A police officer stops you in the street and asks for your ID.

Un agent de police vous arrête dans la rue et vous demande vos papiers.

Ask him why and show it to him.

ask them why they want to see my id before showing it to them

Ask to see the officer's badge. If it is authentic, I would very politely decline to show it to them. If it is not, I would just walk away.

Ask what the problem is, give them my ID.

Ask why they would need my ID.

Ask why, show ID

Do I look like a terrorist?

hand it to him.

Hand it to them.

I give him my ID.

I will show him my ID, which happened before.

I would ask them why and then give them my ID.

I would ask what the reason is.

I would ask why, and give him my ID.

I would be angry for being stopped for no apparent reason, but would act respectfully towards the officer

I would be confused but comply

I would give him my ID, but also ask why.

I would give them my ID and ask if there was a problem.

I would show him my ID.

I'll show him mine.

Question the reason why. Without a sufficient reason, I do not give my ID.

Show a driver's license

Show him my ID and ask why.

show them my ID

You show him your ID, hoping that you're not in trouble.

C'est son job

ciseaux ?

J'obtempère et lui montre mes papiers.

je les lui donne en me demandant pourquoi il me les demande à moi, je n'ai rien fait

Je les lui donne et lui demande pourquoi.

je les lui donne si je les ai.

Je les lui donne, je n'ai de toute façon rien à me reprocher.

Je les lui donne.

Je les lui montre poliment.

je lui donne

je lui donne calmement

Je lui donne gentiment.

je lui donne mes papiers

Je lui donne si je les ai sur moi.

Je lui donne, personnellement je n'ai rien à me reprocher

Je lui montre mes papiers.

Je lui montre sans discuter.

Je lui montre.

Je lui obéis froidement

je m'énerve facilement s'il le fait de manière impolie et le lui fais remarquer, sinon je coopère normalement



       Nous pouvons observer une grande différence dans le comportement : les américains demandent systématiquement la raison pour laquelle les policiers veulent voir les papiers alors que les français ne se posent aucune question. Y-a-t-il une certaine méfiance envers les policiers américains ou est-ce que les français ne devraient pas se poser des questions au lieu de montrer leurs papiers bêtement?

   je suis d'accord avec P-E, la différence est flagrante , on peut mettre ce sujet en relation avec nos réponses sur le sujet "Autorité" dans "WORDS", on remarque cette même méfiance.

Y-a-t-il aux Etats-Unis des gens qui se font passer pour des policiers?

Croyez-vous qu'en général les Americains sont méfiants?

Il n'y a que 2 personnes qui demandent pourquoi chez nous, et beauuuucoup plus chez vous!

Si on demande pourquoi, la réponse sera à coup sur "controle de routine" ou quelque chose comme ça. Ils ne vont pas répondre "parce que vous avez l'air louche" ...
Donc ça ne sert à rien de demander pour nous!

ça vous surprend qu'on vous demande vos papiers? c'est le job des policiers de vérifier que tout le monde est en règle non?

Trouvez-vous ça normal qu'un policier ne demande qu'à ceux qui ont l'air de terroriste? Vu la diversité américaine, qui les policiers auront-ils tendance à contrôler!? Chez nous c'est plus souvent ceux qui ont l'air "étranger".

Trouvez-vous ça utile/normal que les policiers vous demandent vos papiers?


In the US, if a policeman asks for you identification you're probably in trouble. It's not too normal to be asked for your ID. Of course, no one wants to get in trouble and have a criminal record.

I think most of Americans do indeed trust the police, and look up to them to take care of criminal situations. People ask why, but still comply if necessary. The main reason that we would ask why the papers are needed is because we do not want to mess with the law.

I guess there is, however, a part of America that mistrusts the police somewhat. Sensationalist media and Hollywood sometimes put law enforcement in a negative light, with stories and movies relating to corrupt policemen or criminals who take advantage of the system. Also, some minority communities sometimes feel they are the victims of unfair police treatment, especially the African-American and Latino communities. The feel that they are often the victims of stereotype, and that a policeman is more likely to view them as criminals.


