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Texas Cops Unlawfully Detain Driver, File False Charges - You Gotta See This

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posted on Mar, 6 2014 @ 04:34 PM
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reply to post by JackSparrow17
 


Because of the laws the prudent course, at least imo, is to take the extra time (if possible for whatever reason) to explain what they are to those that come into contact. Law Enforcement is prohibited from giving legal advice, which is one of the reasons we keep coming back to the citizens needing to do their due diligence.

I have found that sometimes, an explanation of the law in question and a brief lecture can be way more effective that writing a citation. I tell them to contact a lawyer if they have further questions / wish to argue about an action I have taken, action one of the officer's under me has taken etc. Its one of the reasons, in threads like this, I use the term generally, due diligence, state laws vary etc etc etc.

Our ordinances / state laws are all online for easy access to those who wish to research. Actually from what I have seen all states and most cities do this (the smaller the city, the more limited the resources, less chance of that ability - I get it). But it does not mean they cant go down to city hall and ask for a copy of city ordinances / state statutes. Officer's cannot memorize all laws either. The only reason it appears we do is because we can enforce the same law / ordinance day in and day out. Eventually you remember the statute / ordinance number, the charge code, and what it says. I still keep a copy of my blue book in my patrol bag.

In general state / local law enforcement cannot enforce Federal law and vice versa (that changes when we deal with joint task forces / other specific issues). Sheriff's department cant enforce city ordinance (exceptions exist). Laws are not the same from state to state and its possible to have something legal in one be illegal in another.

This culminates with the "Ignorance of the law is no excuse". Just as I apply the term "Caveat Emptor" when I decide who I will vote for. The only other issue I have about how law enforcement is portrayed deals with the media, and by extension people who don't care for law enforcement.

Basically, our screw-ups make front page above the fold / headline news where as our good deeds go unreported. When people are constantly exposed to screw-ups its not hard to adopt the mindset about law enforcement and its competence. One of my irritations comes from blanket generalities.

Just because the Zodiac killer went on a killing spree does not mean all civilians are serial killers (if that makes sense).

As with everything in life, the guideline is "there is a time and place".

As for the video, arguing with officers at road side in that manner is neither the time nor the place. That is what court is for. As for the prosecutor I remind people that our legal system is supposed to be adversarial. Understanding that concept is important, especially for law enforcement. When I am on the stand and a defense lawyer starts taking me to task its not personal. He is doing his job by representing his client in a zealous manner. The prosecutor does the same, zealously pursuing the charges he filed to get a conviction.

Anyways, ill quit lecturing and bow out. If anyone has a question just ask / shoot me a pm.
edit on 6-3-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 6 2014 @ 05:54 PM
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Just wanted to say thanks to the participants and especially Xcathdra, who I invited over because I appreciate his experience and perspective as a law officer. He has made it clear that no laws were broken and while agree with most of what he says, I also acknowledge his sentiment for generalizing and how it is detrimental to most situations. I also understand there are always those that think they know the law but are so often wrong.

Attitude always plays a part, but imo that means for both parties. Just as leo's do not like our(not mine) generalization of all cops are bad, so goes it for suspects questioning the proceedings and the law. Not everyone questioning the actions of officers are always wrong and out of place. Attitude and pitching a fit are the wrong things to do, and I still feel in this specific incident, the attitude that rose swiftest was from the officer. From the civilians outlook, maybe they are aware of the many injustices that occur in police procedures, or abuse of them, and so armed with a suspicious and sometimes educated attitude, many feel inclined to speak up.

Xcanthra is right about telling it to the judge or lawyer, but we have a responsibility to defend our constitutional rights as well, calmly and non-defiant of course. Police abuse or corruption, thanks to technology, is on a lot of people's minds these days and I have seen examples of these situations handled right and handles poorly. I have seen officers that calmly address a suspects questions, even knowing they(suspect) are wrong, and it diffused the situation. This should be done more often, with the exception of a dangerous situation of course, but when a suspect feels like they may be in trouble or going to jail when they feel like they have done no wrong(in a legitimate case) then naturally one may feel impelled to voice their opinion.

The prosecutor's words still leave me uneasy because it is bullying imo, trying to make the suspect feel like he is out of order and barking up the wrong tree, but in this case the tree fell upon this couple. They just seem to revel in their authority at times, and in a generalizing fashion assume everyone is the same, and to me that is where the trouble often starts.

