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What would you do in this hypothetical situation?

Asked by weeveeship (4584points) April 30th, 2014

(This is a hypothetical question inspired by the events of AvX. . Of course, I made the facts more realistic.)

Hypothetical Facts
Suppose you have a teenage child. Your child is known to be a bit rebellious but your child otherwise follows the law (to your knowledge anyways).

One night, two police officers knock on your door. One officer shows you his badge (it is legit) and tells you that your child poses an imminent threat to the community. The officer tells you that he has credible information that your child is involved in a terrorist conspiracy to blow up certain buildings around town within a few days, which is likely to cause countless deaths and injuries. You ask the police officer for proof, but the officer says that he has credible information that he does not need to divulge to you at this time.

The officer gives you two choices: (1) Hand over your child, the suspected terrorist, for questioning and possibly prosecution or (2) Not hand over your child and he will arrest you for harboring a criminal suspect.

What would you do in this situation? (Note that your child has overheard the whole conversation and has a decent chance of escaping if you stall the officers).

Note Please do not answer on grounds of the U.S. Constitution. Assume this is in some random society.

Suppose that your neighbor overheard your discussion with the police and rushes out. You and your neighbor have been friends for years. He has proved himself trustworthy in the past. Your neighbor tells you that he also has a strong hunch that your child is involved in a terrorist conspiracy, though your neighbor could not give you any details on why he has such a hunch. Does that affect how you react to this situation at all?

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