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Old June 8, 2012, 11:16 PM   #51
KyJim
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The leading U.S. Supreme Court case is City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, 531 U.S. 32 (2000). The city set up a number of roadblocks where they stopped cars according to a prearranged sequence and asked for license/registration and observed the drivers for evidence of impairment, visually checked the passenger compartment but did not search without consent unless probable cause was evident. They used a drug dog to sniff the cars. Detention was no more than five minutes.

The Court held this was an unconstitutional search and seizure, "We decline to suspend the usual requirement of individualized suspicion where the police seek to employ a checkpoint primarily for the ordinary enterprise of investigating crimes." Edmond at 44.

The court noted a very important exception:
Quote:
Of course, there are circumstances that may justify a law enforcement checkpoint where the primary purpose would otherwise, but for some emergency, relate to ordinary crime control. For example, as the Court of Appeals noted, the Fourth Amendment would almost certainly permit an appropriately tailored roadblock set up to thwart an imminent terrorist attack or to catch a dangerous criminal who is likely to flee by way of a particular route. See 183 F.3d, at 662–663. The exigencies created by these scenarios are far removed from the circumstances under which authorities might simply stop cars as a matter of course to see if there just happens to be a felon leaving the jurisdiction.
Edmond at 44.

Although technically not the holding of the Court, it seems clear that the type of roadblock and stop that happened here likely passes constitutional muster, at least initially. ConnTrooper, and others, hit the nail on the head when pointing out the length of delay. A detention of this type can last only long enough to determine if there is probable cause a particular person committed a crime or has contraband.

This is all very fact driven. If the description of the bank robber is of a white male, then the length of time police may detain a female or a black male might be less than the length of time to detain a white male. There may be other factors that would play into this as well.
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Old June 8, 2012, 11:29 PM   #52
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Fishing Cabin and Conn Trooper, I realize in a way we are playing what if's.... but it seems to me that many (if not most) departments encourage officers to find more suitable places to stop suspects, if given the option, than crowded public arenas.

If the bank robber had come at the officers, weapon in hand, that's different.

The officers chose the point of engagement in this instance.

If they really were tracking a GPS beacon, then their tactics were really poor.

That isn't an attack on police in general, it's an attack on the officers who made this truly stupid decision.
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Old June 9, 2012, 12:42 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishing Cabin
Frankly I can understand the LE side of darned if you do, and darned if you dont. Looking at this from the outside it is a no win situation no matter what is done really. If they try to take them at the intersection we have what we have. If they tried to take them down the road, who knows what could have happened. We can go on with "what if's" for a long time...
In truth, we were extremely fortunate to have had what we had. How many cars were jammed into that intersection? Suppose the perpetrator had chosen to come out shooting? Suppose he had grabbed a hostage?

I agree that the "innovative" tactics employed by the Aurora PD were rather unsound.
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Old June 9, 2012, 06:42 AM   #54
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Quote:
The court noted a very important exception:
Quote:
Of course, there are circumstances that may justify a law enforcement checkpoint where the primary purpose would otherwise, but for some emergency, relate to ordinary crime control. For example, as the Court of Appeals noted, the Fourth Amendment would almost certainly permit an appropriately tailored roadblock set up to thwart an imminent terrorist attack or to catch a dangerous criminal who is likely to flee by way of a particular route. See 183 F.3d, at 662–663. The exigencies created by these scenarios are far removed from the circumstances under which authorities might simply stop cars as a matter of course to see if there just happens to be a felon leaving the jurisdiction.
This says nothing about cuffing everyone in the intersection. A checkpoint seems to be reasonable. Check cars as they proceed through the intersection. A mass detention does not.
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Old June 9, 2012, 07:05 AM   #55
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I wonder if there will be an legal action taken by some of the detainees. I hope so. It sounds like a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
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Old June 9, 2012, 12:21 PM   #56
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I was taught in law school that every traffic stop is an arrest; a non-custodial arrest.

Every stop by law enforcement where a person is not free to go is an arrest.

However, there is no arrest where there is no restraint, and the restraint must be under real or pretended legal authority.

Whether someone is arrested turns on whether a reasonable person under these circumstances would believe he or she was restrained or free to go.
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Old June 9, 2012, 12:59 PM   #57
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Police operate within a two-tiered process. You can be detained briefly under a lower standard than the one under which you may be arrested. My understanding is that a traffic stop is a detention which has somewhat flexible, but limited time constraints based on the facts.
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Old June 9, 2012, 01:09 PM   #58
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Handcuffs pretty much makes it an arrest. (what do you think they would have charged someone with if they refused?)