Someone mentioned "flaunting" their rights, and while that does happen, in this case I do not see that, but rather I see someone who feels they were treated unfairly and so they inquired calmly. Put yourself in their shoes for a second, tired and just trying to get home, and then made to feel like criminals.

Let me again acknowledge what our officers are up against on a daily basis, and I am grateful for what they do. It is a small percent that behave badly, but the attitude seems widespread. I just hope they may view each case individually before turning up the force and feeling offended because someone questions their authority.

Thank you,
spec



posted on Mar, 6 2014 @ 06:15 PM
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Xcathdra

Aazadan
You can say just show your ID but that's tacit admission that we do not have our system of rights.


If you don't mind me asking, what supports the above statement?

Respectfully, I know of no where in the US Constitution or my State Constitution that states pedigree information (name / dob / address / etc) and Law Enforcement requesting that information (when appropriate / required) is protected as a right.

Not trying to argue, but I am curious what led to that conclusion.


The Fourth Amendment. Temporarily handing over a document is no different than having it seized in the electronic age. Because copies can be rapidly duplicated and kept forever.



posted on Mar, 6 2014 @ 07:08 PM
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Aazadan

Xcathdra

Aazadan
You can say just show your ID but that's tacit admission that we do not have our system of rights.


If you don't mind me asking, what supports the above statement?

Respectfully, I know of no where in the US Constitution or my State Constitution that states pedigree information (name / dob / address / etc) and Law Enforcement requesting that information (when appropriate / required) is protected as a right.

Not trying to argue, but I am curious what led to that conclusion.


The Fourth Amendment. Temporarily handing over a document is no different than having it seized in the electronic age. Because copies can be rapidly duplicated and kept forever.


The 4th amendment prevents an unreasonable search and seizure.

Identifying information is pedigree information and is not protected.
The license itself is the property of the state, not the individual. This is why when dealing with out of state drivers, the state they are in are prohibited from confiscating the license.
Driving is a privilege, not a right and as such a person must be licensed in order to operate a motor vehicle.

Requesting identification is not a violation of any rights. respectfully.
Its no different than my state, where law enforcement is required to produce our commission card if requested (situation specific, just like driver's license request).
edit on 6-3-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 6 2014 @ 07:28 PM
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Xcathdra
The 4th amendment prevents an unreasonable search and seizure.

Identifying information is pedigree information and is not protected.
The license itself is the property of the state, not the individual. This is why when dealing with out of state drivers, the state they are in are prohibited from confiscating the license.
Driving is a privilege, not a right and as such a person must be licensed in order to operate a motor vehicle.

Requesting identification is not a violation of any rights. respectfully.
Its no different than my state, where law enforcement is required to produce our commission card if requested (situation specific, just like driver's license request).


Unless you're in a state which doesn't have a stop and identify law which is the case here. If you're driving the cops have every right to check if you're licensed, however this man was not driving. That part is key. Yes he was going to, but you can't hold someone responsible for an action they're going to do. You can only hold them accountable for what they have previously done. At that point he had not driven and was under no requirement to provide identification. His wife would have to identify if the cops asked since at that point she was a driver and not a passenger.



posted on Mar, 6 2014 @ 08:15 PM
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rangerdanger

InverseLookingGlass
reply to post by rangerdanger
 





I've met good cops, and I've met bad cops. Geography plays a big part in these kinds of situations I think.


Said a mouth full there. Geography. That and skin color...and steroids and how the last traffic stop went and how the LEO is getting along with their spouse and kids. And other stuff.

Criminal mafia. Ironically the civil courts have been helping to clean up the smaller cells. Now we are turning the bigger PD's in to military units. That's the new thing. Straight up Fascism. Watch Ukraine there were good cops in there sniping protesters.

Think that can't happen here?


I stand by my statement. I've met good cops, and bad cops. In my experience it isn't worthwhile to generalize an entire group based off the actions of a few.
It gets to a point where you are just fear mongering. I see plenty of police brutality videos, but I wonder why people don't film all the good police do around the country. Probably because nobody care about the good, they only focus on the bad.
I for one, am not scared of LEO in the slightest. The only power they have is the power you give them.
As for the militarization, I live in a pretty big urban area. SLC is not small, and yet we have no tanks, apcs, drones or any of that. The cops in Salt Lake ride 10 speeds with fanny packs. I don't know how many are-15s you can fit in a fanny pack, but I'd say none is a good guess.
Like I said, I agree with the OP, and those that abuse their power should be punished. It's a shame that they don't always get punished, but I haven't seen any police snipe people at the countless rallies/protests I've attended in my adult life.
Honestly, if you're so fed up, and want to make a change, pick up a badge, and change it yourself. Creating fear won't change anything.


