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Residents videotaping officers 'worries' HPD's chief

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posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 03:05 PM
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Originally posted by PsykoOps
reply to post by Xcathdra
 


Ok so we agree that it is very rare but anything can be a gun if it's hidden. Then this comes to mind. How long does it take an officer to determine wheter a cellphone is a cellphone or a cellphone gun? Or any other item for that matter. After such determination isn't the issue then resolved?


A very good question that goes to the heart of this issue..

I am going to point out first and foremost that the Supreme Court has set the standard for an officers use of force as "what the officer perceived at the moment the use of force occured".

Secondly, there are 2 answers to this question -

1st - The person gets out of their car prior to the officer making contact
2nd - The person gets out of their car after the officer has made contact

Both are equally danggerous. If we talk to the driver, and everything seems as it should be, it does not mean the danger is gone. We are not allowed to search a vehicle unless we have a warrant, consent, or PC to do so. Just because the cell phone we initially see the driver using, does not mean its real, nor does it mean its the only one in the car.

It does not mean the person does not have a concealed weapon on their persons (some states allow you to carry a concealed weapon on your person in your vehicle, regardless if you have a CCW or not. Unless the individual has a warrant for his arrest, I have to be able to articulate why I would pull the driver out of the vehicle to frisk for contraband / weapons. I can articulate Officer Safety, but even then the question comes back to did you have any prior contact with the driver that would lead you to beleive he is armed or a danger to the officer?

Hell its posible the driver is not who he says he is, and the same goes for passnegers. I come into contact with lots of people who dont have their drivers license on them for whatever reason. While technically they are suppose to, I just run their verbal info through the MDT and pull up their info and picture and compare. I have had a few people with warrants get caught this way.

Unless I ask for consent, or the person is under suspicion of DWI/DUI, I cannot search the vehicle. Arizona V. Gant refined searches by limiting under what conditions it can occur, to protect the public from unwarranted Law Enforcement searches.

So we take anything in a persons hand as a potential threat. We view the people we are dealing with as a potential threat (martial arts / military / law enforcement backgrounds / etc).

Please dont confuse our perception as an US vs THEM mentality because its not. For us, its the what if game. What if this person has a gun, what if this person is drunk, what if this person just killed someone, what if this person has drugs on him, what if this person runs, what if he takes hostages, what if he is suicidal and wants to die by cop, what if he runs into traffic to kill himself.

The argument I see people making here is the Police are trying to hide bad behavior by telling people to stop recording them, and I disagree for the most part with that assumption (in terms of a stopped driver / passengers of the car). Multi tasking in this job is hard enough without having other uneeded elements introduced. We have to keep an eye on the car, the driver / passenger movements within the car, make sure they dont get out of the car, while writing a warning/citation, relaying their information to dispatch to check for warrants / wants / valid driving status, while ensuring no one pulls up behind or near us, watching for people walking down the side of the road, people who rubberneck while driving by, in addition to weather conditions, location of stop, other agencies in the area etc etc etc.

Lots of variables to consider...

The mindset I see by some is the person is not breaking the law by recording the cops, and I agree with you there. What some people dont see though is Officers cannot give a blanket benefiet of the doubt that everyone we come into contact with is a nice person and not out to kill. We go into the situation expecting the worst, while hoping for the best. If we did not, complacency would quickly reduce the numbers of live officers.

When I stop a vehicle, it is because I either have reasonable suspicion a crime occured, or probable cause a crime occured. When dealing with that, I am in control of the situation for the sole fact that I was the one who initiated it. I stop the vehicle, make contact with the driver, identify myself and the reason for the stop, ask a few questions and requst DL / Insurance cards, and will tell the person to sit tight and I will be right back.

Its not a power trip issue, ego issue, badge issue etc. It boils down to the fact that because I am the officer who stopped the vehicle, I am responsible for that vehicle and everyone inside it. This is not a personal view, this is a Supreme Court ruling and mandate - We are liable for all actions that occur when we are doing our jobs. If we are negligent and someone is hurt or killed, we are responsible for that.

I hope this helps some understand our mindset... If not, or if you have questions, or even complainst about why we do some of the things we do, by all means ask, and I will try to answer. Also, when you have contact with law enforcement, there is nothing wrong with asking the officer questions, and for the most part they are cool with answering those questions.


Originally posted by PsykoOps
After such determination isn't the issue then resolved?


Nope - Just because we see it, does not mean it will remain in our line of sight the entire time, which means what is a cell phone when we walked up, might not be a cell phone when we go to return their DL / Insurance etc.

Just because an encounter starts off bad, does not mean it will end bad.
Just because an encounter starts off good, does not mean it will end good.