Ultimately they'll claim they cuffed everybody for Officer Safety. That always works.
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Old June 9, 2012, 02:38 PM   #59
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MLeake and Aguila,

While the "what if's" are good and actually spur debate to expand knowledge and to encourage keeping an open mind, beyond that the majority of details havent been released yet. There has been mentioned made that the suspect had possibly taken hostage(s).

Source: http://kdvr.com/2012/06/02/aurora-po...bbery-suspect/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Above Source
According to witnesses, the adult occupants of the vehicles were handcuffed and led away from their cars after reports the suspect might have taken hostages.
If the suspect had been allowed to continue on for a way and had killed someone, it would have been discussed why didnt the police act sooner, which I feel is a fair "what if" to consider as well.

The main reason the case is very interesting to me, is I am looking to see what the court system has to say about the detention of this number of people for this period of time. There have been cases involving a few people being detained and establishing a reasonable time. If the court upholds the detention, it will be interesting to see what the court does say about length of time they are held. Also, it will be interesting to see just how many cars/people the officers could legally hold in a situation such as this.

Also it is important to note that a lawyer who has worked with the ACLU according to the following news source said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Source Below
he has been contacted by several of the people detained Saturday afternoon by Aurora police and that he is looking into whether or not to pursue litigation against the city. He told KHOW later that he thought the city may have been within its rights..
http://coloradoindependent.com/12155...tuional-alarms

This isnt an open and shut case in any way, but will need to be looked at over time.

There are many others that feel that the officers over stepped their authority as well. This will continue to be debated for a while, and has a good chance of making some good case law.

Last edited by Fishing_Cabin; June 9, 2012 at 02:46 PM.
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Old June 9, 2012, 03:01 PM   #60
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Now that we KNOW it was a GPS tracking device who is the mo mo who decided to confront an armed suspect with 20 other cars around? Why not wait a mile..two miles..5 miles until they could not only narrow down the suspect car but also stop it in an area that is less populated. What would have happened if the bank robber came out guns a blazing with an AK-47 and killed some of those motorists? The more I learn the more I have to question some of the basic tactical leadership of the LEO's in command in this case.

I understand there is a concern about a hostage but what is perhaps 1 or 2 hostages weighed against 20 some odd motorists? Last time I checked 2 is way less than 20...This whole stop just seems reckless to me.
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Old June 9, 2012, 10:10 PM   #61
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Patriot86,

While I am not thrilled with this situation, there comes a time when there is a choice to be made. Frankly I am not thrilled with any bank robbery to be honest. I would prefer there had been less people involved but given that there is a bank robbery and the history of violence with some bank robberies, one should ask who is more important than who. Meaning, if there was a shootout, was the people there and detained at this intersection more important, or are others down the road if there was a chase that may have been involved in a shootout more important, or who? Just who is more important... Kind of a difficult question. Thankfully this bank robber did not fire on others.

Quote:
Now that we KNOW it was a GPS tracking device who is the mo mo who decided to confront an armed suspect with 20 other cars around? Why not wait a mile..two miles..5 miles until they could not only narrow down the suspect car but also stop it in an area that is less populated. What would have happened if the bank robber came out guns a blazing with an AK-47 and killed some of those motorists? The more I learn the more I have to question some of the basic tactical leadership of the LEO's in command in this case.

I understand there is a concern about a hostage but what is perhaps 1 or 2 hostages weighed against 20 some odd motorists? Last time I checked 2 is way less than 20...This whole stop just seems reckless to me.
From the videos of chases I have seen there are almost always way more then 20 innocent people involved that just happen to be on the same road, area, etc. I could ask the same question of "who is the mo mo that decided to let the person through and let a chase begin instead of keeping him trapped at the intersection? Or who let this mo mo through and let him shoot others or shoot at others in a chase?"

Dealing with a person robbing a bank, who, according to the early news source I posted earlier may have hostage(s), there is no great solution that doesnt place people in danger. I also dont think this robber in aurora said "give me your money or I will tell you a bad joke." There was a threat made, and with the history of bank robberies there was a threat of violence.

Say, if the officers let this guy proceed through the intersection and a chase started like the one in Rock Hill S.C. by an officer on his way to work who was flagged down and told of a bank robbery, would those at the intersection have their lives valued more then the lives of those in/around a chase? This is the video I am referencing:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...5116174896808#

After whatching this video that happened about 1 hour and 45 min away from me, can you honestly say that the people around this bank robber at the intersection in Aurora, that their lives where worth more then those around a possible chase like this rolling shootout/chase? Luckily in this video, no one else was hurt but the robber. I lost track of the cars, and possible people involved. Just which lives are more important? Thats never an easy answer. Just as its never easy to answer will this robber give up, or will there be a shoot out?