You know, I am certain that al qaida members have children that they play with, and do good things for. I wonder why no one ever posts the videos of terrorists doing something good?

o.O



posted on Mar, 6 2014 @ 08:47 PM
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Aazadan
Unless you're in a state which doesn't have a stop and identify law which is the case here. If you're driving the cops have every right to check if you're licensed, however this man was not driving. That part is key. Yes he was going to, but you can't hold someone responsible for an action they're going to do. You can only hold them accountable for what they have previously done. At that point he had not driven and was under no requirement to provide identification. His wife would have to identify if the cops asked since at that point she was a driver and not a passenger.


Stop and Identify, even in states (like mine) that allow it, is not uniform. Municipalities have enacted ordinances for it however the state has not, which means Sheriff and Highway patrol cant enforce it.

In this particular case driving is not a factor. A vehicle was stopped on a public road, so while the driver is arguing he does not need to identify he is only viewing it from the point of not driving. From the officer perspective, in addition to driving, was looking beyond that, which is permissible. The other thing to consider is the possibility of other law violations aside from just driving. Is there an ordinance / state law that prevents a person from stopping their vehicle on the side of the road? In addition to the examples I already gave about other possibilities the fact remains the officer requested pedigree information only, which is lawful based on the contact itself.

To make the comparison, in my opinion the action is lawful.
in your opinion the action was unlawful because of how you perceive identification requests.

I have the law on my side, where as you don't agree with that, which is perfectly valid.
It comes back to the original question though on whether the actions from both parties were valid or invalid.

Since Law enforcement is not a part of the judicial branch, we have nothing to do with guilt / innocence / fines.
Since Law Enforcement is not a part of the legislative branch, we have nothing to do with creating law, the elements of that crime, or type of classification (misdemeanor / felony / infraction).
Since Law Enforcement is a part of the Executive, our focus is enforcement of those laws.

There is a reason we have checks and balances and separations of power. While I have seen the argument that cops should not enforce "illegal / unconstitutional laws" (and I agree) one must realize that is not our purpose or function. We all complain about the federal government taking action people think is illegal / unconstitutional.

Demanding law enforcement assume that same standard, where you want them to determine what's lawful and what's not, what's constitutional and what's not, is in fact the very action that caused issues in the first place.

Don't like a law? Get involved and talk to your elected officials. Get them to review the law. Educate yourself on the law and submit reasons why the law is a problem. Check with your local law enforcement for their stats (number of calls, types of calls etc) to support your position. If you cant get the legislative to make changes, look at the judicial branch.

Is the application of the law, well, lawful. Is it constitutional? Is the application of the law inconsistent with the intent of the law? (As an example several states had laws to prevent people from recording conversations (dual consent states). Those states used those laws to go after people recording law enforcement contact. The court system (state and Federal) have ruled those laws cannot be used against people who are recording (some exceptions apply).

While I understand that some hold the view that law enforcement should be at the forefront of checking government overreach. While I understand the argument, I disagree with it. Law Enforcement, and all of Government for that matter, derives its authority through the consent of the people.

Because of that, the people are the ones who must initiate change. Absent that, it looks as if an armed segment of government is attacking the other branches, which is never good. That type of action leads to questions about the legitimacy of any changes that are derived from that action.

Anyways, thanks for answering my question as well as the debate. Whether or not we agree with each others position, it allows me to consider the other side of the coin so to speak, which in turn allows me to better understand some of the people I come into contact with. Anything that can help communication / de-escalation based on understanding helps me do my job better.

Thanks



posted on Mar, 6 2014 @ 09:58 PM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 


Xcathdra,

I think in a previous post you stated that looking into a vehicle was fair game but searching was not. Where does one draw the line with the officer in the video opening the door and looking inside van?

To me this appears to be a search. Peering in windows to look for anything in plain sight okay. Opening door and looking inside? This seems to be not okay.

And thanks for your experience and insight. I am not sure what area of the country you work in and that seems to make a difference. There seems to be pockets of corruption involving LEOs with some states and/or cities being prime for a much higher rate for such things.

