Cop bashing


PDA






AK-74me
May 24, 2005, 01:21 AM
First off, I am not a cop but I generally have good feelings towards them. Now I know there are some bad apple Cops but there are several board members here that constantly make post bad mouthing cops. In fact there are a few in particular that I can think who almost exclusively make these kind of post. It is like almost an obession it seems for some of you to dig up stories of bad cops. What I want to know is what is it that made you this way? And how come all this paranoia of a police state?

It just gives me this perception of some of you......... Hunkered down in a cabin somewhere in BFE Montana, crouched down below a window with a white knuckle grip on a rifle in both hands.

If you enjoyed reading about "Cop bashing" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
P95Carry
May 24, 2005, 01:33 AM
AK - almost any mention of LE or LE oriented incidents will bring out the bashing - it is a consequence IMO of the extreme end of the ''them and us''.

I can criticize along with anyone - there are problems need addressed - same as in any career or profession but - sadly it takes off usually toward ad hom's or close to it - with actually little ground gained or lost by either ''side''. We all for the most part can see problems in ''the system'' - and can usefully discuss it - but after a certain stage it seems to deteriorate and the so called ''bashing'' becomes dominant.

I am one of the irritating folks who ''sees both sides'' and there are two IMO - good on both and bad on both - it will ever be thus. I therefore even if criticizing try not to ''take sides'' - discussion is good - it brings things into the open but geez, when that goes beyond into flames it gets old real quick.

Any contributions to this should bear this in mind - I and most mod's are tired of the almost predictable course the LE threads run - and so there is dare I say - less leaway now - if things get too hot - that's it. We will close - THR does not need it.

Justin
May 24, 2005, 01:40 AM
Any contributions to this should bear this in mind - I and most mod's are tired of the almost predictable course the LE threads run - and so there is dare I say - less leaway now - if things get too hot - that's it. We will close - THR does not need it. Seconded. Cop bashing/loving threads have gotten almost as annoying and infuriating as AK vs. AR or 9mm vs. .45.

AK-74me
May 24, 2005, 01:50 AM
And I by no means intend to start a war here. Like I said I am not a cop. So I don't want to be seen as a "cop lover" but I have noticed a whole lot of cop bashing going on here and it makes me wonder what is going on with these "cop bashers" constantly posting, like I said almost nothing but info. on bad cops.

Vernal45
May 24, 2005, 02:14 AM
For what its worth, I dont hate LEO's, Used to be one (although have been told via email and PM that several do not believe that, including mods on this board, have told everyone to check me out, will provide info), I hate the EXPANDING POWERS that police are constantly giving/getting for themselves. Powers with no accountability.


http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20030512&s=talvi
The Public Is the Enemy

by SILJA J.A. TALVI

[from the May 12, 2003 issue]

On March 22, a few hundred peaceful antiwar protesters in Seattle who had gathered around the Federal Building suddenly found themselves being swept down streets by officers in riot gear and then corralled onto the sidewalk. As hundreds of officers encircled and trapped them, snipers were spotted on rooftops and cops formed riot lines, holding rubber bullet guns and M-16s. Injuries inflicted on the demonstrators ranged from head wounds to taser burns. So far, the public defender's office has received around 200 complaints about police misconduct, brutality and illegal arrests.

It's all part of an alarming trend that has emerged in the policing of antiwar and social justice demonstrations. The problem seems particularly acute in Seattle, which jumped into international headlines in 1999 when the downtown area became a temporary battlefield during global justice protests at the WTO Ministerial Conference. Since then, the use of militaristic tactics by police has become common. At the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, police fired rubber bullets and tear gas even at those complying with dispersal orders; and at IMF protests in Washington last year some 650 people were arrested and police were accused of brutality toward those detained.

Back in Seattle, nearly four years after the WTO demonstrations, the city has still not fully recovered. If recent antiwar events are any indication, little if anything seems to have been learned. Among those arrested in Seattle on March 22 was public defender Lisa Daugaard, who was handing out information to protesters about a hotline to report police abuses. "This is a public sidewalk," Daugaard responded to an officer who told her to leave immediately. "Not today it's not," the officer is alleged to have responded. Daugaard was arrested and spent the next six hours in jail, where, she reports, officers made fun of protesters with injuries and berated them for being opposed to the war. "These are the kinds of things we never used to see in Seattle before," says Daugaard.

Elsewhere, the New York Police Department seemed to approach the February 15 demonstration as if it were a military "containment and control" operation. Police herded people and then blocked them from exiting, resulting in numerous arrests. Videotapes showed police backing horses into demonstrators, pushing people into metal barricades, pepper-spraying demonstrators and raising nightsticks against penned-in protesters. In late March in Washington, DC, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit charging police with violating the constitutional rights of more than 400 peaceful demonstrators and "sweeping" citizens (including nonprotesters) into enclosed spaces and then arresting them. In Oakland on April 7, police fired on roughly 500 antiwar protesters with wooden bullets, causing face and body injuries to several activists and working longshoremen who had nothing to do with the protest.

The militarization of law enforcement is a national trend, says Seattle attorney Paul Richmond, who produced Urban Warrior, a new documentary film that examines the blurring of boundaries between military tactics and civilian law enforcement. According to Peter Kraska, editor of Militarizing the American Criminal Justice System, nearly 90 percent of American police departments serving cities with 50,000-plus residents have paramilitary units. A 1999 Cato Institute study of the growth of paramilitarism in American police departments noted that the Pentagon has been equipping those units with M-16s, armed personnel carriers and grenade launchers, and that such units regularly conduct training exercises with Army Rangers and Navy SEALs. Richmond likens the use of military weaponry and police tactics in Seattle to a kind of "market test" of new crowd-control tactics, weapons and even chemical agents that were once used only in combat situations.

Richmond argues that paramilitary police units already appear to have carte blanche to use any and all means to quash dissent. "As long as weapons and tactics like these are in use," he adds, "the civilian population is being viewed as the enemy. Unfortunately, it seems like an indication of what's to come."


More interesting reading. Take it for what it is worth. I dont agree with the author on some things, but I do agree that Militarization in LE is here, happening, and it is a very bad thing.

The Ominous Powers of Federal Law Enforcement
http://www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb106/hb106-17.pdf

Taurus 66
May 24, 2005, 02:28 AM
Police officers, in 99 cases out of 100, are just performing the duties to which they were appointed - to serve and protect the community. Perpetrators who get caught and cuffed often take it personal with cops. Why?! The police didn't make the laws anymore than the referees at sporting events make the rules of the game. If anyone has a beef about their arrest or someone else's, he or she ought to start with the legislators, not the enforcers.

nico
May 24, 2005, 02:30 AM
I dont hate LEO's, Used to be one
I'm not trying to start a flamewar or anything. But, honestly, if you were someone else and read your posts would you believe either of the above statements?

jsalcedo
May 24, 2005, 02:31 AM
When I run across a cop out of control piece I post it.

I have personally run across some VERY bad cops. Luckily I have a very cool temper and a disarming disposition which has kept me under their radar.

I have also run across some VERY good cops, professional, courteous, and reasonable.

Police powers have expanded greatly in the last couple of decades and there is an us vs them attitude instilled in many police officers either from training or from fellow officers.


It is imperative that the actions of the police are carefully scrutinized and criticized when necessary.

Super citizens need to be carefully watched and reported on to keep their behavior and power under control.

I usually hate the press regarding most things but reporting police brutality is one of their very desirable functions.

fjolnirsson
May 24, 2005, 02:55 AM
I am one of the irritating folks who ''sees both sides''

Yep. Me, too. As such, I tend to draw fire from both sides.

I must say, when folks start cop bashing, it causes me to hold them in lower esteem, and disregard anything further they have to say.
I have the same reaction when cop supporters circle the blue wagons and refuse to admit the problems nonpolice face these days.

Taurus 66
May 24, 2005, 03:29 AM
I have also run across some VERY good cops, professional, courteous, and reasonable.

Police powers have expanded greatly in the last couple of decades and there is an us vs them attitude instilled in many police officers either from training or from fellow officers.

The last couple of decades is key here. IM0 Very good cops don't become very bad cops, they just lose trust in a society spiraling out of control into unimaginable decadence when it comes to drug use, violence, robberies, high speed chases, mass murder/suicide, you name it. Gang mentality today is "Kill-a-Cop" - a style of initiation. It's no wonder there are numbers on the force who have an overall diminished level of trust for anyone and have a greater propensity for extreme physical force. They simply want to go home to their families at shift's end.

I usually hate the press regarding most things but reporting police brutality is one of their very desirable functions.

Is there much of anything positive mentioned in the media anymore? Where are the search and rescue stories? What about the policeman who doubles as a paramedic, performs CPR, and saves a life? How about the officer who helps on the spot with a delivery? or talks a nut off a bridge or rooftop? Where are those reports?!

The media isn't fair and balanced.

Cosmoline
May 24, 2005, 03:34 AM
The closer an LEO is to me, the more I trust him or her. The local police or troopers may not always behave properly. I have problems with their methods. But I know that if they go too far, I can go to a local office and complain to the people who have the power to hire and fire them. There is some level of control. With federal LEO's, however, there is NO control. They are beholden only to the folks back in Virginia or DC, and can ignore local complaints as much as they want. There was a very good reason the founders established no provisions for the FBI, BATF, or any other alphabet soup law enforcement agencies that emerged from Prohibition and FDR's socialist programs. These agencies may not be unconstitutional, but they are EXTRAconstitutional. They operate outside the bounds of representative government, with such a minimal thread of accountability that they might as well be the redcoats of old. Some of the officers are OK, some of them I detest. But in all cases, their agencies should be destroyed. They are fundamentally un-American, and they only became icons through a coordinated program of propaganda started by a certain well-known self-hating cross dresser.

While local LEO's do a lot to keep the streets safe, the feds must create crimes to punish. So we had Prohibition back at the start of the troubles, and have the "War on Drugs" now. The Feds have no mandate to stop murder, theft, or any other ordinary crime.

duck hunt
May 24, 2005, 03:34 AM
I don't hate cops. My feelings on them are kind of like Henry Chinaski's feelings about people -- I just feel better when they're not around.

justashooter
May 24, 2005, 05:41 AM
i don't hate cops. some are very nice guys. i do hate when people lie, and when a cop does it, the consequences can be especially severe. thank god for videotapes in those moments when cops lie.

jsalcedo
May 24, 2005, 09:39 AM
With federal LEO's, however, there is NO control. They are beholden only to the folks back in Virginia or DC, and can ignore local complaints as much as they want.

This is along the lines of what I'm talking about. Even local agencies seem to have lowered standards for behavior.

Imagine 1955: Would the public or police chief tolerate a policeman using a cattle prod on a handcuffed 13year old girl who was misbehaving?

centac
May 24, 2005, 10:03 AM
Every federal agency of which I am aware has an Office of Professional Responsibility or an Inspector General's Office just for investigating any form of misconduct or malfeasance of thier agents. They are the federal version of internal affairs.

