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Topic: Police Rant
Message: Posted by: James F (Jul 6, 2006 01:47AM)
Alright, this is somewhat of a rant and somewhat of a question.

My friends and I are CONSTANTLY being pulled over by the cops. You wouldnt think that's too odd figuring we are all 19, but when I say constantly, I mean it. I think we average about 2-3 pull-overs a week. Now granted, we do drive very late at night. (1-3 am) but to me, that's no excuse to be pulled over. Its a free country and I should be able to drive whenever I want without fear of being pulled over. (especially when I do nothing wrong)

Now some people probably are thinking "yeah right, you must be doing something wrong" However, we really aren't. Tonight, for example. I was taking my friend home and of course, we got pulled over. The officer said it was because I was "failing to maintain my lane" Well I can tell you right now (along with my friend as a witness), this is completely un true. In fact, I saw the cop behind me so I took extra special care to drive perfectly. Furthermore, he didn't give me a ticket. (Of course, if I really was not maintaing my lane, he should have given me a ticket.) I know what it is though, its simply an inarguable reason to pull two teenagers over. After giving him my license, he and his partner spent 5 minutes looking in my car with flashlights and bothering me to search the car.

Of course in the end, the cop didn't give me a ticket. Maybe its because I didn't do anything wrong! To add on to this, its the same few cops every time. In fact, when he came to the window I said "good to see you again, officer" Its the same few that pull us over night after night. So my question is this: Is there anything I can do to stop this from happening? Is there a place I can file a complaint or get a badge number and report these officers?

I could go into more stories of how we are pulled over for no reason, but I don't think its really needed. Any advice?

James
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Jul 6, 2006 03:34AM)
Hard judgement call.

On the one hand, how many people have we seen who excuse their ineptitude with "they're all picking on me"?

On the other, a lawyer friend of mine often points to cases where the "offense" was imaginary: "He was pulled over for a DWB; that's 'Driving While Black'."

If you happen to have three hands, on the other other hand, where the heck are you going at 3am every darned night in order to be pulled over three times a week? Don't you have a home to go to?
Message: Posted by: Lyndel (Jul 6, 2006 07:16AM)
James,

Speaking as a former police officer, first let me say this... I don't know how large of a community that you live in, but if it's rather small, chances are, the police force is rather small. That means that the "same officers" are going to be out there every night patrolling the streets for crime.

Now, by no means am I saying that there are no bad apples in the barrel, but Ross does makes a good point. Most law abiding citizens with the exeption of bakers, newspaper delivery people, street sweepers, and a couple other professions are at home sleeping at 3:00 AM. That leaves - for the most part - only those involved in drug activities, burglaries, etc. to be out there creeping around on the streets. Of course there are exceptions to the rules. I'm not generalizing everyone out in the wee hours to be criminals, but then again, we shouldn't generalize all police officers as people bent on harrassing you and your friends either.

Imagine one of these burglars cruising YOUR neighborhood looking for a car to steal and they zero in on yours. But only minutes before they decide to do the deed, a cop pulls them over and finds out what they are doing riding around a neighborhood at 3:00 AM. Now there is a record of the traffic stop and if your car does get stolen in the morning, detectives at least have a starting point from which to investigate the crime.

Here is my suggestion... Go ahead and contact the police department - not to complain on the officers... But to see if they have a "citizens orientation ride along program" and make arrangements to ride along on midnight shift with the officer. Spend a few hours in the other guys shoes and you might change the way you regard the guys and gals in uniform who put their very lives on the line for very little money to keep you, your family, and your friends safe at night while you sleep.


Lyndel
Message: Posted by: Bill Nuvo (Jul 6, 2006 07:21AM)
Have you asked the cops why?

Unless they are really doing something to violate your rights, you may just have to endure this. If you get their names, you can complain to the department, but sometimes this is known as a necessary evil as it were.

Police will sometimes pull you over for the smallest thing. Especially if you are doing something consider suspicious--Two teenagers making constant 3am runs and possibly moved outside of the lane at one point. Also if you all of a sudden start driving perfect, that can also arouse suspicion.

You should talk to SkipWay. I believe he was in Law Enforcement.
Message: Posted by: Marvello (Jul 6, 2006 08:24AM)
Find another route to drive, or try to curtail your driving at 3AM.

Also, take a look at the appearance of your car - I used to drive a car that had a lot of Grateful Dead stickers on it (bought the card from a deadhead) and found that I was getting pulled over all the time. I removed the stickers and stopped getting pulled over...

food for thought.
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jul 6, 2006 09:29AM)
In most jurisdictions, officers are justified in performing what we called "Field Interviews"...stopping a person within the public domain for little more than "let's take a look." Legally, you can be patted down for weapons during this stop and the officer doesn't need much of a reason to stop you. If you have a reputation for being in trouble...or always being around when something happens in the area, you're going to pop up on their radar alot...whether you're up to something or not. Cops, like gamblers, play the odds.

The officer didn't write you a ticket, but you can bet that your name and vehicle info was entered, legally, into a department database. If a crime occurs in your area, this database is consulted by investigators to see who might have been roaming through the area on that date and time. I've solved countless cases using this database and highly support field interviews. A minor convenience for the community good.

There are other reasons, as well. These interviews lead to countless arrests for drugs, DUI, burglary, suspicious behavior...even kidnapping and rape. If one were carjacked and forced into the trunk of the car after getting off of work at 2:00 in the morning, the sight of those flashing lights would be a welcome one. If your car was stolen and recovered through a random stop of this sort you'd be delighted. Let's face it, a vast majority of felonies occur during the hours of darkness and the wee morning hours. A good, experienced cop can tell when you're trying to hide something...or that you're just out cruising. If they had any reason to suspect you of anything, they would have followed through...believe me. Police work is a lot like fishing...you sit, you wait, you get a nibble and catch a lot of small ones that you throw back...but every now and then you catch that big one that would have got away if you hadn't had your hook in the water.

Marvello has a good point, as well. The appearance of the car has a lot to do with being pulled over. Radical stickers and slogans, band emblems, gang signs, obscene or rude bumper stickers are just a start. Loud, annoying music is also a great attractor for cops. Loud mufflers, lowriders, cars in poor mechanical or body condition, flashy rims and clearly expensive gizmos all attract the eye of the experienced cop. Maybe you were speeding...or he believed you were speeding but couldn't get a radar gun register on you...so he pulls you over for an interview...all perfectly legal. Fair? Probably not...but cars that display headshop and radical crap or pass by blaring bass-rending rap crap make great fishing holes for cops...often with big catches. Keep in mind that cop performance evaluations (leading to promotions and raises) often include the number and quality of busts made on their shifts. Do you really think your city pays them to munch donuts and swill coffee all night?

You have every right to be an individual...to put whatever sticker you want on your car, and drive around at 3:00 AM and have loud mufflers or flashy rims and play loud music. The cop has the legal right to drop his hook. Try to look and act less like bait.How many soccer mom vans get pulled over on your road?

What can you do about it? Be respectful to the cop and actually thank him for checking on your safety. Talk to him and get to know him. Ask him straight up why you keep getting pulled over so often...what can you do to put HIS mind at ease and maybe cut back on it some. He may not be a bad guy and knowing him may even come in handy some day. I had one kid that was a known drag racer and I had once caught him with an unloaded pistol under his seat. I pulled him over one night for a field interview. He started out with an attitude and the common donut insults. I challenged him to spend one Saturday night riding with me. He accepted. We became friends. And he's a North Carolina State Trooper today. Sometimes, all ya gotta do is ask.

If you have nothing to hide, let him look through your vehicle...why not? Sure you can stand by your civil rights and refuse...and he can continue to pull you over every time he sees you. He get's paid while you're ticked off. Where's the logic in that? Prove that you're not up to anything and maybe he'll back off. If you don't want to take the "good citizen" route...or you have something to hide...make an appointment to talk to the Patrol Division's deputy chief or the police chief in person. Dress well and be polite. Explain your concerns and ask for his guidance. Don't demand that it stop because "I'm a taxpayer!" It'll be open season on "James the Taxpayer."