It would be interesting to take a lot of these reports and many others and see if there is any statistical significance.



posted on Mar, 6 2014 @ 10:48 PM
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WCmutant
Xcathdra,

I think in a previous post you stated that looking into a vehicle was fair game but searching was not. Where does one draw the line with the officer in the video opening the door and looking inside van?

There are a few possibilities -
* - If the officer was opening the door to search then there is an issue (unless he saw something - plain sight)
* - If the officer saw something inside that was of concern, its possible the action was valid (gun / knife / etc see ** below).
* - There was another person in the vehicle and the officer may have opened the door to see what they were doing.

An officer is within the law when they ask passengers to step out of the vehicle. Opening the door to speak to passengers is also a possibility. All we see in the video is the guy telling the officer he did not consent to a search. Its possible the intent was not to search. Also, since we cant see what's going on inside the van, there is always the possibility the passenger on the inside either started to open the door or moved in a manner that concerned the officer (furtive movements).

**Also, and not many people are aware, a frisk of a vehicle can occur (US vs. Vinton).**

The assumption is based on the officer actions and the response from the driver that was he was conducting an unlawful search, however it might not have been the case. He may have been opening the door to better observe the passenger. Remember at the time the officers only know what the driver is telling them. They are still going to check for themselves, which could include making contact with the passenger.

While the 4th amendment applies to motor vehicle, the level of protection it affords is not at the same level as someone's house. In this case I would say the mindset of a traffic stop is not correct. I would say this type of contact was more an investigative stop than a traffic stop. There is a difference between the 2.


WCmutant
To me this appears to be a search. Peering in windows to look for anything in plain sight okay. Opening door and looking inside? This seems to be not okay.

It could go either way. It depends on the intent of the officer on that side of the vehicle and the outcome of the contact. An officer can request a person get out of the vehicle. During that process, if the officer observes something illegal, the officer can act on it.

I have done the same thing, however the intent of my actions was not to search the vehicle but to keep a closer eye on the passengers in the vehicle.

Other factors that can apply -
* - Did the driver's license check contain convictions?
* - Was their a warrant hit?
* - Was their a Probation / Parole hit? (people on Probation/parole have restrictions placed on them as a condition. Depending on state, that status can require the person to consent where if they were not on P&P normal requirements apply).
* - Do the officer's present personally know the person(s) in the car and if so has their been any adverse contact prior?

When looking at police action a person must view it in its entirety. The term is called totality of circumstances. Trying to determine officer action based on segments of an encounter can lead to problems. When reviewing officer action the US Supreme Court has ruled those actions must be viewed in the context of what did the officer perceive the moment force was used. Hindsight 20/20 cannot be used as a factor when reviewing those actions. By the way a use of force does not start when a physical action is applied. An officer in uniform and in a marked patrol vehicle are part of the use of force (subject resistance control) continuum. Those 2 elements establish the authority of the officer. Verbal communication / directives / orders / commands are also a part of that continuum.

When viewed separately, the officer opening the door alone is a problem. However when you take that action though and fit it into the overall picture - nighttime, car stopped on public road, sitting partially in lane of travel, people inside the vehicle, no hazard lights on in vehicle, the demeanor of the driver - could justify the actions of the cover officer (assuming there was no intent to search with the intent only on officer / public safety).

Here is a decent webpage dealing with Constitutional law and court rulings. As always, a person should do their due diligence and research their area and make sure items apply / don't apply. I encourage people to read the Court Rulings / Findings to get a better understanding of how the courts view these situations and what is taken into account when issuing a ruling.

As an example because a vehicle is moveable, being able to cross from one jurisdiction into another, the warrant requirement is modified. An RV can have dual status, either a motor vehicle or a residence. It depends on what the context of the contact is
* - motor vehicle stop or
* - is the RV parked and hooked to utilities (considered a residence)

FindLaw US Constitution - 4th Amendment breakdown

How goofy can laws / court rulings get?
Each state has their own laws / city has their ordinances. Any legal challenge of those occurs att he state level, from municipal court, to circuit (county) court, to state appeals courts to the state supreme court.

If an appeal occurs to the federal level, there must be a constitutional violation argument. At that point the process at the federal level is pretty much the same as at the state level, from appeals court (federal district) to the US Supreme Court.

