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Experiencing the Patriot Act

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posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 10:20 AM
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Well folks, I just got back from a 4,600 mile road trip around the United States. Starting in PA my friends and I managed to go as far west as Colorado and as far south as Texas, never making it as far as the west coast. However, the trip itself is a moot point, while an event that occurred on the trip is not.

We were on Route 66 in Oklahoma and we had just got off the highway to get gas. As we approached the entrance ramp to get back on the highway, we noticed a police vehicle across the street. We did nothing wrong as we pulled onto the ramp, however, the officer thought differently and decided to pull us over on the ramp.

He approached the car and asked us how we were doing, raking the car thoroughly with his eyes. After my friend (the driver) gave his license, registration, and insurance - the officer also asked myself and our other friend to produce identification as well. We obliged and he went back and ran all of our IDs.

After he returned he asked the driver to get out of the car. He proceeded to pat him down and then asked to search the car. He returned to me and asked if we should let him and I thought to myself "Well damn, if he wants to search it he is going to do it regardless. We have nothing to hide."

He asked us if we were smuggling weapons or drugs and we explained that we had some knives. He told us that didn't matter. He then proceeded to pry through all our luggage we had for a 2 week expanse. After about 15 minutes later, he informed us that the reason he pulled us over was:

"Because we looked suspicious because it isn't too often you see three guys driving through with no females with them."

Dumbfounded, he told us to have a good day and left.



Now the reason I post this is because all too often, when I speak about rights being infringed in America, people always call me out as to exactly how they are affecting me. Well here is one prime example. I had my personal belongings stripped and combed for the simple fact that we didn't have a woman in the car with us on the road trip.


So now my questions to all - how many other have experienced something of this nature? Was your experience similar or different? Is there anything we can do against such erratic behavior?




posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 11:02 AM
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reply to post by gwydionblack
 


You gave him consent to search you , did you not ?

How exactly was this "experiencing the patriot act" ?

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posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 11:11 AM
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In December, 2009, I was taking a friend home from work. It was around midnight or so when we hit the road his neighborhood is on. A cop car got behind me. It was easily recognized by how close he got to my bumper to read my tag.
The instant that I turned on my blinker to enter my friends neighborhood, on come the blue lights. I pulled over just inside the subdivision and the cop came up and asked for my DL. I handed them over and asked why I was being pulled over. He said "I get to that in a minute" and walked back to his car.
About 5 minutes later, he came back to the window, handed me my DL back, thanked me and wished me a good night.

I asked again why I was pulled over.

Apparently, there had been a rash of home invasions in the area and the local and county LEOs were pulling over every car entering every neighborhood at night that did not have their county tag.

So, while I can give some merit to the reasoning, it seemed like over the top profiling to me to be pulled over and run through the system just because I was helping a friend out.



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 11:12 AM
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Great to have you back Gwydion, I've missed you here. I was afraid perhaps that you had gotten banned or something.

Anyhow, I think that cop lied to you. He saw 3 young guys riding (all in your 20's to early 30's right?) and figures "AHA! Here's an easy dope bust".

You handled it well but what he did was illegal if you ask me as he had no probable cause.

Next time one of you guys wear a wig and lipstick. If you get pulled over the cop probably won't even want to be near the car


Again, happy you're back home at ATS, you've got alot of catching up to do!



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 11:19 AM
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After he returned he asked the driver to get out of the car. He proceeded to pat him down and then asked to search the car. He returned to me and asked if we should let him and I thought to myself "Well damn, if he wants to search it he is going to do it regardless. We have nothing to hide."


Er, fourth amendment.

He isn't going to do it "regardless" if you understand the states laws regarding search and seizure. You GAVE HIM CONSENT. You EFFECTIVELY ALLOWED HIM TO VIOLATE YOUR RIGHTS.

This has NOTHING to do with the patriot act. This has to do with someone who giving up their own rights because they seem to not understand them.



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 04:27 PM
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reply to post by gwydionblack
 


Welcome home and back to ATS gwdionblack indeed your postings and threads were missed. I am in two minds about giving your consent to being searched. You gave it you are home. Wondered what would have happened if you had not. How long before a warrant would have been issued with many blank fill in spaces for he officer to finish filling in when he was done. Good news was you were not physically searched where you and your friends could have been hiding the drugs. LOL.... seriously though also lucky was the fact that he did not start removing car parts from your vehicle.