Hope this helps. There is NO talking to or reasoning with some cops. They've seen to much and been suckered too many times to give a guy a fair chance. But, the vast majority are decent men women simply doing their best to do a very difficult and stressful job. Show them a little civility and interest and you might be very surprised at the results.
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Jul 6, 2006 09:41AM)
Well said Skip
Message: Posted by: RandyStewart (Jul 6, 2006 09:56AM)
James,

You may be tired of being pulled over for routine checks, but some citizens are really sick and tired of being victimized. And the cops are REALLY FED UP having to deal with those up to no good at wee hours of the morning.

At almost 40 years of age and living in a big city, I have a really old fart's attitude about these things. Yes this is a free country and you can drive around with your friends at 3am but being a free country, we've put officers in place to keep it as free and secure as possible. There was a time when we could say that nothing good happened in my city after midnight. Because we took the highest crime rate in the country last year, bad things happen at any time of the day. But some of the big stuff goes down at 2,3,and 4am. But it's still a beautiful city and citizens and law enforcement are working together to clean it up.

Last year I woke to the sound of smashing glass and looked out the bedroom window to find my neighbor's SUV broken into. This is a common sound and occurrence despite being a good area! I called 911. I watched as the car thief ransacked her vehicle bagging certain things including stereo. He was very good and very fast! Within a coule of minutes he was done, amazingly enough was careful to close the door sloooooowly (wearing gloves) and casually walked away with the large black bag wrapped around his shoulder. I no longer have a stereo in my car. It was stolen sometime during the night.

I gave a description to police and off they went. Forty five minutes later there was a knock at my door and it was police. I ended up in the backseat of one squad car while they brought another car around the block. From a few yards away with spotlight on the other car, they pulled the suspect from vehicle while I identified him from backseat of the other car.

I've had to do stuff like this several times! All of these incidents happened between 2 and 4 am. These are preferred hours BECAUSE THEY KNOW HONEST WORKING PEOPLE ARE SLEEPING! To make matters worse, it was on a Monday morning - yeah great way to start the day.

A recent drug deal gone bad (like there's anything good about them) resulted in the shooting of a crack addict in the alley behind my building. Suspect is still at large. The victim was shot at 3am.

The stories go on and on. Don't expect any slack from those of us who are at home sleeping trying to get rest at 3am. If you are not drinking and driving, running drugs, vandalizing, or up to no good, I and many others thank you. This remains a free country for you and all of us to enjoy until you violate those laws then you go to jail.

Unless you are driving to or from work, responding to an emergency, headed home from a special event, or on a very rare trip to the corner store for something, you'll find most will have to suspect you of being up to no good. Nothing personal.

And you thought you were tired.
Message: Posted by: James F (Jul 6, 2006 12:06PM)
Wow, a lot of replies. Thanks for all the comments. You all made a lot of good points and I understand where everyone is coming from. I don't really think I can refute anything anyone said because I agree 100% with everyone. Of course, that doesn't change the fact that Im tired of being pulled over. (by the way, the reason we are always out so late is, well its summer. We usually are at a friends house watching movies etc and then decide to go home later that night) As someone said, I could allow them to search my car, but I wont. Yes, I have nothing to hide, but I also gave no reason to make them think I should be searched. I will never allow an officer to search my vehicle.

I appreciate what the police do and how dangerous their job is, but I honestly think the police don't have enough to do here.

One night (I was taking the same friend home actually) we were at a light turning. On the other side of the traffic light were two cops. We turn, and of course they follow us. (They were origionally turning a different direction) Knowing I get pulled over a lot and that it was late, I turn a few times and eventually enter a subdivision. (I don't want police behind me) This isn't my friends house so we wait a few seconds and then leave the subdivision. Sure enough, they are waiting outside for us and begin following us again. They follow me to my friends house and keep following me on the way back. After a while I put on my hazards and pulled over to the side of the road. He turned on his lights and asked me why I pulled over. I was honest and told him it was because I was tired of him following me and wanted to know why.

The officer said "You know, its kids like you that keep us from being out catching criminals." I responded simply by saying "I didn't ask to get followed officer" Eventually he let me go like always.

Im not saying the cops around here are "bad" or anything like that. But they are definitely seeing teenagers at 2am driving and pulling us over for no reason other than the fact that they may find drugs. To me, this is wrong.

Also, how the car looks is important I think. When we drive in my friends car we get pulled over much more often. In mine it is very infrequent. Infact, my friend gets pulled over so often in his car we thought maybe a car of the same model had been stolen or something. We couldn't imagine being pulled over so much for any other reason.

And one more thing "Unless you are driving to or from work, responding to an emergency, headed home from a special event, or on a very rare trip to the corner store for something, you'll find most will have to suspect you of being up to no good. Nothing personal."

Actually, I take that VERY personally. You are making a generalization with absolutely NO proof. DO NOT PULL ME OVER UNTILL YOU HAVE REASON TO DO SO. You don't pull me over for no reason, then HOPE to find a reason later. that's not how it works. It works like this: Im drunk and cant drive. You pull me over and find out Im drunk. It's not You pull me over for no reason. You then find out Im drunk.

James
Message: Posted by: Bill Nuvo (Jul 6, 2006 12:32PM)
Around here we have what's called a RIDE program. Police set up check points and stop all cars and ask people about if they had drinks etc. They usually have it around "Bar" time. Inconvenient for a non-drinker....yes, but if they catch one person who is drinking and driving, then all the better.

I remember one time I was patted down search while I was walking to a gig (to do balloons). I wasn't doing anything, but there was some sort of demostration downtown nearby and they weren't taking any chances. I went along with what they asked, answered questions in a calm matter of fact manner and then they sent me on my way in 5 minutes. I found out later in the paper that the police had captured a person with a gun heading in the direction of the protest. No gripes from me.
Message: Posted by: hkwiles (Jul 6, 2006 12:34PM)
1 -3am isn't "very late at night". It is "very early in the morning"

12pm is the very latest you can get at night.

If you were driving around at that hour and were the only ones ( worse if you are walking around at that time). I'm noit in the least bit suprised that you got pulled.

Howard
Message: Posted by: James F (Jul 6, 2006 12:53PM)
It seems people are more willing to give up freedoms to be "safe." Im not. I don't care whats going on or how late it is. If Im not doing anything wrong, leave me alone. End of story.

Being pulled over for no reason angers me, road blocks and random checks anger me, etc. All I ask for is to be left alone as long as Im not breaking any law. doesn't seem too much to ask for. I could understand extreme cases like mr. bill, but nothing like that is ever happening here. Being out late at night, driving perfectly and going the speed limit hardly flashes flags saying "LAW BREAKER"

Give me a break.

James
Message: Posted by: Brandon Delgado (Jul 6, 2006 01:06PM)
James--

I hate to tell you this, but I'm in agreement with Howard, here. You're 19 and out at 3 am. While it's your right to do so, it [i]will[/i] arouse suspicion (probably would no matter how old you are, but at 19, it's even worse). As Skip said, the police don't need much of a reason to pull you over. They don't need proof of anything to do it. They only need suspicion, and just being out at 3 am, especially if you are one of the few out at that time, arouses suspicion. It's a pain, yes, especially considering you're doing nothing wrong, but the police are just doing their job and they are playing odds as Skip said. I would seriously follow his advice and the next time it happens; let them search. Ask why you're being stopped (politely). Give them absolutely no reason to suspect you of any wrong doing and put their mind at ease about it. It just might lead to fewer and fewer of these incidents. Seriously, if you keep getting pulled over at 3am and regularly refuse to consent to a search if they ask, you're only throwing up a red flag. It's your right to refuse, but why would you if you have nothing to hide? That's how they would see it. Sometimes you have to give in a little to get what you want.

-B
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jul 6, 2006 01:08PM)
[quote]DO NOT PULL ME OVER UNTILL YOU HAVE REASON TO DO SO. You don't pull me over for no reason, then HOPE to find a reason later. [/quote]

I just love these "I know my rights" types! They make the best Holding Cell Surveillance Video outtakes at the annual department banquets! Does a mechanic wait until your engine blows up to identify and change a faulty part? Does a doctor wait until the appendix bursts before pulling that pupppy out? Why should a cop wait until the crime has been committed to secure his area?