A court ruling at the state level only applies inside the state.
A federal appeals ruling will apply to the state the case originated from as well as all other states contained in that federal circuit.
A Federal Appeals ruling in one circuit can be used as precedence in another Federal Appeals circuit.
Federal appeals circuits can issue conflicting rulings on the same topic, setting up a review for the US Supreme Court.
A US Supreme Court ruling can apply to all states / commonwealths / US territories.



WCmutant
And thanks for your experience and insight. I am not sure what area of the country you work in and that seems to make a difference. There seems to be pockets of corruption involving LEOs with some states and/or cities being prime for a much higher rate for such things.

It would be interesting to take a lot of these reports and many others and see if there is any statistical significance.


You are welcome. I have been law enforcement in 2 states and my current location is Missouri. Depending on the state, local laws will affect the type of information you are talking about. In MO the Department of Public safety has a section that lists officers who have had their POST license suspended / revoked and is a matter of public record. Other states will have their standards. The FBI compiles unified stats and might have a breakdown you are looking for.

If anyone is a lawyer or law enforcement elsewhere and has a different perspective speak up. We are all human and are prone to mistakes / miscommunication. Plus I like learning about stuff, especially in this area.

Any other questions just ask.


edit on 6-3-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-3-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 05:09 AM
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Xcathdra
I have the law on my side,


I think you summed up why we all have disdain for LEOs, the DOJ, and pretty much our whole justice system at this point. Because the law IS on your side. The laws are so stacked in your favor that you can kill with impunity. Then you'll be on a message board telling us how lawful that murder was.

Just remember that back in the day LEOs used to round up escaped slaves to have them hanged because it was the law.........

BTW...thanks for posting all the laws and proving the premise of the OP and video.........that we DO live in a jackboot society.



edit on 7-3-2014 by HandyDandy because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 06:42 AM
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HandyDandy
I think you summed up why we all have disdain for LEOs, the DOJ, and pretty much our whole justice system at this point. Because the law IS on your side. The laws are so stacked in your favor that you can kill with impunity. Then you'll be on a message board telling us how lawful that murder was.

Just remember that back in the day LEOs used to round up escaped slaves to have them hanged because it was the law.........

BTW...thanks for posting all the laws and proving the premise of the OP and video.........that we DO live in a jackboot society.



edit on 7-3-2014 by HandyDandy because: (no reason given)


Im not sure if I am understanding your comment above.

My comment was made in the context of what the law says verse what it does not say in response to the position Aazadan was taking. In his view he felt the driver was not required to show an ID. My position was the driver was required based on the situation. That requirement, and my position, was based on the law. I was not stating he had to produce one because the law was present (if that makes sense).

As for killing with impunity - I see this position a lot and I don't agree. A person needs to understand that the majority of the application of deadly force encounters occur in a snap judgment environment. The requirement set by scotus when it comes to use of deadly force by officers is based on what the officer perceived as a threat the moment force was used (hindsight 20/20 cannot be used). Totality of circumstances is a factor as well.

As for the last comment - to each their own.



posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 10:52 AM
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Xcathdra
As for killing with impunity - I see this position a lot and I don't agree. A person needs to understand that the majority of the application of deadly force encounters occur in a snap judgment environment. The requirement set by scotus when it comes to use of deadly force by officers is based on what the officer perceived as a threat the moment force was used (hindsight 20/20 cannot be used). Totality of circumstances is a factor as well.


Explain how the officers who murdered Kelly Thomas thought he was a threat as they beat the life out of him.

There are hundreds of others but I'll let you answer that one first.
edit on 7-3-2014 by HandyDandy because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 11:43 AM
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reply to post by HandyDandy
 


There is nothing for me to answer. You are, imo, not understanding my post. You are making it into something its not. I was not present for the Kelley incident. In case you didn't know there was conflicting results from the autopsy.

I'll say this -

The cause of death was asphyxiation and was based on the theory off mechanic compression resulting in problems breathing. The Hospital he was taken to possibly caused / contributed to the death when they placed the air tube down his throat. The Hospital noted the tube was placed to far down, which can also result in breathing issues. Of the 10 minutes in the fight, he fought with officers for 8 of those minutes.

The officers were charged and tried. The issue people have are the elements of the crime that are required in order to find a person guilty of the charges filed.

Beyond a reasonable doubt is the standard for criminal convictions.

The jurors must come to a 100% conclusion that the actions of the officers alone caused the death. When the evidence was debated at the trial the defense put an expert on to discuss the other factors. The prosecutions case was based on the officers as the only suspects. When the defense raised issues about the Hospital, in addition to the fact he was yelling after he was in handcuffs did not support the asphyxiation theory.