Just because we saw them using a cellphone when we walked up, does not mean its the same cellphone when they get out of their car and walk towards us.

As with anything in life though, there is a time and place for everything.


edit on 21-2-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 03:16 PM
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So the recording part is never a problem. If you are a wiseass, threaten or attack police without a camera that's the issue. If someone approaches officers at a stop without a camera that is a possible heads up. There doesn't have to be a camera involved. It's quite amazing that alot of officers still specifically state that recording them is a crime.



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 03:24 PM
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Originally posted by PsykoOps
So the recording part is never a problem. If you are a wiseass, threaten or attack police without a camera that's the issue. If someone approaches officers at a stop without a camera that is a possible heads up. There doesn't have to be a camera involved. It's quite amazing that alot of officers still specifically state that recording them is a crime.


No expectation of privacy in public..We are in the public eye when we do our job. For things on this side of the fence though, its an officer safety issue, as well as a safety issue for the person who wants to record.

Again it goes back to not knowing what the person we are dealing with has in mind, nor do we know what he has in his hands.

If you were an officer, and you pulled a car over, and before you even get out the dirver gets out with what "looks" like a cell phone in his hand, holding up up and in your direction, what are you going to do?

If a person is recording law enforcement, and they are a 3rd party, we keep an eye just to make sure they are what they are. The only times I have ever made contact with those types of situations, involved the person standing in the middle of the road, which is a nono - safety issue and obstructing the flow of traffic, and news media who wanted close up shots of an injury accident.

Funny enough the one I have issues with the most are actually media, since for some reason they think they are above everyone else while reporting the news.

This particular article though specifically talks about drivers of cars being stopped getting out to record. That IS a problem for many of the reason I listed in my response to you.

Unfortunately some people perceive officers who tell those people to stop recording and get back in the car as trying to hide something, when in most cases its a safety issue for everyone involved for many reasons aside from trying to hide something.

There is no set policy on how these types of situations are dealt with. Its dependant upon the officer working the call and the information available to him at the time. As with most weird leo encounters that go bad, we can monday morning quarterback the actions, but we werent there when it occured and have the benefiet of hindsight.

It truely boilks down to nothing more than a safety issue for all involved.



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 03:27 PM
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I expect almost EVERYONE that drives and has posted in this thread has gotten
a traffic citation...

I have 6-8 tickets in my time, speeding, not fully stopping at a stop sign,
normal stuff..

Every time I have encountered an officer, I just stay cool, keep my hand on the wheel,
they are cool with me.. I have even been cool with them and have been let off with warnings..

Just use common sense... You don't need to videotape every time a police officer stops you..

If a cop is beating somebody on the ground relentlessly sure pull the camera out...

Don't be a douche, they usually are not douches...



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 03:27 PM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 

My exact point is that if the driver steps out of the car that is the part that is the problem. Not wheter or not he has a cell phone or camera or anything. He might as well have a concealed weapon and getting out is the part that makes the danger part. Considering that absolutely everyone has a cell phone or tons of other small gadgets it's not surprising that they might have something in their hands.
edit on 21/2/2011 by PsykoOps because: Added reply



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 03:40 PM
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Originally posted by PsykoOps
reply to post by Xcathdra
 

My exact point is that if the driver steps out of the car that is the part that is the problem. Not wheter or not he has a cell phone or camera or anything. He might as well have a concealed weapon and getting out is the part that makes the danger part. Considering that absolutely everyone has a cell phone or tons of other small gadgets it's not surprising that they might have something in their hands.
edit on 21/2/2011 by PsykoOps because: Added reply


You will forgive me for asking, but I dont want to misunderstand the intent of your reply. Are you seeing what I am talking about, or are you disagreeing with what I am saying? Its been a long week for me and im not running on all cylinders right now (day off work).

If I understand your reply, correct.

A person getting out of the car is a problem. It is compounded if the person has an object in his hands though. Even if its a cell phone or wallet, remeber that not all stops are done during daylight hourse, and even if they are their are enviornmental factors to conside (sun in our eyes, shadow effects, rain, fog, sleet etc).

We will give commands for the person to stop and show us their hands, but if they refuse its an issue.

Perception - People want to record what the cops do. Thats fine.. A cop pulls over a car for speeding, and the driver wants to record whats going on because he feels he did nothing wrong for the officer to stop him. The driver gets out of the car with his cell phone cam, holds it up to record the officer (and if you think about it, holding your cell phone up to record will mimic the same motion as someone taking aim), at which point the cop gets out of his car, draws his duty weapon, points and starts giveing commands.

The driver, in his own mind, thinks the actions of the officer is an over reaction, and that the cop has gone nuts, pointing a gun at me for recording his actions and overreaction.

