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Searched and detained without cause, how would you feel?

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posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 09:40 PM
What would you call this????

Imagine if you will............your family has lived in the same neighborhood for 3 generations. You are known by the storekeepers, the neighbors on the street all say hello and ask how your parents and grandparents are doing. You are a hard working citizen with a family, pay taxes, own your home, and your children attend the same school you did. This is your community.

The police in the area begin a new plan to fight crime. As a concerned citizen you are on board with your mayor and chief of police, we all want safe streets and neighborhoods. There is a noticeably accelerated police presence and you begin to feel much safer.

You begin to notice officers stopping people just walking down the street and asking for identification and wanting to know where they are headed. (I thought as Americans we were free to take a walk.) You are just running to the store to grab a carton of milk for the baby and you forgot your wallet. The officers tell you to submit to a pat down search, yet you have committed no crime and you are right on the street a few houses from home. You tell the officers that you have done nothing and they have no reason to ask to search your person.

Suddenly you are thrown against the cruiser and searched, they find nothing amiss. Yet you have nothing to prove who you are and the officers take you down to the station and arrest you for not having id. You are charged with vagrancy and cannot pay bail because you have no id. Your wife or husband is not home and you cannot contact them so you are stuck to spend the night in jail until someone can produce ID for you.

Another scenario. Your son is on the way home from school and is waiting at the bus stop with his friends. He comes home and tells you that the police approached him and his friends as they were waiting for the bus to take them home, and they search him and his friends for nothing more than sitting at a bus stop. In speaking to your friends in the neighborhood you discover their children too have been subjected to unlawful searches as they too are on the way to or from school.

One more for your consideration. You have a broken tail light that you are not aware of. An officer pulls you over and asks for your license and registration informing you about the tail light. They ask you to step out of the car and to submit to a search. They pat you down, search your pockets and place you in cuffs and have you sit in the cruiser while they 'run your name'. As you are in the police vehicle the officers begin to search your car, trunk and all. Yet you have done nothing, you are pulled over for a minor traffic infraction and have been nothing but cooperative. They return your license to you give you a ticket and bid you a good day.

You talk to your neighbors one night about this and find that many of them have had similar experiences. As you and the neighbors are in the yard enjoying a cold beer discussing this an officer pulls up and gets out of the car. He approaches your group with gun drawn and tells you all to get down as he calls for back up. Again each member of the little group of neighbors enjoying a beer are searched. The porch of your home is searched and they search your entire yard. As your wife and young children are watching. When they protest they are threatened with arrest for impeding an investigation.

I would like to hear what the people here would think if the police in your home town behaved in such a manner.


posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 09:50 PM
That sounds like America ever since 911 ........

I understand ...our town is a just a small town about 8,000 or more maybe ..and everyone knows everyone ..and suddenly after 911 every law officer is told not to mingle with friends neighbors etc that everyone they know could be a potential terrorist (even though it is a redneck town with nothing but dimestore cowboys who cant even ride a horse lol) ........and so because the officers do know everyone they decide to hire all new from out of town (big city cops) who think they are all above the law ...and now everyone is pulled over for everything ..the ticket writings etc get so outrageous that even retired judges etc are complaining in our local newspaper in the letter to the editors about how they are just trying to make money off the townfolk with so many tickets they cant even keep up with collecting them ..

It is pitiful ...and what your describing is just as pitiful ..........

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 09:54 PM
Yeah luckily i live in Canada, where the police actually fear the citizens. Well on the east coast anyway.

If you know your rights, and are very verbal about them, without being seeming ignorant or beligerant, then the police will leave you alone. They know very well what they're limits are, but most people are fooled into giving up they're rights to police by using language that invites police officers to search, seize and detain you.

Be smart, know what your rights are, and be polite and EXTREMELY NICE to police, they hate that crap when they're trying to get something out of an informed citizen.

Ive been in those situations quite a few times and have turned the police around without so much as scream of bringing them to court or getting any sort of angry.

It's all about presentation.

