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Old February 28, 2009, 06:43 PM   #26
Paul B.
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"So, thus far critical thinking dictates a question; if you are inside your residence, and someone knocks on the door claiming to be the police, are you required by law to open the door?"

As far as I am concerned, ABSOLUTELY NOT!

"And would any reasonable person go to the door at 0300 with a firearm in hand to see what the problem was?"

I've you've lived in some of the placed I've had to due to financial circumstances. I'd durn tootin". We've been having some home invasions where one drug outfit pretends to be the law and does a SWAT type raid.
You can darn well bet I'll be armed if someone knocks on my door at 0300 hours.
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Old February 28, 2009, 07:16 PM   #27
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There is a difference between being armed when answering the door at 3AM, which I would do, and opening the door while pointing a gun at a police officer.

If you think you need to point a gun at the person who is a your door you have no business opening your door.

If you are that unsure if the people at your door are in fact police I would not open the door and would place a call to 911.
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Old February 28, 2009, 07:28 PM   #28
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Quote:
There is a difference between being armed when answering the door at 3AM, which I would do, and opening the door while pointing a gun at a police officer.

If you think you need to point a gun at the person who is a your door you have no business opening your door.

If you are that unsure if the people at your door are in fact police I would not open the door and would place a call to 911.
Isn't it just amazing how simple life can be? Someone is banging on your door screaming police police get on that phone to 911 and get those tapes running before you decide to rambo

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Old February 28, 2009, 08:42 PM   #29
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I agree with Wild----It goes back to the resisting arrest post. Comply on scene, litigate Monday morning.

I am sorry, it is not reasonable for law abiding citizen to actively not answer the door for the Police. I won't even touch on the brandishing of a weapon

Don't want to talk to the Police---fine, don't answer door. Then I would have to get a warrant and you won't be bothered, unless, there are exigent circumstances---hot pursuit, threat to life, etc.

In the words of Dalton---"BE NICE"
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Old February 28, 2009, 10:36 PM   #30
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I am going to ask a couple of questions that pertain to the circumstances under which the arrest being discussed was made.



Wagonman,

You said:


Quote:
Don't want to talk to the Police---fine, don't answer door. Then I would have to get a warrant and you won't be bothered, unless, there are exigent circumstances---hot pursuit, threat to life, etc.
Let's play hypotheticals for a moment, let's say that a 911 call (for this question it is a "hang-up") and you are dispatched for a check. You wind up at the wrong address somehow, and go to the door and knock.

If I am inside, hear the knock, hear someone announce "Police" and decide to remain quietly inside and not answer the door, how will this be handled?

Will you simply walk away since you have no warrant, and that's it?


And under the same circumstances, if I do open my mouth and tell you your services are not required, that I did not call, am I somehow now bound by some law to open the door?

As you read these questions please remember, I ask only to try and learn, these are not jabs at the officers at all. I am trying to be clear on how this type of thing is actually handled.
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Last edited by OuTcAsT; February 28, 2009 at 10:37 PM. Reason: to make it more clearer
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Old February 28, 2009, 11:07 PM   #31
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I never EVER thought I would say this.

Quote:
Isn't it just amazing how simple life can be? Someone is banging on your door screaming police police get on that phone to 911 and get those tapes running before you decide to rambo
I agree W/ WA
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Old February 28, 2009, 11:33 PM   #32
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If I am inside, hear the knock, hear someone announce "Police" and decide to remain quietly inside and not answer the door, how will this be handled?

Will you simply walk away since you have no warrant, and that's it?

--------------------------------------------------------------

I would radio my dispatcher and get a "callback" if there is no answer or voice mail I code out the job and jump back in the squad and leave with a hearty HI HO SILVER AWAY!!!

=========================================================




And under the same circumstances, if I do open my mouth and tell you your services are not required, that I did not call, am I somehow now bound by some law to open the door?


-----------------------------------------------------------------
It depends on the situation, if I have a REASONABLE suspicion something is going on that requires my intervention i.e. domestic battery, burglary etc. I can and will boot the door and handcuff everyone I think is a bad guy, and sort it out in the interview room at the station.


That said, for me and just about any Copper I have worked with it has to be pretty cut and dried and the spidey sense has to be tingling for me to get into that kind of play.

I understand the Civil Liberty arguement but, REASONABLE people will cooperate with a Police Officer investigating a crime as long as the the Police Officer is being REASONABLE.

It is not UNREASONABLE to talk to a Police Officer that knocks on your door.

