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Old May 24, 2009, 02:06 PM   #51
Wagonman
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In the instance I did it I was 100% in the right and he was in the wrong and I was willing to go to the next level to defend my position of being wronged by an over zealous officer. it was one of those traffic stops performed after a running of a tag and him trying to come up with a justified reason for a stop. His excuse was "The tag comes back to a woman so I thought you may have stolen the car..."
Sounds like a legal stop to me, well within the confines of Terry. How were you "wronged" other than being delayed?

Apropos of nothing I looked at older cars a little harder when I did police work, just something else that is out of the ordinary. Were you in a area you don't frequent? Were older cars the norm or not.

I grow weary of people B^%$ing about being pulled over by the Police. Try a little introspection, why was I pulled over?
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Old May 24, 2009, 02:33 PM   #52
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Here is another very general comment, which may have nothing to do with the original topic, not being familiar with the incident.

I think the relationship the police have with the citizenry, the pubic, is critical to their success in fulfilling their basic function of enforcing the laws and ensuring public safety. That may sound like something everyone should understand but in places where the relationship is a little sour, the police have trouble catching the bad guys, to put it simply. Now, most places the police are much better at their job than they get credit for and one reason is the police usually enjoy public support. Some people may expect a little too much from the police but that's a different issue. Those are usually the same people who don't like strangers driving on the public street in front of their house.

It would be interesting to know if the size of the community made any difference in this relationship. One in which more people knew one another's names (I mean between the police and the public). One would hope it would but it couldn't hurt.
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Old May 24, 2009, 02:35 PM   #53
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Try a little introspection, why was I pulled over?
Out of state tags?
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Old May 24, 2009, 02:45 PM   #54
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I was on a street I was on every single morning... had to drive it to drop off the children at the sitter before work and pick them up after work.
I am as sick of sorry excuses for stops with no law broken as you are of people BI@@@###((( about it...
I broke no law and saw the officer at a stop sign and in the rearview saw him key the mic as his eyes were glued to my rear bumper... The point I am after is traffic stops should only be done with a law having been broken... Otherwise it is harassment! NEVER should a car be pulled or a home owner approached without a complaint of a violation of law or an officer witnessing it... In my case my car was a 1980 Olds 4 door with no window tint or flash... tan on creme color and stock hub caps in around 1995. Man driving with female passenger and tag registered to a 30+ year old woman with no criminal history and listed as "MARRIED" with a male driver does not probable cause make!
I maneuvered around a flooded spot in the road after he had gotten behind me using my signal to indicate I was crossing a yellow stripe and he didn't even mention this in the stop.
Don't even try to convince me that cops need the power to just pull over cars with little reason to "CHECK 'EM OUT"... It is no more true than cops thinking they can come to my door and say they think I am a criminal because the lease/deed is in a females name! Also cops do not have the leeway in Florida to pull over a car to ask if they have proof of insurance. Nor can they pull over a biker without a helmet to ask if he has the required health insurance... Thus I doubt the stop I SUFFERED do to male driver/female passenger in a vehicle registered to a married woman was legal and as it turned out neither did his superiors when I reported and filed complaint for this...
Cops need to only respond or stop for violations of law... otherwise it is a BS contact with civilian!
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Old May 24, 2009, 02:47 PM   #55
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You are not a judge. You are a police officer charged with arresting people who have appeared to violate a law. Period. The law guides you, you are not a judge. You are a citizen who applied for a job to wear a badge. If you want to be a judge, get your law degree and make yourself known as a good lawyer. Then maybe you will get the chance to be a real judge.

Also. It does no matter on bit if video cameras are around or not. It does not matter is some one sees you beat a suspect or not. You should conduct yourself as a professional and obey the very same law you wanted to protect. If you can't do that, quit and sell vaccum cleaners door to door.

We all know that there is a bad element in society that must be dealt with. We just don't want the cops to be worse than the bad element.

Just think. Those officers I references in my first post. Every case, every arrest, evert trial the testified at is in jeopardy. Any lawyer worth his salt will ask for a new trial. That is but one result of rogue LEO's. The other result has not happened yet, but I see it coming. It will be a major backlash by the citizens. Just like the tea parties, people will wake up and realize that they can control the purse strings. That they can make a difference and change the way police do their jobs.
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Old May 24, 2009, 02:49 PM   #56
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this arguement collapses under it's own weight.
Does it indeed ?