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 09:58 PM
I would get together with the minorities who have been searched and get them to bring in Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton so they can play the race card. Notice how quick the police back off once they get accused of being racists.

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 10:11 PM
I do not understand how this can be legal. What happened to probable cause or civil rights? I know a young man that is very polite and well spoken and when he challenged the officer he ended up with a resisting arrest charge, and some nasty bruises. Of course the charges were dropped. What can citizens do?

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 10:17 PM
reply to post by redhead57

What can citizens do?

Get people to start videotaping it so one can have proof in court. If government can have cameras pointed at us, then why can't we point cameras at them. Once you have proof sue the city for everything it has. You might also want to contact the big media to do an undercover report. They love these kind of things.

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 10:17 PM

That's wierd. The bus station and tail light scenarios have happened to me. It sux when you've done nothing wrong, and the cops search you. You tell them they don't have the right to search you as you've done nothing wrong. That pisses them off so they get to throw you on the ground and pat you down.

Cops. Never met a good one

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 10:30 PM
Oh yeah undercover media ..that sounds too cool ..on the Local channel 8 in Dallas *(which is about 30 miles away) there is a reporter named Becky Oliver ..she gets in their faces ..even the Cities faces when the City does something wrong makes them get on it whatever it is they are putting off etc .........

And I agree ..they can tape us everywhere we go and everything we do so why shouldnt they have to have it pointed at them too ..

Even everyday local court should be on a live feed either TV or radio (local)...that would make them at least try and make an effort to actually uphold the law (If they are being held accountable in front of everyone) .................

Wish we all had live cop shows in our towns ..that would be cool ..
Badboys badboys whatcha gonna do ..whatcha gonna do when we are filming you ..badboys badboys lol ....

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 10:44 PM
Terry stops are legal according to the Supreme Court, and several of the things you mentioned fall under that law:

Frisking or a "patdown" is a search of a person's outer clothing wherein a police officer or other law enforcement agent runs his or her hands along the outer garments to detect any concealed weapons or other contraband.
In the case of Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), the Supreme Court of the United States held that police have the ability to do a limited search for weapons of areas within the suspect’s control based on a reasonable and articulable suspicion that the person stopped was "armed or dangerous" and had been, is, or was about to engage in a criminal act. The type of frisk authorized by this decision has become known as a Terry stop and frisk or simply Terry stop.

So it is not unusual for an officer to pat you down before questioning you, and many agencies require that an officer does so.

As to carrying ID, that falls under state to state laws, and if your state requires it, and it’s a crime to not have one, then you broke the law. If you don’t agree with it, then exercise your civic duties to lobby and have that law changed. You claim to be on the city board, so you should have some say in changing these laws.

Driving with a broken tail light is a citationable offence in most of the US, it does not matter if you knew it was broken or not. Ignorance is not an excuse for breaking the law, as any judge will be more then happy to inform you. The officer would not have cuffed you unless he had reasonable suspicion to do so, in most states they can only cuff you if you are under arrest. An officer can only search your vehicle without your permission if he has reasonable cause to do so (eg: He sees contraband on your car seat). If your story actually went down the way you claim, and you did not give the officer reasonable cause (giving him lip, throwing a fit, acting suspiciously, etc.) you might want to talk to an attorney about it.

As to your party, how much noise were you making? There is something defiantly being left out of that story, either intentionally or the couple of beers made your perception of events askew. Personally I think there is more to this story then you are letting on, after all everyone in prison is innocent too.

I notice you live in NY, and I know that they have had to crack down on people coming into certain neighborhoods to cause problems there, people who had no business being in those neighborhoods to begin with. If they altered the law to allow them to do this, then it is perfectly legal, unless you can get the law removed somehow.

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 10:57 PM
I am not part of any city board and didn't say that I was. These are incidents that I have either witnessed personally, experienced or have been told about by relatives.

I have sat and watched officers pull people over for traffic infractions and immediately take them out of the car, cuff them, place them in the back of the car and search their vehicle over their protests.

I have witnessed the scene with neighbors having a beer in their own yard and the cops coming into their yard and searched the porch and the yard. When my neighbors wife told them they had no right to search their porch as having a beer was not against the law, they put her in the police car while handling this woman very roughly.