The officer's primary goal is crime PREVENTION...which is contrary to the popular misconception that the PRIMARY and PRINCIPAL purpose of the police officer is responding to crimes and hunting down criminals. A positive and well-managed interception program...such as stopping & interviewing teens who are making suspicious meandering turns through random neighborhoods at 3:00 in the morning...has a way of preventing crimes BEFORE they happen. That's what I want MY police department to be doing! You betcha!!

There's a saying...If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...pull it over and see what he's up to! Or something like that...

Now...on to brighter topics!

Skip
Message: Posted by: James F (Jul 6, 2006 01:39PM)
Then Im afraid we have VERY differing views. First of all, just because I have nothing to hide doesn't mean its ok to search my car. Its MY car and I have NOTHING in it. Move on with your life. Denying a search does not admit guilt just as remaining silent does not. If I have nothing in my car and no reason for you to suspect so, why search my car? Saying "you have nothing to hide so just consent" is ridiculous. No way.

And the officer was not preventing anything. He was out looking for someone to pull over just because he has nothing else to do. Want crime prevention? How about you go patrol through neighborhoods where crime is high? Or how about you sit on the side of the road where you followed me from, but instead of following someone who is driving fine and not breaking any laws, you wait untill someone drives by barely on the road. Chasing me while Im doing nothing is only keeping you from stoping those who need to be stopped. that's crime prevention. I respect officers and all they do for us. They have a dangerour job and its not easy. However the officers following me like this, in my opinion, are not doing their job.

And Im not one of "those I know my rights types" I simply know what is "right" and what is "wrong" ...You can follow me. Eventually, I am GOING to do something wrong. Im human. I don't drive perfect. Its not "right" to follow someone waiting for them to make a mistake. And then if I get tired of following you, just pull you over anyway and SAY you did something wrong! Come on, you'd have to be really thick to think that isn't "wrong"

It comes down to this. I should not be pulled over for following the law and doing nothing wrong. Its that simple. Yet I am constantly being pulled over for just that! There are a lot of bad people in the world, how about you go look for them instead of pulling people over and trying to find something wrong.

James
Message: Posted by: Brandon Delgado (Jul 6, 2006 02:36PM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-06 14:39, AJOJRF wrote:
Denying a search does not admit guilt just as remaining silent does not.
[/quote]

You're right, James, it doesn't admit guilt. It doesn't do much to eliminate the suspicion, either. Do you really want these guys to lay off? It's not going to happen if you keep doing what you're doing. You're a young male driving around at 3 am, into random neighborhoods. You refuse to let them look in your car when they ask. The more you cooperate, the less suspicious you appear to them.

“You got any weapons or drugs in your car?”
“No, officer.”
“No? Mind if we take a look?”

Let's see, do I refuse because they have no real basis for looking and it is my right to refuse? Or do I let them search and show them I'm not lying and really have nothing to hide? Regardless of what you may or may not have in your car, if you are constantly being hassled and constantly refuse, the police will think you're lying, especially if it's the same guys over and over. They will continue to stop you. They want to catch you, because your lack of cooperation is suspicious to them.

[quote]
Im not saying the cops around here are "bad" or anything like that. But they are definitely seeing teenagers at 2am driving and pulling us over for no reason other than the fact that they may find drugs. To me, this is wrong.
[/quote]

You seem to have identified why you're getting pulled over, here. Whether you agree with the practice or not, there is nothing illegal or unethical about it. Much like you are doing nothing wrong, they are doing nothing wrong. So cooperate with them. Once, let them take a peek. I'm not saying that you should just let them walk all over you. If they continue to pull you over after you've allowed them to look in your car, then you've got yourself a complaint to make. But, the next time you are pulled over, try this: be cooperative with them as opposed to putting up the resistance simply because it's your right and you don't agree with what they are doing. That should really do a lot to keep them from stopping you unnecessarily. Speaking as a young male, just like you: police like cooperative people, and are much less likely to hassle them.

-B
Message: Posted by: James F (Jul 6, 2006 03:29PM)
You make good points, but I think you are missing one thing. I do not believe the police remember pulling us over from other times. (Im sure they don't remember each un eventfull pull over like we do, because afterall, they do a lot more of them) They also do not remember the cars most likely. Therefore allowing them to search the car will only appease them for that one time. Then the next time I will get pulled over again. You say there is nothing "unethical" about it, but I must say I disagree. All I know is if I were a police officer, I would NOT do this. I would pull someone over who is doing something wrong. NEVER would I pull someone over without reason. NEVER. period.

Also, we don't drive around in random subdivisions. This was just ONE example of how persistant they were to follow me. I should not be being followed for extended periods of time. And when I try and get the officers to stop following me, they continue to follow me no matter where I go. This was one time and as I said, I later pulled over and explained to the officer I was annoyed with him following me. So driving around neighbourhoods is not really something to add to the supposed "suspicious" actions Im doing. Because we all know how suspicious obeying the law is.

James
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jul 6, 2006 03:56PM)
Actually...they do remember each car. Remember that database we talked about. Most departments these days require that all traffic stops be radioed (or computer logged) in. The dispatcher's (or the in-car computer console's) job when this call comes in is to log the stop and check for wants & warrants against the license plate and vehicle description. In many departments this includes a check against the field interview log to see when this vehicle was last stopped, why it was stopped, when, where and who was driving. For example, if you had been stopped on three previous nights in the same area where several burglaries or car break-ins had occurred...you might be in for a very long morning. Did the officer take your license back to his car while you sat at the side of the road? He was checking these databases.

Look...I apologize for my earlier tone...rereading it I can see where I came off somewhat rudely. I fully understand your annoyance and argument...and in a perfect world you would have a very valid point. I tried to "harrass" only those people I knew as potential problems. I tried to be civil with the kids I stopped and interviewed. You have EVERY right in the world to refuse every request for a voluntary search...and frankly, you're smart to do it. One of the very busts that got me promoted to investigations was the result of a man who was too afraid to refuse a search of a bag he was carrying. Who knows what a buddy may have left in YOUR car? Who knows what a cop might view as probable cause for a more thorough search? More inmportantly, you've done nothing wrong, so why submit? I agree with you.

That said, however, teens cruising at that time of the morning and acting a bit out of the ordinary ("...We turn, and of course they follow us. Knowing I get pulled over a lot and that it was late, I turn a few times and eventually enter a subdivision. This isn't my friends house so we wait a few seconds and then leave the subdivision.) just because a cop car is following them ARE suspicious and WILL be pulled over. Once again...it's your choice. Ask them face-to-face. Be polite. Show interest and appreciation. Maybe they'll post a note to your database file that says you're okay and the stops will slow down. Maybe. I CAN promise you that the cops are NEVER going to change their tactics...cause they're legal and they work!

Well, we've beaten that horse down to the bare bones. Best of luck, James.

Skip
Message: Posted by: Brandon Delgado (Jul 6, 2006 04:23PM)
Hopefully, James you will find some way to get them to quit following you when you have done nothing wrong. I certainly agree that it shouldn't happen as frequently as it seems to happen to you. If allowing them to search is not something you wish to do, then it is certainly your choice. The most I can say is to follow Skip's advice in the last paragraph of his post above. Be polite and direct with them. That's being cooperative, and as I said before, police like cooperative people. Very best of luck to you.

-B
Message: Posted by: Jerrine (Jul 6, 2006 05:03PM)
Welcome to the land of the free. If you don't look like the average guy or keep "regular" hours you will be harassed, repeatably. That hour of the day police in a small jurisdiction have nothing else to do and you become a time killer.

In my youth I walked home from work regularly at 2a.m. and was stopped every single night by the same cop. He knew why I was where I was and what I was doing. Finally after months of this I simply kept walking and told him that he already knew all there was to know and to leave me alone. Fortunately for me he had some conscience and let me be.

I've had very similar things happen through the years from very many cops from many different cities. I've been detained for over two hours by 6 cops in 3 units for attempting to deliver a pizza at a gated community. I was all smiles and giggles too, no disrespect. Not one of them would look at the ticket and the hot pie in the bag to verify why I was where I was. Small town cops are as crooked as the letter S. Get used to it, it's not changing any time soon. Complain and you got yourself some extended trouble.