Oh, I forgot my question. Do you guys completely trust the police, or is there an element of hesitance when dealing with them? Is there also some fear of corrupt policemen if France? Finally, is there also more trouble between minority groups and the police in France?

I definitely agree that in the US the police are associated with being in trouble...from everything the French students have said, it seems like it's much less out of the ordinary to have some kind of interaction with the police.  Is this true? Is the police force in France more of a presence in people's daily lives? 

Also, we have our own campus police at MIT... is there anything similar at ENSAM?

I feel that for the most part the police are trusted in the US.  I think that people ask why they are being asked for their ID because American's have a strong sense of privacy.  They inquire the reason for police asking for their ID because they want to ensure that the reason is legal, not violating their rights/privacy, and so they do not self-incriminate themselves. Knowing what you are being ID for kind of goes along with the Miranda warning, which informs arrested persons of their constitutional rights.


Do you find that the way police in the city are viewed is different from the way they are viewed in the suburbs? 

I feel like most of the American students responded that they would ask why because we like exercising our right to know things.  In theory, we trust the police and know they are just doing their jobs.  But, as mentioned before, it is uncommon to be randomly stopped and asked for your ID.  So being asked this by a police officer would indicate that you've probably done something wrong, and we want to know what it is so that we won't get ourselves into any deeper trouble.


Do your local police drive around and monitor things on a daily basis?  Also, are there any stereotypes about police in France? (i.e. in America there is the "they always eat doughnuts")

I guess to kind of expand on what Tina asked, is there reason for police to ask for papers? As an example, without making the assumption, I could see issues coming up with immigration or such with how many countries are in the vicinity of France.

There is another side to the reasoning behind refusing to give ID or not playing kindly with a police officer, and that's that if one is not doing anything wrong, then it is within our rights to not show ID. 

I can detail many times when police officers in America overstep their bounds and take it upon themselves to do more than what the law allows (http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Joe+Arpaio is a great example). A clear example is the laws surrounding filming police officers. It is almost never within their right to stop this and if it was, it would call into question the transparency of the law system (see the Rodney King incident from the early 90s or the recent incident in the BART train system in Oakland, CA). But police officers do not like this and will go out of their bounds to prevent this usually. 

I imagine that it is rare for students on this board (the MIT side at least) to have run-ins with the law, and I agree that cooperating makes it much easier on all parties involved, but I disagree that it is a good thing to blindly cooperate. 

Do you know of famous French examples of when police officers overstepped their bounds similar to the ones I described above? And if something like that happened, would you change your opinion and your ways to be more suspicious of the officers of the law?

Il me semble que nous avons plutôt confiance en la police en France.

Pour Yotam: peur de corruption? je ne pense pas. Plus de problème avec les minorités? Oui certainement

Pour Kate: il n'y a pas de police spécifique à l'ENSAM, nous sommes 300!!

Pour Michael: ville différent de banlieue? non pas spécialement

Pour Tina: des stéréotypes? je ne sais pas trop. Et oui ils font des rondes en voiture tous les jours, ou dans la rue, mais on les voit pas souvent

Pour Cinjon: oui ils dépassent surement les limites parfois, mais je n'ai pas d'exemple particulier



When I was in college I was in a fraternity, and on many occasions police would come to our house and ask for ID's.  However, we knew they were asking for ID's because they wanted to check whether we were all of legal drinking age and, therefore, knowing their intent we did not object.  On the other hand, I have never had an officer ask me for my ID in the US while I was minding by own business in public.  I think most Americans, if it was not clear to the them the officer's intent, would ask for the reason they were being asked to show their ID.


Trying not to make too many broad generalizations, but I do think that many Americans are obsessed with protecting their rights. Which is obviously not always a bad thing, but I feel many people I know - especially people my age - are sort of overly into it, without much reason but "f*** the police". Which seems silly to me, but that's possibly because I grew up in a conservative household... I can see the difference when I think of how my parents would react to this situation (I have no doubt they would turn over their id's unquestionably) versus most of my friends (I think most of them would have the reactions listed in the forum).