When it comes to engaging with law enforcement in the state of Illinois, do you know all of your rights? If they knock on your door, what can you do?

Engaging with Illinois Law Enforcement


The heading above is an actual section of the ACLU of Illinois website and it is where I found the answer to the question of what you legally have to do if the police knock on your door. It's a very good resource if you have questions about your rights as a citizen of Illinois.

Protecting your rights is the goal of the ACLU, so it's good to not only get the facts but also the advice.

What to Do If You're Stopped By Police

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  • Think carefully about your words, movements, body language, and emotions.
  • Don’t get into an argument with the police. Remember, anything you say or do can be used against you.
  • Keep your hands where the police can see them.
  • Don’t run. Don’t touch any police officer.
  • Don’t resist even if you believe you are innocent.
  • Don’t complain on the scene or tell the police they’re wrong or that you’re going to file a complaint.
  • Do not make any statements regarding the incident.
  • Ask for a lawyer immediately upon your arrest.
  • Remember officers’ badge and patrol car numbers.
  • Write down everything you remember ASAP.
  • Try to find witnesses and their names and phone numbers.
  • If you are injured, take photographs of the injuries as soon as possible, but make sure you seek medical attention first.

We all recognize the need for effective law enforcement, but we should also understand our own rights and responsibilities – especially in our relationships with the police. Everyone, including minors, has the right to courteous and respectful police treatment. If your rights are violated, don’t try to deal with the situation at the scene. You can talk to a lawyer afterwards, or file a complaint with the Internal Affairs or Civilian Complaint Board. American Civil Liberties Union.


Do You Legally Have to Answer if Police Knock on Your Door in Illinois?


From the ACLU, here's the answer to that question:

  • If the police knock and ask to enter your home, you don't have to admit them unless they have a warrant signed by a judge.
  • However, in some emergency situations (like when a person is screaming for help inside, or when the police are chasing someone) officers are allowed to enter and search your home without a warrant.
  • If you are arrested, the police can search you and the area close by. If you are in a building, “close by” usually means just the room you are in.

ARREST THE RACISM. Tell the ACLU about your race- or ethnic-based traffic or pedestrian stop. Call 1-877-6-PROFILE or go to aclu.org/profiling.

The Most Bizarre Items Ever Stolen From Illinois Residents

My mom once told me that "people will steal anything that's not nailed down." Times certainly have changed since then. The thieves now have nail removers.

Gallery Credit: Facebook

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