Either way, if they caught the guy at the intersection as they did, or if they let the guy through and a chase started, or in between. Lives are at risk in some way. There really isnt a way to avoid putting lives at risk. Its a gamble either way. I for one am glad it turned out safely for all.

As I said earlier, its up to the courts to decide just how many vehicles, and how large of an area, if at all can be be detained, or what settlement and how large it will be. I am not someone who is willing to give up rights either, but there again, I dont want someone to say their loved one died because LE let the badguys slip away and they tried again later with deadly results.

Edit to add...

MLeake,

I just realized I didnt answer your question earlier.
Quote:
it seems to me that many (if not most) departments encourage officers to find more suitable places to stop suspects, if given the option, than crowded public arenas.
Yes, most agencies encourage officers to find a suitable place to stop that involves the least risk to innocent people. With not only the public outcry, but also the risk involved in a chase, it has become preferable to try to wait until a vehicle that a suspect is in becomes tied up in traffic, if it is at all possible when there is the risk of a chase. Whether it is at an intersection such as this, or in another way. A simple traffic stop is one thing. But trying to corner a person such as a bank robber in this case, lately the choice is to try to reduce the possibility of a chase if possible. Having a limited number of folks that can be hopefully removed or evacuated has become preferable to having a fleeing person risking many people over many miles during a chase that may not be able to be removed/evacuated. There is no easy answer. There is always a level of risk involved. Honestly, there are many folks more intelligent then myself trying to find a solution to this very issue.

Have a great night all!

Last edited by Fishing_Cabin; June 9, 2012 at 11:45 PM. Reason: Edit to answer MLeake
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Old June 9, 2012, 11:50 PM   #62
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Fishing Cabin,

First, please realize I'm not trying to harass you. Frankly, you have always been reasonable, and are being reasonable now, so you're simply a good person to play devil's advocate with.

But here's my take on the chase vs intercept in a bottleneck scenario:

Most chases don't involve bank robbers. Going for the intercept at lower overall rates of speed has a safety advantage, and when the likeliest threat posed by the chased is ramming or hitting something with the car, then taking advantage of the bottleneck and low speed impacts might make sense.

When the chased has to be assumed to be armed (for instance, a bank robber and possible kidnapper), and likely to employ violence, particularly firearm violence, an open area seems very preferable to a crowded one.
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Old June 10, 2012, 06:36 AM   #63
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Quote:
one should ask who is more important than who. Meaning, if there was a shootout, was the people there and detained at this intersection more important, or are others down the road if there was a chase that may have been involved in a shootout more important, or who? Just who is more important... Kind of a difficult question.
I'm sorry...

"More Important"?

What does that even mean?

I agree with MLeake...Allowing the perp to proceed to an area where the GPS could differentiate between his vehicle and others, would have been the correct course of action...
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Old June 10, 2012, 07:33 AM   #64
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While I may have forced the "POLICE BRUTALITY CARD" or worse an OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING... I would have refused to play their little silly childish REPEAL OF THE BoR... With force if needed, I would refuse to be a victim of un provoked restraint by LEO or anyone else!!!

After I fully provoke them, they will have all the reason they need to detain me!

DON'T TREAD ON ME.... Mean anything to anyone but me?

I know I am preaching to a well practiced choir...

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Old June 10, 2012, 09:28 AM   #65
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Quote:
While I may have forced the "POLICE BRUTALITY CARD" or worse an OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING... I would have refused to play their little silly childish REPEAL OF THE BoR.
Let's slow down, folks. Yes, there are constitutional violations here, but the incompetent actions of one department do not amount to a repeal of the 4th Amendment.

Yeah, I'd have been on the phone to my attorney the minute the cuffs were off, but nothing I see here would have been solved or made better by use of force.

Let's do keep this discussion civilized if we want to keep it open.
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Old June 10, 2012, 01:24 PM   #66
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Salmoneye,

I did not mean to offend you or anyone else. By saying "just whose life is more important?" what I tried to get across was that there was a very real risk for an innocent person to be injured, it doesnt matter how those officers decided to proceed. Many here have said the officers involved should have tried to stop the individual at a later time in another location. A valid point to consider indeed, but I am sure that if the officers had decided to, they would still possibly be accused of risking lives. If it had become a chase at some point, the folks that are anti-chase will be upset, asking why couldnt the officers catch the person without a chase and risking lives. As I see it, its honestly a no win situation because lives will still be at risk no matter what option is decided upon.

MLeake,

Hearing the complaints of chases, the huge risk involved in a chase is exactly why many agencies have come up with a no-chase policy, or a heavily restricted policy on a chase, not to mention the large settlements from those injured/killed in a chase. I wish I had an easy answer but I really dont.

