In this case, the fourth, fifth and sixth amendment, and how they protect you in an encounter with the police. This video from the ACLU, How Not To Get Arrested, is very helpful. [Link updated 4/28/08] I plan to show it to my children when they are old enough.
Some lines to practice:
“No, I don’t know why you pulled me over”
“I don’t consent to any searches, sir”
“Officer, are we free to go now?”
I don't know why no one told me these things when I was young.
Update: Link via Majikthise, also i crossposted this comment there:
The video uses three examples, two involving white college age kids and one involving a black college age kids. The advice for the white kids is specific, and when it is followed, the officers leave. In the first case they are in a car, and the second case in their house. Each time they refuse to consent to a search, and the officers leave.
The black kid is a pedestrian, and the advice given him is vaguer and the outcomes less optimistic. “Depending on your state laws, the police may be justified in demanding identification.” “It never hurts to refuse consent to search, but the police will probably pat you down anyway. The most concrete advice is all about not making things worse: Don’t talk back. Don’t run.
I know that this difference is largely a product of your rights as a pedestrian instead of a driver or someone in their home, but the choice of race is striking.
Also, in each example, the citizen is primarily confronted by a person of the same race and gender as they are. The young white woman is confronted by a white female officer. Don’t know what to make of that.