One thing that is frequently to never mentioned is the birth of civilian review boards and the city manager form of government. This enables direct civilian oversight of LE operations. Frequently now in larger agencies internal investigations are also conducted by civilians.

Highland Ranger
May 24, 2005, 10:16 AM
Police officers, in 99 cases out of 100, are just performing the duties to which they were appointed - to serve and protect the community.

They've dropped the "protect" part . . . . not doing that anymore.

scbair
May 24, 2005, 10:27 AM
Cops face the same dilemma as do gun owners, in general.

The overwhelming majority of cops do their jobs (some may be more courteous, more professional, more "seasoned," etc., but that's so in any profession). The overwhelming majority of gun owners are sensible and law-abiding.

From the news media perspective: BORING!!!

Now, that one rogue cop/gun owner who brutalizes a handcuffed prisoner/accepts a bribe, or who shoots up the workplace? DING DING DING We have a winner! The talking head can drone on and on, with a serious look to disguise the glee at having gotten hold of a real headline!

Result? The brainwashed masses, products of a truly pitiful public "education" system paint all cops/gun owners with the brush supplied by the media.

1911 guy
May 24, 2005, 10:27 AM
I try to make my opinions of people one at a time. I've ran into cops that were polite even when they had me pulled over, pleasant when responding to a break in at my business, etc. I've also ran into cops that were the most arrogant blowhards and elitists you can imagine. Luckily most of these have been in non-official encounters. My only problem with the profession as a whole is the job they do of covering for the incompetents. When we get a machinist who can't live up to his resume' he's fired. Not so with the "blue wall". Why is that?

Control Group
May 24, 2005, 11:02 AM
Aside from some people who have had direct, personal experiences with cops abusing power, I think most of the anti-cop sentiment around here isn't specifically directed at cops - or at least, shouldn't be. Police officers aren't the problem, the legal and political system under, through, and with which they work is the problem.

There's a very strong undercurrent of "if you can't do the time, don't do the crime" attitude on THR. From a certain point of view, I even agree with it. Lord knows I'm all in favor of criminals being arrested, tried, convicted, and put away. Clearly, the police are crucial to the process in the most literal sense of the word; without them, no one would be arrested. This is the argument trotted out by the pro-officer posters every time someone complains about too-broad police powers, that the police are just doing their job.

Moreover, they're right, the police are just doing their job (except for a very few officers, but it's intellectually bankrupt to condemn the entire profession because of the few bad apples that crop up in every demographic). The problem isn't the police, it's the job itself. For a banal example, consider speeding. Speed limits contribute in large part to the general "us vs. them" attitude much of the public has. Saying "if you can't do the time, don't do the crime" is beyond disingenuous, because it completely ignores the fact that virtually everyone does the crime, and, on a convictions-as-a-percent-of-crimes basis, virtually no one gets caught. Sure, it's easy to say that no one should break the law, but when you've got a law that almost everyone breaks on a routine basis, maybe it's the law that's the problem.

Even more importantly, the more laws you have that "everyone" breaks, the more arbitrary, authoritarian, and objectionable police enforcement of these laws becomes. When you're the one singled out of a stream of traffic all doing 20 over, it's hard to bear in mind "he's just doing his job" instead of "the guy in front of me was going just as fast!" Add onto this that there is an ever-growing list of things that's illegal, and you end up with a population that is, by and large, paranoid about law officers, and with rational, if not good, reason. Add onto that a system whereby the police department actually directly profit from enforcing the law (speeding tickets as revenue), and it's easy to see where a certain degree of cynicism arises. "It's the end of the month, he's probably got to make his quota." "It's the beginning of the month, guess he didn't make quota last time around." "It's the middle of the month, he's saving time on making his quota later." It's tough to consider the police objective enforcers of public policy when you know for a fact that they actually make money from enforcement. This is just one of the inherent problems of law enforcement on a commission basis, but that's a slightly different rant.

In any event, when the law itself is the problem, it's a lose-lose for the officer. Either he doesn't do his job, or he's a JBT. There's a whole class of pseudo-victimless crimes (I say "pseudo" because many of them do have victims, but wouldn't have victims if the activity was legal in the first place. Prostitution is a good example of this) that cause this issue.

When you've got a population that is already and constantly wary regarding the very presence of a police officer, because odds are good they're guilty of something (witness the growing number of high speed chases led by people who have no outstanding warrants or other discernible reason to run), and you toss in the growing militarization of the police, and you toss in growing police powers in pursuit of terror/drugs/pedophiles/crisis-du jour, it really isn't surprising that a number of people consider the police the enemy. They feel they can be stopped and/or arrested on any pretext at any time with no real recourse - and, whether or not any officer would actually do it, they're probably right - and that's the sort of feeling that's bound to make people a tad itchy when it comes right down to it.

It's a lot like customer service: a happy customer tells three people, an unhappy one ten. One no-knock S.W.A.T. raid on the wrong address undoes countless heroic efforts by average officers around the country. The same way all the decent, normal, responsible, rational, average-apple-pie-American gun owners are painted in a bad light by one Bubba's "hold my beer and watch this" stunt with a full-auto, all the decent, hard-working, helpful, and generous officers are held accountable for the one guy who just up and shoots some kid because he had the gall to talk back - I mean, because "he was going for a gun."

I say all this as someone whose every single encounter with an officer has been positive. With one exception, every cop I've dealt with has been unfailingly polite, professional, fair, and generous. Even the exception wasn't all that bad (he just demanded ID from everyone in the car for no reason, and wasn't particularly polite about it). Nonetheless, I'm uncomfortable and nervous around most officers, and all of the above is why.

JohnBT
May 24, 2005, 11:48 AM
"Imagine 1955: Would the public or police chief tolerate a policeman using a cattle prod on a handcuffed 13year old girl who was misbehaving?"

Before or after the parents whipped the kid's butt? The ultimate insult was having to go cut your own switch from the 'switch bush.'

"This is going to hurt me more than it is you." And I was a good kid. ;)

John

centac
May 24, 2005, 12:02 PM
In 1955 there would'nt be a remedy for one who unjustifiably did. Cops were minimally trained and supervision was ad hoc. Juveniles in particular had no due process safeguards.

The good old days really were'nt.

I think a lot of the cop bashing here is based on misperceptions about what actually goes into police work. On the surface it looks like a relatively simple job. This is certainly the spin that Hollywood puts on it. However, it is light years more complex than it appears. People who wouldnt dreram of telling a surgeon how to operate are more than happy to offer their opinion about what the cops shoulda done, based on what little they think they know.. This is incredibly frustrating to us in the field, trying to explain ourselves to people whose main knowledge about policing comes from COPS and the Lethal Weapon series.

gunmoney
May 24, 2005, 12:03 PM
Seems to me that most cops are descent enough but there are a large number of them that have their heads in the clouds with giant egos and neverending powertrips. They seemed to not make the destinction between true criminals and the average person that makes a stupid mistake. Whoever calls the police first no matter what is the victim. Instead of figuring out a situation and solving it right there the officers just charge anyone they can with whatever they can and then let the courts figure it out. At that point a person is screwed, guilty or not. And believe me innocent until proven guilty never applies, you are guilty because the police report or an officer themselves says so. It is then your responsibility and at great personal expense to prove a judge otherwise (who do you think a judge is going to believe an upstanding officer or you, an already "labeled" civilian). Speaking from personal and second hand experience. Most people will never question a cops word so what is stopping them from takeing advantage or being dishonest. My .02

The Rabbi
May 24, 2005, 12:08 PM
Seconded. Cop bashing/loving threads have gotten almost as annoying and infuriating as AK vs. AR or 9mm vs. .45.

Or Legalizing Drugs.
Or Illegal Immigration. :barf:

R.H. Lee
May 24, 2005, 12:12 PM
It seems to me that 'bad cops' are in a small minority. When you consider the , what, hundreds of thousands of interactions cops have with citizens every day in this country, the reported cases of abuse of power are not all that great. There are plenty of lawyers willing and eager to sue departments for violations, usually garnering hefty settlements.

Also, it helps to understand what cops do. Their purpose is not to prevent crime, rather to solve crime after it has occurred. We all know what the laws and rules are, and it's not all that difficult to avoid interaction with the police.

Sindawe
May 24, 2005, 12:23 PM
One thing that is frequently to never mentioned is the birth of civilian review boards and the city manager form of government. This enables direct civilian oversight of LE operations. While its only an N=1, the hew and cry from the police in Denver when a civilian review board had been proposed is deafening. It has taken not a few controversial killings by police to get such in place.

Werewolf
May 24, 2005, 12:29 PM
Where there is smoke...

There is fire...

'Nuff Said

Control Group
May 24, 2005, 12:54 PM
We all know what the laws and rules are, and it's not all that difficult to avoid interaction with the police.
This is the problem - it's not true. You can't lead a normal life and simultaneously guarantee no interaction with the police. If you're the one guy on the freeway actually obeying the speed limit, more power to you - but it's abnormal behavior. If you've never had a taillight burn out while driving, forgotten to wear your seatbelt, crossed outside a crosswalk, rushed a yellow light, turned into the far lane, forgotten to signal a lane change, rolled through a stop, loitered under an awning during a rainstorm, not fed a parking meter enough change, eaten while driving, had your muffler crap out, annoyed your neighbors while barbecuing, dumped a finished cigarette on the ground, walked on the grass, drank alcohol before 21, smoked a cigarette before 18, et cetera, et cetera, again, more power to you. But you're fairly abnormal.

Moreover, even if you are avoiding all those minor pitfalls, you can still be stopped for no reason. One spring break I was back from college, and hanging out with some old high school buddies. We went to a Denny's for dinner, and when we finished, we took a walk up the street the Denny's was on. We were trying to avoid taking up a table in the restaurant after we were done (they were busy), but we were still talking. On our walk back to our cars, we got stopped by an officer turning on his strobes and asking for all our IDs. Sure, he was polite and professional, but since when do you need an ID to walk down a public sidewalk? How should we have avoided that interaction with the police? Note that we hadn't even set foot on any private property. But three guys walking fairly aimlessly down the street around 11:00 was enough to get a cop curious.

Or how about the time I was waiting for a friend of mine at an Arby's. It was a hot, muggy day, and my breathing has never been all that good. I stepped inside the Arby's at one point, used the restroom, and stood in the lobby for a couple minutes, letting the air conditioning work its magic. Then I went back outside, and sat down on the curb. Ten minutes go by, and a police officer shows up with his lights on, and tells me he got a call from the Arby's manager about a suspicious person hanging around. Now, I suppose you could make a case that I was loitering for the few minutes I was in the store and not ordering, but I submit to you it's a bogus claim. It was less than five minutes, and then I was back on public property, waiting for my friend. This got me an interaction with the police. How should I have avoided that one?

This is what people object to, the fact that you have no control over whether or not you interact with the police. You count on their good intentions to protect you from undue hassle, and, generally, you're in good hands. But that doesn't make it any easier to accept that you can be hassled, and you can be grossly inconvenienced, and there's nothing you can do about it.

