun or knife in your pocket or waistband, leave it alone. Don't draw it, even to surrender it. The officer would much rather find it on his or her own than have you whip it out and wave it around. If you would prefer to surrender the weapon, clearly speak words to the effect of "I would like to turn over my weapon." before drawing it.
  7. Let yourself be handcuffed. Yes, it may be uncomfortable, but retaliation or struggling is only going to result in serious injury. In many cities, it is police protocol to place handcuffs on even the most cooperative of suspects.


  • "Do not talk." An exception to this, if the officer tells you to do something that involves moving, it's good to tell him what your are doing, even if it seems redundant. Especially if it's something "unusual", it will keep them feeling safe so they don't shoot you. For example:

Officer: Let me see your I.D.
You: It's in my glove box/backseat/sock/etc. I'm going to reach down/over and get it for you. (Then move slowly)

Officer: Lay down on the ground!
You: I'm going to lie down on the ground, but I have a bad hip/back/knee, so I need to hold on to this pole/fence/wall to get on the ground.

Although, do not go out of your way to make conversation unless the issue at hand has passed. Answer with simple 'Yes Sir/Ma'am, No Sir/Maam' until asked to say your piece. This will minimize the chances of you saying something that could be potentially damaging.

  • Keeping calm is hard, but also important. Informing them about your movements slowing and calmly will keep the officer calm. If an officer doesn't feel threatened, they *probably* won't shoot you.
  • Avoid the situation entirely by obeying the law and staying out of situations in which such an occurrence might come up. Innocent people are occasionally confronted by police officers, whether it is due to an honest mistake or an officer acting inappropriately, but law-abiding behavior decreases the chances dramatically.
  • Don't be a hero unless you have to. Do not attempt to get involved in police gun battles in any way unless your aid is specifically requested-they're more likely to confuse you for an additional suspect than they are to realize you're coming to their aid. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to engage the suspect with your own weapon-this will get you shot, either by the suspect or the police. The sole exception to this is a situation where the police have not arrived and the suspect is actively firing upon you or others. You will never be asked to join a battle-if you have superior firepower, the police will simply commandeer your weapon and return it when they're finished. Disengage and retreat the moment the police arrive. If you kill or disable the suspect, or otherwise neutralize him, cease fire. If at all possible, avoid attempting to render first aid until the fight is over. Also, don't touch any evidence that may have been left behind leave it alone engage the safety and holster your weapon. Then after you are positive that the threat has been eliminated don't panic but take several deep breaths and get control of your self. This will make your eventual testimony in court clearer.
  • Never shine a laser pointer toward officers. This can very easily be mistaken for a laser sight- a modification commonly affixed to pistols or sniper rifles to enhance a weapon's accuracy.

some tips if things don't go your way...


After giving your name and address YOU SHOULD THEN BE QUIET. But if youthink you are innocent and that you could quickly explain what happened,you might answer the policeman's questions, but YOU CAN STOP TALKINGWHENEVER YOU WANT. Remember, anything you say may be used against you incourt. You do NOT have to produce ID or give your name unless theofficer has other grounds to arrest you.


Even if you are innocent of any crime, DON'T FIGHT BEING ARRESTED. Apoliceman can use force if you resist.If the policeman searches you, TELL HIM YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SEARCHED,but do not try to stop him.


You have a special right to privacy in your home. Even if a policemanasks, DO NOT ASK HIM INTO YOUR HOME. But if he has a search warrant, youmust let him in.


Show the policeman your driver's license, car registration and insurancecertificate when he asks for it. Remember, YOU SHOULD KEEP QUIET and YOUCAN STOP TALKING AT ANY TIME. If the officer asks to look inside yourcar, TELL HIM YOU DO NOT WANT HIM TO SEARCH YOUR CAR, but do not try tostop him. An officer usually does not need a warrant to search a car,but he does need probable causeof a crime such as an informer's tip,the smell of marijuana, or a furtive gesture.


If you are not free to leave, ASK TO SEE A LAWYER IMMEDIATELY. You havethe right to make a telephone call to get a lawyer or to call yourfamily to get one for you. If you cannot pay a lawyer, you have a rightto a free lawyer if you are charged with a serious crime. DO NOT SAY ORSIGN ANYTHING UNTIL THE LAWYER IS WITH YOU.


After being arrested, the police must take you to a judge. The judgewill say how much bail you must pay to get out, but if you live or workin the town YOU SHOULD ASK THE JUDGE TO FREE YOU "O.R." (on your ownrecognizance) instead of paying bail or posting bond. This means youpromise to come to your trial on the day the judge says. If you are ajuvenile, you ordinarily can be released to your parents without bail,so demand that the police call them.


The Law and You: Citizen's Arrest

Remember folks, the name of this game is stopping crime if we see it, not breaking the law ourselves.

And remember what we talked about in my first blog: SCENE SAFETY. Unless bullets really DO bounce off you, there is the inherent risk of injury or even death by approaching and/or attempting to apprehend a perpetrator engaging in criminal activity. Remember, your first priority always is and always will be your own personal safety. I've said it before and will keep saying it- you're no good as a public servant when dead. Don't go looking for trouble. Take a cue from SuperHero...


