Don’t Act a Fool: What to Do if a Cop is Acting Inappropriately

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

DALLAS - There's been a lot of talk about "encounters" with cops.  After Ferguson and Baltimore, McKinney's pool party incident was far from the first example of such an encounter going wrong.

The question is: what should you do if you think a cop is acting inappropriately?

NewsFix asked Heath Harris, a criminal defense attorney in Dallas, that very question.

"Do not argue with the officer in the streets," Harris told us. "You can't win! You're not gonna win. You're gonna end up in jail."

Harris says to comply with the officer, but take steps to help clear your name afterwards.

"Get his badge number. You can also get the number off the squad car, and then go file a complaint," he said.

This is advice Harris says he's given his kids already and encourages other parents to give theirs.

"Sit your child down," he said, "First and foremost: comply, comply, comply, so you make it home safely. If you do have a camera phone, go ahead and start videotaping. You are legally allowed to do that."

One of Harris's current clients is 18-year-old Adrian Martin.  He's one of the teens who had a gun pulled on them in that video, and the only kid handcuffed and arrested at the pool party.  Charges against Martin were dropped Tuesday, thanks in part to kids like Brandon Brooks who shot the incident on their phones.

"Without the videotape in McKinney, my client would still have those charges pending," said Harris.

Remember, most officers are there to serve and protect.  And in the words of Chris Rock, "If you follow these simple pointers, you probably won't get your ass kicked by the police."

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.