Who do you think you are? Just because you ask a cop who they are doesn’t mean you are entitled to know. In several jurisdictions, it is acceptable for a law enforcement officer to deny their identity to you when you ask. If the actions of the police are malicious, or incorrect you have a case. With some areas not having body cams, it can be difficult to prove you were forced into illegal activity. However, they don’t really owe you the truth when concerning that question. Your best option is to stay on the right side of the law, not in a suspicious situation that makes you have to question the identity of those around you according to The Lynch Law Group.
Several people often confuse scenarios like this with “entrapment”, which is when a law enforcement officer coerces you into the commission of a crime. So no, you were not tricked into committing a crime just because you did not know the cop was in fact a cop. For example, if you have intentions to sell drugs and just so happen to attempt to sell them to a cop unknowingly. Let’s say you approach someone leaving a store, you ask if they were a cop, they deny it and you continue to complete the transaction, then they suddenly begin to read you your rights and proceed to arrest you — this is not illegal on the cops behalf.
An example of entrapment would be an undercover cop making multiple attempts to offer you an illegal substance, and on the last attempt you are threatened or pressured into taking it. In this sense, while you are partaking in illegal activity, you still may be able to use the entrapment defense and have your charges dismissed. This is due to the fact that you were, in a way, forced to commit the crime because you were in fear for your own safety. While it is the duty of law enforcement to enforce the law, it is not their duty to create crime.
Participating in the criminal act is ultimately your decision, unless your life is endangered. If a cop denies that he is a cop this does not mean you should partake in criminal activity. The cop may lead you to believe that the crime you are committing will not have a consequence but it is still a decision you make on your own.
As stated before, your best option is to stay on the right side of the law, especially when you do not know the law. If you or someone you know feels they have been a victim of entrapment, or even if they have not, it is best to speak with a criminal defense attorney that is familiar with the laws of entrapment, and guilty or innocent, will be able to build a defense so that you are rewarded the best outcome for your actions. Reach out to a skilled lawyer near you for more information on what is considered entrapment and how best to protect yourself from being coerced into illegal activity.