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Gay man was ‘joking’ with friends about his dislike of police
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier has ordered an internal investigation into a gay man’s arrest for disorderly conduct after the man filed a complaint alleging that an officer detained and arrested him for expressing his dislike for police.
Hughes said the arresting officer's version of what happened would be reflected in a police report at the Second District police station, but the report is not a public document and isn't available to the media or public.
In an e-mail to Lanier, Tuma said that after repeating twice to his friends in a “sing-song” voice, “I hate the police,” an officer “charged 40-50 feet towards us while yelling at me phrases like ‘who do you think you are’ and ‘who do you think you’re talking to.’”
“As Officer Culp moved me toward a police cruiser, he told me to ‘just shut up, faggot,’” Tuma told Lanier in his e-mail.
D.C. attorney Luke Platzer, one of Tuma’s two friends to witness the arrest, said he and a second friend, attorney Dave Stetson, were approached by a D.C. police sergeant shortly after police drove Tuma to the station to process his arrest. Platzer said the sergeant, whose last name is Geer, told them he observed Tuma attempting to “resist” arrest in a disorderly way and asked them if they would give a statement confirming his observation.
“We said, ‘No, we did not see that at all,’” Platzer told the Blade. “We thought he was trying to trick us into saying that there was physical resistance by Pepin to the arrest. That is not true.”
“As a general proposition, saying the police are no good or that you hate the police — that’s not grounds for a disorderly conduct charge,” Block said. “There are court decisions holding that you can’t be charged with disorderly conduct by merely insulting or even cursing at a police officer.”
“Generally speaking, Chief Lanier takes allegations such as this very seriously. She has stated publicly, in the past, she will not tolerate discrimination, abuse of power or unprofessional behavior,” Parson said. “I have every reason to believe she will take appropriate action should the investigation determine members of our department have acted in such a manner.”
Be careful what you say. Duh.
Originally posted by chiron613
Be careful what you say. Duh.
No, he's got a right to say whatever he wants, even if it is offensive to the police. The officer had no right to arrest this guy on the grounds of his stating that he hated the police. That is no crime. The cop was abusing his authority by arresting him. He was out of line.
Having said that, it is generally unwise to antagonize *anyone* who is armed with a pistol, a night stick, handcuffs, pepper spray, sometimes a taser gun, who is trained to subdue unruly people, and who can easily call for backup.
So if you hate cops, keep it to yourself when they're around. If they're as bad as you think, then you're going to get hurt or worse. If they leave you alone, then your hatred of them is without basis. Either way, you lose.