All it takes in one juror to find a person not guilty.

I get it you don't like the outcome. I am not a fan of it either. I can go tit for tat with the number of officers who were killed by civilians and were not charged / not guilty. the most recent case occurred in texas here a jury found a civilian not guilty in the death of a police officer.

If people want to know why something occurs / is the way it is, get involved in government. Learn the laws / research them and see how they are applied and what criteria the legislative / judicial have established.

The police don't make the laws and the Police don't determine guilt or innocence. In this case your anger towards law enforcement is misplaced since it was the court who made the outcome.
edit on 7-3-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 04:46 AM
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Xcathdra
Stop and Identify, even in states (like mine) that allow it, is not uniform. Municipalities have enacted ordinances for it however the state has not, which means Sheriff and Highway patrol cant enforce it.


He wasn't charged with failure to identify however, which means the cops couldn't charge him.


Since Law enforcement is not a part of the judicial branch, we have nothing to do with guilt / innocence / fines.
Since Law Enforcement is not a part of the legislative branch, we have nothing to do with creating law, the elements of that crime, or type of classification (misdemeanor / felony / infraction).
Since Law Enforcement is a part of the Executive, our focus is enforcement of those laws.

There is a reason we have checks and balances and separations of power. While I have seen the argument that cops should not enforce "illegal / unconstitutional laws" (and I agree) one must realize that is not our purpose or function. We all complain about the federal government taking action people think is illegal / unconstitutional.


The most evil men in history were just ordinary people doing their jobs. I do agree that as a general rule it's the role of law enforcement to enforce the laws and the role of the courts to decide what the laws are. These previous two sentences are total opposites, yet are both true which means the ideal lies somewhere in the middle.

The main issue in my mind is that with quota systems, the idea has been created for LEO's that everyone is guilty. It's the job of the officer to figure out what that person is guilty of. While this isn't outright unconstitutional (innocent until proven otherwise only exists inside the courtroom) it blatantly goes against the spirit of our laws, and there's no room for it in a free society.


Because of that, the people are the ones who must initiate change. Absent that, it looks as if an armed segment of government is attacking the other branches, which is never good. That type of action leads to questions about the legitimacy of any changes that are derived from that action.


Law enforcement is a tough subject to approach. Sanity in our laws can and often is portrayed as being soft on crime. If a politician wants to keep their career it's wise to not have a soft on crime stigma attached. One of the problems I believe is that there's a fundamental misunderstanding between what the people say they want with what they really want, and what the politicians hear people want.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 07:08 AM
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On a gut level, and after reading through most of this thread, I have to conclude that I don't like anyone in that video or how they acted and reacted. And i'm going to be very optimistic here and say that most people wouldn't behave that way given the same set of circumstances and that this is not indicative of anything...just a sad string of events where everyone behaved less than graciously and professionally. Still a good lesson on what not to do. For everyone.



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 04:21 AM
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Sorry I did not see you replied -



Aazadan
He wasn't charged with failure to identify however, which means the cops couldn't charge him.

I was under the impression he did receive a citation for failure to identify. We are talking about the op incident?



Aazadan
The most evil men in history were just ordinary people doing their jobs. I do agree that as a general rule it's the role of law enforcement to enforce the laws and the role of the courts to decide what the laws are. These previous two sentences are total opposites, yet are both true which means the ideal lies somewhere in the middle.

LEO's have some discretion on law violations. Some areas, like domestic violence, we have no discretion. Hell in my state if we do not make an arrest for a domestic violence call (people just screaming at each other, not physical / no issues other than them being loud) we are still required to do a report to document the encounter. One of the goofier concepts we run into is the application of the laws on the road and application of the law in the court room.

We enforce the statute and either issue a citation or make an arrest / submit a PC.
The PA is free to change things around (increase / decrease / apply different charges). The courts get to see the application of the law and based on the arguments in court, its entirely possible for the law to be modified / gutted / refined based on how persuasive the PA or the Defense Attorney can be. Some states charging people with violating state recording / wiretap laws are a perfect example.

Law Enforcement makes the arrest - submits charges.
PA reviews and ups the charge to a felony.
The Court weighs the info and throws the charges out because the law was being misapplied - IE The court is saying the statute is valid, but not in the manner its being applied.

Absent the above, its up to the people to keep an eye on the government.

