We empower the police to protect our rights. Much of the time, that involves protecting us from others who would do us harm. But it also means respecting our rights and refraining from violating them. The Fourth Amendment gives us the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The intent behind the amendment was to protect us from the indignity and violation of our privacy when we’re subjected to a search that’s based on little more than a hunch — the intent was not to protect our right to later complain to internal affairs.
I realize things are tense right now. We should certainly respect and be aware of that when interacting with law enforcement officers. But to verbally refuse a request to search is an exercise of one’s rights. It isn’t a provocation. That Riddick and other police officials seem to see it as the latter is telling — and a big problem.