I do not appreciate your attitude as I have no reason to fabricate a thing. This is something that i am seeing more and more and it concerns me. My nephew came over the other day and told me how he and some other kids from his high school were at the bus stop and the officers just got out of the car and approached them. They asked the boys to submit to a search with the rationale that if you have nothing to hide, you should have no problem with it. I think that is outrageous.

Our towns, cities and villages are becoming police states and it seems it is all done in the name of law and order. It seems to me that we are loosing our freedom at a very fast pace, and it is very scary for me to see this nation going down such a path.

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 10:58 PM
In the case of Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), the Supreme Court of the United States held that police have the ability to do a limited search for weapons of areas within the suspect’s control based on a reasonable and articulable suspicion that the person stopped was "armed or dangerous" and had been, is, or was about to engage in a criminal act. The type of frisk authorized by this decision has become known as a Terry stop and frisk or simply Terry stop.

Please explain to me how a broken tail light is in any way engaging in a dangerous criminal act?

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 11:11 PM

Originally posted by theendisnear69

Cops. Never met a good one

No wonder you get thrown down. You have an attitude and perspective begging for trouble.

I've been around cops all my life. I'm not a saint; there's a long list of the trouble I gotten myself into. But, as I said, I got myself into all of it w/o help from "bad" cops.

Here's the key to these situations:

Police only need "reasonable suspicion" to believe a crime has been or is about to be committed to stop you, and ask for id. Our Courts have given them this right. They can even conduct a "pat down" for safety. You can't win that one.

Remember, they have the guns and radios. You will lose if you challenge them. Instead, be cooperative. Ask them what is wrong in your neighborhood that this is happening.

Sadly, same is true for busstops. There have been a series of busstop robberies just in the past 10 days in some parts of my city. Police are actively patrolling them now. Cooperate, and maybe you'll find there really is something going on for cops to be suspicious. Then, you can take whatever precautions you need to protect yourself, family, property. In Texas, that includes carrying a gun.

In your car, it's a different story. Police must have "probable cause" to arrest before they can search you or your vehicle/contents. Almost every cop who thinks he can get away with it will ask, "You mind if I look in the car?" Almost every driver, already pissed or tense, will stammer, "Uh, okay."

WRONG answer.

If you give permission, you have given "consent to search." Again, thank our Courts.

The 4th Am. provides for freedom from "unreasonable search and seizure" for you and your stuff.

Again, cooperate. The cop has stopped you. He expects one or both of 2 things: you are pissed, and/or you are an armed criminal.
WAIT for him to come to you and tell you what to do. DO NOT reach for ANYTHING! 9 times out of 10, he wants to give you a ticket and get the hell out out there. Why give him more to do? You are already stopped; get it over with. Cooperate.

If you are searched without permission and not incident to arrest, you have a civil rights claim. You can't bring it on the street, so don't try or play your hand. Wait 'til you get home. There are attorneys and organizations slobbering on themselves (think ACLU) to do this for you.

Same goes for your home. If they do not have a warrant, they can't come in. UNLESS you (or someone else)invite(s) them. If you agree, see above. If they search w/o arrest or warrant, see above again.

In many states, it is unlawful to consume alcohol or be intoxicated "in public." Outside, in your front yard is considered in most cities to be"in public." Do one or the other, and you are inviting a neighbor or a cop to invite themselves to your party.

You don't have to fear cops. You have remedies.

If you and your neighbors are being harassed, select a spokesman, and approach the attorneys/orgs. mentioned above.

You don't need tapes, videos, or pictures. You have live witnesses and several police reports. Police dispatchers will provide you for $1 or so per page a list of the calls to a street or address over any given period of time.

I've seen 'em and gotten 'em and used 'em. Verrrry Helpful. (You'll also see what's really going on in your neighborhood!)