For the record I have no record and am no law breaker. I'm simply listen to a different drummer, which sad to say is enough to buy a fellow some time with local P.D. My significant other has worked in law enforcement for many many years in several capacities and has told me horrific stories of just such B.S. inflicted on the public and how Police revel and amuse themselves with such activities because they can. My advice? Move to a location where Police have better things to do than hassle citizens.
Message: Posted by: James F (Jul 6, 2006 08:04PM)
Thanks for all the replies. I too applogize for my tone in some posts.

First off, that's very interesting Skip. About the database and all that. I didn't know any of that. Secondly, I think maybe the officers recognize my friend, but not me. Usually it is HIS car we get pulled over in, not mine. (But Im always there) So its less likely the cop knows me, although Im VERY confident he remembers my friend.

Again, you're right about the search. Those are the exact reasons I do not consent to a search of any kind.

I think you're right, we pretty much talked this one dead. I guess I can at least find comfort in the fact that I most likely wont get a ticket! haha.

One more thing for Skip, is it true that I can deny permission to search my car, my person, AND a canine search? I heard all three of those must have either my permission, or a warrant. Also, I heard that if a cop is bothering you to answer questions, you can simply ask them politely to either write you a ticket for what you have done wrong or let you be on your way. In other words, they cannot detain you for long periods of time unless you are under arrest.

I ask this because a few of my friends got pulled over a while back. They were asked to step out of the car. They were all searched and a canine unit was brought over to sniff the car (because they denied permission to a car search) Im sure my friends consented to the search and canine on accident if permission is required. However, could they not have simply said they must be on their way and to please issue them a ticket? What exactly are your rights in this situation?

James
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Jul 6, 2006 08:12PM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-06 08:16, Lyndel wrote:
Here is my suggestion... Go ahead and contact the police department - not to complain on the officers... But to see if they have a "citizens orientation ride along program" and make arrangements to ride along on midnight shift with the officer. Spend a few hours in the other guys shoes and you might change the way you regard the guys and gals in uniform who put their very lives on the line for very little money to keep you, your family, and your friends safe at night while you sleep.
[/quote]
Phenomenal idea - even if you can't get a "ride along", see if you can arrange a short sit-down so you get to know the officer and he gets to know you. Chances are you will each come away with a better perspective on each other - I don't have a history of disagreement with officers, but when when I've gotten to know certain individuals (especially in the high-security area where I live) I've had evidence of the improved relations that come when the cop knows my position is "anything I can do to help, officer" and I know his position is "that's just ross, he's OK."
Message: Posted by: James F (Jul 6, 2006 08:21PM)
I have nothing against any officers. I hold them in high respect as well. I appreciate what they do for me and for everyone. I never said or hinted at otherwise. I simply said Im tired of being pulled over for no reason. I don't think a ride along is needed. Thanks though.

James
Message: Posted by: RandyStewart (Jul 6, 2006 09:35PM)
Go to bed.





Wow! that was fast as someone just PM'd me telling me that comment was rude of me.
What I meant to say was why don't you "sleep on it"....
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jul 6, 2006 10:58PM)
James, I'm gonna just ruin your day. Sorry. To answer this specific question without going into a lot of legal mumbo jumbo... it depends on the jurisdiction... but nearly every police department has the legal authority to detain an individual on "reasonable suspicion" for anywhere from 12 to 72 hours. You have the right to ask for a lawyer...and that means I can't question you...but I can sit there and stare at you in an interview room until your lawyer obtains a writ for your release if I so choose. This varies from state to state. This means that if I, as a police officer, have a reasonable belief that you are involved in something I should know about, I can hold you. If I stop you and believe that you have been evasive in answering my questions or may be hiding something I can hold you on the scene until a K-9 unit arrives. I can hold you until an eyewitness from a crime scene can be brought to identify you. I can hold you if you fail or refuse to produce identification on demand...or if I have any reason to believe that the ID may be false. In this case, you can't just leave. Again...this varies from place to place. Lesson: Learn your rights within your jurisdiction. Don't listen to gossip...jailhouse lawyers will screw your life up!

You can deny the search of your car and property...but, the Supreme Court has said that you cannot refuse to allow an officer to frisk you. A frisk is a light check of your person and clothing for anything that might be used as a weapon against the officer. A male officer may frisk a female and a female officer may frisk a male, although most departments have policies against this except as a very last resort. By law, it's a matter of safety for the officer...nothing more. Refusing this frisk WILL get you arrested...and searched...legally. Now trust me on this...you do not want a ticked off cop searching your car and belongings. In most jurisdictions, cops are not legally responsible for anything damaged or destroyed as a result of a legal search. Again, depending on the jurisdiction, anything illegal other than a weapon that the officer finds during this frisk may be used as probable cause to obtain a search warrant for a complete search of your person and property. Lesson: Don't hide crap on your person that you don't want the cops to find.

Now more fun news: If I look inside your car and see something that I, as a trained individual, believe is a narcotic residue, marijuana roach, drug paraphernalia, a potential weapon such as a club, knife or gun or the fruit of a specific crime I can detain you and use the "plain sight" item to obtain a legal search warrant for your car and person...because the item that created my probable cause was in plain site. I stopped a kid once who tore the filter off of a cigarette and rolled the end to look like a roach. He smoked the thing and left it in plain sight in his car ashtray as a joke. I saw it, got a warrant and found a bit of crack residue stuck in his seat cushion. I sort of neglected to test the cigarette until after the search. Still, the court found the search admissable and the joke was on him. Oh....and we kept the car and sold it at auction. Lesson: IF the cops want to search you they will find a way. The best way to avoid trouble is to stay clean!

Finally, drug dogs do not necessarily constitute a search. As long as I use the dog along the public exterior of your vehicle I'm not violating your rights. The outside of your vehicle is considered to be public access and therefore is not protected. This isn't a search by law. However, IF the dog alerts during this outside check, I can use that alert to detain you and obtain a search warrant for a complete search of your car. Lesson: I absolutely friggin' loved my drug dogs!!

Want to hear something even better? In some jurisdictions, your constitutional rights are only guaranteed on public property. On private or government proprietary property... such as concert amphitheaters, sports stadiums, shopping malls, schools, college campuses, courthouses, amusement parks, military bases and so on...by entering onto the property you are entering into a contract with the property owner. The owner says that you can access his property but in so doing you are waiving your right to refuse a search of your person or property with or without probable cause. The statement only needs to be posted on your ticket, on a sign at the gate, at the ticket office, on a brochure or website...anywhere that a reasonable person would be expected to see and read it. If a cop stops you on one of these places at the request of the owner or his repesentative (such as a security guard)...whether you've read the notice or not...you may not have the right to refuse a search or your car or person. And it's 100% legal. I used to pop kids for pot and weapons at the mall during my "slow times"...at the request of the mall manager. Fish in a barrel! The kids couldn't refuse to let me check their pockets and backpacks and they were too stupid to leave the stuff at home. Lesson: Always check that fine print...and don't be stupid!!!

Hope that answers your questions, James!! What a world, eh?

Skip
Message: Posted by: James F (Jul 7, 2006 12:04AM)
Woah! A lot of information. I really appreciate the detailed response Skip. A lot of info I didn't know. All of that seems completely reasonable to me. I just wasnt sure exactly about some of that. Thanks a lot. Its good I have nothing to hide so I don't really have any worries about any of that. Ive always wanted to ask an officer those questions, but generally, I only see them when being pulled over. Not exactly the best time to ask about issues such as that haha. Anyway, thanks again for the advice and insight. I really do appreciate it.

James
Message: Posted by: RandyStewart (Jul 7, 2006 01:01AM)
Well be safe James. That's the important thing here. If you are a good person, and I do sense you are, there are many equally good people who want you to be safe.

I grew up watching some of the old episodes of "The Twighlight Zone". I also grew up with a life of lessons learned in ways that could of made a great episode on that show. But that's my problem and not yours. Early on I could be pretty hard headed about things especially when I had nothing to hide.

We wouldn't want you to find yourself in a situation, at 3am, where suddenly the annoying officer(s) are nowhere to be found when you really need them.

Some night, after dropping your friend off, you may find yourself in a situation where you could only hope to see the officer(s). The annoying cop(s), at 3am, may not be there for you if you do find a desperate need for their assistance. But hey, no matter what the situation, you can handle it, and best of all, you won't have to deal with their annoying ways.

There have been many men who got exactly what they wished for. We just never heard from them as they choked on their dreams or simple life requests.