It is not illegal to not talk to a Police Officer that knocks on your door. But, decisions have consequences.

If there is a "threat" to you it is not from a street cop it is from someone with a gold badge and wing tips
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Old March 1, 2009, 12:17 AM   #33
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Thanks Wagonman for the explaination, it does offer a "Street Cop's" point of view. Not that I disagree with it, just trying to gain some perspective as this story unfolds. And thanks for the job you (and others here) do.
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Old March 8, 2009, 10:32 PM   #34
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I had a similar experience with the Suffolk County Police Department on Long Island, New York. Same situation, after cuffing me in me under wear and taking me out of my Home(domain), they did a total search of my House without my permission in fact I told them they did not have my permission, they found to NY State grandfather "pre-ban rifles. They interrogated me at the precinct. And threw me in a holding cell,,this happened at 1 am, with a bunch of skells,,bear in mind I was never given the chance to put clothing on and was also bare footed. In their reports they noted that I did not resist arrest. They arrested me for menacing a police officer,,bear in mind they entered my home, before I could get to the door. Besides the idiots charged me with 2 felonies possession of 2 assault rifles! I was arraigned before the court still in my under wear and bare feet. As a retired NYDC(Rikers Island) Captain, I knew they screwed the pooch! Well a simple BATF check of the serial numbers would have opened their eyes immediately! So their I am before the Judge, I let him know of their total disregard for my Constitutional rights and that in fact they entered the wrong home,,and that if the morons checked the serial numbers etc. I would not have been violated as such as these nonprofessional's were.

Well, back to the holding cell,,then after a couple of hours I was before his Honor and released!


Well, my wife who is a Cop returned home in the morning and asked the detectives searching and tearing about our home what the hell were they doing! One SCPD's finest said do you always keep a machine gun in your house! AR-15,,complete idiots. ca-ching!

If I was African-american Al Sharton would have been marching his mob in front my local pct.!


Boy did the shtf! The NYS SIC (Attorney jerks headed by Andrew the liberal as father where of no help),,The FBI could give a sht! So We sued them in Federal Court! Well, my kids can go to any University the want now.
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Old March 8, 2009, 10:37 PM   #35
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Good on you. Sorry for you aggravation.
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Old March 8, 2009, 10:38 PM   #36
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I am taking an LE class right now, as I am getting ready to apply for the Police force, and they way it was presented to me, according to federal law, it is a citizens right to resist unlawful arrest. But the catch is proving it is gonna be really hard to do. 95 percent of the time if you aren't guilty I would say the best option would be to let them take you downtown, get a bail bond, (if you need one), and then prove your not guilty in court, because if they decide it was a lawful arrest, you are going to face charges of resisting arrest.
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Old March 9, 2009, 09:17 AM   #37
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There is no good answer to this kind of situation. The cops screwed up, as did the HO. It seems alcohol may have played a role.

I don't have a problem with someone answering a pounding on the door at 3am with a gun in hand. Seems like a perfectly rational thing to do IMO.

Pointing a gun at anyone (if that is what actually happened) that you have no intention to shoot is a real bad idea.

Its unlikely we anyone will ever know what really happened. In most cases like this there is a story the police have that they stick to, and a story that the other side has that they stick to. No way to tell with any certainty who is telling the truth. Its even quite possible both sides believe their own stories.
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Old March 9, 2009, 10:35 PM   #38
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http://www.examiner.com/x-536-Civil-...ho-scared-them


This was an interesting take on this incident by the civil liberties examiner. ^^


Quote:
Its unlikely we anyone will ever know what really happened. In most cases like this there is a story the police have that they stick to, and a story that the other side has that they stick to. No way to tell with any certainty who is telling the truth. Its even quite possible both sides believe their own stories.

I believe this is going to court in a few days, hopefully some new light will be shed. will post as news surfaces.
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Old March 17, 2009, 10:18 AM   #39
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A bit more has come to light on this incident, seems the officers did NOT identify themselves. heads are starting to roll.

Quote:
Police Officer, Dispatcher May Face Suspension

Posted: March 16, 2009 08:41 PM CDT



Murfreesboro Officer, Dispatcher Face Suspension
3:21







MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - A police officer and an emergency dispatcher face suspension in Rutherford County after a bizarre mistake and claims of unprofessional conduct.

NewsChannel 5 reporter Nick Beres obtained police video and audio of the incident that all began with a prank 911 call.

