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James F
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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
rossmacrae
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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.

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."
James F
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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
RandyStewart
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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"....
Skip Way
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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
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James F
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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
RandyStewart
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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 Smile
Bill Palmer
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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.
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Steve V
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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!
Freak Prodigy
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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?

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Skip Way
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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! Smile ) 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
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Marvello
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Quote:
On 2006-07-06 13:06, AJOJRF wrote:
I will never allow an officer to search my vehicle.


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.
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
Skip Way
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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
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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Marvello
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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


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.
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
Doomo
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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.
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ed rhodes
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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.


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!)
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
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Brandon Delgado
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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
ed rhodes
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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.


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?)
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
Skip Way
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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?


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
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James F
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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.
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