Have you thought about telling your friend to sleep over? It's better than having you all out there at that hour. Show your guest the couch and wake to another day :)
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 7, 2006 01:31AM)
This is kind of funny. I used to work late all the time, and, over a period of about 15 years, got pulled over by the police twice. Once was because I had a headlight out. The other time was when a burglary was committed by someone who had a car like mine. Both times, I was released, because I was polite, and I had not done anything.

OTOH, my brother, who had a habit of driving through an area near here called "The Villages" -- essentially small towns with small-minded cops -- used to get pulled over every time he drove through. Why? He drove late at night, had hair down to the middle of his back, and has an eye that wanders like he is stoned. To make it worse, when he would get pulled over, it wasn't "Yes, officer, what seems to be the trouble?" it was "YEAH!!!! WHADDAYAWANT?!"

He was never charged with anything, but he was hassled a lot.

He was what we termed "a slow learner," because he never quite got the connection between driving late in a part of town that was hostile to him and getting pulled over.

There is an old saying, one of the definitions of insanity is repeating the same actions while expecting differing results.

Another old saying: "Doctor, it hurts when I raise my arm like this. What should I do?"

"Don't raise your arm like that."

You have lots of rights in this country, but you have to realize that other people have rights, too. For example, when you drove through that subdivision to evade the police, did it strike you as suspicious? To them, that's as suspicious as a sloppy back palm.

There are people who firmly believe that it is far better to spend a few nights in jail because they have the right to be anywhere they want to be, than it is to simply move along. I don't think you really want to try that. You didn't indicate that it was high on your "to do" list.

There are far worse things than getting pulled over by the police.
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Jul 7, 2006 02:24AM)
I've not read all the post...I'm sure they are lovely. All I want to say is you don't have a right to drive and not only do you likely give cause to get pulled over they should smack you upside the head with a night stick and get your attitude adjusted. You get pulled over constantly, others may never get pulled over (I figure I've driven close to 600,000 miles and have been pulled over twice and both were legit), likely it is you. Hoodlum.
Steve V <---didn't drive at 19 cuz he was serving his country not driving his little pals around at 3 am!
Message: Posted by: Freak Prodigy (Jul 7, 2006 03:58AM)
Jeeze steve...little harsh?

I agree with both parties, my father being a cop...me being a teenager, but AJOJRF why don't you just stay at your friends house?

Brett.
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jul 7, 2006 06:30AM)
Gee, Steve...give the guy a break. He asked a question.

James...try something just once. Next time you get pulled over...or next time you see a cop who's not busy...just try, once. Tell the cop you've always wondered about how tough their job is and just offer to buy him a cup of coffee at an all-night diner or 7-11. (Don't mention donuts, for crissakes! :) ) so you can ask him a few questions. You might just discover a human being behind that badge. In fact, he might discover the one in you.

Best of luck to ya. Now somebody...PLEASE bury this pony!!!

:) Skip
Message: Posted by: Marvello (Jul 7, 2006 07:10AM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-06 13:06, AJOJRF wrote:
I will never allow an officer to search my vehicle.
[/quote]

Good luck on that one.

When they ask you if it is ok to search your car, and if you readily and willingly say "Sure thing officer, no problem - feel free to search my car" they will sometimes think twice about actually doing it. They are fishing, and if you give them any reason to think that something is out of the ordinary, by refusing to let them search, they will fish some more.

Always cooperate politely with police officers. You may feel that you rights are being violated, and they have no right to do so, but rest assured that they do have the right, and duty, to investigate suspicious activities.

Bottom line - Don't be suspicious.
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jul 7, 2006 07:27AM)
Sorry, Marvy...even as a cop...no, especially as a cop, I have to disagree with ya here. Yes...refusing to consent to a search, asking for a lawyer or exercising your right to remain silent creates suspicion in the cop's mind. And it is the cop's job and training to get around this refusal...legally.

Freely consenting... even if you have a clean conscience and nothing whatsoever to hide is seldom the best course. As a cop with a spotless record...if I were ever questioned as even a potential suspect and innocent as the driven snow I would refuse to answer questions until I knew what I was suspected of and I had a chance to discuss the issue with a lawyer. If a cop asks me for consent to search my vehicle on public property I would politely refuse..."I prefer not to consent for personal reasons."

I naturally support my brothers & sisters of the badge and the job they do...but, we have yet to move to a police state. Professional cops will understand this and seek legal recourse if they feel strongly enough about the search and have the legal standing to pursue it. Cooperating and mindlessly submitting are two different issues here. The Bill of Rights is there for a reason...and we respect that.

I have GOT to stop reading this thread!!!

:) Skip
Message: Posted by: Marvello (Jul 7, 2006 08:57AM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-07 08:27, Skip Way wrote:
Sorry, Marvy...even as a cop...no, especially as a cop, I have to disagree with ya here. Yes...refusing to consent to a search, asking for a lawyer or exercising your right to remain silent creates suspicion in the cop's mind. And it is the cop's job and training to get around this refusal...legally.

Freely consenting... even if you have a clean conscience and nothing whatsoever to hide is seldom the best course. As a cop with a spotless record...if I were ever questioned as even a potential suspect and innocent as the driven snow I would refuse to answer questions until I knew what I was suspected of and I had a chance to discuss the issue with a lawyer. If a cop asks me for consent to search my vehicle on public property I would politely refuse..."I prefer not to consent for personal reasons."

I naturally support my brothers & sisters of the badge and the job they do...but, we have yet to move to a police state. Professional cops will understand this and seek legal recourse if they feel strongly enough about the search and have the legal standing to pursue it. Cooperating and mindlessly submitting are two different issues here. The Bill of Rights is there for a reason...and we respect that.

I have GOT to stop reading this thread!!!

:) Skip
[/quote]

Skip- As you said - refusing ro a search, etc. will raise suspicion in the mind of a cop. If you are "innocent as the driven snow" why would you want to subject yourself to an even bigger inconvenience of having them go through the trouble of finding a legal recourse? Principle? That seems to me to be a big waste of not only your time, but also the police officer who could be out stopping someone who is guilty. When I get stopped by a police officer, for whatever reason, I prefer the interaction to be as short as possible. I try to avoid saying or doing anything to make that interaction longer than necessary.

When I wrote about the possibilty of them NOT searching your car if you freely say that you allow them to do so I was not speaking on specualtion - it happened to me. About 10 years ago a friend and I were traveling around the country in my '77 chevy van. At Stone Mountain, Georgia, we were pulled over - my friend was driving, and he always looks stoned - kind of like Jim Breuer - so the cops assumed we had been smoking pot - which we hadn't. They separated us and questioned each of us alone and then tried to imply to me that my friend had said that we had been smoking pot - which I knew to be a lie. They asked if they could search my van, and I told them they could. They said "If you have something you had better tell us, because if we search the van and find something, then you are in bigger trouble." I had no worries about the search, and they could tell that was the case. They didn't search the van, and they let us go. I am not implying that this will happen every time - just relating what happened to me once. Sure, I could have refused , knowing I was innocent, etc., but if I had done so that would have meant a much longer interaction than I wanted. The next day we were stopped by police because we pulled in to a gas station - looked at the pumps and saw the price was too high, and left. The owners of the station called the cops on us because they felt we were casing the station for a robbery. We decided not to spend more time than was necessary in Georgia.
Message: Posted by: Doomo (Jul 7, 2006 09:17AM)
Lets be honest here... There are quite a few cops working the late shift who simply find it "fun" to hassle kids, blacks, deadheads and anyone else who cant fight back. A few examples from personal experience. I live in Ohio. Nice neighborhood. Older black gentleman, neighbor, nice guy. Drives an older car, (a Lincoln). Frequently has dinner with his son in Cincinatti. Drives back home late at night. New cop. Stops him. and follows him. This happens 3 times. On the third time, citizen protests. Not violently. Just verbally protested being pulled over. He was arrested. Charges later dropped...

Second friend of ours. Mid 30's. White, with short crew cut hair. He games at our house twice a month. Gaming continues till 2 or 3 in the morning. By gaming I mean board games. No booze. No drugs. Our friend gets followed EVERYTIME he leaves. None of the other people who leave do. Twice his car was pulled over and searched. They have not searched it since the last time. We arranged a surprise. I would guess it took several hours to get the smell off his hands.

