Sunday, November 25, 2007

Jay-Z teaches us search and siezure law

I know this is a relatively old song and nothing new, but the song finally came up on my iPod's shuffle and I thought I would share this concise lesson on what to do when you get pulled over by the police, set to a rhythm:
So I...pull over to the side of the road
I heard "Son do you know why I'm stoppin' you for?"
Cause I'm young and I'm black and my hat's real low?
Do I look like a mind reader sir, I don't know
Am I under arrest or should I gas em up?
"Well you was doin fifty-five in a fifty-fo' "
"Liscense and registration and step out of the car"
"Are you carryin' a weapon on you I know a lot of you are"
I ain't steppin out of sh!t all my paper's legit
"Well, do you mind if I look round the car a little bit?"
Well my glove compartment is locked so are the trunk in the back
And I know my rights so you gon' need a warrant for that
"Aren't you sharp as a tack, you some type of lawyer or something'?"
"Or somebody important or somethin'?"
Nah, I ain't pass the bar but i know a little bit
Enough that you won't illegally search my sh!t
"We'll see how smart you are when the K9 come"
I got 99 problems but a b!tch ain't one
From the song "99 Problems" on "the Black Album" by Jay-Z. Sorry about the swearing and derogatory language towards women, but I wanted to say true to the lyrics.

Here's the music video. Have a lovely Sunday and get home safely.


Marshall said...

Since you are now giving legal advice then what do you suggest the guy that got tasered do?

He wants to see the radar gun and/or speed limit sign, the cop won't let him, the cop gets snippy, then the guy gets snippy, says he isn't going to sign the ticket and the cop asks him to step step out or not to step that the question? Obviously the cop was just looking for any provocation, next thing you know the taser is on you...So legally what are your options, seems a choice between slim and none...

Justin said...

I'm thinking that "bitch" in this context most likely refers to the drug dog. But just out of curiosity, what would you say to an officer who asked to search your car? My inclination would be to refuse permission, but I don't know how to say that politely. Would you ask why the officer wanted to search you, or would you just say "no thanks"?

Oldenburg said...

For ethical reasons, I cannot give legal advice over the internet like this, but I must say that Jay-Z is correct.

The cops ask to search a car because they don't have the right to do so otherwise (unless there is probable cause, which is the same standard for a warrant/arrest).

I haven't watched the taser video and don't think I should comment on the particulars on the off chance that the case comes up on appeal. The whole situation reminds me of Hiibel. There was a video of that arrest as well and dealt with a traffic stop and an officer dealing with a recalcitrant suspect. That ended in an arrest for disorderly conduct because the guy refused to give out his ID. The US Supreme Court upheld the arrest and conviction.

It is sad that so many people don't know their rights and that when they do, according to Jay-Z, cops ask if they are a) convicts or b) attorneys. It seems that Jay-Z wasn't that far off, given the comments from both of you.