R.H. Lee
May 24, 2005, 01:20 PM
That is another perspective, Control Group. I'm a 59 yo guy with a paunch and can't remember the last time I was out at 11 p.m. :p

Did get stopped for speeding awhile back, on my way home from the range. The cop let me off with a warning (he had no idea I had a weapons and ammo stash in the car, I'm sure).

jsalcedo
May 24, 2005, 01:21 PM
I've never been arrested but I have been hassled by cops.

My friends and I were eating lunch on the outside patio of a mexican restaurant. After the meal they rolled a bugler cigarette and smoked it.

A cop comes up and accuses them of smoking marijuana.

They produced the tobacco packet. The officer tells them he is going to arrest them and let the "lab" figure out what they were smoking.

I politely asked the officer if he arrested everyone who smoke hand rolled cigarettes and why is it legal to buy the rolling papers and tobacco at the local grocery store in the first place.

The cop goes off on a tirade "why can't you punks smoke marlboros like everyone else" and stormed off.


A couple of years later:

After being pulled over.

Cop: What in the F*** are you doing. Do you have any reason for driving like that?

Me: Sir, I wasn't aware of any particular problem. How fast was I going?

Cop: When I ask you a question you better F****** answer it.

Me: I am not aware of anything sir, If you tell me what I did I may be able to answer your question.

Cop: Just get the F*** out of here and don't ever let me see your face again ever!

My best friend and I were pulled over at 8am one morning for speeding.
The officer threatened to arrest him for the set of exacto knives in his college sculpting kit. The cop dragged him out of his car and pulled him in front of the dash cam. The cops hand was clenched around the the collar of my friends shirt.

The cop repeatedly told him " you spit on my hand..wipe it off" My friend said he did not and refused. Knowing full well what would happen if he put his hand on the cops hand. Finally the cop got frustrated and left.

These are just a couple of examples from 100% law abiding citizens with no record. The bad experiences seem sto stick in the mind a little more than the good for some reason.

centac
May 24, 2005, 01:48 PM
The cop may very well have a reason for making a stop, you just may not be aware of it, and we dont always have the time and inclination to explain our every action. The odds of being hassled are directly proportionate to engaging in activity that is subject to multiple interpretations.

Let's parse the cigarette paper example: If I see a male in his 70s or 80s handrolling I dont pay a whole lot of attention because given that person's age it is likely a part of his cultural heritage, as I work in a impoverished rural environment. If I see a male in his forties I get a little more curious, because his age is such that he may have picked up the habit in prison where it is very common and inexpensive from the commissary, in those instututions that still permit smoking. It doesnt mean he is a convict, but it does mean that he is engaging in the same behaviors as some convicts. If I see a person in their teens or twenties I become curious also, because empirically it is relatively uncommon behavior. I know, I know, everybody knows a college kid who does, but you know far more who dont. However, approximately 100% of people who smoke dope, not in a pipe, handroll. Therefore it is just probability that seeing a young person do that is liable to attract attention.

Now personally I doubt I would stop a kid who handrolled while sitting at an outdoor cafe in broad daylight. The same may not be true if I see one do it behind the dumpster after dark at the same cafe.

The point I am trying to make is that police work involves the constant evaluation of constellations of possible explanations for human behavior. Many civilians may not consider or even know of some of these issues. While in a perfect world we may try to explain ourselves, that may not always take place. For example, if during a traffic stop I observe an empty coffee can or bag in your car, your car is getting searched, no ifs ands or buts. Some of you know why, and I'll bet some dont. Depending on the interaction I may explain why, or I may not, but your car is still getting searched regardless. Seeing that coffee can or bag means something to me that to you it may or may not, but to me it can appear to be evidence of a crime.

pax
May 24, 2005, 01:55 PM
A coffee can??? :uhoh:

There are at least three rolling around the back of my van, with holes punched in the lids. They make great holders for snakes, lizards, and creepy crawlies.

What heinous crime have I committed by having an empty coffee can in my vehicle?

pax

Telperion
May 24, 2005, 01:59 PM
Well centac, people's perception is going to be affected by how you interact with people. So you're curious about somebody handrolling. Do you threaten him with arrest after he shows you evidence that he's engaging in a perfectly lawful activity? Do you eat crow, apologize like a gentleman, or storm off in angry huff? Just something to think about.

And I am very curious how an empty coffee can is prima facie evidence of a crime. :scrutiny:

Control Group
May 24, 2005, 02:07 PM
if during a traffic stop I observe an empty coffee can or bag in your car, your car is getting searched, no ifs ands or buts
You know, that's the single best example of the fundamental problem so many have with police officers I've seen yet.

I drink coffee. I don't clean my car often. I have no idea what nefarious purpose someone can put a coffee can to (though I'm guessing it has something to do with cooking up drugs...?), but there's an empty coffee can in my car right now.

Apparently, this means I'm going to get hassled by you if you pull me over.

And also apparently, you don't see any problem with this.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting here at my keyboard, actually becoming angry as I contemplate the fact that, according to you, an officer of the law, I'm liable for a search without doing anything illegal. In fact, I'm trying very difficult to not stray from the high road as I contemplate the incredible high-handed authoritarianism you're exhibiting in such a blasé fashion, and that you consider it so reasonable that you actually trot it out as a defense of the system.

I don't know that I'm succeeding, and I apologixze if I'bve given offense. I'm aware that you're just trying to do your job, and I'm trying as hard as I can to not be angry with you, but with the system that makes that statement perfectly acceptable.

Anyhow, if you don't see why that policy of yours infuriates me, there's clearly nothing more here to talk about; and we have a fundamental disagreement on our prioritization of individual liberty vs. the need to catch criminals.

jefnvk
May 24, 2005, 02:11 PM
Imagine 1955: Would the public or police chief tolerate a policeman using a cattle prod on a handcuffed 13year old girl who was misbehaving?

You know, my dad and grandpa tells me that there was no need for that, because the teacher would punish you themselves, and when word got home to dad that you were misbehaving in school, they got you a second time.

I think the people that bash cops based on teh few bad ones, need to step back and realize that every group has its bad people. Gun owners have their bad characters, that the same people will insist that there are only a few of and even the other gunnies don't like. Why won't they realize that police are the same way.

I can realize that 99% of peace protestors are not pinko commies that want total control of your lives, but some will bash them on what a few extremeists do.

I can realize that 99% of Muslims are as peacefulk as 99% or Christians and Jewish people, that the few extremeists are the problem.

So I realize with police, the vast majority are not power greedy people, with a sense that they are supercitizens. In fact the few police I know personally don't look at it as anything other than a job.

And it doesn't help that a lot of people hating police have been arrested before.

Also, it seems that a lot of people that have a problem with police aggrivate the police anyway they can (by speeding by when the cop has someone else pulled over, giving them the finger when they are tied upo doing something else, calling them pigs or making donut jokes). Some just seem that they want to be hasseled so they can complain about it.

Control Group
May 24, 2005, 02:16 PM
Yeah, I said I was done, but I can't help myself.

Many civilians may not consider or even know of some of these issues
How do you not also see this as a problem? When the police are the enforcers of laws and policies that they know I don't know about, how the expletive literally deleted do you expect me to not have an us vd. them mentality? According to you (and in my opinion, you're right), there's some mysterious code of conduct which us mere civilians don't have access to, and if we don't obey this hidden doctrine, we're subject to whatever the cop feels like doing to us.

I don't understand how you can not see how threatening this is to us mere civilians. I don't understand how you can think we should just blithely go along with this, and be sympathetic to the officer involved. I don't understand how you expect us to not think of the police as the enemy under these conditions.

I'm close to wandering off into tinfoil hat territory, because I know full well we aren't a police state or anything like it. But God in Heaven above, it's hard not to when presented with such a blatant statement of authoritarianism. "We know the rules, you don't, so just trust us, you're breaking them."

The mind boggles.

Vernal45
May 24, 2005, 02:16 PM
if during a traffic stop I observe an empty coffee can or bag in your car, your car is getting searched, no ifs ands or buts

That explains it all. nuff said.

R.H. Lee
May 24, 2005, 02:20 PM
What if I don't consent to a search of my vehicle? A coffee can is not probable cause for arrest, either.

Vernal45
May 24, 2005, 02:25 PM
Some of you know why, and I'll bet some dont. Depending on the interaction I may explain why, or I may not, but your car is still getting searched regardless. Seeing that coffee can or bag means something to me that to you it may or may not, but to me it can appear

Scratching my head on that logic. Police State Logic. Empty can/bag = evidence to a crime and warrants a search. WOW.

With statements like Centac's, you still ask why people distrust LE.

centac
May 24, 2005, 02:30 PM
But the only way I can determine that you arent breaking the law is to investigate. If that infuriates you, so be it. If I wanted people to like me I'd be a fireman. If you are clean, you'll be on your way with an explanation. If you are'nt you'll be riding with me. Bottom line, you are engaging in a pattern of behavior that is identical to that which in my training and experience certain types of offenders do. Dont wanna get "hassled", dont do it.

As for the "secret code of conduct" you missed my point. We are trained and experienced to recognize certain behaviors as probable cause that a crime has occurred, or is in progress.

This'll light ya up - when I worked pedo cases I would always look at the books a suspect kept around their house or wherever. Yes, me, a JBT, monitored their reading habits, just like 1984. Why? Because I knew through my training and experience that there were a number of books that pedophiles found appealing, and some they would use to desenstize potential victims. I also checked out their mail and newspapers, because many of them found "material" in something as innocuous as the Sunday clothing ads. You could walk into one of these guy's places and not think twice, I could walk in and find a gold mine of evidence.

The only "code of conduct" ya gotta worry about is pretty simple - don't break the law.

R.H. Lee
May 24, 2005, 02:36 PM
when I worked pedo cases I would always look at the books a suspect kept around their house or wherever. Presumably, you had some other 'evidence' that made the subject a 'suspect' prior to 'investigating' reading material. This is different than seeing a coffee can during a traffic stop and assuming the motorist is a drug dealer (until he proves to you he is not, which seems to be your message).

pax
May 24, 2005, 02:38 PM
The only "code of conduct" ya gotta worry about is pretty simple - don't break the law.

No, that is not true.

I don't want strangers rifling through my private belongings.

I don't care whether the strangers are wearing uniforms or not. I would prefer to keep myself TO myself, thankyouverymuch.

You posted that something I've been doing as a matter of course gives you the right & authority to rifle through my private belongings.

Therefore, since I hate strangers rifling through my stuff, I gotta worry about doing stuff that isn't against the law -- at least in your jurisdiction! -- or I will have strangers rifling through my stuff.

Let me ask again: What crime is that coffee can evidence of?

I would really like to know.

thanks,

pax

centac
May 24, 2005, 02:39 PM
I coulda sworn Vernal, with his great wealth of experience as a cop :rolleyes: woulda known this:

Drug runners will take coffee grounds and sprinkle them throughout the car, trying to through off the dogs by masking the scent of the dope. Smart ones throw the bag or can away, dumb ones pitch'em in the back seat. Think about it, Who brews coffee in their car? The only logical explanation for an empty coffee can or bag in a car is either you have one heck of a percolator or you are up to something nefarious.