There are numerous other incidents around here. Are there good cops? Sure... Do they get bored and abuse their authority? Without doubt.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jul 7, 2006 09:38AM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-06 18:03, Jerrine wrote:
Welcome to the land of the free. If you don't look like the average guy or keep "regular" hours you will be harassed, repeatably. That hour of the day police in a small jurisdiction have nothing else to do and you become a time killer.

In my youth I walked home from work regularly at 2a.m. and was stopped every single night by the same cop. He knew why I was where I was and what I was doing. Finally after months of this I simply kept walking and told him that he already knew all there was to know and to leave me alone. Fortunately for me he had some conscience and let me be.

I've had very similar things happen through the years from very many cops from many different cities. I've been detained for over two hours by 6 cops in 3 units for attempting to deliver a pizza at a gated community. I was all smiles and giggles too, no disrespect. Not one of them would look at the ticket and the hot pie in the bag to verify why I was where I was. Small town cops are as crooked as the letter S. Get used to it, it's not changing any time soon. Complain and you got yourself some extended trouble.
[/quote]

Somebody got a cold pizza. I hope you told them to complain to the cops and not the pizza company. (I also hope you didn't get into trouble!)
Message: Posted by: Brandon Delgado (Jul 7, 2006 09:40AM)
The conversation about suspicious behavior brought to mind a story:

My wife and I recently took a trip to Italy with some of her Latin students. In both Florence and Rome, there were a lot of people riding around on mopeds. Tons of people. Our tour guide was telling us about the crazy driving over there--they don't care much about the traffic laws. Anyway, in one of those cities, she told us that the law said you must wear a helmet when riding a moped. However, very few people actually did. So few people, in fact, that the police would frequently stop people that ARE wearing a helmet because they think that they are trying to hide something--don't want to be seen. Funny how the law-abiding citizens are the ones that appear suspicious.

A little niblet of food for thought. I'm amazed that this topic has gone on this long. And now I've just made it longer! I need to stop reading this one, too.

-B
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jul 7, 2006 09:41AM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-07 02:01, RandyStewart wrote:
Well be safe James. That's the important thing here. If you are a good person, and I do sense you are, there are many equally good people who want you to be safe.

I grew up watching some of the old episodes of "The Twighlight Zone". I also grew up with a life of lessons learned in ways that could of made a great episode on that show. But that's my problem and not yours. Early on I could be pretty hard headed about things especially when I had nothing to hide.

We wouldn't want you to find yourself in a situation, at 3am, where suddenly the annoying officer(s) are nowhere to be found when you really need them.

Some night, after dropping your friend off, you may find yourself in a situation where you could only hope to see the officer(s). The annoying cop(s), at 3am, may not be there for you if you do find a desperate need for their assistance. But hey, no matter what the situation, you can handle it, and best of all, you won't have to deal with their annoying ways.
[/quote]

Or, contrary-wise, someone else somewhere else might have desprite need for police assistance which they're not getting because the cops are following these guys *again*!

Three cop stories. One, I was coming out of my house at 5:30 in the morning (because I worked almost two hours away and that was when I could catch the bus.) The police stopped me, very hostile. I was simply polite and their attitude melted. They asked if I'd seen anyone else wandering around dressed like me. (Jeans and black sweatshirt) because they'd had a report of a prowler. (Not me, I'd just left the house 30 seconds ago.)

Two, Picked up in a drug store because I resembled someone who'd been boosting cars in a nearby parking lot. (Black pants and a grey sweatshirt.) They took me over to the parking lot and had a witness identify me. Woman said the guy had a sweatshirt with something printed on it, mine zipped up in front.

Three, My wife and I were driving along when a police car shot by like "Hill Street Blues" It did a 180 and came after us. The car cut us off and three other cops showed up out of nowhere! Cops came out with guns drawn and demanded we get out of the car. (I'm hearing Richard Pryor; "I'm stepping out of the car with my hands up because I don't want to be a statistic!") My wife is laughing because she can't believe this! We finally get out, get searched and the car is looked over. (Two children in the back seat kinda helped the cops be on our side.) They explained that someone complained a person in a car like ours got into an argument and pulled a gun before driving off on the street we were found on. They let us go.

(Odd point, we actually HAD a starter's pistol in the car at the time. My wife was stage manager for a play and needed to get new ammo for the pistol and brought the pistol to make certain the blanks would fit. (We didn't argue with anyone or pull the gun on anyone, I hasten to add.) I wonder how friendly they'd have been if they'd done a full search and found that?)
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jul 7, 2006 12:08PM)
[quote]
If you are "innocent as the driven snow" why would you want to subject yourself to an even bigger inconvenience of having them go through the trouble of finding a legal recourse? Principle?
[/quote]

Nope...and it probably sounds as if I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth here...but I agree with you, too! If, at the moment, it seems expedient to consent to a search so that you may be allowed to get one your way...fine. Every case and situation is different. However...just as a used car salesman won't tell you up front how low he'll go, neither will a cop tell you up front whether or not he has probable cause for a search. Probable cause is the belief of a reasonable man based on the evidence or information on hand that a crime has been or is being committed. Without this, according to the Fourth Amendment, a cop cannot get a warrant to search your car, property or person. If you're clean as the driven snow then there is no probable cause...no probable cause, no grounds for a search...unless you consent to one. IF you consent and the police find something that someone left in your car without your knowledge...a crowbar, a ball bat, a round of ammo, a joint, illegal fireworks...who knows...you're gonna be detained. So, as I see it...it's a coin toss. Why not make the cops...me included...earn our pay and follow the laws that are in place to protect your rights.

Nearly everyone I ever confronted consented either out of cooperation or fear of the badge and the authority it represented. Very few forced me to get a warrant first...and some of them regretted it. Cooperation is excellent and very much appreciated...but it isn't always the best solution. Merely my opinion from the blue side of the fence to my Café friends.

Skip
Message: Posted by: James F (Jul 7, 2006 12:12PM)
Oh man. I thought this thread was done but here we go...

First of all, I never said the cops were having fun hassling me. I said they are pulling me over for no reason just so they can find a reason afterwards. I think we have all agreed that is whats happening, just that there isn't anything "ethically" or "legally" wrong with it.

"I've not read all the post...I'm sure they are lovely. All I want to say is you don't have a right to drive and not only do you likely give cause to get pulled over they should smack you upside the head with a night stick and get your attitude adjusted. You get pulled over constantly, others may never get pulled over (I figure I've driven close to 600,000 miles and have been pulled over twice and both were legit), likely it is you. Hoodlum.
Steve V <---didn't drive at 19 cuz he was serving his country not driving his little pals around at 3 am!"

Perhaps you SHOULD have read the post! First of all, I never said I have a right to drive a car. I did say I have a right to be whererver I want to be (as long as its not restricted private property etc) and should not be pulled over as long as I am following the law.

Second of all, you don't know ANY of the situations I got pulled over in so you shouldnt make ANY form of assumption about me giving them cause to pull me over. You werent there so stop acting like you "know" I was doing something wrong. Yeah right. Im just going to ignore the nightstick comment. Not worth a reply. All I can say is it seems you are the one who needs and adjustment. Everyone was being fairly polite in this thread. We didn't need posts like yours.

So you've driven a lot and havent got pulled over? Ok? Well it's not the same for me. I don't see that as a very good point unless you are driving in the same area at the same time as I am. Otherwise, its not a very valid point and doesn't make it look like Im being pulled over for any other reason than what I have stated before.

And don't even TRY to degrade me by calling me a hoodlum who is driving my "little pals" around while YOU were serving your country at 19. You know what, Im not even going to say anymore about this. That comment was just ridiculous.

And lastly, I think mr Palmer stated how going through that neighbourhood was suspicious: You're absolutely right! I was blatantly trying to evade the police that were following me. I told him that later on! The point was simply to let everyone know exactly how persistant they were in following me when I had done nothing wrong. But yes, I agree. It was very suspicious.

Thank you to everyone with insightful and thought out posts. Its good to see other peoples views and everything. Hearing everything from the point of view of an officer was also very interesting. Oh and one last thing.

