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Can they made me tell?

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(I’m from Iowa) I was at a convenience store and saw someone I know trying to steal beer. When the person got to the door, the clerk told him to put the beer down and to stay there because the police were on the way. The shoplifter put down the beer and then panicked (it looked like it anyway) and flung the door open and ran. He did not get caught by the police. When he flung the door open to run away, the door hit the clerk’s hand and jammed one of her fingers. When the police arrived at the scene they wanted to question me as a witness. But then they read me my rights. Why?!?!!?!? They are saying that because this person and me look about the same age and were in the store at the same time that I HAD to be a “lookout” (I wasn’t). They said that if I WON’T tell them the person’s name that they will charge me as an accessory – but if I WILL tell them, they won’t charge me. They kept accusing me of lying and saying a lot of stuff to confuse me (stuff that is not true). But I didn’t (and won’t) tell them the name of this person. (I wouldn’t have told them anyway, but now I definitely won’t tell them because they really made me mad.) They say it is robbery (Class B felony in Iowa) and not shoplifting because the clerk got hurt. So a conviction in adult court could be 25 years. Does this sound right - can they really do this to me? My mom spent a LOT of $$$$’s to hire an attorney because she says they are messing with me and thinks that I need an attorney to protect my rights even though I didn’t do anything - because she says the police can twist things around to get what they want. This isn’t fair because we aren’t rich (but don’t quality for free legal help) and we’ll be paying this guy off for a LONG time. Does it sound like they are trying to scare me into snitching this person off? What can they do to me for not telling them what they want to know? I’m 16 and have never been in trouble. Can we sue them for malicious prosecution or anything?



Whatever you do, just remember--YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT!!!! Whatever you don't tell them, they will have to prove and if you are telling the truth, they won't be able to prove a case against you. Also, don't let them convince you to take a plea bargain because they threaten you with a severe sentence. Also, don't believe their assurances that if you snitch off your friend, they won't charge you with anything. They can promise you anything without having to follow through. i am basing this on my experiences in California, but I doubt cops are any different anywhere else. So good luck....

Legalize Freedom


yes, they can do that. Tell.
What's the worse that can happen if you tell? Let's see.....you do a good deed for the day, it will help the person in the long run to tell. Today beer tomorrow Banks. A person who shoplifts has a need for attention and thrill. This person needs you to tell this person needs help. A friend of mine was raped as a child. When she was older she shoplifted to get attention for her pain from the past.

Why get yourself in trouble over another's crime? It's not your responsibility to take the rap if you didn't do anything. An accessory holds the same punishment as the criminal. He needs your help.

philly philly

hey dont rat anybody out bro..they r just tryin to trick u..u did nothing wrong therefore u cant get in trouble..and if u somehow do..u can sue the police district and the city..remember..rats r no good..im out

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