This is where the human body kicks in with its fight or flight response.

The officer is perceiving the guys actions as a potential threat. The adreniline dumps, the cop gets out, pulls his weapon, points and gives loud clear repetitive verbal commands for the guy to stop.

The dirver is going through the exact same body change. The dirver is pissed he was stopped, gets out of the car because he thinks he has a right to do so and record the cop, when all of a sudden the cop comes out of his car, yelling and screaming while pointing a gun at the driver.

Results of the fight or lfight response is auditory exclusion. This is why we yell loudly the same commands over and over, because the person we are yelling at might not be comprehending the first few commmands.

If the person refuses to comply, it comes down to 1 fo 2 options.

Shoot or dont shoot...

The argument that we have time to verify what is in a persons hands is, for lack of a better word, naieve about how quickly an incident can happen. Its a snap judgment..

what do you do?

Shooting could result in an innocent person being killed
Not shooting could result in the cop being killed because it turns out the cell phone was a weapon

I think people are confusing Law Enforcement concerns about the actions of stopped drivers with that of cops trying to stop people from recording.

We are wired from head to toe, tasers have audio/video recording on them, some states are looking at audio/video recording on duty weapons, some hgave place cameras onto the officer uniform as well.

Our concern is not whether you have a cell phone, and personally speaking I could care less if I am being recorded. Our concern falls into the category of safety for all parties involved.



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 03:41 PM
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Originally posted by hillynilly
I expect almost EVERYONE that drives and has posted in this thread has gotten
a traffic citation...

I have 6-8 tickets in my time, speeding, not fully stopping at a stop sign,
normal stuff..

Every time I have encountered an officer, I just stay cool, keep my hand on the wheel,
they are cool with me.. I have even been cool with them and have been let off with warnings..

Just use common sense... You don't need to videotape every time a police officer stops you..

If a cop is beating somebody on the ground relentlessly sure pull the camera out...

Don't be a douche, they usually are not douches...


Intrestingly enough, we become nervous when being stopped as well.. Its a natural response. What sends our spiderman senses into overdirve is when we stop a person who is not nervous. That type of behavior is out of the norml.



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 03:43 PM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 


I'm totally agreeing with you. If you take the taping out of the picture completely and just look at the other stuff. That is where the danger comes from.



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by PsykoOps
reply to post by Xcathdra
 


I'm totally agreeing with you. If you take the taping out of the picture completely and just look at the other stuff. That is where the danger comes from.


ok cool

Exactly..

As I said an earlier post, when a person is being pulled over, they know the person behind them is a cop (there are rare exceptions of impersonation). The nervousness sets in, the mind questions start - what did I do, did I pay my parking ticket from last month, etc etc etc. The fear / nervousness from the driver who is stopped comes from the stop itself, and not the thought that the cop is going to walk up to the window and shoot them.

The cop on the other hand has absolutely no idea who is in the car, what they have, where they are going. Are the on drugs, drunk, murder suspect, etc etc etc.

A common saying during most police academies can be used for this thread.

As a Cop, you may know where you are and what you are doing - God may know where you are and what you are doing - but if Dispatch does not know where you are and what you are doing, you better be on good terms with God.

The thought process behind the saying is, even if something looks "routine" or the person "acts" normal, does not mean it cant go to hell in a split second. This is why we tell dispatch if we are stopping at a gas station for a quick break, or where we are stopping to eat dinner.

We never know when something is going to happen - The 4 officers who were shot and killed in the Pacific Northwest are proof of that. All they did was stop to get breakfast.
edit on 21-2-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by Xcathdra
No expectation of privacy in public..We are in the public eye when we do our job. For things on this side of the fence though, its an officer safety issue, as well as a safety issue for the person who wants to record.


For things on this side of the fence though, its an civilian safety issue.



Again it goes back to not knowing what the person we are dealing with has in mind, nor do we know what he has in his hands.


Again it goes back to not knowing what the officer we are dealing with has in mind, nor do we know what he has in his hands.



If you were an officer, and you pulled a car over, and before you even get out the dirver gets out with what "looks" like a cell phone in his hand, holding up up and in your direction, what are you going to do?


If you were an civilian, and you pulled your car over, and before you even get out the officer gets out with what "looks" like a gun strapped to their hip, or holding it up and in your direction, what are you going to do?




Funny enough the one I have issues with the most are actually media, since for some reason they think they are above everyone else while reporting the news.


Funny enough the one I have issues with the most are actually officers, since for some reason they think they are above everyone else while wearing the uniform.



Unfortunately some people perceive officers who tell those people to stop recording and get back in the car as trying to hide something, when in most cases its a safety issue for everyone involved for many reasons aside from trying to hide something.


