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No Wonder Freddie Gray Ran From the Cops

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posted on May, 6 2015 @ 08:31 AM

I figured you all may appreciate this short article, as it discusses the Freddie Gray arrest from the viewpoint of false imprisonment. I don't think I've seen this angle really discussed yet, but if so, please close the thread if it's warranted.

According to Marilyn Mosby, the state's attorney for Baltimore, that charge, carrying a switchblade, was legally unfounded. Gray's death, due to a spinal injury he suffered in the back of a police van, thus has shined a light on the way police officers abuse their arrest powers to impose arbitrary punishment, a practice that helps explain the anger on display in Baltimore last week.

Of the various criminal charges that Mosby announced on Friday in connection with Gray's death, the most striking was false imprisonment. Mosby said Lt. Brian Rice, together with Officers Edward Nero and Garrett Miller, "failed to establish probable cause for Mr. Gray's arrest as no crime had been committed."

Maryland law defines a switchblade as a knife with "a blade that opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring, or other device in the handle of the knife." Since Gray's folding knife did not fit that description, Mosby said, he plainly was not guilty of the crime that was the pretext for hauling him away in handcuffs.

Although there is some dispute on that point, Baltimore has a history of such trumped-up charges. A 2006 class action lawsuit backed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) cited "a pattern and practice" of bogus arrests for minor, often vaguely defined offenses such as loitering, trespassing, impeding pedestrian traffic, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, and failure to obey a police command.

Of 76,497 people arrested by Baltimore police without warrants in 2005, the lawsuit noted, prosecutors declined to charge 25,293—nearly one out of three. According to the state's attorney, those cases were "legally insufficient."

The arrests nevertheless had real consequences for people who were publicly kidnapped by armed agents of the state, strip-searched, and placed in "small, filthy, and overcrowded cells" for hours or days. In addition to the humiliation, degradation, and loss of liberty inflicted by this process, the ACLU and NAACP noted, victims of illegal arrests "may lose their jobs or be denied job opportunities in the future as a result of the permanent stigma of having a criminal charge on their record."



It is occurances like these that make me consistently point out that this country is so full of either bad laws, insufficiently written laws, or unnecessary laws that it creates a petrie dish of diseased arrests. It's obvious that Mr. Gray should not have been arrested for the possession of the knife, and had he not been, he most likely would be alive today.

America's legislative bodies (federal, state and local) need to perform an audit of their laws and really discuss which laws are useful, relevant, and serve a necessary purpose other than giving the governing body revenue from fines and fees.
edit on 6-5-2015 by SlapMonkey because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 6 2015 @ 09:09 AM
a reply to: SlapMonkey

Anyone who has a friend that is a cop has probably heard them say that they can arrest anybody anytime for just about any reason and it's pretty much true. Vision obstructions hanging from rear view mirrors, taillights out, failures to use turn signals, many other simple mistakes give any and every cop an excuse, if not a valid reason to check you out. Yes they go fishing and we all enable it. I don't think most of us like it, but I don't like potholes either so I do my best to avoid them as well. But I was fortunate enough to have my father teach me that when you get stopped by a cop you shut up, and don't give him any reason to be anything other than civil to you. These days I even turn on the interior lights at night and roll down all the windows because I want to eliminate any fear of the unknown from the minds of the buys in blue. I think that anybody reading this that is in a position to teach their community how to deal with the police in areas where these problems occur should make it a point to educate their youth in safe handling practices which might very well save their lives during police confrontations.

On the other hand, I was also warned that if I were to ever have to shoot someone (in self defense of course), that it is best if I were to have been shot first or at least to have some proof that my life was indeed threatened, or murder charges would surely be the result. I was further warned that NO judge anywhere would ever accept any case of shooting a person in the back since they were running away and could not have been threatening my life. If these rules apply to we civilians than they should apply to the authorities as well, and if TPTB are seriously interested in squelching violence rather than promoting it, they had best investigate and prosecute such violations as quickly and as fairly as possible. If I am not mistaken TPTB in Baltimore did exactly that, but if I am wrong feel free to correct me.

posted on May, 6 2015 @ 09:35 AM
Rolling down all the windows is a clever trick-

these days, they seem to be going to the passenger side of my car when pulling me over for no reason. This really screws up the whole calmness thing, because I've got crank windows, and I've got to unbuckle and reach way over near the glove box where they can't see to roll it down.