A humorous / outrage, at least for me in my state deals with the littering statute and the driving while intoxicated statute. For the longest time if you are driving drunk and as you are pulling over you throw a beer can out the window, you can be charged with DWI (if you fail NHTSA tests) as well as littering.

DWI first offense - Class B misdemeanor.
Littering - Class A misdemeanor.

Like I said - goofy.




Aazadan
The main issue in my mind is that with quota systems, the idea has been created for LEO's that everyone is guilty.

I take some exception to this comment. In my state quotas are prohibited with the exception of departments who have a dedicated traffic division (where all they do is traffic enforcement). Aside from that a quota cannot be set. Some agencies use something called performance goals. IMO some agencies use that as a quota so to speak. My agency tracks individual officer stats (citations / warnings / arrests / etc) mainly for performance evaluations / training possibilities. I love doing DWI however I hate working drug cases. My stats in the first are good but not in the second. When training classes come up for drug impaired driving we get a chance to sign up.

They use it as a method to help officers focus on areas they might excel in if they received specialized training.



Aazadan
It's the job of the officer to figure out what that person is guilty of. While this isn't outright unconstitutional (innocent until proven otherwise only exists inside the courtroom) it blatantly goes against the spirit of our laws, and there's no room for it in a free society.

Law Enforcements job, during any investigation, is to rule people out as suspects as much as it is to locate a suspect. Law Enforcement does not determine innocence or guilt, the court does. The Officer does not lay charges, the PA does. Citations are sent to the PA and when the cases come up they decide what they want to do. Because our legal system is reliant upon plea deals (otherwise the system would literally crash) I stopped caring about what the PA decides about the case.

The one area people have some confusion with is the difference between a Felony / Misdemeanor and an Infraction. Felony charges must be sent to the PA for circuit court (county court). misdemeanors can go to either, and infractions / ordinance violations stay within the city.

I raise that point because there is a legal term called court of record, which establishes court responsibility for the crimes and has bearing on criminal history if convicted.

Also, when it comes to traffic citations / ordinances / state laws - The US Constitution - 6th amendment, established the criteria (speedy trial / legal counsel / jury/bench trial etc) for criminal trials.

If the charge is not classified as a felony or misdemeanor, its not a criminal case (like traffic citations). States will use different terminology so as always check your neck of the woods.


Aazadan
Law enforcement is a tough subject to approach. Sanity in our laws can and often is portrayed as being soft on crime. If a politician wants to keep their career it's wise to not have a soft on crime stigma attached. One of the problems I believe is that there's a fundamental misunderstanding between what the people say they want with what they really want, and what the politicians hear people want.

All politics are local - sadly.

For what it is worth the national mindset on some of these issues, like the war on drugs and legalization of Marijuana for medical and now recreational use is a direct result of politicians being "tough on crime". Sending people to jail / prison for drug possession, creating an overcrowding problem, resulting in state / municipal agencies who have their own jails being dragged into federal court for overcrowding.

This administration is looking at changing the mandatory minimums in place to bring it more in line with the mindset of today as opposed to the mindset of 20-40 years ago.

Its a start and imo better late than never. It was not the politicians who changed it though. It was the people speaking up on the topic and letting their reps know how they feel about it.

Democracy is not easy and it only exists and works when people use it, not the government.

Again, sorry for the delayed response.
edit on 9-3-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 04:46 AM
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~Lucidity
On a gut level, and after reading through most of this thread, I have to conclude that I don't like anyone in that video or how they acted and reacted. And i'm going to be very optimistic here and say that most people wouldn't behave that way given the same set of circumstances and that this is not indicative of anything...just a sad string of events where everyone behaved less than graciously and professionally. Still a good lesson on what not to do. For everyone.


In my time in law enforcement I have had 2 occasions where the individual I was dealing (same for both encounters) with wanted to "debate" my actions while being told he did not recognize my authority (Yes he was a sovereign citizen and no, not all who identify in that manner are asses or conspiracy theorists or want to kill LEO's).

Both times I let him debate some with me, and on both occasion at the end of the court session I asked -
You don't recognize my authority as a municipal officer? - He does not.
You don't recognize the authority of municipal court? - He does not.

I asked, if you don't recognize this stuff then why did you stop for me and why did you allow me to issue a citation and why did you show up to court and work with the PA on punishment / fines?

I never got an answer...

