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12/20/2005 Archived Entry: ""Busted" on DVD"

BUSTED. I just finished watching the DVD with that title (Busted: The Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters) and I highly recommend that everybody get a copy of this and watch it -- with significant others, friends, and older children -- several times a year.

Produced by and available from Flex Your Rights, Busted tells, but more importantly shows, both the foolish and the smart ways to handle various common police encounters. If you ever wonder why people with half a kilo of cannabis in their bedroom invite police in for a search, this movie answers your questions. The police in Busted's scenarios are as bullying and deceptive (without ever exactly lying) as the nasty ones you've encountered in real life.

I expect most people reading this already know, intellectually, what they should and shouldn't do when confronted by police. But knowing it and doing it are two different things. In the past, for instance,

I've invited local cops into my home under friendly circumstances (that is, when they're not suspecting me of anything). Even though I realized at the time it was the wrong thing to do, my politeness overcame my legal knowledge -- and my Fourth Amendment protections. No harm done. But in one case, I had a large human-silhouette target taped on my wall with the results of a pretty good shooting session. And in another, I had a rifle leaning against a wall. In a different place, those little details could have meant trouble. Even in this rural place, they create the impression of "lone nut woman with guns."

Busted's scenarios are vivid enough to make you think. But watching once isn't enough. Barring a real encounter with cops (which might mean learning the lesson the hard way) repeated viewings of Busted every three months or so could be as good training as most of us are likely to get. Repeated viewings will not only remind you of your rights and of the three most important phrases you'll ever need when dealing with cops. They may help you more realistically rehearse in your head what you'd do in a very nervewracking situation.

You can get a copy of Busted with a $19.95 donation to Flex Your Rights. I don't receive any cut or commission. I just think this is something every liberty-loving household -- or for that matter, every household with teenagers, drinkers, recreational drug users -- or for that matter any household in a growing police state -- should have. And use.

I do have two quibbles with it. Well, more like a quibble and a half, which I'll talk about in a longer review. But those are details which in no way compromise the usefulness of this film. It's a good one.

P.S. There's also a fine blog on the Flex Your Rights site dealing with Fourth Amendment and other police-encounter issues. It's not updated frequently, but the information is solid.

Posted by Claire @ 08:46 PM CST

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