I believe my statement was ;

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"Street Guilty" that is a judgment plain and simple.
Your exact words are ;

Quote:
I am a judge,
and;

Quote:
"street guilty" is a temporary judgement
That would appear to be , by your own definition , a "Judgment" in the same context I was using it.

I said;

Quote:
certainly one which is going to effect the manner in which a suspect is treated.
So your own judgment is not going to have an effect on what happens next ? or the "manner in which a suspect is treated" ?

I never said that the suspects actions were not going to play a part. Certainly I would think someone resisting or being violent would have it's own consequences.

Quote:
I decide who is going to jail.
I would think the law plays some part in that determination? Ah yes, I see it does;

Quote:
My Watch Commander has to approve the arrest, The SA has to approve felony charges, an actual judge and or jury has to find said offender guilty or innocent.
So it would seem the law decides who goes to jail, as it should be.

The whole premise of this discussion is not about trying to limit the ability of a police officer to do his job, and is not an attack on the street cop's ability to make an arrest as necessary, or even use force as necessary The problem lies in what happens when the officer does his job by "other than legal" means. If you "judge" someone to be "street guilty" of an offense that warrants an arrest, that is fine, If he lays down and gives up and then you kick him in the head, that is a crime. If you have been issued a warrant to serve and you kick down the wrong door, that is a crime. If someone pulls a gun to defend himself from this invasion and you shoot him, that is a crime, is it a mistake?
Possibly, but a crime none the less. If I kick someone in the head it is a crime, if I walk into the wrong house and the owner pulls a gun and I shoot him I will likely be charged with a crime. Why should the "color of law" be able to protect someone from being held to the same standard ? And how would doing so make a police officer less effective in doing his job? You don't have to be perfect, just equally culpable when you go beyond the law. If the handful of cops out there no longer had the blue shield to hide behind, I suspect that responsible officers such as yourself, might actually have a better rapport with the public at large.
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Old May 24, 2009, 03:10 PM   #57
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The other result has not happened yet, but I see it coming. It will be a major backlash by the citizens.
Exactly, You just might see an increase in the number of folks
getting "Bowed Up" because they are weary of listening to police officers whine about "not being able to do their jobs because the law is in the way"

Try a little introspection; "Why doesn't the public respect me"?
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Old May 24, 2009, 04:26 PM   #58
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"The tag comes back to a woman so I thought you may have stolen the car..."
Sounds like a legal stop to me, well within the confines of Terry. How were you "wronged" other than being delayed?
Thats a pretty bizarre argument.

I don't want to put words in your mouth but it appears your contention is that it is PC to stop a car merely because the person driving it may not be the owner?

If that is truly the case, we are far worse off than I had imagined.

And being stopped for no legitimate reason is indeed a wrong.
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Old May 24, 2009, 04:30 PM   #59
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So it would seem the law decides who goes to jail, as it should be.
Street cops have a great deal of discretion in deciding who will be arrested, and these discretionary decisions have been upheld in various courts time and again. Cops are "street judges", and always have been.

I think the main issue in this thread is the disconnect between legal nerdism and the world of street cops. They are two sides of the same coin, but nobody understands both.

When Wagonman says "street guilty", it's very hard for people to overlook that word "guilty" and not react to its traditional legal meaning, but that's not how it is being used in this context. He's just using the term as regular-dude shorthand for "a temporary judgement which is nothing more than Probable Cause to arrest or legal justification for use of force" (as he described it later, after everyone had alread jumped to their own conclusions). The same goes for the word "judge" when it is being used without the usual technical legal meaning.

Is Wagonman bringing it on himself by using these words with legal strings attached? Yep. But I think you guys could do a bit better in trying to understand what he means.
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Old May 24, 2009, 04:56 PM   #60
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Mr.Lahey, It would also behoove many TFL folks (I realize the board owners are owners of SWAT magazine) to recognize that the LEA's are after more and more power to "conduct" investigations and raids with less recourse if they err. I have heard from many friends and customers who are LEO "If you have nothing to hide, why worry about allowing a search of self, car or home...?" For this I call POO-POO On their shoe... If I have not committed an obvious violation of a fairly heinous law they won't barge in without a warrant (I realize no warrant is required for an officer staying in eye contact with a perp of some crimes) and for any other suspected crime I may have committed, I will require a warrant. This is for self, car or home as in "F" Off Buddy lemme know when you got paper! Slam the door in their face etc! As you have read I have great respect for the law and those who fairly do the job they are simply employees to do. Not sodiers, warriors or ninjas... just cops, no more important of a job than a garbage man...
Now if you want to go peeking on private lives trying to "find" evidence of a crime not reported than you likely are not a fan of my posts nor a defender of the COTUS!
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Old May 24, 2009, 05:07 PM   #61
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I will require a warrant
Awesome. I wish more people would react as you do, dogger. The "if you don't have anything to hide..." line is stupid and offensive.

