a reply to: Bone75
You are absolutely right. I did jump over the steps too quickly. I have to plead laziness. At the time I didn't feel like retyping my long post
which went into detail. I honestly forgot, until just now, that I could cut and paste.
But you deserve a more complete explanation.
I hope, my now, everyone agrees that a policeman can pull a cop over for a seat belt violation. Whether the law is fair or not, it's the law.
2.) Now, about ordering them out of the car, here's a little legalese from a Supreme Court case. I've taken out some portions of the case cites and
added paragraph breaks:
Three decisions cumulatively portray Terry’s application in a traffic-stop setting. In Pennsylvania v. Mimms, the Court held that “once a
motor vehicle has been lawfully detained for a traffic violation, the police officers may order the driver to get out of the vehicle without violating
the Fourth Amendment ,”
because the government’s “legitimate and weighty” interest in officer safety outweighs the “de minimis”
additional intrusion of requiring a driver, already lawfully stopped, to exit the vehicle.
Citing Terry, the Court further held that a driver, once outside the stopped vehicle, may be patted down for weapons if the officer reasonably
concludes that the driver might be armed and dangerous. 434 U. S., at 112. Wilson, held that the Mimms rule applies to passengers as well as
based on “the same weighty interest in officer safety.”
Brendlin, 551 U. S., at 263, held that a passenger is seized, just as the driver is, “from the moment [a car stopped by the police comes] to a halt
on the side of the road.” A passenger’s motivation to use violence during the stop to prevent apprehension for a crime more grave than a traffic
violation is just as great as that of the driver. And as “the passengers are already stopped by virtue of the stop of the vehicle,” “the
additional intrusion on the passenger is minimal,”
The Supreme Court is saying (but taking two cases to do it) that the police can order the driver out of the car once the car has been stopped for a
violation. (The Mimms rule) Then they say that [I]Mimms[/I] applies to passengers as well.
So unless the Supreme Court has reversed itself, or there's something else I haven't found, it is perfectly legal for the police to order anyone and
everyone out of a car they've stopped.
The idea that they had no right to speak to the passenger is entirely wrong, whatever SkepticOverlord might have said.
As far as asking him for ID, I believe that was legal, but set it aside for a minute. The police stop the car for a legitimate reason, seat belts.
They order the adults out of the car, as they are allowed to under the Supreme Court decisions I've just mentioned. The passenger says no. Under
Indiana law, as mentioned earlier, that is a Class B misdemeanor with a punishment of up to 6 months. The police see that offense occurring, and they
arrest him, which they should do. He refuses to go out, so to effect the arrest, they go in.
Now, back to speaking to the passenger. The police statement says that neither one had their seatbelts on. That means they were both violating the
seatbelt law, and they could be questioned, under Indiana law as well as Supreme Court decisions. The Indiana law reads:
IC 34-28-5-3.5 Refusal to identify self
Sec. 3.5. A person who knowingly or intentionally refuses to provide either the person's:
(1) name, address, and date of birth; or
(2) driver's license, if in the person's possession;
to a law enforcement officer who has stopped the person for an infraction or ordinance violation commits a Class C misdemeanor.
So, obviously the police can speak to the passenger if his seat belt was unbuckled. It's not buckled in the video. And as far as the passenger
being in fear, there's nothing in the video to indicate that. He asks several times if the "white shirts" are coming, and talks without sounding
excited or afraid (although that's a subjective judgment, I don't know what he would sound like if he really was afraid).
If there's anything I haven't explained well, please ask. I'd really like this to be understood.