I have in the early 70's traveled alone in my Mustang and driving long distances without stop overs, slept for a hour every now n then in the car after pulling over somewhere that appeared in the dark to be safe. I traveled with a weapon as I picked up hitchers as I traveled from military base to military base. Pulled over many times and never had any problems. I would not consider doing that kind of traveling today as there is a different breed of LEO patrolling the highways with a different agenda. I also don't think I would be picking up hitchers either. Different times different people. Nevertheless glad you had your trip and this was the worse of your stories. (I assumed that)!

If I was given the choice of consent I honestly don't know what I would do.



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 05:22 PM
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reply to post by gwydionblack
 


yeah there is you and your friends should never think you have nothing to hide it doesn't matter if you do or not. From here on out if you get pulled over and they ask to search your car tell them "NO". they hate that and that's what i love about it. Now once you do so he will try every legal means he can think of to search your car. whether he follows through with it or not is up to him. Me personally i like to make their earn their paycheck when they pull me over. and don't be fooled if they say they can search it without your consent, they wouldn't ask if they didn't need it.

[edit on 17-6-2010 by shortyboy]



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 05:35 PM
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reply to post by shortyboy
 


This.

The belief that an officer will go through any lengths to be able to search you is slightly bogus.

They will try, very hard I might add. They will threaten to bring K-9 around. They will call for back up. More than likely not though, if you didn't do anything and the cop can't prove anything, all that will happen is that they will waste your time and resources trying to screw with you.

More often than not an officer won't go too over the line especially if you appear to know your rights. And if you know them, a cop can't do a damn thing to search your car unless you actually DID something. Even then, they may lie saying you did something to warrant a search and that is when they are really screwed.

When I'm out in a car, I don't go anywhere without at least a tape recorder, at most a camera.

In this case, the OP did not need to give the officer consent even though he did. And he can't blame anyone but himself for doing so.

Must feel good to have the right to give up your rights but not have the balls to use your rights instead.

[edit on 17-6-2010 by SpectreDC]



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 05:46 PM
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reply to post by gwydionblack
 


Welcome back! We have had many lively discussions.

And yes, I have been pulled over serched, beaten, arrested and thrown in jail more than a few times "on suspicion"

Being a long haired, bearded hippie at one time was an open invitation to being rousted and abused by LEOs. Not so much anymore.

My experience with the patriot act lately has always been at airports, having my luggage searched, my business display and inventory being gone thru and a "through" physical exam by TSA agents.







[edit on 17-6-2010 by whaaa]



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 06:06 PM
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We were on Route 66 in Oklahoma


Come on man...he probably just wanted someone to talk to...gotta be lonely out there.


But I don't know...do you really feel like your rights were violated?

I have been stopped for some odd "suspicions"...and always let go like you were. I have never been asked to have my car searched...but I would let them if asked...I hardly keep anything in my car so no big deal. Each time I have been let go after a brief talk and me being honest with the cop...I really never felt like my rights were violated. I have been "randomly" screened at airports...my wife's bags were choosen as a "random" search and the took out everything. It is a pain, but no big deal really.

I don't know...I don't like drama...if they wanted to do a cavity search...then maybe I would feel violated.


Hope you had fun on your trip.



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 06:09 PM
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reply to post by gwydionblack
 


While several members have all ready quite effectively explained to you why your rights were violated, and they were done so upon the granting of jurisdiction you and your friends willingly gave that police officer, I would like to remind you of a comment you once made to me in one of your own threads, of which you can find here:




Maybe I am unique in my sense. So far in life I am the only person I have ever known that understands the notion of individual liberties completely, without having some kind of convoluted enforced paradigm that infringes on individuality. So long as it doesn't hurt somebody, you shouldn't need permission to do ANYTHING. That is individuality. That is liberty. That is FREEDOM.


You gave that police officer permission to violate your rights, and more than likely, you did so out of expedience, but for whatever reasons you chose to grant jurisdiction to that officer, clearly you were mistaken in your belief that you are unique in your sense of individuality and understanding of liberty. Obviously there are a few in this current thread who understand quite well what liberty is, and seemingly more willing to challenge authority than you and your friends were at this event you described.

