reply to post by Deafseeingeyedog
Interesting hypothetical. The answer to that question, at least in the way I perceive it, is no.
First off - Freedom of Speech and protest / right to assemble is a constitutional right. However, it ends when it interferes with the rights of
others. In this case, if protestors block a public right of way (street) or block enterance to a business, they are in fact violating the law and are
not protected by the 1st amendment (just as yelling fire in a crowded theatre is not protected).
Blocking a public street / road, and I have seen people argue, is valid because the road is open to the public. The problem is the people who arent
there protesting who cant go down the road beause of the protestors, is having their rights infringed on (freedom of movement within / across state /
Second - Civilians arent privy to the exact nature of a police call. If you are driving down the road and you see a cop and a person duking it out,
how do you know whats going on? Secondly Law Enforcement is empowered by the people to enforce the laws that are passed, where as civilians (depending
on state) could effect a citizens arrest, the chances of doing to law enforcement ar slim to none (again situation specific).
Most of the comments I see on this site are whats considered 20/20 hindsight. People have the entire story (or most of it) from A to Z. The problem
with that view is it does not take into account the fact that the officers at the time didnt have the luxery of knowing whats going on because they
were busy being invovled in it.
If you have an issue with an officer, by all means exercise your rights to complain and hold public officals accountable. However, there is a time and
place for everything, and roadside / middle of a call is not a good idea.
What people fail to take into account is statutory authority to enforce the laws. Law Enforcement has that mandate, where as civilians do not (to the
exten of a LEO).
when in doubt, be a good witness. Attempting to get involved in something you dont completely understand (the call / dynamics surrounding it /
backstory / prios / etc) can actually make the situation worse, possibly ending in death of you, the cop or the perosn they were dealing with.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks I see in these types of threads is a breakdown in knowledge on the part of the people. I respect the fact people
want to hold law enforcement accountible and I strongly encourage it, along with holding government accountible and participating in government.
What I cant respect though is wanting to hold LEO's accountible when its based on opinion and not law. People do not understand how some laws work,
and they come to incorrect conclusions. They are not familiar with other laws that only apply to law enforcement because of the very nature of the
job. What people see on TV (law and roder etc) is not how it works.
A person can kill a neighbor and be arrested, charged, tried, found guilty and sentenced to death without ever being read their Miranda warnings.
The 4th Amendment to the Constitution does not apply to the individual, it only applies to the government.
A citizen holds dual citizenship - The state they live in as well as the country they live in.
There are exceptions to the 4th amendment on a search and seizure.
A Law Enforcement Officer can initiate an offensive action first.
Traffic law and Criminal law, even though they both fall under the criminal statutes, are governed by differnt standards (interviewing a driver in an
accident without Miranda).
A citizen is protected by the 5th amendment, where as Law Enforcement is to an extent. We can be ordered to provide information. In addition to
Miranda, Law Enforcement is also read their Garrity Rights. If we are ordered to give an answer, it cant be used against us in court, but it can be
used against us in an IA investigation as well as evaluations.
You get the idea... People make an opinion based on what they think should occur, and not on what the law says. To me that is one of the biggest
problems we face. The only way for things to get better is for both sides to open lines of communications. Civilians MUST get invovled in government
and hold the elected officials accountible.
How is it not dangerous for a civilian who doesnt know how the law works to involve themselves in a situation that places them into direct
confrontation with a Police Officer? Civilians dont take into account that they arent the judge or the PA, or even think their action might be
Food for thought...
Be intelligent on this topic..... please.