You are not defenseless. There are remedies. But, an ounce of prevention... . Why pick a fight you can't win? Choose your 'battles' carefully.

deny ignorance

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 11:22 PM
reply to post by redhead57

From my understanding, NY had to crack down on certain areas because people were coming in with drugs, guns, and causing problems in general. If you feel that its unjustified, but they had passed a law allowing it, then your only recourse is to fight that law. You cannot have it both ways, you either want the neighborhoods cleaned up, or you want total freedom, you cannot have both because everyone gives the cops an excuse as to why what they are doing is justified in their minds. No one ever agrees with the police when they are the one who is under their scrutiny, and they tend to slant the story in their favor every time. There are the occasional bad police who break the rules, but if they are all doing what you claimed then they must be following the law, even if you are not aware of all the details. They also don’t have to justify those details with the neighbor.

Just as an example, having a beer, or having a couple beers, is such a cliché that many officers immediately start treating you differently once that comes out of your mouth. The reason is that to most people, when confronted by police, a Keg quickly becomes a couple of beers if they think they are about to be in trouble, and cops HATE it when you try and lie to them.

Originally posted by redhead57
Please explain to me how a broken tail light is in any way engaging in a dangerous criminal act?

A broken taillight is a driving infraction, they are allowed to pull you over for that and write you a citation. If they find probable cause during that stop, they are allowed to ramp things up to the next level. For example, if the officer smelled marijuana, spotted a weapon, saw drug paraphernalia, or even if the subject simply fit the description of a known criminal. In most states though they are only allowed to cuff you if you are in custody, which means you are either under arrest or being held for questioning. If they question you at that point, they have to read you your Miranda rights, however they don’t have to do so if they are simply going to arrest you and not question you.

I would have to say at the very least, the person who was pulled over was suspected of having a warrant, or was someone who fit the description of a criminal they were looking for. There has to be more to this story then what your friend told you.

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 11:25 PM
Your Civil Rights may have been violated OR they may have not been...
One of the first things that you have to consider is your state (or province) laws.
In my state there are three levels of legal authority to arrest/detain/question. Basically they are:

1. An officer sees you actually commit a crime. In this instance, he has every right to arrest you on the spot - no questions asked. Everything goes at this point - they are going to strip you down whether you like it or not.

2. Probable Cause. An example of this would be if someone reported that they were robbed by someone and give a description. You just happen to be in that vicinity and reasonably match that description. The judgment is in entirely at the discretion of the officer. In this case you can be detained/arrested pending further investigation. A "Terry" stop/frisk/pat-down would - at the least - be conducted and be legal.

3. Reasonable Suspicion. In this case, its more based on common sense. Let's say someone reports a burglary by unknown person(s) at 2 a.m. and you just happen to be spotted by the police a block away, ten minutes later, doing whatever (walking your dog, howling at the moon, etc.). A stop and pat-down for weapons could be conducted. Anything illegal found, even if incidental, could be used against you at this point. Still, the officer has the right to conduct a pat-down for his own safety. If he gains enough information - or suspicion - it may then elevate into a probable cause. Depending upon what you tell him...

There is actually a fourth category and that is a mere random encounter. In this case, the officer has no right to do anything to you. The problem is one of information. That is, you not may be privy to everything the officer knows that may or may not give him authority to stop you. Let's say you are standing in line at the movie theatre. A cop cannot just walk up and frisk you just because he wants to. don't know if someone had told the cop that someone fitting your description had a weapon and was going to use it to harm someone in the theatre. See the problem?

In all cases it is best to comply with the police and not resist. However, that does not mean you abdicate the right to further investigate the incident and pursue civil litigation if it turns out that you were wronged.
Some of the incidents that you related seem to be, at first blush, clearly over-the-top. However, remember that it is not just YOUR perception of the events that matters. The officer's opinion counts too. The entirety of the circumstances is all in question. That is: Where were you? What were you doing? What else was going on at the time?
My advice is to look into it. If you are telling the full truth then you probably deserve and can receive restitution. If your account is somehow inaccurate then the officers judgment will - and should - stand.

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 11:43 PM
jdub297 & passenger, very nice posts, much better explained then I did.