It is important to know the law, and acquiescence is a legal tactic by which your acquiescence becomes legally construed as either willing approval, or tacit approval. Clearly you did not approve of the police officers actions, but your willingness to assert your rights when the opportunity arose, and was necessary in order to enjoy your rights, fell short of your own self assessment of your uniqueness.

[edit on 17-6-2010 by Jean Paul Zodeaux]



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 06:11 PM
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Originally posted by UmbraSumus
reply to post by gwydionblack
 


You gave him consent to search you , did you not ?

How exactly was this "experiencing the patriot act" ?

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Exactly if they have to ask then they need permission. Otherwise they would just do it. Now some of these a-holes will if you refuse to consent make you sit there and wait for a drug dog for hours etc. but still if they ask it is because they need consent.



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 06:12 PM
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reply to post by gwydionblack
 


I got a better theory for you.

But first, I have to ask a couple of questions, answer if you want to.

Did you stay at a hotel/motel/inn?

Did you pay cash at that hotel/motel/inn?



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 06:19 PM
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reply to post by whatukno
 


I like the way you are thinking on this line Wuk, as surely paying cash has become more and more a so called "reasonable suspicion" these days, but even if the O.P. did stay at an motel/hotel and pay cash, why wouldn't the police officer just use that excuse for pulling them over rather than the one he did? Both are lame, but more people seem willing to accept the cashless society today and the suspicious nature of using cash than they would be willing to accept that three males traveling without a female is suspicious.



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 06:19 PM
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FlexYourRights.Org


Created by Flex Your Rights and narrated by retired ACLU director Ira Glasser, BUSTED realistically depicts the pressure and confusion of common police encounters

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Mr. James Duane, a professor at Regent Law School and a former defense attorney, tells you why you should never agree to be interviewed by the police.

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An experienced police officer tells you why you should never agree to be interviewed by the police.

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Some very informative videos- worth checking out - imho.





[edit on 17-6-2010 by UmbraSumus]



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 06:28 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 



but even if the O.P. did stay at an motel/hotel and pay cash, why wouldn't the police officer just use that excuse for pulling them over rather than the one he did?


Because there is nothing overtly illegal in paying cash for a hotel room.

But the point is this.

The FBI contacts the front desk personnel of hotels, they are looking for people from out of state, paying cash. They want the hotel clerk to copy down all of the information about the people checking in.

Now, when the clerk does this, they check the people in as normal, the clerk then calls the FBI, the clerk gives the FBI all of this information, the agent takes that information, and decides whether or not it's a probable drug collar.

The FBI sends word to local authorities to be on the lookout for the cash payers car, and the police will pull that car over for any reason whatsoever, they will also use any reason whatsoever to search the vehicle.

What's in it for the clerk? Well, if the above cash payer car has drugs in it, the FBI agent will return to the hotel a week or so later with an envelope filled with cash equal to a percentage of the street value of the drugs confiscated and give it to the clerk who called in the cash payer.

I suspect that is the case with the OP's run in with the cops.



posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 12:37 AM
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reply to post by UmbraSumus
 


I personally did not give him consent, but my friend did. I'm not so much worried about the consent, but the reasoning for the search in the first place which seemed to be non-existent.



reply to post by wheresthetruth
 


Exactly how I felt. Last I checked, profiling was illegal and I don't exactly see how random passerbys match the description for criminals.



reply to post by Asktheanimals
 


We talked about what we would do if we ran into the situation again and similar scenarios popped up in the conversation.


It is good to be back. Damn oil spill has the world in a riot.


reply to post by SpectreDC
 




reply to post by SpectreDC
 



Touche'. However, I had a close friend experience a similar situation a few years back. He did not give the officer consent to search the vehicle and he was held until he did.