BTW, it doesnt work, neither does fabric softener sheets, it just gives us PC to search your car. I am also not a big antidrug cop, but if ya wave a big red flag in front of my face I'll sure check it out.

TallPine
May 24, 2005, 02:39 PM
I for one appreciate how the "cop bashers" bait such insightful responses from LEOs ;)

Sindawe
May 24, 2005, 02:42 PM
For example, if during a traffic stop I observe an empty coffee can or bag in your car, your car is getting searched, no ifs ands or buts. Perhaps its time to keep things that are nasty and things that bite (http://www.omgjeremy.com/bugs.shtml) in the car.

jsalcedo
May 24, 2005, 02:45 PM
A good friend of mine and his brother were searched during a traffic stop because they looked like hippies. tie dyed, camo shorts, funny hair.

The cop went through his pockets and found a plastic bag.

The cop sneered and asked well boy what did you have in here?

My friend replied "a sandwich"

"Why are you carrying around an empty plastic bag?" the cop asks next.

"Because I don't litter" was the next response

The cop became irate and began tearing the vehicle apart looking for drugs.

Finding nothing some task force shows up with drug dogs and proceed to hold
my friend and his brother on the side of the road for over an hour while they
tore apart every inch of that car.

The cops never found anything and all their stuff was left scattered on the side of the road. Now there are two more people who dislike cops.

pax
May 24, 2005, 02:45 PM
The only logical explanation for an empty coffee can or bag in a car is either you have one heck of a percolator or you are up to something nefarious.
*sigh*

Okay, thanks, centac.

You've at least made your position clear.

pax

who wonders how the hell she's going to explain to the kids that they can't take their super-duper bug collectors everywhere they go...

It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up. -- Muhammad Ali

centac
May 24, 2005, 02:46 PM
Look, I'm just trying to explain why we do some of the things we do. You wanna argue the finer points of PC, open a different thread and bash away.

One of the truest things I ever heard was : "A community gets the police it deserves"

Vernal45
May 24, 2005, 02:46 PM
I coulda sworn Vernal, with his great wealth of experience as a cop woulda known this:

Yes, I have experience, and yes I know about concealing drugs in coffee grounds. Also druggies have been know to hide them in laundry detergent. Does that mean you search when you see a box of tide.

Guilty to proven innocent, heh Centac.

The only experience I see you have, and growing, is vast experience in being a JBT. :rolleyes:

centac
May 24, 2005, 02:50 PM
Vernal, did you ever make an arrest, assuming you actually were a cop?

pax
May 24, 2005, 02:50 PM
One of the truest things I ever heard was : "A community gets the police it deserves"
Yeah, that is unfortunately true.

If you have a community full of law-n-order types who are extremely anti drug and basically support any law, no matter how stupid, as long as it can be tied to the War On Drugs, then you end up with cops who'll search without a warrant and over the objection of the driver based on some stupid thing like having a coffee can in the vehicle.

pax

I never thought much of the courage of a lion-tamer. Inside the cage he is at least safe from people. -- George Bernard Shaw

Control Group
May 24, 2005, 02:52 PM
The only "code of conduct" ya gotta worry about is pretty simple - don't break the law
And, apparently, don't have coffee cans or empty bags in my car. Which isn't written anywhere but on this thread, as far as I know. What other little rules do I have to follow if I don't want to be searched next time I get pulled over for no real reason*?

Bottom line, you are engaging in a pattern of behavior that is identical to that which in my training and experience certain types of offenders do
Perhaps, but that behavior isn't illegal, and the "evidence" you describe can just as easily be evidence of someone who likes coffee as of someone who does whatever it is that coffee cans are supposedly evidence of.

But the only way I can determine that you arent breaking the law is to investigate
This is the heart of the matter, right here. Since when is a cop's job to determine someone isn't breaking the law? I was under the impression a cop's job is to determine when someone has broken the law. And no, it's not the same thing. A coffee can in my car isn't breaking any law, and it's certainly not obvious evidence that any law has been broken, since I've got one in my car right now, and I know perfectly well the only law I've broken lately is the speed limit. It's the whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing; I shouldn't have to prove to you I'm innocent. You don't have any right - or shouldn't, at least - to give me a hard time because I'm doing something completely legal just in case I might be a criminal. Not only does this infuriate me, I don't understand how it doesn't infuriate you.

This'll light ya up - when I worked pedo cases I would always look at the books a suspect kept around their house or wherever. Yes, me, a JBT, monitored their reading habits, just like 1984
This doesn't light me up at all, since I assume that when you say "working a pedo case," you mean investigating a legitimate suspect you have independent reason to believe may have committed the crime. Once you've got legit PC, then sure, search everything I own. I trust modern police methods to, by and large, be good enough that PC warrants a full search with few enough mistakes to make it worthwhile. Now, if you're saying this meaning that you examine some guy's reading habits and whether or not he's got a Sunday paper in order to determine whether or not to investigate him, then yeah, it lights me up. But I'll assume the former is the case, unless you tell me otherwise.

*No real reason, in this case, means something similar to the time I was pulled over in Whitewater one night. I was stopped at a flashing red, waiting to go straight. A car came from my right, turned right onto my road, and proceeded away from me. I went through the intersection. As I accelerated up to 25, the strobes came on behind me. The officer asked me if I had stopped at the flashing red, and I said "yes," because I had. He just nodded, took my license, ran it, then came back to my window and handed it back with only a "have a good evening, sir." I found out later from the driver of the car who had turned (a friend of mine, whom I was actually driving to meet at the time), that the officer had pulled out after her because she was speeding. I happened to get between them because he hadn't closed the distance to pull her over yet, so I got stopped. Guess it's a good thing I didn't have any empty coffee cans in my car.

LawDog
May 24, 2005, 02:55 PM
An empty coffee can could be a reason for you to ask for voluntary consent to search the vehicle.

*scratch, scratch*

Personally, I want a lot more indicators before I haul off and ask if I can paw through someones' personal possessions. An empty coffee can just doesn't quite cut the mustard.

I can see myself trying to explain that one to the Sheriff: "Sheriff, she had an empty coffee can in the back of the SUV, so I tore the vehicle apart."

Yeah.

The Sheriff would rip my head off and then kick my dying carcass out the front door for that one.

And about the third person who complained to the Sheriff after denying me permission to search their vehicle because of empty coffee cans, and Yours Truly would be in Remedial Training. On mids. Out in the BFE part of the County.

Hell, if you can get a search warrant based on an empty coffee can, I really want to see your PC affidavit.

LawDog

centac
May 24, 2005, 03:00 PM
If y'all want to take my example as an excuse to be put-upon have at it. The point is that we have to analyze a plethora of variables in order to determine whether or not criminal activity is afoot.

Here, rip me a new one over this: an officer on patrol passes a car and occupant parked in front of an elementary school. The officer recognized the driver as a person who has been identified in a number of child molest cases, but he was never prosecuted because the DA felt the victims would not be effective witnesses because they were too young. The car is missing a red lens over one taillight You are the officer - whatcha gonna do? Remember he's innocent until proven guilty, right?

P95Carry
May 24, 2005, 03:05 PM
Apart from coffee cans and a few other assorted goodies - does this strike anyone as having achieved much more than most other cop threads?

From where I am - it is little different. As ever, I see points for and against in all directions and yet - nothing has really changed..... the frictions and disparities continue and there are flaws in the system. I have one or two tales of less than ideal encounters - but I also have instances I could relate of very good ones too - maybe I am fortunate to have a better balance in my perceptions.

All that said - I am heartily tired of the same old stuff - because whilst it ''airs'' grievances - it changes little and just gets darned tedious to read - which I have to try and do as a Mod.

From this seat it just seems like ''gimme a break''!! I'd rather talk guns! ;)

R.H. Lee
May 24, 2005, 03:11 PM
I dunno, centac. You seem to be all over the place with these diverse examples. They don't seem to be coherent. Of course a previous (uncleared) pedophile suspect parked near an elementary school with a broken tail light deserves your attention. Write him up, let him know you recognize him, ask him why he's parked near the school, etc., etc.

You see the difference between that searching a vehicle based on an empty coffee can, don't you?

centac
May 24, 2005, 03:11 PM
"does this strike anyone as having achieved much more than most other cop threads?"

No it doesnt. Dialogue seems impossible. Everyone has a war story of horrific maltreatment, so my entire profession must suck, cause people say so on the internet.

LawDog
May 24, 2005, 03:12 PM
Umm, centac, possible child molestor suspect isn't in the same class as an empty coffee can rolling about in the back seat of a car.

What would I do in the above-cited case?

Do a Field Interview Card on the contact. During the FIC, check for plain-view, run a 27 on his DL, asking Dispatch to manually check for Protective Orders.

Since Emergency Protective Orders would have been issued as part of the initial series of arrests, there's a good possibility that he's violating one or more EPO's.

That's an immediate arrest.

If he isn't violating an EPO somewhere, I contact CAPERS (Crimes Against Persons) and let them know what I've got, talk to the critter until he gets nervous, and when he steps on the brake, I cite him for defective tail-lamps, taking my time with the citation.

If, after all that time, CAPERS hasn't gotten back to me with instructions, cut him loose.

LawDog

TallPine
May 24, 2005, 03:12 PM
I'd rather talk guns!
A 45 is better than a 9mm :p

An AK is better than an AR :p

:D

AK-74me
May 24, 2005, 03:18 PM
Age 15-
Playing capture the flag one night at local golf course around midnight one of the grounds keepers checking on the sprinkler system caught us and damn near ran me over in the golf cart to catch me. He held me there and called the cops. The cop showed up and said to me, what were you doing out here in the middle of the night? I told him playing capture th flag. He said did you tear anything up? I said nope. He then says hey don't you pitch for the High school baseball team. I said yup. He says, thought so, get in I'll drive you home. Dropped me off at home end of story.

Age-16 pulled over for speeding..... warning.

Age-20 pulled over speeding .......ticket.

Age-22 pulled over for speeding...... ticket, had to do a soberity test, I had been drinking much early that day but wasn't drunk. Preformed and passed all his tests. Gave me a ticket for the speeding part.

Age-27 pulled over for cutting a red light too close coming back from dinner. Cop ask if I had anything to drink. I say yeah a 22 oz beer with my dinner, but that is all. He gives me a second look. I said hey man really I haven't been out partying just dinner. He says, ok be careful you could get yourself jammed up doing stuff like that. Gives me a verbal warning and says go home.

