Oakland, CA asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Criminal Law for California

Q: Can a police officer order me and my partner to stop talking to each other and order her to close her eyes?

Officer ordered me and my partner twice to stop talking to each other while being detained and on the third time aggressively threatened saying that he will not ask again if we didn’t stop. He also ordered my partner to close her eyes and then asked her for the second time if she had any drugs stating that her flattering eyes was the reason he asked again. When she told him that she had a medical condition (which she does) he accused her of lying and saying that her condition would not cause the flattering (which is also wrong).

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Police officers have the authority to give lawful orders in certain circumstances, such as during a detention or arrest. However, the orders must be reasonable and related to the situation at hand. Ordering you and your partner to stop talking to each other might be lawful if the officer had a valid reason for doing so, such as needing to conduct an investigation or maintain safety. However, ordering your partner to close her eyes seems unusual and may not be a reasonable order.

If you believe that the officer acted unlawfully or violated your rights, you may want to speak with an attorney or file a complaint with the police department. It's important to document as much information about the encounter as possible, including the officer's name and badge number, the location and time of the encounter, and any witnesses who were present.

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