|Do Americans Know The Law Regarding Police
| Most Americans know their
rights and responsibilities regarding interactions with the police.
Nearly 9 in 10 (86%) Americans know drivers must show police
officers photo identification if requested, while 14% think this is
not required. Slightly fewer, but still an overwhelming majority
(80%) know that a person may refuse a police officer’s request to
search the person’s car. A fifth (20%) believe individuals must
comply with a requested vehicle search. Seventy percent (70%) also
correctly believe citizens are not required to tell police officers
where they are going if asked, while 30% believe people are
required to answer.
Americans vary little across demographic and political groups in
knowing their basic rights and responsibilities when interacting
with police officers, with a few exceptions. Hispanics are about
twice as likely as whites to believe they must tell a police
officer where they are going if asked (47% vs. 25%) and to believe
they can’t refuse a police officer’s request to search their car
(34% vs. 16%). African Americans are between whites and Hispanics.
High school graduates (38%) are about twice as likely as college
graduates (19%) to incorrectly believe that a citizen is required
by law to tell a police officer where they are going when asked.
Nevertheless majorities of Americans overall tend to know the law
regarding police stops.
|Based on what you know now, if during a police
stop a police officer asks…
… for your photo identification, are you legally required
to provide it?
… to search your car, are you legally allowed to
… where you are going, are you legally required to
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