Skip, I would do something as you mentioned, but don't you think I would just come off as trying to evade a ticket? that's the last thing I want them to think.
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jul 7, 2006 12:17PM)
[quote]
Skip, I would do something as you mentioned, but don't you think I would just come off as trying to evade a ticket? that's the last thing I want them to think.
[/quote]

Why wait until you're stopped. Next time you see a cop at a diner or coffee shop or just walking a beat...stop and talk to him...or her. "Would you mind if I asked you a question...?" You call, James. I know some just can't do it. I've always welcomed conversations with anyone who approached me.

Skip
Message: Posted by: James F (Jul 7, 2006 12:35PM)
Haha! See how stupid I am sometimes? Yeah I could easily do that, wouldnt be a problem. I think Ill definitely give that a try. We do sometimes have slight small talk with the officers we see in Quick Trip (a gas station) but nothing more than "hey, how is your night" etc. But yeah, Ill definitely do that. Thanks a lot Skip.

James
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Jul 7, 2006 02:24PM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-06 08:16, Lyndel wrote:
James,

Speaking as a former police officer, first let me say this... I don't know how large of a community that you live in, but if it's rather small, chances are, the police force is rather small. That means that the "same officers" are going to be out there every night patrolling the streets for crime.

Now, by no means am I saying that there are no bad apples in the barrel, but Ross does makes a good point. Most law abiding citizens with the exeption of bakers, newspaper delivery people, street sweepers, and a couple other professions are at home sleeping at 3:00 AM. That leaves - for the most part - only those involved in drug activities, burglaries, etc. to be out there creeping around on the streets. Of course there are exceptions to the rules. I'm not generalizing everyone out in the wee hours to be criminals, but then again, we shouldn't generalize all police officers as people bent on harrassing you and your friends either.

Imagine one of these burglars cruising YOUR neighborhood looking for a car to steal and they zero in on yours. But only minutes before they decide to do the deed, a cop pulls them over and finds out what they are doing riding around a neighborhood at 3:00 AM. Now there is a record of the traffic stop and if your car does get stolen in the morning, detectives at least have a starting point from which to investigate the crime.

Here is my suggestion... Go ahead and contact the police department - not to complain on the officers... But to see if they have a "citizens orientation ride along program" and make arrangements to ride along on midnight shift with the officer. Spend a few hours in the other guys shoes and you might change the way you regard the guys and gals in uniform who put their very lives on the line for very little money to keep you, your family, and your friends safe at night while you sleep.


Lyndel
[/quote]

Or the police officers in question could go on a "sit along" at a local law school and learn that they're not allowed to make purely pretextual stops.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Jul 7, 2006 02:34PM)
There are well-settled constitutional (4th Amendment) issues for leaving these detentioned to the unbridled discretion of officers on the scene. Without reasonable and particularized suspicion of wrongdoing, the officers are NOT supposed to be picking and choosing whom to stop based on demographics (like age) or the appearance of the car. All bets are off, however, if they see anything wrong with the vehicle.

With respect to Steve's apparently bitter and clearly disturbing post, the reason people DO serve their country in the military is so we can live in a country where police officers CAN'T do whatever the hell they want, including "smack you upside the head with a nightstick."

Do law enforcement officers have a tough gig? Absolutely. But it's one they choose, and that choice necessitates following the rules. Police officers work for civilians, not vice versa; the ones who forget this do not only civilians, but their fellow officers who follow the rules, a major disservice.
Message: Posted by: Marvello (Jul 7, 2006 04:03PM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-07 15:34, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Police officers work for civilians, not vice versa...
[/quote]
The next time you are pulled over be sure to remind the officer of the fact that you are a taxpayer and that you pay his salary. I am sure they will have something interesting to say about that.
Message: Posted by: Fredrick (Jul 7, 2006 04:49PM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-06 04:34, rossmacrae wrote:
On the other, a lawyer friend of mine often points to cases where the "offense" was imaginary: "He was pulled over for a DWB; that's 'Driving While Black'."

[/quote]

Ross,

I need to clarify - do you mean that the officer pulled the person over for an imaginary offense or that DWB is an imaginary offense? I am not sure what you meant.

All the best ~ Fredrick
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Jul 7, 2006 05:46PM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-07 17:03, Marvello wrote:
[quote]
On 2006-07-07 15:34, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Police officers work for civilians, not vice versa...
[/quote]
The next time you are pulled over be sure to remind the officer of the fact that you are a taxpayer and that you pay his salary. I am sure they will have something interesting to say about that.
[/quote]

It's only the ones who couldn't care less who need reminding. Sort of the legal equivalent of Dunninger's "For those who believe, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not, none will suffice."
Nonetheless, it's still true.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Jul 7, 2006 06:15PM)
I'd have thought that it would be a fairly non-controversial position that of all people who should be expected to follow the law, at the top of the list should be those who are given guns, sworn, and paid at taxpayer expense to enforce it.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Jul 7, 2006 06:57PM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-07 09:57, Marvello wrote:
[quote]


Skip- As you said - refusing ro a search, etc. will raise suspicion in the mind of a cop. If you are "innocent as the driven snow" why would you want to subject yourself to an even bigger inconvenience of having them go through the trouble of finding a legal recourse? Principle? That seems to me to be a big waste of not only your time, but also the police officer who could be out stopping someone who is guilty. When I get stopped by a police officer, for whatever reason, I prefer the interaction to be as short as possible. I try to avoid saying or doing anything to make that interaction longer than necessary.

When I wrote about the possibilty of them NOT searching your car if you freely say that you allow them to do so I was not speaking on specualtion - it happened to me. About 10 years ago a friend and I were traveling around the country in my '77 chevy van. At Stone Mountain, Georgia, we were pulled over - my friend was driving, and he always looks stoned - kind of like Jim Breuer - so the cops assumed we had been smoking pot - which we hadn't. They separated us and questioned each of us alone and then tried to imply to me that my friend had said that we had been smoking pot - which I knew to be a lie. They asked if they could search my van, and I told them they could. They said "If you have something you had better tell us, because if we search the van and find something, then you are in bigger trouble." I had no worries about the search, and they could tell that was the case. They didn't search the van, and they let us go. I am not implying that this will happen every time - just relating what happened to me once. Sure, I could have refused , knowing I was innocent, etc., but if I had done so that would have meant a much longer interaction than I wanted. The next day we were stopped by police because we pulled in to a gas station - looked at the pumps and saw the price was too high, and left. The owners of the station called the cops on us because they felt we were casing the station for a robbery. We decided not to spend more time than was necessary in Georgia.
[/quote]



Although that worked out well for you in terms of convenience, the inverse situation is much more likely, at least with respect to police officers who are going to make some pretext of following the law. In the absence of consent, the police are in the arena of what is known as a "Terry stop," and their ability to detain you is curtailed. They can basically ask you a few questions while they run your license and plates. After that, they have to send you on your way. Your consent acts, essentially, as a waiver of the probable cause requirement, and gives rise to the possibility of a much longer, and now legal (only because of your consent) search.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Jul 7, 2006 06:58PM)
And FWIW, I think law enforcement officers like Skip, with a knowledge of and respect for the legal constraints of his authority, are worth more than their weight in gold.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Jul 7, 2006 08:55PM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-07 20:18, Steve V wrote:
Thinking of it I never wanted to be a cop....hmmmm. Bad cold reading. [/quote]



Dangit. Mentalism IS harder than magic. ok, think of a card then...
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jul 7, 2006 09:20PM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-07 19:58, LobowolfXXX wrote:
And FWIW, I think law enforcement officers like Skip, with a knowledge of and respect for the legal constraints of his authority, are worth more than their weight in gold.
[/quote]

High praise...thanks Lobo and James. I just happen to believe that our Constitution and Bill of Rights rock.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jul 7, 2006 09:58PM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-06 02:47, AJOJRF wrote:... Any advice? [/quote]

Figure out why you are out there...

Just a suggestion... smile when they stop you. After a few meetings they will recognize you.
Message: Posted by: James F (Jul 7, 2006 10:07PM)
I think that is pretty much my best bet. When driving, I don't get pulled over TOO often, its my friend that gets pulled over the most. (I am usually with him though) Its been puzzling me...They must recognize the car and the faces...So why do they continue to pull us over? I think maybe because we look as though we have drugs or whatever on us so they figure they will catch us eventually. I don't know. I'm going to try and be more personable to the officers and maybe even do as Skip suggested. I think this may end up helping greatly in the future.