They love that.

posted on May, 6 2015 @ 11:16 AM
a reply to: BennyHavensOh

Your right to self defense is just that: self defense. Depending on state laws, that may extend to others near you in certain context. A police officer's duty is to not just protect themselves, but the community as a whole. You, as a civilian, have no such duty. And that's the difference. (And no, I'm not saying that popping people in the back is always justified; simply amplifying the context)

@ OP - from my perspective there are entirely too many laws, many of which were written and passed because one group complained about something. Example: where I'm at, tampering with an anti-theft device in a retailer is an automatic felony charge and it makes no difference if it's a $500 necklace or a $25 speaker. Why is that? There's already limits dividing misdemeanor larceny from felony larceny. Why is a $25 speaker now a felony charge, just because it has a sticker on it that'll set off an alarm tower? Because somebody complained to the legislature and they wrote a new law for it. So now one county charges everybody as a felony charge on the "tampering" aspect, and the next county over refuses to charge anybody at all for it except in special circumstances, because the DA and police think it's a stupid law and don't want to clog up the court more than it already is.

posted on May, 6 2015 @ 12:45 PM
a reply to: BennyHavensOh

I don't necessarily disagree with you on either of your paragraphs.

Something I had written in my OP, but then deleted before posting, was concerning the officers and their ability to arrest him. While hindsight shows us that--according to the letter of the law--Mr. Gray's weapon was not illegal, at the time, the officers really can have the right to arrest and detain on suspicion of an illegal weapon. Same would go for mistaking an herb for marijuana, or an Airsoft rifle for the real thing--they can be arrested/detained until things are verified.

Had Mr. Gray lived through the ordeal, I'm sure he would have been released relatively quickly and the knife returned to him.

I just have a hard time thinking that, in modern times, the police force has not addressed how a spring-assisted folding knife differs from a switchblade knife. While I fully understand that it's not the officers' role to know every detail of every law and everything that they find that is suspicious at all times, I don't accept the ignorance factor on this one--they should have known, and I guarantee you that most, if not all, of the indicted officers carry a knife with the same mechanism as Mr. Gray's.

posted on May, 6 2015 @ 12:48 PM
a reply to: lordcomac

Actually, two good reasons would be (a) so that they have a better total view of you while sitting in the car and (b) they're farther away from traffic if you're pulled over on a roadway.

I'm sure that there are other good reasons, too. Of course, they could just be choosing to make it difficult for you in that particular jurisdiction, but I doubt that's why.

I empathize with the crank windows--that's what was in my '66 Mustang, and I drove that as my primary vehicle from 1996-2008. I sold her about a year ago. She was my first car.

posted on May, 6 2015 @ 06:39 PM
I almost typed this many times, as I never bothered to read 40 plus pages of thread to verify it hadn't already been shared I never did.

In Maryland the legality if the knife actually depends on your size. The knife must measure no larger than the palm of your hand. That actually means men with large hands can legally carry larger knifes than a woman. This alao means the police have to measure your knife to you and not themselves.
edit on 6-5-2015 by Iamthatbish because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 6 2015 @ 06:54 PM
a reply to: BennyHavensOh

A long time ago a friend of mine went on a ride along with a LAPD officer. The cop was his sisters boyfriend at the time. The cop literally told him "Pick anybody out on the street and I'll arrest them. I can arrest any one at any time for just about anything" Sorta lost my respect for cops after that.

Personally seen a drunk off duty LA County Sheriff tell a fire station that he was going to get his gun and come back here and shoot everybody. This was after he pissed on their fire station sign. All because they wouldn't give his drunk ass a ride home (2 miles away) at 2:30 in the morning. I said whoa you cant just say that to these guys think about your career. he said "I'm a cop I can do anything I want" My friends picked me up on the side of the road and left him. Last time I saw him he was running down the street behind my buddies truck screaming that we couldn't do this to him because he was a cop. Uh yeah we can...douche bag. Nobody says we have to pick up a drunk off duty cop stranded on the side of the road at 3 in the morning. The cop used to be a friend from grade school. Boy had he changed when I met up with him that night after not seeing him for 15 years. Hope I don't see him again ever.

edit on 6-5-2015 by BASSPLYR because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 6 2015 @ 07:12 PM
a reply to: BASSPLYR

A tale heard too often I am afraid. My observation over my 6 decades of life have led me to believe that in any give field, 10% of those in the field are excellent, 10% are incompetent garbage and the rest fall somewhere in between in varying degrees of competence. The problem with this and just about every union job is that the lack of intolerance for the garbage within the ranks drags down the entire group. If you are on MY team and you are a screw up, you won't be on it for long. If these people would adopt this kind of attitude the respect that they received from the general public would be overwhelming. But of course they can't and won't will they?

posted on May, 7 2015 @ 05:51 AM
a reply to: SlapMonkey

Forget about Freddy gray

Police statistics speak volumes for anyone who reads it.

Stupid mases know something is wrong, even if they can't articulate it, they feel it.
edit on 7-5-2015 by TorinoFer because: (no reason given)

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