reply to post by ararisq
Im gonna reply but im not going to quote so we dont end up with a wall of text.
As far as the first part goes, it needs to be understood that Law Enforcement does not actually charge a person. We do our investigation, and issue a
citation or arrest the person and place them on a 24/48 hour hold (depends on state). We submit our PC statement to the PA that details the charge
with supporting facts to meet the criteria. At this point its is entirely within the perview of the PA on what happens.
They can either go forward with our PC, reduce the charge, charge them under a different statute or delcine to prosecute all together. When laws are
passed the AG will at times give his offical position on how a law should be enforced, which gives us clarity when dealing with a call, and the PA for
the county in terms of prosecuting a crime.
As far as taking something to court, and I see this argument alot, where people make the rgument its not a law violation I ask this. How do you know
its not a law violation? I dont mean any disrespect by being direct with that, but I see that a lot, yet no one can explain why its suppsedly not a
In terms of a trendh, I agree and disagree. I agree that cameras and audio recording are on the rise, and its done in part to protect suspects/victims
etc, as well as the Officer. I was involved in a pursuit where I was accused of pulling the drivers girlfriend of the back of his motorcycle and
throwing her to the ground. The guy went the whole 9 yeards, accusing me of lieing in my report, etc etc. My dash cam and audio was part of my
evidence, and in the end vindicated me and created additional charges against my accuser for filing a false report.
Becuase we are in the time of suing, a lot of departments are moving to more advanced technology for audio, video etc, including tasers with auido and
video and duty weapons with the same. The examples people cite about, and I will use the ones in the OP, is one of the reoccuring issues I see on this
point. I have had this argument a few times now, and the same incidents are used.
If a cop misbehaves then yes, it makes the news. When I stop a vehicle for a violation, issue a citation, chat a bit with the driver, send them on
their way and I go bak in service, does not make for very good news, let alone something to watch on youtube.
See my point there? Sucess is not reported, just failure.
The commands from officers, in the examples you are using, is a problem. If I am telling a person to get the camera out of my face, or get out of my
way, that is a clue that they are to close and are interfering in the situation. Lets use the TSA incident as an example. Airports in this country are
private, not public. The TSA has some federal comissions in their ranks, but for the most part they are not comissioned law enforcement, which means
the 42 SC 1983 requirements generally will not apply since they are not operating under the color of law.
Pulling a camera out in an airport is not illegal - except when an employee or designated person (designated by a competant authority who can speak
for the airport-owner, operating official etc) tells you to stop. Refusing to comply can rise to a criminal offense at the moment you are told to
stop. Failure to stop and you can be told to leave. Failure to leave is a criminal offense because its now tresspassing.
Ive had this issue in a Hospital before where a family was interfering with medical staff. Secuirty told these people on numerous occasion to calm
down and elt medical work. Finally a fight broke out, security detained 3 of them, and I transported them to jail for tresspassing.
People do not adequately understand what their rights are when they are observing, nor do they understand their rights when being detained. They do
not understand their rights while on private property, and I believe this is an issue we constantly run into here in these forums.
As far as my comment about it not being bad, because its down to 1 state. My point is if we were in a Police State, this discussion would not be
taking place. The article info you cited would not be allowed, and this discussion here would be non existant. In a Police State, the rule of law is
replaced by the law of Rule. The simple fact that this crap occurs, and makes it to court, and the Government gets spanked by the judge is a constant
reminder that our system, while no where near perfect, works as it should.
The flip side to your argument is whats the difference between a Police State where the Government rules, and a State where the rule of law is ignored
and personal justice becomes the norm? Damned if we do, damned if we dont.
Traffic Stops are goofy as each State has criteria on how they work, while having an overall governing guidline by the Supreme Court of the US. Some
State will not allow officers to ask questions or perform any actions that go beyond the intial reason for the stop. The state I am in does not have
this requirement, however the PA makes it very clear that a pretextual stop wont be accepted (we cant pull someone over for speeding with the intent
of searching the car because we might find drugs).
Does it happen? Of course because no one is perfect. What it does do for us though it reminds us why we are here, that we are to serve the public and
not the other way around, and forces us to hold ourselves to a higher standard. It no different than pulling a person over and giving a ticket for no
seatbelt, when the officer himself doesnt wear one.
I agree with the overall direction you think we need to go. At the same time though seeing this argument from both sides of the fence, I think some of
the issue brought up are more of an issue for people who dont adequately understand their rights, or even how the system works. I dont know how many
times I am accused of false charges, writing citations to raise money etc.
LEO's dont work for the Judicial branch, we work for the executive. We have nothing to do with passing laws, or finding people guilty and issuing
fines. Thats all done by the court system, so we are not the ones to argue with to make your case, thats what the judge is for.
I do personally belive some incidents are blown out of proportion, and this goes back to people not understanding their rights. An example is in
another thread a person told people they had a right to video record a traffic stop they are involved in. They do not, as they are seized under the
4th amendment and as such freedom of movement and actions in restricted.
I also beleive some of these video incidents are done on purpose in order to elicit a response from Law Enforcement for whatever reason. Personally I
fell at times its done for a settlement because most City councils are concerned about PR and the cost of fighting a lawsuit, they would rather jsut
pay out to make something go away, instead of standing their ground and backing the officer.
Long story short - by all means we need to hold our government accountible, including the Police. This i done by participation in government at all
levels. At the same time I just want to remind people that have no concept of how our job works (and watching cops does not qualify a person to know
how our job works) that 99 percent of the time we have legitimate reasons for our actions, and the camera does not always show the entire story.
If you really want an idea of how things on this side work, talk to your local law enforcement agency to see if they allw ride alongs and try to do
one. This allows you to ride along with an officer and see and experiance our side of the fence.
When being pulled over by a cop, people are nervous about getting a ticket. When we pull someone over for speeding, we are nervous about being shot
and killed by an escaped felon that we possibly just pulled over.
Its not as simple as people make it out to be. I urge people to check into doing a ride along, if for no toher reason than to attempt to see things on
Thanks for letting me post another wall of text.. Sorry its long winded, but in my opinion at times knowledge is power and its good to get info from
both sides of the issue. It helps us find common ground and createds a better understanding.