Americans “United” That Suspects Should Comply With Officer Commands

Americans “United” That Suspects Should Comply With Officer Commands

Americans are "united" that suspects should comply with officer commands and not resist arrest when such commands are reasonable.

Raghavan Mayur

Whether they think the country is united or divided, Americans agree on one thing.  Suspects should comply with officer commands and cooperate, not resist arrest, when such commands are reasonable.  A whopping 83% of Americans think so in a TIPP Poll conducted in late April. While 57% agree strongly and another 26% agree somewhat.

The undercurrent of discord running through our society is reflected in the TIPP Poll. On the issue of unity, 65 percent believe the country is divided, compared to 29 percent who believe the country is united.

Among those who believe the country is united, 89 percent say that suspects should comply with officer commands, compared to 86 percent among those who think the country lacks unity.

Since there is nearly unanimous agreement, we look more closely at those who “agree strongly,” reflecting the intensity of support.

By party and ideology, the proportion of those who said "agree strongly" was as follows:

  • 49% of Democrats
  • 74% of Republicans
  • 57% of Independents
  • 73% of Conservatives
  • 55% of Moderates
  • 45% of Liberals

The intensity of agreement is high among Republicans and conservatives, with 74% and 73% agreeing strongly, respectively.

The percentage of people who said they "agree strongly" by age group and race:

  • 29% of ages 18 to 24
  • 48% of ages 25 to 44
  • 65% of ages 45 to 64
  • 75% of ages 65 and above
  • 64% of Whites
  • 41% of Blacks
  • 45% of Hispanics

It is noted that as age increases, the intensity increases.  Whites show a greater degree of support for compliance than Blacks and Hispanics.

TIPP Poll On Handling Of Policing In The United States - Chart
TIPP Poll On Handling Of Policing In The United States Breakdown Party And Ideology - Chart

Motor Vehicle Exception

The Fourth Amendment is often quoted as a “right” and hence a reason for not cooperating with a police officer. The law based on it does protect citizens from searches and seizures deemed “unreasonable under the law.”

Here’s the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution at a glance. It -

  • prohibits unreasonable searches;
  • stipulates there should be a judicially sanctioned search warrant,
  • should clearly show probable cause, and
  • include a description of the location to be searched or the person/things to be seized.

While the law does require a detailed warrant issued by a judge or magistrate, it does not promise exemption from all searches and seizures.

The law based on the Fourth Amendment has evolved over the years. For instance, the Carroll v. United States ruling brought about a motor vehicle exception. Police officers today have the legal right to search a vehicle, without a warrant, if they have a reason to believe that the automobile contains evidence or contraband.

Considering that the men and women in uniform put their lives on the line each day for the safety of our community, it is only fair to expect that citizens will cooperate with them. While not discounting the rare exceptions in the force, it must be acknowledged that these exemplary men and women have done much to maintain law and order in our communities. They work for us; we must work with them.

TIPP Takes

Hong Kongers Get Creative For Tiananmen Vigil

1989 Tiananmen Square
1989 Tiananmen Square
  • Hong Kongers are seeking innovative ways to commemorate China’s Tiananmen Square Massacre victims after authorities banned an annual vigil and vowed to stamp out any protests on the anniversary.
  • Discussion of tanks and troops quelling democracy protesters in Beijing on June 4, 1989, is all but forbidden in mainland China.
  • In Hong Kong, the date has been remembered with huge candlelight vigils in Victoria Park for three decades.
  • Last year’s vigil was banned for the first time because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but thousands of people defied the police and rallied anyway.
  • This year’s vigil has been banned again, ostensibly because of the pandemic. So Hong Kongers are getting creative.
  • Local artist Kacey Wong has collected hundreds of spent candle stubs from previous vigils and plans to give them to residents “so they can collect them, preserve them and put them in a safe place.” Wong has previously turned the candles into artwork.
  • A vigil organizer, former Hong Kong legislator Albert Ho - serving a prison term- said that Hong Kongers could light candles or shine mobile phone lights in their local neighborhoods.

China Says Hungarian Politicians 'Beneath Contempt' For Renaming Streets

Hungarian Protestors Against China's Proposed Fudong University In Hungary
Hungarian Protestors Against China's Proposed Fudong University In Hungary
  • China blasted Hungarian politicians as "beneath contempt" after Budapest renamed streets over human rights flashpoints from Hong Kong to Tibet in protest against a planned branch of a top Chinese university.
  • China's foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin accused Hungarian politicians of "hyping up China-related issues and hindering China-Hungary cooperation."
  • According to a deal signed between Hungary and the Shanghai-based university, a currently derelict plot in Budapest is set to house the Fudan campus in a half-million-square-meter (five-million-square-foot) complex by the 2024 president.
  • The liberal mayor has previously blasted "Chinese influence-buying" in Hungary and urged Prime Minister Viktor Orban to honor a previous pledge not to force projects on the capital against its will.
  • Opinion polls show a majority of Budapest residents oppose the university plan.

The United African Republic - Nigeria's Proposed New Name

Nigerian With Flag Painted On Face
  • For two weeks, federal lawmakers have been traversing the country, collating citizens' views to amend the constitution.
  • The idea was to gather suggestions for amendments such as electoral reforms and the system of government.
  • But a citizen, Adeleye Jokotoye, a tax consultant, dropped something of a bombshell at the hearing in Lagos.
  • He wants the country’s name changed as it was an imposition by Nigeria's past colonial masters. His choice? United African Republic - to reflect the hundreds of ethnic groups that comprise the country.
  • The name Nigeria is derived from the River Niger. It was suggested in the late 19th century by British journalist Flora Shaw, who would later marry the British colonial administrator Lord Frederick Lugard.


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