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Old February 14, 2012, 12:32 PM   #101
Mike1234
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People get stopped for all sorts of reasons. I got stopped doing 61 in a 55 zone. The officer used drug dogs to search my car. Now, I could have objected to this - what do you think would have happened to me if I protested and objected? I consented because I have never taken drugs and I hadn't been drinking. It cost me 45 minutes of my life sitting in the back of a patrol car.
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Did you buy the car new? Suppose the previous owner left a joint under the seat? Or suppose a friend dropped something illegal in there.<snip>
I bought an old used Toyota Celica that was forfeited for unpaid house rent. It was full of trash and junk. While cleaning it I found a plastic bag with about an ounce of funny-smelling white powder. There's no telling what a drug dog might have found in that car even after I cleaned it.

Would I consent to a search? Sure... after they get a warrant. I wouldn't be rude about it... just wouldn't let them violate my rights.
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Old February 14, 2012, 01:44 PM   #102
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Would I consent to a search? Sure... after they get a warrant. I wouldn't be rude about it... just wouldn't let them violate my rights.

Exactly ! You have nothing to lose, and, possibly everything to gain by simply exercising your rights. It is as simple as that.

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the officer has to do their job as they are sworn officials. They took an oath and are keeping with it. If they violate that oath then they will get seriously reprimanded if not outright fired.
While that officer may get in a heap of trouble for not obeying his orders they routinely suffer little, if any consequences for violating civil rights. Unfortunate.
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Old February 14, 2012, 02:37 PM   #103
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Officers will most certainly get fired if they tell a lie.
Only if they are under oath.
Multiple courts have ruled that the police do not have to tell the truth when questioning someone, and are free to even mislead them.

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Its very easy to blame the police because they are the most visible figures.
They are the first government agents on the scene, and the first to throw judgment and discretion out the window.

It starts with them, and continues down hill from there.
Occasionally a prosecutor decides they have more important things to do, or does not want to prompt a legal fight that could have wider impact.
NYC can continue to enforce its laws free from challenger if they make sure to not allow anyone to gain standing.
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Old February 14, 2012, 06:24 PM   #104
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If I didn't consent to the search, the police may or may not have let me go on my way - you acknowledge that there was a chance I could have been detained.
You WERE detained. You were locked in the back of a patrol car for 45 minutes. If that isn't detained, I don't know what is. If you said "no", they might have let you go. Or they might have gotten a warrant. Either way, they didn't have cause to arrest you. Probably didn't have PC for a warrant, either. I still don't see what you gained here.

My 7 year old might take off running with scissors. When I tell him it's dangerous, he'll tell me he didn't get hurt. That doesn't mean it's a smart thing to do, so I'm still going to tell kids not to run with scissors.
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Old February 14, 2012, 08:43 PM   #105
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Do you really think if I refused to cooperate that they would have just said "ok, you can go"?
If they had to ask to search, they did not have RAS. I have refused search on 2 occasions and, after some attempts to "scare" me, I was allowed to leave both times. Have instructed my teens in this practice, each has exercised their right to refuse a search during a traffic stop, both were allowed to leave. While YMMV, it has worked for me.
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Old February 14, 2012, 09:37 PM   #106
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2) if a pedestrian in a crosswalk or a bicycle rider is hit by a patrol car while the LEO is being distracted by his laptop (are we familiar with the term "distracted driving"?) would that qualify as being scary?
I found that point quite interesting personally, as I was almost smacked by police cruisers on 3 different occasions while on my motorcycle. One time I was waiting on a traffic light, another I was stopped at a stop sign, and the third I was moving at about 65 mph down the highway. After the third one I started riding with a helmet mounted camera for documentation, but then realized I could somehow be arrested for having footage of LEO's even if they were doing something irresponsible and dangerous. Never made any sense to me.

Upon realizing that LEO's were the biggest danger I encountered while riding, I decided to sell the bike and remain cage-bound......err, sorry, car-bound. At least if one of them hits me now I have a pretty good chance of surviving it. None of the cruisers had sirens or lights going, they were just being driven by morons. I never had encounters that close with any other vehicles while riding.
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Old February 15, 2012, 10:33 PM   #107
Jeff22
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video of the police?