It would be highly advisable to check your region's law regarding this topic before proceeding. For those of you who might carry cuffs or zipties as restraints, see the highlighted portion below. It is worth noting that engaging in certain behavior, despite your best intentions, places you in the position of possible legal action being taken against you as a private citizen, not an authorized and sanctioned law enforcement official.

Oh, and one more thing- don't be surprisedwhenthe authorites arrive if they treat you as a suspect aswell. It is highly possible LawEnforcement may not have all the informationthey need before they get to the scene of the crime, and they will probably see you as a potential threat. DO NOT be shocked if they draw weapons on you too. Consider some of the costumes a few of you wear (... you know who you are...) and you should easily understand. A MASK IS A MASK. Comply with all of their instructions and be respectful as possible.

Now all that said, let's get to it.

How to Make a Citizen's Arrest

In many countries around the world, civilians are empowered to stop a perpetrator in the act of a serious crime and take the arrested to a courthouse or police station, or keep them from leaving until an officer of the law arrives. The conditions under which this is permitted vary from place to place, but in case you are ever in a situation where you can stop a criminal, you should know what your options are.


  1. Notify authorities if you can. Law enforcement officials strongly encourage citizens to phone in a complaint or tip rather than try to stop a crime themselves. You should carefully consider whether you're putting yourself or others in more danger than necessary by making a citizen's arrest. A citizen's arrest is only an emergency measure to stop a suspect until law enforcement officials can take matters into their own hands. If you think that the local police will be able to find the suspect, a citizen's arrest may not be necessary. With a detailed description and a license plate number, you can arm the police with the information they need to apprehend the suspect.
  2. Evaluate the situation clearly. You could be legally liable if you make a false accusation or if you assault someone without a very strong reason to think they are in the middle of a crime. How close are you? Can you see what's going on? Do you know the participants? The best time to make a citizen's arrest is when you've witnessed the suspect in the very act of committing a crime, without any doubt as to who the suspect is and what they were doing.
    • Remember that things are not always what they seem. What you might interpret as a child being kidnapped could, in actuality, be a parent or a relative carrying away a child who's throwing a temper tantrum. In this case, assumptions about whether the person is related to the child (if, for example, the person is of a different race than the child, and/or is misinterpreted to look like a homeless individual) can result in legal action against you.
    • Consider the severity of the crime being committed. Citizen's arrest laws vary by the degree of the crime in suspicion. In many places, it must be a felony (usually a serious crime involving violence) in order to justify a citizen's arrest. You should know where the line is drawn in the country you're in when you witness the crime. Borderline crimes include vandalism and driving while intoxicated.
  3. Say "Stop". Tell the suspect loudly and forcefully to stop what they're doing. Hold up your hand to indicate stopping. If they have a weapon, tell them to put it down (Think twice about making a citizen's arrest of an armed subject).
  4. Tell the suspect that they're under citizen's arrest. Tell them that they're not allowed to leave until a police officer comes and that they can explain the situation to the police when they arrive. Be firm and matter-of-fact.
    • In the U.S., don't give any kind of Miranda Warning (i.e. "You have the right to remain silent...You have the right to an attorney..."), or you may be accused of impersonating a police officer.
    • If the suspect tries to leave, think very carefully before physically restraining the suspect. Not only will you put yourself in physical danger, but you could be subject to legal liabilities for use of excessive force. You can only use enough force to restrain the suspect. If they manage to run away, then the arrest has not been completed. Also, note that in at least some countries it is illegal to lock up the suspect or tie him to something.
    • Remember that you have no right to question or search the suspect, or to seize any kind of evidence.
  5. Call local authorities. Get in touch with the local police department on the spot if you have a cell phone. Call your local emergency number e.g. 911 in the U.S. and Canada; 17, 112, 117, or 999 in the UK or 112 in Europe (it can differ from country to country); 000 in Australia. If you don't have access to a phone, send someone to call from a payphone. It is not recommended that you attempt to transport the suspect to the local authorities yourself.
  6. Identify yourself to the police when they arrive. When the police arrive, let them know who you are, what you saw, and why you held the suspect. Remember that you will probably need to be in court to provide eyewitness testimony for the crime, so stay calm and stick to the facts. Don't tell them what you think happened, tell them exactly what you saw and who you saw doing it.


  • When dealing with potential criminals, it's better to err on the side of caution and leave the crime control to trained professionals.
  • In most cases, you don't need to be a citizen of the country you're in in order to make a citizen's arrest.
  • Be as observant as possible. Even if you aren't able to keep the suspect at the scene, you will be able to act as witness and identify the suspect later.
  • Be confident. Showing the suspect that you don't know what you're doing will make them more likely to leave the scene of the crime.