The problem is police were dispatched to the wrong address. What happened next has become an embarrassment to the Murfreesboro Police Department.

Police rushed to a call for help at Campus Crossings apartment in Murfreesboro last month. The problem was that they went to the wrong apartment.

Police arrested Roger Chilton and his son Justin. The arrest came after a frightened Justin, a military police officer who just returned from Iraq, answered the door with a gun.

"I thought someone was breaking into the house. Nobody identified themselves," said Roger.

"We had some issues with the language and the behavior of one of our officers on the scene that night," said police spokesperson Kyle Evans.

Evans said Officer Carl Watts faces suspension for his conduct.

Watts could be heard during an audio recording of the incident yelling at Justin's pregnant girlfriend to get on the floor.

"Roll over on your back," he told her. After she said she was pregnant, she said Watts had no sympathy.

An official complaint quotes the officer as saying, "I don't give a ----. You've already ----- up your life by being a pregnant teenager."

Remember, this all happened after police were sent to the wrong address - a bad dispatcher mistake made worse by Officer Watts' conduct.

"A simple typo or computer entry can significantly change so many people's lives," said Evans.

As far as the police department is concerned, Evans said one mistake should not have led to the other.

"Unprofessional behavior on behalf of the police officers is never justified," said Evans.

The dispatcher, Desi' Thorpe, also faces suspension. Police supervisor Sgt. Mike Turner has been talked to about avoiding such situations in the future.

That's great for the future, but the Chilton's wonder about the past. Both still face criminal prosecution for answering the door and pointing a gun at an officer - some one they originally thought was an intruder.

The district attorney won't drop the resisting arrest and aggravated assault charges, even though police admit they went to the wrong home.

General Whitsell said that mistake alone does not clear the Chilton's of their conduct when the police arrived.

Murfreesboro police say such mix-ups on 911 calls are extremely rare, and the department is reviewing policies to make sure everything possible is being done to make sure such a mistake doesn't happen again.
A link to some disturbing video here:

http://www.newschannel5.com/Global/story.asp?S=10017849
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Last edited by OuTcAsT; March 17, 2009 at 10:58 AM. Reason: Spellin' and punkshewashun
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Old March 17, 2009, 11:20 AM   #40
OuTcAsT
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Earlier in this thread Wild suggested that I critically anaylize this case not on individual circumstances, but on the face of circumstances as a whole.

So far these are the conclusions I can reach from facts and commentary by professional LE ;


If a 911 call is dispatched to your address LE is going to respond, if you do not answer the door there are 2 possible outcomes...

Quote:
I would radio my dispatcher and get a "callback" if there is no answer or voice mail I code out the job and jump back in the squad and leave with a hearty HI HO SILVER AWAY!!!
Or...

Quote:
if I have a REASONABLE suspicion something is going on that requires my intervention i.e. domestic battery, burglary etc. I can and will boot the door and handcuff everyone I think is a bad guy, and sort it out in the interview room at the station
Now with that in mind, someone suggested that if you are not sure if it is a police officer at the door (as was this case) that you call 911 to confirm.

I wonder if the officers are going to just stand around and wait for this to happen or...

Quote:
I can and will boot the door and handcuff everyone I think is a bad guy, and sort it out in the interview room at the station.
Either way, it appears thus far that you have no rights if LE wants to speak with you. You will either comply with the "Reasonable" demand that you submit to a search of you and your premesis, regardless of the situation, or you are going to be a criminal, and charged as such, then litigate it out in court.

The fact that you have no rights in your own home, and to live without fear that this can happen to anyone , at any time. is very troublesome to me.

I may change my mind as this moves forward, but right now it really seems quite screwed up.
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Old March 17, 2009, 01:44 PM   #41
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Quote:
Now with that in mind, someone suggested that if you are not sure if it is a police officer at the door (as was this case) that you call 911 to confirm.

I wonder if the officers are going to just stand around and wait for this to happen or...
If you say I am calling 911 to confirm you are the Police then I can wait a couple of minutes for that to occur. However, I might just say "Hey Einstein, look out your window and see the car with the sparkly blue lights.

Unless, I hear fighting or crying or verbal threats from the other side of the door in which case----Game On

Quote:
Either way, it appears thus far that you have no rights if LE wants to speak with you. You will either comply with the "Reasonable" demand that you submit to a search of you and your premesis, regardless of the situation, or you are going to be a criminal, and charged as such, then litigate it out in court.

The fact that you have no rights in your own home, and to live without fear that this can happen to anyone , at any time. is very troublesome to me.