Thus unlike alot of you all, I am happy with the way I have been treated. I have always been candid and never acted nervous or tried to lie and all has worked out for me. Maybe my apperance has something to do with it, I don't know but I am about the furtest thing away from a hippie you can get. I wear my pants around my waste and hat facing foward. I don't try to act like a thug or test cops when I am stopped. So I guess cops do profile people afterall. So what I would too? Walks like duck, talks like a duck.........

pax
May 24, 2005, 03:18 PM
LawDog ~

Have I told you lately how much I respect you?

pax

Any of us in a position of statutory authority - - Peace officer, deputy sheriff, city cop, state police, or some kind of federal agent - - must always remember: The Bill of Rights was codified to protect the public against People Like US! I enjoy being a quiet, peaceful member of the community. Personally, I’d just as soon remember the Bill of Rights on my own, and not need to be reminded of it in federal court - - or on the front page of the newspaper. – Johnny Guest

centac
May 24, 2005, 03:20 PM
Nope, you do not have legal standing to approach the guy at the school. He isnt committing a crime and the car is parked and not in operation. You dont have sufficient probable cause. Just because you "know" he is a child molester isnt sufficient, you need to be able to articulate a specific reason based on what you observe at the time.

I can observe an empty coffee can and extrapolate that observation into probable cause. Now of course I am not gonna do this in a vacuum, but combine it with collateral observations. Whose more suspicious, a woman with her kiddies or some tatted-up scootertrash? How many little old ladies have you seen running drugs? (Correct answer: Plenty - they are the courier of choice for several organizations) Things are rarely as simple as they seem.

Y'all want black and white, well, in policing all ya get are shades of grey.

20cows
May 24, 2005, 03:22 PM
Centac,

The case you just mentioned is different because this person has a known history of suspicious behavior.

In the other cases you mention there is no such history, the only things you know of this person is what came up when you ran his liscense (I venture to guess most come up "clean") and what you observe during the stop. Keep these things in mind as you proceed:
1) most people are not criminals, 2) are probably not engaged in illegal activities at the time you pulled them over, 3) there are a great many legal activities that present the same outward pattern of behavior, 4) your prejudices (pre-judgements are just that) are your own, 5) the Constitution says you don't get to go through their stuff if they don't let you, 6) due process says that if you go ahead, you need much more PC than a "suspicion" (your job should be on the line).

Frankly, you scare me.

Lawdog, thank you.

LawDog
May 24, 2005, 03:26 PM
I don't have to have Probable Cause to fill out a Field Interview Card, just Reasonable Suspicion.

And someone personally known to me as a person of interest in a series of child molestations being parked in front of a school is a textbook definition of Reasonable Suspicion.

And, as you will notice, I would wait until he had stepped on the brake before writing the citation. ;)

LawDog

JShirley
May 24, 2005, 03:27 PM
Oh my god.

"the only way I can determine that you arent breaking the law is to investigate"

Let me say, again, oh my god. Prima facie guilt*. Because you haven't proven I'm NOT guilty- ergo, I must be. Holy crap.

"he only "code of conduct" ya gotta worry about is pretty simple - don't break the law"

Ooh! Ooh! I want to play! Quick, Officer Friendly- off the top of your head, tell me how many Federal, state, and local laws there are- kudos if you're within a THOUSAND. Which law?

A very pissed off John

*Main Entry: pri·ma fa·cie
Pronunciation: 'prI-m&-'fA-sh&, -sE, -shE
Function: adverb
Etymology: Latin
: at first view : on first appearance absent other information or evidence...

centac
May 24, 2005, 03:28 PM
Reasonable suspicion of what? There arent any kids in the car, you are going to hassle him based on what he might do in the future? ;)

Vernal45
May 24, 2005, 03:30 PM
Yes, I have made several arrests, cant count how many. NONE were over turned, and no ones rights were abused. YOUR kind of LE scares me Centac. It is police state mentality.

YOU basically stated that am empty coffee can, empty bag, and tatooed scootertrash is PC to search. What freaking academy taught you that? YOU need to get your money back on that education.

Control Group
May 24, 2005, 03:37 PM
I want to take a second here to thank Vernal45, LawDog, and any other law officers who've posted similarly for their contributions. I honestly don't think I'm a cop basher, but certain posts were really making me wonder if I was losing my mind, or if the people I often dismiss as "tinfoil hat" types have been right all this time.

Anyway, thank you for reminding me why the system as it is, even with the flaws I do believe it to have, still works pretty much well pretty much all the time.

TheFederalistWeasel
May 24, 2005, 03:37 PM
Nope, you do not have legal standing to approach the guy at the school.

Just because you "know" he is a child molester isnt sufficient, you need to be able to articulate a specific reason based on what you observe at the time.

Say what?!???!??!

Dude please tell me you are joking in all!

I’ve just glanced over this thread and seen folks all bent out of shape about you searching cars based on coffee cans but standing firm on not having the legal basis for a brief stop on a known sex offender parked outside a school.

***, over!


:eek:

JShirley
May 24, 2005, 03:38 PM
CG,

Cops are like any other group: some "good", some "bad", many mediocre.

It's too bad the bad eggs reflect on the perfectly righteous ones.

John

centac
May 24, 2005, 03:38 PM
Vern,

If you were a real cop ya woulda pick mom and kiddies, bikers are smarter than to hold when they are out and about. Soccer moms in minivans are the new dope roamers of choice.

jsalcedo
May 24, 2005, 03:41 PM
Everyone has a war story of horrific maltreatment, so my entire profession must suck, cause people say so on the internet.

Sorry I thought this was a cop bashing thread :neener:

Seriously, I have had cops pull me over for no seatbelt then tell me that they are concerned for my safety, god bless and no ticket.

I had a public relations cop help me during an accident (very nice guy) even though his job was to visit school kids and he had no idea how to fill out a police report.

I had a cop offer to help me with my broken down heap when I told him I had it under control he gave me his stash of flares because it was getting dark.

Not anti-cop just anti-jackboot

centac
May 24, 2005, 03:41 PM
"I’ve just glanced over this thread and seen folks all bent out of shape about you searching cars based on coffee cans but standing firm on not having the legal basis for a brief stop on a known sex offender parked outside a school."

Whaddya suppose the pedo's lawyer is going to say? The guy hasnt been convicted, remember. That "innocent until proven guilty" thing everyone's so fond of?

20cows
May 24, 2005, 03:42 PM
If you were a real cop ya woulda pick mom and kiddies, bikers are smarter than to hold when they are out and about. Soccer moms in minivans are the new dope roamers of choice.

PROFILING GONE MAD!!!!!

Control Group
May 24, 2005, 03:45 PM
Not anti-cop just anti-jackboot
Exactly. It took me a heck of a lot more words to say it, but that's what I've been trying to say. ;)

As I've said before, with only one exception, every single officer I've dealt with has been polite, professional, and as helpful as circumstances have dictated. My opinion of officers as a group is quite high.

JShirley: you're right, and I try to keep that in mind whenever something like some of the posts in this thread get me all riled up. Unfortunately for me (and everyone who has to put up with my ranting), some things can get me riled up mighty quick. ;)

115grfmj
May 24, 2005, 03:47 PM
I think cop bashing is generally protrayed by the misinformed. I have known
a great many cops who are gun people and support our rights, and a few
who don't. There in lies the crux of the situation. Police forces can be considered to be microcosm's of our society, in which you will have differing
cultures, attitudes, education, backgrounds, and opinions. Bashing cops
as a whole, generalization in a most extreme fashion. :)

centac
May 24, 2005, 03:49 PM
C'mon Vernal et al, what's the guy's lawyer gonna say? All you ConLaw experts feel free to chime in.

JShirley
May 24, 2005, 03:52 PM
Centac:"the only "code of conduct" ya gotta worry about is pretty simple - don't break the law"

Ooh! Ooh! I want to play! Quick, Officer Friendly- off the top of your head, tell me how many Federal, state, and local laws there are- kudos if you're within a THOUSAND. Which law?


I'm still waiting- which law? You know them all, of course.

John

JShirley
May 24, 2005, 04:00 PM
Time's up. You don't know, of course.

No one does.

But you get to judge if they're breaking what you're ignorant of. Nice.

centac
May 24, 2005, 04:04 PM
You pick.

Where are all the experts now? With the wealth of knowledge of policing that everybody has here I thought I'd have an answer by now. What's the guys' lawyer gonna say? Everyone here feels free to criticize, well c'mon. You are the experts on laws of arrest, search and seizure, explain what to do with the guy. Its all so simple now isnt it?

You wouldnt want him "hassled" though, would ya? He's just sitting there, plenty of legitimate reasons for that, maybe the car's broke down, maybe he just feels a little tired and wants to rest. Maybe he is gonna pick up his niece so she doesnt have to walk home from school, all those kidnappers out there, he'll protect her. No harm in that, right? He was'nt convicted after all so he must be innocent. It is a public street anyway, he's got as much right to be there as anybody?

C'mon you Probable Cause experts, help out here. When you get called in to the Sheriff's office to meet this guy's attorney, whatcha gonna say?

centac
May 24, 2005, 04:06 PM
Mr Shirley, whats your point? People who dont commit crimes have very little to do with the police. Follow the law of the jurisdiction in which you reside and you'll do fine.

richyoung
May 24, 2005, 04:07 PM
Why I Might Not Trust Law Envorcement (Texoma examples only)...

1. Fake drug scandal - numerous poor black and hispanic defendants in Texas arrested for possession of what turns out to be talc or gypsum. Said poor defendants talked into plea bargains by their public defenders. Even after the drugs were found to be fake, and tesstimony false, the "defendants" are still in prison, according to the D.A.s involved, because "they shouldn't have pled guilty!" (***???)

2. The helpful criminologist in the Panhandle of Texas that just "made up" whatever evidence would assure a conviction.

3. The Comanche County, Oklahoma sheriff's deputy in the early eighties who had the habit of busting up couples on deserted lover's lanes, sending the guy and his car home, and then raping the teenage girls. (This scandal was largely responsible for the election of the current sheriff, Kenney Stradley)

4. The Lawton, OK PD officer (won't mention his name - rhymes with "busky") that KICKED IN the driver's door of my brother's Camero (The WHOLE DOOR, I mean). WHat was my brother's crime? He had an argument with the officer's son at school.

5. The Lawton PD officer that finally got fired the SECOND time he fatally shot an unarmed suspect in the back.

Your comments, centac?

JShirley
May 24, 2005, 04:11 PM
"centac", my point is this: you claim to act based on the law, but you do not know the law. So, what are you acting on?

If you, being-presumably- a law enforcement official, do not know all the laws, how can Joe Sixpack be expected to know them?

But search away. And if you can't search, be confident they're guilty. They will be.

And so are you. Because there are so many laws it is impossible to not violate some of them.

But you know that, don't you?

John

Arc-Lite
May 24, 2005, 04:12 PM
Welcome to the real world.....as long as people make up all the servers, then you will have good ones and bad ones...good and bad preachers, truckers, and indian chiefs...etc.... so !!! Running your past dirty laundry up for all the world...and then saying because of that experience.... ALL people who do this task...are bad, or good...is pretty short sighted...and worth zip !!! Who gives a rats behind...what anyone did... your past is your business, how you choose to paint yourself...on a public forum is also your business.... geezzzz people lighten up...get off your computer, and go outside and do something positive... might see everything allot different, maybe even yourself !!!!

