Re: If There's a Death in Your House, Can You Keep the Police Out
I agree with aardvarc regarding the "death in the house" scenario, as far as it goes. However, someone is going to have to declare the death to make it official. That has to be a physician, an undertaker can't do it. In circumstances of a death at a residence (where it is unlikely that a physician will be present at the time of death), that could be a coroner...but, it is unlikely that the coroner is going to show up first or alone. More likely, that will be a hospital doctor after EMTs have either transported the person or communicated their evaluation over the phone or radio. In such a case, first responders have to assume that there is at least the possibility of successful resuscitation efforts. They cannot take a reporting party's telephone declaration that a person is "dead" at face value. So, the police can and will enter the residence in a "community caretaking" function. They are not there to search and, therefore, cannot go poking around. But, they also are not required to be blind to anything they can see in open view while legitimately checking on the deceased. If you really don't want the cops in your house, you will have to have your mom's attending physician on call. He/she will have to respond to the house and make the official death pronouncement. Only then can the funeral home send someone to collect the body.
Regarding your second question, no, you do not have to show the police a physical form of ID (presuming you are not driving, in an alcohol serving establishment, or some other activity that requires it). However, every state that I know about has some form of "making false statements to police" or "hindering or obstructing police" statute. So, while it is legal to refuse to identify yourself, giving a false name or other identifying information is not. Likewise, if the police are detaining you to investigate your possible involvement in criminal activity, they can not only continue to hold you until they are satisfied they have your true identity, they may also be able to arrest you if your actions "obstruct, hinder, or delay" their investigation - even if their investigation does not reveal probable cause to arrest regarding their original suspicions. The police have to have reasonable suspicion to detain you and conduct such an investigation. But, if they have reasonable suspicion (which doesn't have to be much), identification information is not considered incriminating and, therefore, not protected.
Behind the badge is a person. Behind the person is an ego. This is as it should be, person at the center and ego to the back.