You can't blame them for trying to get consent, criminals are not usually very bright and they will often consent to a search when they have huge bags of crack poorly hidden in their car, but that doesn't mean anyone with a brain shouldn't refuse.

No, you have to force a search-happy cop to violate your rights or go away. Then you can fight them in official channels or go about your business.

Of course you don't have to be nasty about it. "No, I do not consent to a search" is good enough, unless you want them to violate your rights.
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Old May 24, 2009, 05:58 PM   #62
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Street cops have a great deal of discretion in deciding who will be arrested, and these discretionary decisions have been upheld in various courts time and again. Cops are "street judges", and always have been.
I will not presume to speak for anyone else but myself here so bear that in mind. With that understood, you are, in the broadest sense correct. I have no problem with the latitude of discretion that an officer has in his decision making, or judgment if you will. His choice of terminology matters not, judge, supreme commander, fuzzy pink teddy bear, whatever.

Where my problem lies is what happens once the discretion is exercised. As long as an officer stays within the law we are golden. It is also my firm belief that if he operates above , Outside of, or beyond the law, he should be held to, at a minimum, the same legal consequences that any other citizen would be.

No legal nerdism here, just a belief that anyone who commits a crime should be subject to the same laws, be he dirtbag or deputy.
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Old May 24, 2009, 06:06 PM   #63
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Then we are in total agreement.

I don't think anyone would disagree with that last post, not even supreme commander teddy bears.
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Old May 25, 2009, 01:43 AM   #64
Wagonman
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NEVER should a car be pulled or a home owner approached without a complaint of a violation of law or an officer witnessing it...
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Don't even try to convince me that cops need the power to just pull over cars with little reason to "CHECK 'EM OUT"...
I am sorry but you are wrong, I just need reasonable suspicion to do an investigatory stop according to the Terry decision.

Reasonable suspicion is a very low threshold to meet as it should be.

Quote:
I don't want to put words in your mouth but it appears your contention is that it is PC to stop a car merely because the person driving it may not be the owner?
Probable Cause is different that Reasonable Suspicion. This is why I grow fatigued at people who don't know my job trying to tell me how to do my job.


Quote:
number of folks
getting "Bowed Up" because they are weary of listening to police officers whine about "not being able to do their jobs because the law is in the way"

Try a little introspection; "Why doesn't the public respect me"?
The law doesn't get in my or any other reasonably well trained and intelligent Copper.

What public is that?

Quote:
Is Wagonman bringing it on himself by using these words with legal strings attached?
I thought I made myself clear. I am the judge, small j, on the street I judge if you have probably committed the crime or if the person signing the complaints is credible. I then have the levels of approval up to and including the Judge. However, since the level of freedom I am able to take away is lower than a Judge my threshold to do my business is lower.

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will require a warrant. This is for self, car or home as in "F" Off Buddy lemme know when you got paper! Slam the door in their face etc! As you have read I have great respect for the law and those who fairly do the job they are simply employees to do. Not sodiers, warriors or ninjas... just cops, no more important of a job than a garbage man...
Again you are comparing apples and oranges. A warrant is a little above the paygrade of a beat cop. The debate has been about street stops and the powers confered upon Police Officers. You are indeed correct that I would need a warrant to search your house, car, unless you are under arrest. That is not in dispute. It sounds like you fail the hello test with your planned reaction to a Police Officer doing his job.

Again with the disparaging remarks. A garbageman is not sworn to uphold the constitution yadda yadda yadda. Police Officers are akin to soldiers which is why we have special rights and responsibilities.


