If a Police Officer Stops You on the Street.

Sometimes problems arise when it seems as if a police officer has stopped to question you for what appears to be no reason at all. Since the time factor may be crucial in investigating a possible crime, police officers are trained to observe and evaluate a situation and take action if they have a reasonable suspicion that you may in some way be involved in an incident. There are many factors that officers take into consideration in determining if they have a credible reason to stop and question someone. Every situation is different and unique, but some factors that may lead to making contact with you are:

  • Police may have a minimal description of a suspect who you might resemble.
  • You might be in an area where a crime has just been committed.
  • Your actions may appear to be suspicious (i.e., running from an area where a crime has just occurred), and you act even more suspiciously when you see the police officer.
Your forthright response if an officer does stop to question you will usually resolve the situation. If the officer has not told you why you have been stopped, you may inquire. If despite these considerations you feel you do not want to respond, the officer must respect your right not to answer. However, your cooperation would be most helpful in aiding a police investigation.