Aggie1
May 24, 2005, 04:15 PM
centac,

If I may. How long have you been in law enforcement?

Control Group
May 24, 2005, 04:23 PM
You wouldnt want him "hassled" though, would ya? He's just sitting there, plenty of legitimate reasons for that, maybe the car's broke down, maybe he just feels a little tired and wants to rest. Maybe he is gonna pick up his niece so she doesnt have to walk home from school, all those kidnappers out there, he'll protect her. No harm in that, right? He was'nt convicted after all so he must be innocent. It is a public street anyway, he's got as much right to be there as anybody?
Frankly? Yeah. I don't want to be stopped and searched by every cop that sees me because I've had charges against me dropped (hypothetically speaking; I've never actually been accused of any crime). You know, it's possible that the guy's actually innocent. It's also possible he's not, and he's planning something vile. On the other hand, that guy who's never been even accused of anything is also sitting outside the school in his car. You know, the one all the neighbors think is "such a quiet type," and the one they "can't believe would do something like that." You'd better go harass him, too, 'cause he might commit a crime.

The alternative is that we completely discard the whole trial thing, and as soon as the police believe someone's guilty, we treat them as guilty. Not to put too fine a point on it, that's crap.

It's the down side of this whole "liberty" thing - some people abuse their rights, and commit crimes. These crimes have victims, and I feel bad for them, but the job of the police isn't to prevent crimes, it's to catch criminals. This, incidentally, is why everyone should have the right to carry a gun, because the police can't stop someone until they're actually committing a crime, by which time it's too late for you, the victim.

Where are all the experts now? With the wealth of knowledge of policing that everybody has here I thought I'd have an answer by now. What's the guys' lawyer gonna say? Everyone here feels free to criticize, well c'mon. You are the experts on laws of arrest, search and seizure, explain what to do with the guy. Its all so simple now isnt it?
Again, frankly, yeah. He's innocent until proven guilty. I don't care what you think you "know" about him, your beliefs about his activities aren't good enough. That's why we've got a court system, and the police don't get to just throw people in prison.

You seem to think that I don't understand the consequences of what I believe, when in fact, I do. Just throwing around the word "pedophile" isn't going to change my mind. I believe in innocent until proven guilty, and I believe that it requires a jury of my peers to declare me guilty, no matter how well-intentioned the cop who "just knew" I was going to be guilty of whatever crime it is we're talking about, be it shoplifting or rape.

20cows
May 24, 2005, 04:25 PM
Where are all the experts now? With the wealth of knowledge of policing that everybody has here I thought I'd have an answer by now. What's the guys' lawyer gonna say? Everyone here feels free to criticize, well c'mon. You are the experts on laws of arrest, search and seizure, explain what to do with the guy. Its all so simple now isnt it?

LawDog answered your question already. I guess you didn't get the answer you wanted (some teachers are like that).

Mal H
May 24, 2005, 04:31 PM
The only logical explanation for an empty coffee can or bag in a car is either you have one heck of a percolator or you are up to something nefarious.(Emphasis mine.)
I often have a large empty coffee can in my car when heading to the range. I use them to collect brass. And, believe it or not, I have had several empty coffee bags in my car. A friend and I went to Costco to buy and grind several bags of coffee which went into a large plastic container. We kept the bags in case we had any left over after an event.

So, if you happened to glance in my car at a license check or the like, I am now a drug dealer?? That is one hell of a leap in "logic".

centac
May 24, 2005, 04:34 PM
If I may. How long have you been in law enforcement?

Since 1983

benEzra
May 24, 2005, 04:37 PM
You wouldnt want him "hassled" though, would ya? He's just sitting there, plenty of legitimate reasons for that, maybe the car's broke down, maybe he just feels a little tired and wants to rest. Maybe he is gonna pick up his niece so she doesnt have to walk home from school, all those kidnappers out there, he'll protect her. No harm in that, right? He was'nt convicted after all so he must be innocent. It is a public street anyway, he's got as much right to be there as anybody?

I'm not necessarily disagreeing, but I would certainly question the decision to search the car next to him just because that car had a coffee can in it and was being driven by a young guy.

My car probably has a couple of dryer sheets in it right now. That happens when you have two young kids (6 and 4) dragging their laundry out to the car. I've never used any drugs recreationally (even alcohol and tobacco) and I would certainly be a bit disturbed if someone conducted a PC search of my car based on the presence of said dryer sheets. (No coffee cans, though.)

And centac/LawDog/other LEO's on this thread--my experience with law enforcement in my 34 years has been 100% positive. I can't recall ever being treated badly or disrespectfully by ANY police officer I've ever met, and I appreciate all you do. I also read police magazines from time to time and realize how tough your job is. So I'm not a cop-basher by any means, I just want to feel secure in my home, my vehicle, and my person from arbitrary/unreasonable searches. Conducting an arbitrary search based on an innocent item in the back seat of my car would make me feel rather violated.

TheFederalistWeasel
May 24, 2005, 04:37 PM
Whaddya suppose the pedo's lawyer is going to say?

What do you suppose that pedos jury is going to say, made up of moms and dads and grand parents if I do find something to charge him with?

Obviously you have never dealt with registered sex offenders, I have and unfortunately do on an (alarmingly) regular basis. My county has a large number of them and we also have a citizens group headed up by a mother of a 13-year-old girl who was cornered by one who just so happened to live in their neighborhood. Mom found out this person was a RSO and now is on a crusade to educate everyone in our county to the shear number of these people living near folks.

As a result a large number of parents now know of them and we do get regular calls on them for usually suspicious behavior.

The last call I had involved a 45-year-old male standing in a small brush/tree line still on the public access to a county maintained roadway, watching a small group of girls play in a kiddie pool in a yard.

He was about 50 feet from them, was spotted, the kids freaked and ran screaming, mom called the cops, dad went after him.

We knew exactly whom he was, due to the parents having viewed and printed his info and picture off the Internet. We straight to his house, remember these fools are still state property because they are on intensive probation and required to register as SO’s and therefore have little expectation of privacy.

Remember we can’t trust them so we have them make themselves known to us by registering.

I went off on him pretty good, held a come to Jesus meeting with him and basically told him if I ever received another call out here again that I would find a lawful reason to take him to jail and would make it my personal crusade to have his parole revoked sending him back to prison, that if any child so much as turned up in this neighborhood with a scratch or God forbid missing his name would be at the top of a very short list.

The man was in tears when I left.

The entire conversation was audio taped as per our department SOP and I did inform the Sheriff.

The neighbors were happy and I never heard a single thing out of that incident, I also spent the next two weeks making frequent stops at the complainant’s house just to check in.

I’m sure those law abiding parents who live in that small neighborhood think better of us for doing that, but you know I really don’t care, what I’d like to do is put that bottom dweller back in jail.

Think anyone here would lose any sleep over that?

centac
May 24, 2005, 04:40 PM
Mal H

A can with brass in it is clearly different than a can without. If it is empty and their is a logical explanation for it, so much the better. If I spotted them in your car I might ask about them, or would that be too outlandish to tolerate. If the explanation was particulary lame or not forthcoming, game on.

Lawdog said what he would do, not how a lawyer would respond. The question now is what will the guy's lawyer say. Frankly, the officer doesnt need to FI him, having dealt with him frequently.

Its all so easy from behind a keyboard, isnt it?

centac
May 24, 2005, 04:42 PM
TFW.

FWIW I worked pedo, neglect and abuse cases half my career.

jefnvk
May 24, 2005, 04:42 PM
Think about it, Who brews coffee in their car? The only logical explanation for an empty coffee can or bag in a car is either you have one heck of a percolator or you are up to something nefarious.

You'd be suprised at what turns up in my car, and I've never been up to anything nefarious. Stupid things, yes; nefarious things, nope. Dangerous to others? Hardly.

But let's just suppose you arrest me for (gasp) an empty coffee can while I am going out fishing with my canoe or kayak. You know what you'd be holding me on? My boat's toilet.

My brother had an ear problem when he was younger. Know what we kept to use as a puke bucket? That's right. Empty coffee can.

By that logic, I'm suprised I haven't been arrested on weapons charges yet. Think about it, who has a rifle cartridge on their floor? Obviously someone on their way to rob a bank.

I'm still assuming you were trying to prove your point, and picked an incredibly crappy example. Concede the point, and it'll make your police force look MUCH better.

As for the pedo, give him a ticket for the broken taillight. That is against the law. As for being parked in a parking lot watching a school, nope. Is he under investigation? If so, I'd imagine you have the warrant to arrest, go ahead. If not, he is just a suspected pedo, he hasn't been charged with anything in a court of law, you don't have a warrant, he is no different than any other person watching a school.

What bothers me, is that you aren't even trying to defend police. You are just seemingly proud of the fact that you can lock people when you feel like it. That is why people bash cops in these posts.

Cosmoline
May 24, 2005, 04:45 PM
Many civilians may not consider or even know of some of these issues. While in a perfect world we may try to explain ourselves, that may not always take place. For example, if during a traffic stop I observe an empty coffee can or bag in your car, your car is getting searched, no ifs ands or buts

Your use of the term "civilians" is a red flag. The bad cops tend to be the ones who regard the world as divided between cops and "civilians." They view themselves as a military force APART FROM the rest of us, rather than public sector employees WORKING FOR us.

As far as a search because of an empty coffee can, you'd never have my permission for it, and I'd have a field day with a warrantless search based on such an absurd justification.

centac
May 24, 2005, 04:50 PM
Mr. Ezra,

What people here refuse to acknowledge is that context is everything. If a stop you for a violation and see fabric softener sheets, a basket of laundry, detergent, empty hangers and the like that puts a far more innocent context on the item. You may still have contraband in the car, but you've done a much better job of covering your tracks ;)

Conversly, if you have out of state plates on a rental car and I stop you for a violation on the interstate and I see an empty dryer sheet box, but nothing else is in the car, no laundry, no laundry paraphenalia, there is a whole different context now.

To return the thread to its original topic, people here take a snippet of information from the media and proceed to slam an entire profession without considering the greater context of what occurred. It seems like the worst offenders look for any excuse to criticize the police, and do so from am unqualified background.

Cosmoline
May 24, 2005, 04:51 PM
Here, rip me a new one over this: an officer on patrol passes a car and occupant parked in front of an elementary school. The officer recognized the driver as a person who has been identified in a number of child molest cases, but he was never prosecuted because the DA felt the victims would not be effective witnesses because they were too young. The car is missing a red lens over one taillight You are the officer - whatcha gonna do? Remember he's innocent until proven guilty, right?

You won't do squat about that. Unless of course the chester has AN EMPTY COFFEE CAN!! (the horror--save the children!) :D

centac
May 24, 2005, 04:54 PM
"As far as a search because of an empty coffee can, you'd never have my permission for it, and I'd have a field day with a warrantless search based on such an absurd justification."