Quote:
No legal nerdism here, just a belief that anyone who commits a crime should be subject to the same laws, be he dirtbag or deputy.
No one disputes this concept. The dispute comes from the ignorance about Police work that some posters here seem to have and the fact that some want to hammer Coppers for minor transgressions.
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Old May 25, 2009, 01:54 AM   #65
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Police officers ARE NOT akin to soldiers. This attitude, this mindset is a big part of the problem that we ate discussing. We would not be having a discussion like this if some officers were true to their oaths. Meaning upholding the constitution.
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Old May 25, 2009, 02:18 AM   #66
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Lack of capitalization is not good enough alone to explain how you are using a word that powerful and with that many strings attached. People are going to soil themselves and jump to conclusions, and you shouldn't be surprised. It's a strong word.

Besides, "judge" is not capitalized when used in a sentence as a regular noun, only when used as a title as a part of a person's name.

"The judge for the chicken thievery trial was Judge Billy-Jack Wapner"
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Old May 25, 2009, 10:31 AM   #67
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judge---to form a judgment or opinion of; decide upon critically: You can't judge a book by its cover.
9. to decide or settle authoritatively; adjudge: The censor judged the book obscene and forbade its sale.
10. to infer, think, or hold as an opinion; conclude about or assess: He judged her to be correct.
11. to make a careful guess about; estimate: We judged the distance to be about four miles.

I was making a point with the capitalization
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Old May 25, 2009, 10:59 AM   #68
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That's the verb definition, you were using it as a noun. Here's the noun definition:

Quote:
judge, n. A public official appointed or elected to hear and decide legal matters in court. • The term is sometimes held to include all officers appointed to decide litigated questions, including a justice of the peace and even jurors (who are judges of the facts). But in ordinary legal usage, the term is limited to the sense of an officer who (1) is so named in his or her commission, and (2) presides in a court.
But whatever. I only jumped into this discussion because I need practice explaining away the idiotic and offensive statements cops sometimes make (I would like to practice on the prosecution side of things when I graduate law school), but you may be beyond help.

There's only so much an argument can do when the cop in question stands in the back of the courtroom yelling "I am zee judge!", and is so dense that he can't understand why people react badly to that.

I'm done here.
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Old May 25, 2009, 11:13 AM   #69
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The second guessing and breast beating about the excesses of Police work are just two of the reasons I and many of my fellow LEOs stopped proactive Police work. We are getting results also, Chicago had more murders than Baghdad last year. But, the bright side a lot less "rights" were violated and I haven't been sued federally in over 6 years.
So, correct me if I am wrong, you and other officers have "stopped" doing your job just because you cant or are unable to do it within the scope of the law?
He is speaking the truth about the policing situation in Chicago. he is being less than completely honest about it though.

The "de-policing" he and many of his fellow officers are engaged in is mostly a labor action to try and blackmail the city into giving them a more favorable contract. Their contract ran out several years ago and they are not happy with the proposals the city has made on a new one.

It started with cops writing fewer and fewer parking and traffic citations. The city has responded by hiring non-police to write parking tickets. They have made some attempts at traffic enforcement by camera, but that is not going all that well.

The city brought in an outsider, a former FBI supervisor, to run the department. My guess is it was some kind of under the table deal with the feds to avoid a federal takeover of a department widely regarded by the public as being out of control. They don't like the new guy so are protesting by more job actions.

In fairness, its a complex situation that defies an attempt to put it into adequate perspective in a short post, or even a really long one.

This is a city run by one the most corrupt and powerful political organizations in the country. As you might expect, the politicians have installed many of its own political operatives into positions of power within the department. Thats why there are regular stories in the news media about how some connected guy with what amounts to a "get out of jail free" card gets off the hook on a DUI, or a gun charge, and really probably just about anything else too, but you don't hear about it. That kind of thing has been going on forever in Chicago. It is just the way things work there. No doubt having minders working directly for the corrupt politicians gives a lot of cops in Chicago a bad taste, but again, this is not anything real new.

I could see where it is the kind of place where a good cop would not get a whole lot of pleasure from the job, and I have a fair amount of sympathy for the rank and file for what may be in the works there. It would surprise me not one bit, possibly as some kind of distraction, if Obama arranged for a massive probe of the CPD. A bit of irony there, being as he is part and parcel of the corrupt machine that runs the department.