Since I brought it up above, and it might be unclear, I guess that I should explain that questioning has several different levels to it. An officer can ask you basic questions, like your ID, what you are doing in an area, etc… without requiring them to read you your Miranda rights. If they start asking you incriminating questions about a crime, that is when questioning crosses over to where your Miranda rights need to be read to you. I forget the actual terminology of what each level is called, but there are different levels of it.

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 11:44 PM
I'll go one better on the scenarios....I get illegally searched every time I fly. These people that work for the TWA are NOT cops, have NO jurisdictional power, haven't even completed BASIC SECURITY GUARD law enforcement classes. Yet they are Federally mandated by the government. Now the big kicker is, if I got crappy treatment from bouncers a club, I can go to a different club, where the bouncers aren't so bad. But with aviation, it's not like I can choose Delta because their bouncers are nicer than American Airlines! But it keeps us safe right?

Understand, I'm all for security and keeping flights as safe as possible, but you don't have to root through my luggage with no cause.

Assuming the club industry was like the airlines, it would be the same uneducated and in most cases un-certified a holes that the city hired, and forced on all club owners to use as security.

Call me conservative, but I don't believe that the government has the right to interfere in my daily life and choices.

If I want to use my shampoo instead of the crap i get at a hotel, that should be my right.

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 11:46 PM
I apologize, I realized after re reading my post, it's a bit off topic. I was trying to draw a correlation between all illegal searches, not just by the police. If deemed necessary, by all means mods, delete my post.

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 11:55 PM
reply to post by midnightbrigade

Air travel - that's sort of a problematic area. The actual carriers are private, so they can retain their own standards for security. Technically, they can refuse to admit you for any reason they think of. But they are also public carriers/institutions so they are subject to regulation by the government. Its one of those nebulous areas that sort of fits into both categories and thus opens you up to both standards. You probably are having your rights violated at some point but good luck in ever getting it sorted out.

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 11:57 PM
reply to post by midnightbrigade

You are absolutely incorrect, and I’ll tell you why.
The airport is private property and the airlines are private businesses. You agree to that search when you enter the secure area of an airport, and you agree to surrender certain rights when you fly on a private airlines aircraft. You are free to refuse to be searched at an airport, but you will not be granted access to the terminal areas. You are also free to refuse to follow the rules of each individual airline, and if you do, then they are free to deny you service or even have you arrested. No one is twisting your arm to get on an airplane, there are other methods or transportation available to you.

Flying on an airline is not a right protected under the constitution, its an agreement between privately owned businesses and customers. Businesses which have to operate under a high level of security for safety reasons.

Oh, BTW, Airport Police ARE Federal Police Officers, and checkpoint personnel are now Officers of Home Land Security. The Checkpoint personnel do not arrest you, (at least they could not years ago, not sure if they can now), but they can detain you until the Airport Police arrive to effect the arrest.

posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 12:08 AM
My feeling is that if one has nothing to hide, then one should not be concerned with being searched. The police excersize reasonable caution when contacting someone, that is to say if they "feel" a threat is present then they have the right to make sure through search. Most if not all people that come in contact with a police officer and become overtly nervous are attempting to conceal something or have warrants. The everyday law abiding citizen will cooperate with law enforcement when ever possible. A police officer's job is to protect and serve, not treat someone that hes just commited a crime like a baby, not coddle someone for their screw up, and not to be your "friend"

Yes sure some police officers are bad, so are some doctors, lawyers, preists, ect ect. People have a misconception of police in general and some who have been in constant trouble swear that they "are out to get them" I once ran out of gas on side of a very busy highway during rush hour trafic. I had no money on me and no credit cards to speak of and worse I was 40 miles from home. A municipal police officer pulled up behind my car, got out and approached my window.

The officer asked me for no ID or registration, but did ask "are you ok?" I then explained the situation to him. This officer took me to a local gas station and using his own money filled a gas can for me, refusing any payback of the money. I was then returned to my car, put the gas in the tank and he even cleared a path for me to pull back out into traffic. True story, now don't you think if I was demonstrating some tell tale signs of criminal nature, the story would have a diferant outcome?

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