Um, there are a couple guys in prison who didnt have the "field day" you think you'd have.

JShirley
May 24, 2005, 05:01 PM
Wow.

How about some case #'s and/or names, along with locale. Love to see what our tax dollars are buying.

John

thereisnospoon
May 24, 2005, 05:03 PM
I have read this entire thread and have come to the following conclusion(s)...

I) Centac loves being Law Enforcement and loves posting his opinion on THR
II) Spoon loves guns and loves posting his opinion on THR (I also carry around empty coffee cans for brass at the range...guess I'm going to jail, cause I ain't consenting for that crap!)
III) Centac and Spoon will never agree on the "cop bashing" issue because
IV) Centac obviously doesn't get that his "police state" attitude is the very problem we mere civilians detest, as several of HIS bretheren have pointed out.
V) Centac tries very hard to defend his point of view and does a very reasonable job...

BUT HIS POSITION AND THE DEFENSE THEREOF SCARE THE HELL OUT OF THE "civilians" ON THR, as well they should!

So let's give Centrac a break, he seems to be the only LE on his side of the debate. I bet he is a nice guy, too and I really mean that, he just doesn't see how his attitude scares the crap out of the rest of us.

Cosmoline
May 24, 2005, 05:08 PM
If you put people away for a search WITHOUT PERMISSION based solely on an empty coffee can, I'd like to know the cases. It's possible they had crappy PD's working for them. But in my case, you wouldn't find jack. What you WOULD find is a pissed off attorney writing a lot of letters to your personnel department, writing letters to the editor, writing letters to you directly, looking up other people you've arrested for some chit chat, and generally trying to get a rise out of you so I can have a basis to sue you personally and get you removed.

However, in my experience bad cops and criminals are very much alike. They prey on the weak and the poor. They don't tend to pick on those of us lucky enough to have assets and status. And thankfully, most of the LEO's around here aren't ninjas or robocops. They know we're all on the same side. If you're the lone trooper in an area the size of a small state, having an "us vs. them" attitude isn't a good way to boost your career. So we all work together at the accident scenes, and they don't hassle people for a little pot or capping off some rounds at trees on their land. As a result I wouldn't hesitate for a second to report a meth lab or abuse, because I know they local guys won't break my jewels when they show up.

centac
May 24, 2005, 05:13 PM
Of course it wasnt without permission, there's that context thing again.

Look, clearly y'all think that you are right, and I think I am right. None of us is going to change the other's opinions. I made a good-faith effort to demonstrate something, and it didnt work. Mea Culpa. You do what you need to do and I'll do the same.

thorn726
May 24, 2005, 05:14 PM
i go both ways- i find msot police to be ok, and i definitely appreciate their existence overall- HA! i think i like em for pulling over traffic violators more than anything, cant stand idiot drivers

BUT= i have seen tons and tons of totally lame selective enforcement of laws on homeless people which annoys me to no end.

driving while black= driving with long hair is almost the same at times.

the kicker being put in cuffs TWICE on both coasts=
for nothing. seriuosly. OK, so i was busting the cops chops in NY. i admit that.

but in SF- i was walking to a telephone and since i looked like a hippy, walking meant i was running away from the cops screeching into the park.
ok whatever.
that made me mad. i was doing nothing but going to a phone to call my parents of all things, and suddenly i am being put thru the
"we got a call of someone with long hair and a knife"

it seems like cops in the city spend a lot of time harrassing homeless people, while the same street corners are run by violent drug gangs for years and years.
some of this is higher up funding and direction, but not all of it.
cops seem to turn their back on dealers and ticket the panhandlers.

JShirley
May 24, 2005, 05:15 PM
I want to be sure I'm clear where you stand. This is incredibly frustrating to us in the field

Perhaps asking you to tell me specifics is too much, but maybe you can at least answer this: despite what you may have done previously, are you at this time a Federal, State, or Local Law Enforcement officer?

John

20cows
May 24, 2005, 05:16 PM
"As far as a search because of an empty coffee can, you'd never have my permission for it, and I'd have a field day with a warrantless search based on such an absurd justification."

Um, there are a couple guys in prison who didnt have the "field day" you think you'd have.

I'd have a field day because you would find anything illegal in my vehical and it would prove an unwarrented search.

(If anything was found by you, you would have been the one who put it there. That, my friend, is THE thing we fear).

Mal H
May 24, 2005, 05:28 PM
If I spotted them [coffee can or coffee bag] in your car I might ask about them, or would that be too outlandish to tolerate. If the explanation was particulary lame or not forthcoming, game on.
Asking about them is a far cry from your previous statement:For example, if during a traffic stop I observe an empty coffee can or bag in your car, your car is getting searched, no ifs ands or buts.Unless I'm mistaken, that means you're searching without asking anything. Don't forget this was a traffic stop, not a stop with a prior PC of suspected drug activity. To answer your question - yes, that would go far beyond "too outlandish to tolerate". Perhaps you give yourself too much credit for your ability in the detection of deception.

jefnvk
May 24, 2005, 06:49 PM
Conversly, if you have out of state plates on a rental car and I stop you for a violation on the interstate and I see an empty dryer sheet box, but nothing else is in the car, no laundry, no laundry paraphenalia, there is a whole different context now.

SO, how again does an empty dryer sheet box give you cause? You'd have a field day at my house. Heck, I got empty string cheese wrappers on my desk! Not to mention the empty pop cans, I must be up to something big. And lets not even talk about the empty shipping box sitting here :rolleyes:

You are just digging youself a bigger and bigger hole.

LawDog
May 24, 2005, 06:58 PM
Where are all the experts now? With the wealth of knowledge of policing that everybody has here I thought I'd have an answer by now. What's the guys' lawyer gonna say? Everyone here feels free to criticize, well c'mon. You are the experts on laws of arrest, search and seizure, explain what to do with the guy. Its all so simple now isnt it?

You wouldnt want him "hassled" though, would ya? He's just sitting there, plenty of legitimate reasons for that, maybe the car's broke down, maybe he just feels a little tired and wants to rest. Maybe he is gonna pick up his niece so she doesnt have to walk home from school, all those kidnappers out there, he'll protect her. No harm in that, right? He was'nt convicted after all so he must be innocent. It is a public street anyway, he's got as much right to be there as anybody?

C'mon you Probable Cause experts, help out here. When you get called in to the Sheriff's office to meet this guy's attorney, whatcha gonna say?

I believe that's my cue.

Okay, where were we? The subject of multiple Aggravated Sexual Assault/Child investigations is sitting in front of a school with a busted tail-light on his car.

Deputy Sheriff LawDog passed the time of day with the subject, filled out a FI card, checked him for warrants and Protective Orders, glanced inside the passenger compartment of the car, and cited him for a Defective Tail-light.

Now his attorney is in the Sheriff's Office.

Why?

For the FI card? Field Interview Cards are filled out by the dozens, if not hundreds, every day. Even in college departments. No one gets sued because an FI card was filled out.

For the 27/29 check? A routine check of Name and DOB? Again, happens hundreds, if not thousands, of times every day throughout the State of Texas.

The plain view check of the interior of the car? Get serious.

The fact that a citation was issued? Umm...lawyers fight traffic tickets in court, not in the Sheriff's Office. Unless the allegation is that I broke the tail-light prior to writing the ticket a la Porky's. In which case the Sheriff would have already pulled my dash-cam tape and checked.

There is no reason for an attorney to be in the office of the Sheriff if the situation is handled the way I stated.

Now, on the other paw, if Deputy Centac just searched three cars in a row for no other reason than they had coffee cans in the back-seat, well, that's another story.

LawDog

Vernal45
May 24, 2005, 07:37 PM
Police State mentality.


If it is empty and their is a logical explanation for it, so much the better. If I spotted them in your car I might ask about them, or would that be too outlandish to tolerate. If the explanation was particulary lame or not forthcoming, game on.

So, If I was stopped by Centac, empty coffee can in back of my SUV. Centac would ask me about the can. My response would be to not answer anything about the can, none of Centacs business. NOW, According to Centac, GAME ON, he searches my car, without a warrant, all for me exercising my rights to not answer (or if I did answer and CENTAC had a burr up his behind and decided he did not like my answer, he would search. we wont get in to the consent, CENTAC does not like that. That about sums it up.

POLICE STATE, I bet it gives you a warm and fuzzy Centac. :banghead: :barf:

Jeff White
May 24, 2005, 07:44 PM
Centac said;
For example, if during a traffic stop I observe an empty coffee can or bag in your car, your car is getting searched, no ifs ands or buts.

Man where do you work? I'd like to know what court system has accepted an empty coffee can or bag as probable cause that a crime has been committed. Perhaps accompanied with some other indicators it might be reasonable suspicion and give you the right to ask for consent to search (yes, up here in Illinois we have to have reasonable suspician that we can articulate before we can ask for consent to seach according to an Illinois Supreme Court ruling in Nov of 2003) but it in no way, shape or form constitutes probable cause and wouldn't stand up in any court here and no judge I know of would sign a warrant based on the presence of a coffee can or bag.

Jeff

El Tejon
May 24, 2005, 07:50 PM
I get to bash the police all day long. :neener:

Sometimes more successfully than others. :scrutiny: :D

Jeff White
May 24, 2005, 08:08 PM
El Tejon,

Yeah, but you get paid to do it ;)....Dinner is on me if you want to drive towards Lebanon, I'm in Pat's 1-3 July class this year.

Jeff

Art Eatman
May 24, 2005, 08:47 PM
I rode "Buddy Patrol" with the Austin, TX, PD back in 1973. Fridays, 3PM-11PM. Nominally. More like 3PM to 3AM, for one reason or another. I rode with a couple of veteran officers.

Anyhow, one night we stopped a kid with a backpack. He was just walking down a street, about midnight. Neither officer got out of the car. One officer asked the kid's name. A little chit-chat of the "Do you need any help? Do you know your way around town?" sort. We drove on, with one LEO filling out an FI card.

I asked about the FI card. Basically, same explanation as LawDog's; not much change in 32 years.

So, according to that recent SCOTUS decision (Discussed at length here at THR), any cop can ask any person who he is, and fill out an FI card. But that has nothing to do with searching on account of empty coffee cans, or whether or not somebody is a known pedophile or merely Joe Poop the Ragman.

And I doubt that any lawyer is gonna hie himself off to the Shurf's Orifice in a state of dudgeon, whether high or low, over an FI card...

As for the purpose/utility of FI cards? I was told that (sometime back in 1972) at end-of-shift, an Austin LEO checked out his two or three FIs and sez, "Hmmm..." and went back out, found the particular FI guy and arrested him on a murder warrant out of Wyoming...

gulogulo1970
May 24, 2005, 09:50 PM
The moral of the story is when you drive hide your drug stuff really well. Better yet, don't get pulled over in the first place. :evil:

Really, police powers can be abused by the creative, the evil or the good. If the guy that had the coffee can is a drug trafficer you're a hero, if you search an innocent man going about his daliy life you are the villian.