I am guessing there are some bad cops to be found on that force, and the feds are going to have a field day tearing it apart finding them. This is a force after all, that admitted publicly not that many years ago that it had hundreds of gang members among its ranks, and had a (deputy?) chief of detectives running a burglary ring out of his police office.
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Old May 25, 2009, 11:23 AM   #70
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All of us make judgments every day. Its merely a decision.

Cops have to decide if a conduct they observe rises to the level of being a crime. If you don't like that process being called a judgment, than call it something else. Nitpicking over semantics seems like a waste of time to me.
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Old May 25, 2009, 12:28 PM   #71
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There's only so much an argument can do when the cop in question stands in the back of the courtroom yelling "I am zee judge!", and is so dense that he can't understand why people react badly to that.
That is a willful misunderstanding of my point, as evidenced by my clarification and explanation of my meaning.

Quote:
He is speaking the truth about the policing situation in Chicago. he is being less than completely honest about it though.
I am being completely honest. I started de-policing several years ago when I was federally sued under specious grounds, the latest contract nonsense is just icing on the cake. The Cozzi situation is the main impetus for the climate of de-policing in the CPD

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Old May 25, 2009, 12:33 PM   #72
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No one disputes this concept.
At face value that is encouraging to hear from an officer.

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Police Officers are akin to soldiers
I will echo what others have said; While that seems to be the common misconception that police departments and individual officers seem to be operating under this is, IMHO, fundamentally where the the problem begins.

Ask anyone who has served in any of the armed forces and they will tell you pretty much the same thing.
No matter what your classification is in the military, you are a soldier first. This means that everyone from a 4 star down to a PFC is trained first, and foremost, to pick up a weapon, and neutralize ( Kill ) an enemy. In the military right now they are experiencing the exact opposite effect we are seeing on our streets every day, they are being transformed into "peacekeepers" and expected to reverse their role, to uphold the law, and arrest suspected criminals. They are also expected to show the locals that they are there to serve and protect them.

Here at home, we are seeing the opposite happen, our police agencies and officers are becoming soldiers. Instead of the peace officers they were supposed to be. Rather than protect and serve, win the hearts and minds, keep the peace, we start to hear more about "special operations", no-knock warrants being "served" by guys with better armaments than most of our military has, "terry stops" that are merely fishing expeditions. Yes you are adopting a soldier mindset, and while you may name crime as your enemy, it is the "collateral damage" inflicted on innocent civilians, and the shredding of their constitutional rights while fighting the enemy that is the reason for this discussion.

Quote:
we have special rights and responsibilities.
While you do have a number of responsibilities ( Including to protect the rights of every citizen ) You have no more or less "rights" than anyone else. You may have special privileges that the average citizen does not enjoy, but your "rights" are exactly the same as mine, or the guy you bust for armed robbery. I can see where you would get confused on this matter though, since LEAs and district attorneys have created the artificial "right" that keeps you safe from criminal charges should you "screw the pooch"
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Old May 25, 2009, 12:59 PM   #73
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Police Officers are akin to soldiers
Oh, and if I were you I would not walk into a room full of actual Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, or Airmen, and echo that sentiment out loud.
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Old May 25, 2009, 01:09 PM   #74
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While you do have a number of responsibilities ( Including to protect the rights of every citizen ) You have no more or less "rights" than anyone else. You may have special privileges that the average citizen does not enjoy, but your "rights" are exactly the same as mine, or the guy you bust for armed robbery. I can see where you would get confused on this matter though, since LEAs and district attorneys have created the artificial "right" that keeps you safe from criminal charges should you "screw the pooch"


Police have the authority to take the freedom of a citizen away, albeit temporarily. We have the authority to use deadly force in the name of the state in the prevention of death or serious bodily injury and forcible felony in some jurisdictions.

Maybe rights wasn't the right term. I plead fatigue.

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Oh, and if I were you I would not walk into a room full of actual Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, or Airmen, and echo that sentiment out loud.
Really, why not? Since I am active supporter the local VFW I will try this next time I am at a get together.

Last edited by Wagonman; May 25, 2009 at 01:14 PM.
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Old May 25, 2009, 01:17 PM   #75
hogdogs
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We have the authority to use deadly force in the name of the state in the prevention of death or serious bodily injury and forcible felony in some jurisdictions.
I have the same authority as a regular joe with the difference being I am not doing it the name of the state as you would... I GET to do it the name of myself or any one I choose to...
Brent
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