James
Message: Posted by: RandyStewart (Jul 7, 2006 11:14PM)
James,

You remained fixated on the cop issue whereas I'm all over the driving at 3am thing - especially on a weekend. If you are doing nothing illegal, you and the cop will merely end up having a little chat next time he pulls you over. I wish my dear friend could of been dealt that hand when he was killed by a drunk driver in a similar setting. He didn't even drink.

See how you and I are looking at the same "issue" but seeing different things?

Well at least you live in an area where you don't hesitate to head out at the wee hours of the morning. And no, I'm not afraid of the night as I love the night life as well but I did warn you about my being an old fart about this topic.

The television Dr. Phil has a mega apartment about five minutes from here, George Michael has a pad about 10 min. from here, and the hustler who hangs out by the corner (he's had that spot for a couple of years) no one knows where he lives, but we all avoid the uncertainty of dealing with creatures of the night - particularly those who are wide awake and busy bodies at 3am (OUTSIDE OF THEIR HOMES). Sound like a safe area? You better think again! Anyone living in this apparently decent area avoids driving or leaving comfort of "home" at these hours. Check out our crime rate and car jacking reports most of which occur at such hours. It gets crazy! We have amazingly nutty people come out at these hours. It's just how it works around here.

And no, the police rarely get there in time for your moment of need - it's that busy and bad at times.

I've done a little travelling around the world, visited and lived in good and bad places and know what it's like to be in areas where one could care less about exercising a Constitutional right to drive at 3am as one's safety is far more important.

Obviously our basis for comparison will differ as will our actions. For the cops who seem to have a line on you, will you be delivering a card and a little box of cookies next Christmas? :)



Don't forget what Jonathan suggested in your request for advice:


Jonathan Townsend wrote:
"Figure out why you are out there...Just a suggestion... smile when they stop you. After a few meetings they will recognize you.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Jul 7, 2006 11:45PM)
[quote]
Check out our crime rate and car jacking reports most of which occur at such hours. It gets crazy! We have amazingly nutty people come out at these hours. It's just how it works around here.

[/quote]


Although it's something of a self-fulfilling prophecy to say that you should stay in at night because more crimes are committed; it's in large part due to the fact that fewer people are out on the street that the crime rate is higher.
Message: Posted by: RandyStewart (Jul 7, 2006 11:50PM)
I'll tend to side with you there Lobowolf but it's not as things are today. But don't get me started on my inclination to believe that if we all carried a gun we might have just a little more respect for one another.

Oooops! did I just drop that 400lb. can of worms? Hehehehe :)
Message: Posted by: James F (Jul 8, 2006 12:24AM)
Or we might be a little more scared of each other! haha!

James
Message: Posted by: RandyStewart (Jul 8, 2006 12:29AM)
Yeah sort of the same difference. :)
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Jul 8, 2006 01:45AM)
Randy is a freakin' genius by the way. My brother holds the record for arrest....over 50, and he will never be allowed to drive in any state.
Steve V
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jul 8, 2006 05:20AM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-07 17:03, Marvello wrote:
[quote]
On 2006-07-07 15:34, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Police officers work for civilians, not vice versa...
[/quote]
The next time you are pulled over be sure to remind the officer of the fact that you are a taxpayer and that you pay his salary. I am sure they will have something interesting to say about that.
[/quote]

I'm reminded of a line that was cut from an episode of "Star Trek." The episode in question, "The Trouble With Tribbles" had a petty beaurocrat (sp) hasseling Kirk about his security arrangements. In the cut scene, the man glares at Kirk and says; "I'm a civilan. I pay your salary!"

Kirk responds; "I want a raise."
Message: Posted by: Lyndel (Jul 8, 2006 09:34AM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-08 00:14, RandyStewart wrote:
And no, I'm not afraid of the night as I love the night life [/quote]

Yes Randy, but do you like to boogie? :)


Lyndel
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Jul 8, 2006 10:23AM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-08 06:28, mandrake01 wrote:

Whenever I hear "if we all carried guns, we'd all be more respectful," I'm reminded of a news story (I don't know details, I'm sorry if that ruins the validity of the story for you, but it's still true.).

Man gets approached and threatened. He pulls gun and scares bad man away. Happy ending? Not quite.

Man then fires gun at fleeing suspect across an active street. (I don't know how busy this street was, but the news story did say "active.") He gets arrested by the police for discharging a weapon in public and can't understand why he can't claim "self-defense" for firing at a person that was running away from him!

It's not all a liberal conspiracy folks, there really are people out there who are too stupid to be trusted with a gun!

[/quote]


I, myself, am "reminded" of the following story:

Richmond, Virginia

From the July 7, 2006 Richmond Times-Dispatch:
A Danville man was shot and killed after he and three others forced their way into a city residence, police said yesterday.

Deshawn Shakor Hardman, 19, died Wednesday at Danville Regional Medical Center after being found shot near the doorway of a North Avenue home, according to a statement from the police.

When police were called to the house in the 100 block of North Avenue about 10 p.m. Wednesday, officers found Hardman lying wounded near the doorway. A resident, whom authorities did not identify, told police that four men with firearms had forced open his front door and started to enter the house. The resident said he fired several shots at the intruders, striking at least Hardman, according to the police statement.




THere's a happy ending for you; certainly compared to the one where the four armed intruders break into an UNarmed resident's house. OK, but it didn't REMIND me of of that story; I decided about 2 minutes ago to go looking for a similar (gun used legally and successfully) story online. "Yeah, but how far back did he have to go?" Well, actually, that's YESTERDAY'S Times-Dispatch.

It's not a conservative conspiracy, folks.

"...one less arrrrrrrrmed robber in the world..."
(sung to the tune of Air Supply's "Two Less Lonely People")
Message: Posted by: RandyStewart (Jul 8, 2006 04:29PM)
I guess the young house burglar learned the meaning of Charlie Daniel's "Simple Man" tune:
[i]
Now, I'm the kind of man that wouldn't harm a mouse
But if I catch somebody breakin' in my house
I've got a twelve gauge shotgun waitin' on the other side
[/i]
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jul 9, 2006 09:12PM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-08 17:29, RandyStewart wrote:
I guess the young house burglar learned the meaning of Charlie Daniel's "Simple Man" tune:
[i]
Now, I'm the kind of man that wouldn't harm a mouse
But if I catch somebody breakin' in my house
I've got a twelve gauge shotgun waitin' on the other side
[/i]
[/quote]

Then there was the kid who knocked on a door for directions and got shot through the door by a panic-struck home owner.
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Jul 9, 2006 09:51PM)
[quote]
I need to clarify - do you mean that the officer pulled the person over for an imaginary offense or that DWB is an imaginary offense? I am not sure what you meant.
[/quote]
Both - of course a black person can drive a car legally - but he's taking a chance on being stopped for some trumped-up reason if he's driving where the officer thinks he oughtn't to be.

I just can't figure out how that can still happen in my county, where latinos and blacks are, together, a good 1/3 to 1/2 the population, and in an area that prides itself on multiculturalism.

Then again, when I had a "police ride-along" in 1969, the first thing I learned was that the cops have very strong instincts as to what "just doesn't look right" and they're often right - and they have plenty of inside information on some bad stuff that's going on, but not enough evidence to do anything about it ... yet.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 10, 2006 01:33PM)
I love this "I have a right to be anywhere I want as long as I'm in a public place" types of responses, as do the police. Actually, in some areas, you don't have an unconditional right to be driving around late at night. Legally, you might, but in areas with high gang activity and vehicular crime, especially residential areas, you will be pulled over and you will be questioned.

It's perfectly legal for you to drive through my neighborhood at 3 A.M., but if you do, the police will pull you over. If you refuse to allow them to search your car, they may take you in for questioning. They are looking for taggers, burglars and armed robbers. They have caught several.

Crime in our area has risen markedly since the Katrina refugees moved in on our town. Most of them were decent folks, but the criminals brought their turf wars with them, and have been trying to settle them here. It's not working.

So, the advice you have been given to actually ask the police why they are apparently singling you and your friends out is very good. If you know what it is that is triggering their responses, you can refrain from doing whatever it is.