Also MLeake, I enjoy you playing devils advocate, as it keeps me on my toes at times.
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Old June 10, 2012, 02:24 PM   #67
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Was not offended, I simply do not understand what you mean by 'who is more important'...

Any life is (or should be) weighed equally...

I do not believe that putting that many people at risk in an enclosed area was prudent...

The police (and all the innocent people needlessly put in harms way by them) are seriously lucky that the guy did not want to shoot his way out...
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Old June 10, 2012, 02:40 PM   #68
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I can not speak with any knowledge of how the GPS trackers work. Maybe they have a limited life, work a limited distance away from the bank, whatever, I don't know.

I don't agree with the length of the detention, but if I was attempting to locate armed bank robbers, I would detain everyone in cuffs too. Once it was determined they were not armed, or a threat, off go the cuffs, explain what happened so maybe they understand the situation and off they go. I would not want to be detained any longer than I had to be, but I also don't want armed bank robbers running around my town. I don't think anybody does.
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Old June 10, 2012, 03:20 PM   #69
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Salmoneye,

I was trying to get across that no matter what choice was made, there were lives at risk, since an armed bank robbery is considered by some people to be a violent act itself. No matter what choice was made, it would probably be second guessed later. All lives ARE equal.

Last edited by Fishing_Cabin; June 10, 2012 at 03:48 PM.
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Old June 10, 2012, 04:09 PM   #70
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Quote:
I was trying to get across that no matter what choice was made, there were lives at risk, since an armed bank robbery is considered by some people to be a violent act itself. No matter what choice was made, it would probably be second guessed later. All lives ARE equal.
I almost agree with you, but they put actual people's lives at risk and forced them to sit there handcuffed in the danger zone versus letting the guy get down the road a ways and potentially putting people at risk. As far as "high speed chase" goes, don't they have radios in their cars? Radio ahead and intercept him instead of chasing from behind. I've never seen a car that can outrun a radio.
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Old June 10, 2012, 08:37 PM   #71
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I have no lawyer number in my phone and "after the fact" lawsuits do nothing to protect my rights... That task is up to me in the moment...

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Old June 10, 2012, 10:38 PM   #72
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Disgusting. I'm with hogdogs.
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Old June 11, 2012, 05:41 AM   #73
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it was a bank robber. armed yes, but not a terrorist with a bombvest. no human life was being threatened at that point in time, the actions were a gross over-reaction.

look how the the OJ "chase" was handled - and they knew he was armed.

if they thought they had a Tim McVeigh type on his way to do an OKC bombing type incident that may be different.
but a bank robber steals money , that's not human life. he wasn't trying to shoot anyone - he was trying to escape, he probably would endanger more civilians when they stop him in a crowd, than if they'd let him scoot a distance away. imo they endangered more lives, all in the hope of catching only a thief not a threat to life?

2ndly - why cuff these people? that made no sense. a road block to walk up and look inside cars while still standing outside the car, leaving occupants in their car if they didn't appear suspicious and didn't meet any description, etc. could have been okay.

i don't mind being stopped and asked some questions, in the interest of public safety.

they had way too little information (no description of perp? or car?)
and there wasn't any clear threat of mass casualties,

infact they created potential for high civilian casualties, if this were like the bankofamerica incident they just gave the uncaring shooter a ton of human shields / civilian targets / potential cars to jack / and potential hostages to take in a car.

this would've been an ineffective method even if it were in a country where it were totally legal.

what i'm also sad about is how many people accepted having weapons drawn on them, being taken out of their cars, being cuffed. but i'm beginning to lose sympathy for sheeple, if they get harmed do i need to care? am open to input, this is a question that's been on my mind lately.
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Old June 11, 2012, 08:35 AM   #74
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I hope the Aurora PD and the city that allowed such actions are sued into non-existence. There are already severe violations going on in NYC with their stop & frisk actions - the only way to stop these tactics is either through violence (not recommended) or through the courts - when it becomes too expensive for them every time this happens, they will stop
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Old June 11, 2012, 09:01 AM   #75
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Quote:
Clearly a civil rights violation that should result in criminal charges against all officers involved and the city should be sued out of existance.
While I agree that those responsible should absolutely loose their jobs and possibly face charges, I disagree with the presumption that if something bad happens you should get money.
I understand that sometimes money is the only way to get people's attention, but presuming the city is willing to take appropriate action, what is a civil suit going to accomplish?
If people are so traumatized that they need therapy, the City should foot the bill, but it's litigious BS like this that has made medical care unaffordable, and gotten giant warnings stamped into the side of guns.
There's no mysterious pot of magical government money - it's the tax payers in Aurora who are going to wind up having to foot the bill.

IMHO it's a dangerous attitude when people start seeing the government as some entity separate from the people it represents.

Sorry for the rant.
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