There are very few things I believe every citizen of the United States should read, hear, or see. This is one of them.
The Republic stands on the strength of an informed citizenry capable of exercising oversight over their government. The government should always be an instrument in the hands of the people. As the police are the most common point of contact most people have with their government, every citizen should know how to negotiate police encounters.
10 Rules For Dealing With Police
Start it at 5:30 to skip past the CATO Institute’s introduction.
EDIT: For those interested, the actual video is only 40 minutes long. The rest consists of a Q&A session at CATO. It doesn’t need to be watched by every citizen in the Union.
I liked the Cato wrapper you suggested avoiding better than the film. Cato discussed the folly of the drug war and its disproportionate impact on poor and minority population segments.
The film was too heavy handed on police discrimination and profiling. Rather than understanding the ideas presented, most minority viewers would get prejudices reinforced and be more likely to be hostile at a police encounter.
I agree that the content was worthwhile but you could have presented the material effectively in a few minutes.
Actually, Chris Rock once did a similar thing that was funnier if not as Constitutionally directed. Don't do crime! Don't swear at cops and hang out with white people are the tips I remember.
I would not overestimate the knowledge the citizenry has of our constitutional rights or underestimate the perceptiveness of American minorities (if they can be lumped together in such a manner).
Most Americans do not know that they can refuse to consent to searches. Most Americans do not realize that they can walk away from police if they are not being detained, that police cannot demand ID cards or any other sort of identification on the street, or that police can legally lie to them. This video explains these rights in a clear and engaging fashion.
The CATO talks are for policy wonks like you and me. For those of a more practical nature, this video is the best of its type.