Unfortunately some officers perceive people who want to record the situation with a cell phone as trying to shoot them with a cellphone gun, when in most cases its a safety issue for everyone involved for many reasons aside from trying to shoot someone with a cellphone gun.

It truly boils down to nothing more than a safety issue for all involved.



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 04:56 PM
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Originally posted by dainoyfb
snip....


If you have a specific argument, please make it. The word games and reverse psychology you are attempting to employ does not even come close to making sense. If you wish I can go back and take it line by line and point out the areas you are completely ignoring / lacking knowledge in.

I would trust a Doctor to perform a tracheotomy before I would an airline pilot
I would trust a Lawyer to represent me in court before I would a Doctor or Cop.
I would trust a Cop to enforce the law before I would a plumber.
I would trust a person who has experience in one area to offer their opinions in that area to help others understand before I would a person who has no understanding who try to make comparisons that dont make any sense.

I am going to assume that you either hate the Government ebcuase its all evil, or the Cops because they are all evil. I am also going to assume that you had a troubled childhood growing up and resented any type of authority figure who told you no.

If its none of the above then by all emans please share with the rest of us the basis for your attempt at reverse spychology.



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 05:04 PM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 


No reverse psychology, just trying to make it obvious that there is more than just a police officers point of view. If you want evidence of that just look at the number of stars being rewarded to the posts of those debating with you compared to those rewarded to your posts.

What I haven't been posting however is bashing comments....very disappointing.



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 05:19 PM
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Originally posted by dainoyfb
reply to post by Xcathdra
 


No reverse psychology, just trying to make it obvious that there is more than just a police officers point of view. If you want evidence of that just look at the number of stars being rewarded to the posts of those debating with you compared to those rewarded to your posts.

What I haven't been posting however is bashing comments....very disappointing.


Of course their is more than one point of view, but the examples you gave are not even close and lack foundation.

case in point
* a civilian is not empowered to enforce the law
* a civilian is not empowered to conduct a lawful traffic stop
* a civilian is not subject to 42 USC 1983

I can keep going if you wish.. The thread discusses the concerns of the Chief about people who are being stopped by the police getting out of their vehicle during the stop to record, and my answers were specific to that situation.

As far as talking about Stars in the forums I could care less. Placing a star next to someones post doesnt mean that person is right, nor are the forums a popularity contest, but if thats what you want, more power to you.
Good luck using the argument that "I was told I could get out of my car to record the cops who pulled me over because someone posted on abovetopsecret.com, and since it had 15 stars it must be true".

If you are curious about the reception that type of argument would receive, I invite you to research My Lai or Nuremberg.

Do you have any valid arguments or questions regarding the OP?
edit on 21-2-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

edit on 21-2-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 05:29 PM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 



Good grief, your pride has taken over from logic and you have no ability to understand (or admit that you understand) the point I am debating. Obviously I could go back and forth with you indefinitely and it would go no where so I'll leave it a that.



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 05:44 PM
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Originally posted by dainoyfb
reply to post by Xcathdra
 



Good grief, your pride has taken over from logic and you have no ability to understand (or admit that you understand) the point I am debating. Obviously I could go back and forth with you indefinitely and it would go no where so I'll leave it a that.


Pride has nothing to do with this at all. The examples you used in your first response are based on an assumption that is not valid. Your argument used the reverse, in terms of what a civilian thinks when a cop approaches them, or the point of view of a civilian doing law enforcement functions. Those areas have been discussed in this thread.

I understand what you are trying to say, and I am telling you the comparison is without basis because it ignores several key facts, a few of which I pointed out above.

The concern is people who want to record officer actions are placing themselves in danger by getting out of their vehicle during a traffic stop. While the view from one side is they are doing nothing wrong by getting out and recording the officer, they are ignoring the fact those actions pose a risk to everyone.

Its not the action of recording, but the actions being taken by the person prior to recording. The person is temporarily seized under the 4th amendment, and as such does not have freedom of movement, which includes taking it upon themselves to get out of the car to approach the officer.

The reason I am dismissing your counter arguments is because its a generalization that cannot be applied to the OP.

As an example - Your reference to the cop getting out of the car with what appears to be a gun strapped to their side. Making this type of argument, at least to me, comes across no different than a person who is taken to the ER for a broken arm and being concerned about the Doctor walking towards them with a knife, or a person who plays baseball walking off the field with a bat towards the crowd.

I would be concerned, using your argument, if I were "stopped" by a Doctor who is walking towards my car with a knife, or going to the ER for a broken arm and having a cop walking towards my room with a gun.

Your argument to me ignores the profession specific behavior and generalizes it to an almost paranoid type equation.

Thats what I am saying...



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