|Do Americans Know The Law Regarding Police Stops?|
|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.