  • Every state in the US has different laws; guidelines are not the same, and your best option is often simply to observe and report. Crime Stoppers may pay you a reward.
  • A citizen's arrest must be made during or immediately after the crime, or else it is illegal. In some states the crime must be a felony, only a Police Officer may make an arrest on a misdemeanor.
  • By making a citizen's arrest, you're exposing yourself to possible lawsuits or criminal charges (e.g. impersonating police, false imprisonment, kidnapping, or wrongful arrest) if the wrong person is apprehended or if you violate a suspect's civil rights. This risk varies considerably from country to country, but in the U.S. in particular, a citizen's arrest is a legal minefield, and dealing with a suspect's lawyers is often more dangerous than apprehending the suspect.
  • The State of North Carolina does not recognize a citizens arrest. In fact, you are more likely to be arrested for trying it than anyone you might bring in, due to the state's vigilante laws.

Wonderful. Knowledge is power, folks, and would highly encourage you to research this issue in depth before exercising it. Know your rights, and remember that even criminals have them, too. As always, I'mlooking out for you and your safety, so until next time.. be safe.

The Law and You: Good Samaritan legal issues

More legaleseI will attempt to decipher into practical comprehension. And being that we're discussing legal matters, here's where I'll besure to cite my sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Samaritan_law

Note a few prevailing themes you will find in this article deal with the legal issues of protection from liabilityand duty to act.This isthe crux of your ability to providecare to those in need, WITHOUT GETTING SUED.

OK, class is in session!

Good Samaritan laws (Acts) in the United States and Canada are laws/acts protecting from blame those who choose to aid others who are injured or ill. They are intended to reduce bystanders' hesitation to assist, for fear of being prosecuted for unintentional injury or wrongful death. The name Good Samaritan refers to a parable told by Jesus in the New Testament (Luke 10:33-35).

In other countries (as well as the Canadian province of Quebec), Good Samaritan laws describe a legal requirement for citizens to assist people in distress, unless doing so would put themselves in harm's way. Citizens are often required to, at minimum, call the local emergency number, unless doing so would be harmful, in which case, the authorities should be contacted when the harmful situation has been removed. Such laws currently exist in countries such as Israel, Italy, Japan, France, Belgium, Germany, Andorra, and Spain. The photographers at the scene of Princess Diana's fatal car accident were investigated for violation of the French Good Samaritan law ("non-assistance personne en danger", or deliberately avoiding providing assistance to endangered persons, can be punished by up to 5 years of jail time and a fine of up to 100 000 ). In Germany, "Unterlassene Hilfeleistung" (neglect of duty to provide assistance) is an offense; a citizen is obliged to provide first aid when necessary and is immune from prosecution if assistance given in good faith turns out to be harmful. Also the helper may not be held responsible if the action he should take in order to help is unacceptable for him and he is unable to act (for example dealing with blood). In Germany, knowledge of first aid is a prerequisite for the granting of a driving license.

In the United States

The details of Good Samaritan laws/acts in various jurisdictions vary, including who is protected from liability and in what circumstances. Not all jurisdictions provide protection to laypersons, in those cases only protecting trained personnel. In some cases, laypersons are only protected when rendering aid in narrow circumstances, such as during a declared a public health emergency.

General guidelines

  1. Unless a caretaker relationship (such as a parent-child or doctor-patient relationship) exists prior to the illness or injury, or the "Good Samaritan" is responsible for the existence of the illness or injury, no person is required to give aid of any sort to a victim.
  2. Any first aid provided must not be in exchange for any reward or financial compensation. As a result; medical professionals are typically not protected by Good Samaritan laws when performing first aid in connection with their employment.
  3. If aid begins, the responder must not leave the scene until:
    • It is necessary in order to call for needed medical assistance.
    • Somebody of equal or higher ability can take over.
    • Continuing to give aid is unsafe (this can be as simple as a lack of adequate protection against potential diseases, such as vinyl, latex, or nitrile gloves to protect against blood-borne pathogens) a responder can never be forced to put himself or herself in danger to aid another person.
  4. The responder is not legally liable for the death, disfigurement or disability of the victim as long as the responder acted rationally, in good faith, and in accordance with his level of training.


The responder must not commit assault by giving aid to a patient without consent of the patient (or of the patient's legal parent or guardian if the patient is under 18 years old).

Implied consent

Consent may be implied if the patient is unconscious, delusional, intoxicated, deemed mentally unfit to make decisions regarding their safety, or if the responder had a reasonable belief that this was as such; courts tend to be very forgiving in adjudicating this, under the legal fiction that "peril invites rescue."

Consent may also be implied if the legal parent or guardian is not immediately reachable and the patient is not considered an adult.

Parental consent

If the victim is not an adult (warning: definitions vary), consent must come from the legal parent or guardian. However, if the legal parent or guardian is absent, unconscious, delusional or intoxicated, consent is implied (with the same caveat as above). Special circumstances may exist if child abuse is suspected.

Laws for first aiders only

In most jurisdictions, Good Samaritan laws only protect those that have had basic first aid training and are certified by the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, St. John Ambulance, American Safety and Health Institute or other health organization. In other jurisdictions, any rescuer is protected from liability, granted the responder acted rationally.

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