I try and make it a point during any contact to try and answer questions the people might have (either side - suspect / victim / 3rd party when reasonable and safe for all involved - ask them/tell them/make them). I have found it, at times, to be more effective to give a lecture instead of a citation.

I also try and remember that the person I am making contact with might be having one of the worst days of their lives so I try and keep that in mind if i'm being yelled at / them being pissy etc etc. I will ask if they are having a bad day to try and figure out why they are doing that. Some don't realize it, some are having a bad day, some just don like law enforcement.

Totality of circumstances mixed with common sense, empathy and a bit of humility.

For those who are curious - This is a good video that tries to address some of the "why's" people have about law enforcement.


edit on 9-3-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 06:17 AM
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Xcathdra

Aazadan

Xcathdra

Aazadan
You can say just show your ID but that's tacit admission that we do not have our system of rights.


If you don't mind me asking, what supports the above statement?

Respectfully, I know of no where in the US Constitution or my State Constitution that states pedigree information (name / dob / address / etc) and Law Enforcement requesting that information (when appropriate / required) is protected as a right.

Not trying to argue, but I am curious what led to that conclusion.


The Fourth Amendment. Temporarily handing over a document is no different than having it seized in the electronic age. Because copies can be rapidly duplicated and kept forever.


The 4th amendment prevents an unreasonable search and seizure.

Identifying information is pedigree information and is not protected.
The license itself is the property of the state, not the individual. This is why when dealing with out of state drivers, the state they are in are prohibited from confiscating the license.
Driving is a privilege, not a right and as such a person must be licensed in order to operate a motor vehicle.

Requesting identification is not a violation of any rights. respectfully.
Its no different than my state, where law enforcement is required to produce our commission card if requested (situation specific, just like driver's license request).
edit on 6-3-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)


Forced to have ID, Forced to hand it over. The state and police already has that info in the computer. So the officer preemptively forces you into agreement to incriminate yourself, for breaking some law that you don't even know you broke.



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 06:26 AM
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sean
Forced to have ID, Forced to hand it over. The state and police already has that info in the computer. So the officer preemptively forces you into agreement to incriminate yourself, for breaking some law that you don't even know you broke.


Requesting pedigree information is not a violation of anyone's civil rights.
There are situations where an ID can be required, and this case is one of them.
Requesting / requiring Id has no incrimination attachment. Could you please clarify / explain how you arrived at this conclusion? (respectfully asking)

As for the last comment -
I think it is safe to say that the guy in the video should know the law if he is going to start citing it - yes? no?


edit on 9-3-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 07:13 AM
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Xcathdra

Requesting / requiring Id has no incrimination attachment. Could you please clarify / explain how you arrived at this conclusion? (respectfully asking)


A few Supreme Court judges disagree with you...the minority opinion during Hiibel:

Breyer: “the Court wrote that an ‘officer may ask the [Terry] detainee a moderate number of questions to determine his identity and to try to obtain information confirming or dispelling the officer’s suspicions. But the detainee is not obliged to respond.’ Berkemer v. McCarty, 468 U.S. 420 (1984).... the Court’s statement in Berkemer, while technically dicta, is the kind of strong dicta that the legal community typically takes as a statement of the law. And that law has remained undisturbed for more than 20 years. There is no good reason now to reject this generation-old statement of the law.″

Stevens: "Under the Court's Terry jurisprudence, a suspect has always had the right to refuse to answer questions put to him by police officers during a Terry stop. And the Fifth Amendment privilege had always attached during custodial interrogations because information extorted by the police during such interrogations is unavoidably testimonial. Why else would the police ask for a person’s name, if not to determine whether that person was either wanted for committing a crime or directly suspected of committing a crime?"

At any rate, if you're in Texas which is not a stop and identify state AFAIK, and you're not performing a licensed function like driving, under what statute can a police officer force you to identify, unless you're under arrest? Even under Hiibel in a stop and identify state, they can require nothing but your name. And, IIRC, in order to ask identity under most stop and identify statutes, the officer has to have an articulable and reasonable cause to suspect the person has committed a crime. No fishing expeditions.

At any rate, "In Texas a person is not guilty of failure to identify unless the person is already under arrest and refuses to give his name and other information. Further, an act criminally interfering with public duties may not consist of speech only. 14"

Was the guy under arrest, or just detained for a traffic stop or some sort of half-assed Terry? In Texas the LEO cannot charge for failure to identify during a temporary detention or a Terry.



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