I may change my mind as this moves forward, but right now it really seems quite screwed up

You do have rights. but, I have to be able to do my job.

The flipside is :

I go to home I hear furniture crashing, "stop hitting me", kids crying, etc but no answer to knocking or someone out of breath cracking the door and saying "everything's fine officer" so I leave without entering house.

One hour later the homicide victim daughter calls 911 because Mommy isn't waking up.

Then I am fired and probably charged and sued.

But, on the bright side I respected the offenders right against illegal search.

Last edited by Wagonman; March 17, 2009 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Grammar and clarity
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Old March 17, 2009, 02:06 PM   #42
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Damned if you do and damned if you dont

And no matter what, beat up by a lawyer

Thats why I passed on NYPD so many, many years ago

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Old March 17, 2009, 04:02 PM   #43
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Quote:
"Hey Einstein, look out your window and see the car with the sparkly blue lights.
LOL

Quote:
You do have rights. but, I have to be able to do my job.

The flipside is :

I go to home I hear furniture crashing, "stop hitting me", kids crying, etc but no answer to knocking or someone out of breath cracking the door and saying "everything's fine officer" so I leave without entering house.

One hour later the homicide victim daughter calls 911 because Mommy isn't waking up.

Then I am fired and probably charged and sued.

But, on the bright side I respected the offenders right against illegal search

Wagonman I hear ya Bro. and I understand (or at least am beginning to) both sides, I respect the fact that there are going to be exigent circumstances, and you gotta do yer job, but in THIS case so many things just went so wrong. I see a slippery slope that could get "messy" when things like this happen, how does one prepare for such an event?

As this comes to light more I may see that I am wrong, but this event, I see these guys as innocent bystanders or:

Quote:
Damned if you do and damned if you dont

And no matter what, beat up by a lawyer

Yup.
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Old March 18, 2009, 03:32 PM   #44
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The police made a mistake and they compounded it by their actions.

If an arrest is unlawful, then the charge of resisting arrest has no merit and is therefore invalid.
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Old March 18, 2009, 03:51 PM   #45
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I agree police made a mistake and do not want to take responsibilty for their actions. Happens all the time.This is a simple case of officials hiding behind rules and regulations when they do the wrong thing. I guess to serve and protect has no meaning anymore.
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Old March 18, 2009, 04:50 PM   #46
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Quote:
police made a mistake
This may be true, but has yet to be determined.

Please Guys, this has been a good thread and a useful learning experience thus far, Us Joe citizens have been able to keep a civil discourse with some of our fine LE members and Legal Eagles, please read my initial post.

Not accusing, just want to be clear that this thread is NOT going to be about bashing police.

Thank You !

We now return you to the thread already in progress
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Old March 18, 2009, 08:29 PM   #47
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Quote:
and they way it was presented to me, according to federal law, it is a citizens right to resist unlawful arrest.
That's not federal law nor is it the rule for the majority of states. I think you may have misunderstood your professor (or have a bad professor).
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Old March 19, 2009, 05:40 AM   #48
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Quote:
That's not federal law nor is it the rule for the majority of states. I think you may have misunderstood your professor (or have a bad professor).
That'd be an interesting research project. It used to be the majority of the states had a statute indicating that a citizen not only had a right to resist an unlawful arrest, but a duty to do so. Apparently many of those laws have gone by the wayside. That used to be the law in Texas (pre-1959) but it is no longer the case.

In some states, even if the officer is way out of line in arresting you, "resisting arrest" is still a crime because some states no longer recognize a right or duty to resist unlawful actions by police.

Note: fortunately such things are generally uncommon WRT police deliberately and maliciously arresting people without any cause.
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Old March 19, 2009, 11:52 AM   #49
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It is my understanding that you don't have the right to resist arrest except in some very very improbable circumstances.

However, as long as HC is in effect there is no real or should I say practical reason to resist arrest.

If you resist arrest I guarantee you will be visiting at least an emergency room.

If you don't resist arrest I guarantee you will earn at least $30,000 a hour for your false arrest incarceration. YMMV
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Old March 19, 2009, 01:15 PM   #50
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Why is the cop in question only facing/on suspension? Where a the assault, wrongful detention, brandishing a firearm and so on?

Did the homeowner handle is bad, I don't know. Maybe he didn't know they were cops until he opened the door. What I don't get is the home owner MAY have made a err in judgement. The cops DID err. And only the homeowner is facing criminal charges. That's not right.
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