I've heard plenty of other horror stories how if you decline to be searched, they will take it as reasonable suspicion that you are hiding something and thus search regardless. How exactly do you win in such a situation?


reply to post by IceHappy
 


Thanks for the 'welcome back'


As I said I heard horror stories and more than once I have heard about officers stripping vehicles down and leaving you to do the cleanup. I did not want that situation. As much as I wanted to tell my friend to refuse consent, I knew it would just open a can of worms.


reply to post by whaaa
 


If I were ever beaten by a cop, rest assured he would get an equal or more of a beating than I, especially on the grounds of "suspicion". Sounds like you have been through the ringer with LEO's.



reply to post by OutKast Searcher
 



I didn't feel SO violated by the search as much as the reasoning for the stop to begin with. The only problem with the search was the fact that we had a trunk packed full of about 8 bags and suitcases, as well as half of a back seat full of stuff. It was just completely ridiculous to me.



reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


Let me clarify for you. It was my friends car, he was driving, and he gave the officer permission outside of the vehicle where we could not hear them. I can more than guarantee that if it we me, in my vehicle, and I wasn't 2000 miles from home, I wouldn't have given the officer time of day. Sadly, I didn't make the call and he was already in the process at the trunk of the car.

I suppose I could have made a scene and stepped out of the vehicle and demanded he release the luggage and step away from the vehicle, but I highly doubt it would have gone down as smoothly as that. When it comes to personally run ins with LEOs I have asserted my rights quite fluently, but luckily I was never faced with anything like this until this time.

I might not be unique as I made myself out to be, but I still value my individual liberties more than most people I know seem to. For instance, my friend was quick and willing to allow the search, no questions asked. I would not have been so eased into doing so.



reply to post by whatukno
 


We stayed at a couple of motels, yes, however my friend used his credit card at all of them.



reply to post by UmbraSumus
 


I'll be sure to check them out the first chance I get.


reply to post by whatukno
 


Nah, no cash here. I mean we might have used cash at one hotel in Colorado but that is it. Other than that, all of us were using plastic currency.




It intrigued me the most that he required ALL of our identifications. Had I been in a better mood, and more on my toes (this was the last leg of the journey and I was pretty exhausted, just wanting to get home) I might have been more astute to the situation at hand, but alas I was not.

Thanks for the replies, and I love hearing about other people's experience with the officers that patrol out nation. Fun stuff.



posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 01:07 AM
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reply to post by gwydionblack
 


The scenario you describe would be different if you were black. I mean it was Oklahoma after all. But I think others in this thread are being too technical. The cop pulled you over without a reason. Yes, you gave permission to search the vehicle and you didn't have to. But a police officers need reasonable suspicion to investigate you. Saying you didn't have a women in the car shouldn't make anyone suspicious.

Reminds me of this clip from Wild Hogs.




posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 01:11 AM
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reply to post by gwydionblack
 



I've heard plenty of other horror stories how if you decline to be searched, they will take it as reasonable suspicion that you are hiding something and thus search regardless. How exactly do you win in such a situation?


In this case it depends on where you are. State and even local laws differ all over the country when it comes to "reasonable suspicion", "probable cause", etc, etc.

I don't know where you were in OK. I don't know OK's search and seizure laws.

I'll tell you this though, there is not a federal, state, or local law that makes the denial of consent reasonable suspicion to search a car. Not a single damn one.

If I was your friend, firstly I would never have given him consent. If he was rather adamant in receiving consent, I would have asked for his badge number and supervisors name immediately. I would also recite verbatim the areas laws (I'm not kidding when I say I can recite my local and state laws related to these sort of events verbatim).

I would dare the officer to mess with me. Because if he did, and he did something he can't do, he wouldn't be an officer anymore. I'm a tenacious little asshole like that.

Again, I tend to travel with some form of recording device. And I do so for good reason. I can tell you this though; I've gotten a cop thrown off the force before. In fact, I quite enjoyed it. And I'm willing and able to do it again.

Keep in mind with all of this, I show respect. I don't respect his authority, but I respect him as person trying to make a living. I don't WANT to get a cop thrown off the job but if a cop wants to # with me I will do it in a heart beat.

The thing about police encounters is that people tend to be ignorant of the law. If you're not ignorant of the law, you're pretty much in the clear. Cops use ignorance of the law to their advantage.

The "Flex your rights" video posted is a good one too. Watch it. It gives a general idea of what you should do.

And I apologize for defaming your character slightly. I forgot the tidbit where it was your friends car and not yours.



posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 04:56 AM
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I have always found it more helpful for me when I was polite and cooperative with the police. Seems to have worked so far. Course, oddly enough, I apparently have lucked out and (according to ATS standards) have exclusively dealt with those rare police officers who weren't tazer happy maniacs.



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