Is taking a video of the police against the law?

Depends on your state statutes. Where I live and work it's perfectly legal as long as they stay out of your way while you're doing your job.

In my state it's also legal to tape a cop's conversation. Only one party has to consent for it to be legal, and thusly they can tape you legally.

But state laws on this issue vary significantly across the country.
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Old February 15, 2012, 10:46 PM   #108
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In my state it's also legal to tape a cop's conversation. Only one party has to consent for it to be legal, and thusly they can tape you legally.
That's one of the arguments the police have used against videotaping. The claim was that if the bystander was recording audio as well as video in a "two-party consent" state, then they're guilty of violating wiretapping laws. I don't know if the issue has been settled definitively in the courts. IANAL, but I would think that the fact that the recording is taking place in public would render two-party consent unnecessary.
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Old February 16, 2012, 07:17 AM   #109
OuTcAsT
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I don't know if the issue has been settled definitively in the courts.
It has been addressed by the courts, there is an ongoing thread in L&CR.
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Old February 16, 2012, 11:17 AM   #110
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Wow....

Cops ARE NOT on your side. This doent mean they are out to screw you over though. They have an Us Vs Them mentality. This does exist. My experiance as the only non-LEO male in 4 generations of my family tells me this. My family will admit the same thing. If anyone denies this they are a liar or ignorant. I mean this with all respect.

Just remember when dealing with LEOs, they have more rights than you do so...

The vast majority of LEOs are good honest people. My advice would be to treat them as such. Dont go around thinking every Cop is going to screw you over every chance they get. Just cover your own ass. It is not the LEOs duty to protect your rights as a citizen. Thats what attorneys are for.

Remember you have the right to remain silient.

Kudos to the OP. Great thread.
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Old February 16, 2012, 02:03 PM   #111
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If only we could end the thread on that note.
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Old February 16, 2012, 02:10 PM   #112
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Cops ARE NOT on your side.

Allow me to remark about this statement. Law Enforcement/Public Safety is on the people's side. When an officer arrests or detains an individual, they are not taking anyone's side. They are simply investigating an incident which may be a potential crime, gathering evidence and detaining/arresting the people who might be involved. The police department is not a decision making body and they do not take sides. All they do is collect information, evidence and, if need be, collect people. If you see or hear an officer coming to a conclusion about any type of suspected activity then they are out of line. It is not their job to come to an ultimate decision.

The person who is not on your side and you must truly beware of is the Prosecutor. This is why you are entitled to a lawyer and that is because a specialized person is needed to deal with that individual. Thus, at no point should you ever handle these situations alone. You should employ the services of an attorney from the start and refrain from making statements. The moment the police show up and start asking questions is the moment you should either be calling your attorney or asking for one. Your defense starts the moment the police show up. Do not ever think or believe you will be able to handle this on your own. You will need specialized help, even if you are an attorney yourself, to negotiate and deal with the Prosecutor...the guy who is not at all on your side.

The person or persons who may or may not be on your side is the judge or jury. In a courtroom, you never know how they might decide or what they think. They are the X factor or the unknown factor.

So the police are on your side, but understand their duty is to investigate these incidents and bring it to the Prosecutor. Whatever you say or do...whatever you provide...will be handed over to the Prosecutor so that is why these situations have to be handled carefully and professionally with the help of an attorney or at least the public defender. They should be the only ones making statements on your behalf.

As I said earlier, the best method to avoid these situations is not to expose yourself. For example, you wouldnt be getting arrested in NYC if you had simply researched the law and left the firearms at home. Just ask yourself every step of the way if your conduct or activity might be exposing yourself to police scrutiny.

Last edited by CaptainObvious; February 16, 2012 at 02:21 PM.
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Old February 16, 2012, 02:43 PM   #113
Frank Ettin
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Starting to get circular -- time to quit.
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