Before you play your hunches, remember, you better be right before you interfere with someone else's life.

El Tejon
May 24, 2005, 10:02 PM
AND: WOULD YOU GUYS STOP CONSENTING TO SEARCHES!!!! :banghead: :cuss: :banghead:

You are screwing up perfectly defensible cases out there! :banghead:

Jeff, I'll see that dinner, as long as it involves fish, and raise you a liquid bread. :D

P12
May 24, 2005, 11:15 PM
I'm really getting tired of having to work all the time.

Maybe I should start carrying an empty coffe can and some softner sheets.

Hey Centac what part of the country are you from? I'm thinking road trip.

Maybe El Tejon can represent me.

GRB
May 24, 2005, 11:27 PM
I cannot wait until I retire. Then the cop/fed haters can feel a bit more more lovey towards me cause I won't be an LEO anymore and; as a retiree there will still be a warm spot for me in the hearts of cops/leos. :neener: :neener: :rolleyes: :p :D ;) :) :neener:

All the best,
GB

38SnubFan
May 25, 2005, 02:22 AM
(Correct answer: Plenty - they are the courier of choice for several organizations) I, for one, would like a list of all these organizations that use little old ladies in their little electric scooters running around town to transport illegal drugs.

Heck, I might even settle for a half-dozen names of these "organizations".

Oh, what the Hell Centac! I'LL SETTLE FOR ONE!!!

Seriously dude, like others have said: YOU SCARE ME! I don't know if you're an LEO or just saying you are. Personally, I don't care - I'll take you at your word.

If you are an LEO, I'd hate to see what happens to you if your superiors read this stuff. If they do, God help you!

Come to think of it, I think I'll grab that empty coffee can sitting in my kitchen, throw it in the car, pick of P12 on the way, and head over to your neck of the woods. So, let me know what department you work for and when you'll be on duty next. I'll be sure to pay you a visit.

And oh yeah, just to make it easier to find me, it will be a small, 2-door, red sports coupe with a scratch on the hood and front nose, with PA plates. Oh, almost forgot: Occupied times 2, with AN EMPTY COFFEE CAN IN THE BACK SEAT!

-38SnubFan

Edited to add: P.S. I'll remember to contact my local police department the next time I see a little old lady scooting along down the street in her electric scooter and report them as a Suspicious Person. Then I can take pride in the fact that the local cops consider a "vigilant" person such as myself to be a valuable asset on the War On Drugs by maintaining an observation and lookout for these "new thugs". :D :neener: :scrutiny: :rolleyes:

2nd Amendment
May 25, 2005, 02:31 AM
Ya know, I do at times truly believe centac is the latest incarnation of GunKid...

chickenfried
May 25, 2005, 03:22 AM
So AK-74me, still wondering why people have a problem with (some) members of law enforcement :neener: :D ?

AK-74me
May 25, 2005, 04:03 AM
deleted

goalie
May 25, 2005, 05:12 AM
Many civilians may not consider or even know of some of these issues.

I try to judge any LEO individually, and I have met the good, the bad, and the ugly. The bad always had an "us" and "them" mentality. Quite often those cops would forget that they are civilians as well. They are not on active duty in the military.

I take issue with ANY LEO that thinks that they are not a civilian. They are.

spooner
May 25, 2005, 07:21 AM
Police play an etremely important role in maintaining order. However, J.C. Tuccille said, "If cops insist on being an army of occupation, they can expect the subjects to play their role in return."
It's appropriate to mention that the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently ruled the police are not responsible for the safety of individual citizens.

Mannlicher
May 25, 2005, 08:02 AM
This thread looks a lot like a newbie, probably a cop, just stiring the pot.

JShirley
May 25, 2005, 08:10 AM
M,

I don't know. I'd tend to think some type of mall ninja, instead.

(No offense to the security folk out there. I'm back to part-time security work myself, while I'm working on my BA.)

It's usually those "on the fringe" who are, by definition, most extreme, y'know? They just want into the club. All the folks I know to be real cops in this thread are much more laid-back and fair.

John

JohnBT
May 25, 2005, 08:43 AM
An empty coffee can? Maybe a full one, but what's the need to search an empty one? It's empty. I don't get it. :confused:

Coffee, I need more coffee - and somebody to make me finish my monthly report. I usually like being at the office before 7, but not today. Okay, the coffee is ready.

And a pet peeve regarding imprecise terminology:

Civilian = subject to civil law
Military = subject to military law
therefore...LEO = civilian

John

gunmoney
May 25, 2005, 10:10 AM
As i said before,cops are no longer makeing the destinction between an actual criminal with reason of suspicion and just an average joe who make a mistake or is simple exerting some "behavior". The officers here have said that they can't tell if you are commiting a crime unless they investigate for any reason. I take that as they assume almost everyone is constanly in the process of a criminal act and they are trying to find any excuse to hassle you and "catch you in the act". They say they are doing their job by investigating coffee cans because only drug dealers would ever have a coffee can in their possesion. I thought we were supposed to have the benefit of the doubt and had the basic right to not be hassled unless there is actual probable cause. Do the officers here really think that you are making the street safer by hassleing us everyday folks for no real reason. I am not trying to piss anyone off but I am truly curious. Incidents described in this thread have only started occuring in the last generation or so, what was the change. My father and many older folks I know tell me just the opposite stories of cops and how hey actually used to try and help people. Honestly, what has happened?

20cows
May 25, 2005, 10:29 AM
Civilian = subject to civil law
Military = subject to military law
therefore...LEO = civilian

Ohhhh, I get it!

J.C. Tuccille said, "If cops insist on being an army of occupation, they can expect the subjects to play their role in return."

Hit the nail right on the head!

JShirley
May 25, 2005, 11:21 AM
The officers here have said

NEGATIVE. ONE individual here who indicates from context- don't know if he actually ever claimed to actually BE a LEO- indicated this. All those whom I know to be law enforcement officers in this conversation have had a very fair outlook.

John

Gordon Fink
May 25, 2005, 11:59 AM
[Cops] assume almost everyone is constanly in the process of a criminal act.…

I think they are, whether they realize it or not. That is a big part of the problem.

~G. Fink

gunmoney
May 25, 2005, 12:09 PM
Gordon fink, Are you a police officer? Honstly, if you are please answer me why you assume that about people. I truely am curious

Daniel T
May 25, 2005, 12:12 PM
My take on Mr. Fink's statement is that there are so many laws, it's nigh impossible to know if you are breaking one.

You know, I've made a concerted effort to stay out of threads like this because of the content, but I have to say: thanks to the LEOs here that are calm and eloquent, like Lawdog and Jeff White. You have my respect and my thanks for your service.

Control Group
May 25, 2005, 12:23 PM
I think they are, whether they realize it or not. That is a big part of the problem.
I think that's the entire problem. Or at least, a vast majority of it. First, that there are enough laws that a reasonable person can't know if they're in compliance with all of them. Second, that there are so many laws that a majority of people break, such that breaking laws is customary. Third, that this situation makes it literally impossible and entirely undesirable for the police to actually enforce all the laws all the time, or even every time a police officer actually witnesses a violation of the law.

Unlike the "cop bashers," I don't blame this on the police, who are, in general, doing what they believe to be their legitimate duty. Unlike the "police apologists," I don't blame this on the citizens ("whether they realize it or not" invalidates the legitimacy of the criminal accusation).

I blame the laws and the legal system. If you're in a society where essentially everyone is a criminal, maybe it's time to rethink your definition of criminal.

The way it is now, it's hard for your average citizen to not think of the police as an arbitrary authority, and it's hard for your average cop to not think everyone's just a criminal waiting to be caught. There's something very, very wrong with this picture.

birddog
May 25, 2005, 12:46 PM
You won't do squat about that. Unless of course the chester has AN EMPTY COFFEE CAN!! (the horror--save the children!)

Officer: What's the coffee can for, civilian?

THR Person: To collect brass from the assault rifle in my trunk.

:uhoh:


All my experiences with LEO's (traffic stops, insurance reports, hunting license checks) have been professional, if not "good". I'm now thinking about locking the coffee cans in the trunk, though.

TallPine
May 25, 2005, 01:12 PM
I'm now thinking about locking the coffee cans in the trunk, though.
Maybe Jerry Fletcher wasn't so paranoid after all .... :D

richyoung
May 25, 2005, 01:23 PM
...I have it on good authority that LEOs are only interested in "high capacity assault" coffee cans, the coffee can of choice for gang-bangers to do drive-by caffinations. If it were not for the likes of Juan Valdez and his fellow Columbian Cartel members, Starbucks and 7-11 would NOT be able to keep our streets awash with lattes. mochas, frappachinos, and other assorted javas. So please...decaffinate. For the sake of the children!


(This message sponsored by the Coalition to Reduce Alert Criminals)

Nitram68
May 25, 2005, 01:26 PM
"The thin blue line".... "To serve and protect"... Ask any cop which is more important.

thereisnospoon
May 25, 2005, 02:07 PM
Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha

:D

That was truly funny! Kudos to you man. :D :D

Old Dog
May 25, 2005, 02:38 PM
The way it is now, it's hard for your average citizen to not think of the police as an arbitrary authority,
I disagree. Transferring your view on to all citizens won't fly. Your average citizen usually thinks only of the police while driving, sighting a marked police car with running radar and glancing at one's speedometer ... Most "average" citizens do not have regular encounters with law enforcement, or at least enough encounters (aside from traffic stops or in the rare instance -- for most citizens --of becoming a crime victim) to form an adversarial opinion of LEOs.

Now, granted, those who routinely drive around in souped-up little riceburner cars, lowriders or lowered SUVs with dark-tinted windows and the rap audible for a mile away, those minorities living in high-crime areas or those folks who know that they're routinely engaged in illegal activities all may have more frequent personal encounters with the local gendarmerie and hence formed negative opinions ... but the "average" (otherwise law-abiding) citizens ... are probably too busy just living to worry about the possibility of encountering a "bad cop."

Gordon Fink
May 25, 2005, 02:46 PM
What Daniel and especially Control Group said. :)

I’m fairly certain I violated a traffic law or two on my way to work this morning. I’ve probably violated gun-control “laws” at one point or another. I’ve inadvertently run afoul of municipal parking ordinances on multiple occasions.

None of this was done intentionally, but am I not still technically a criminal?

~G. Fink

P95Carry
May 25, 2005, 02:51 PM
but am I not still technically a criminal? Gordon - go do the right thing - turn yourself in immediately.

Come to think of it - I'll join you - I think I crept this morning at a stop sign! :uhoh: :D

svtruth
May 25, 2005, 03:08 PM
I'm 57 years old and the weakness of my bladder has provided my children with endless amusement. I carry a coffee can in my truck as an emergency urinal. I suppose that squirting in it and then emptying it under the truck are violations of some laws, but better than standing against a tree at the far end of the parking lot. When you confiscate it, wear gloves.

AK-74me
May 25, 2005, 03:25 PM
"This thread looks a lot like a newbie, probably a cop, just stiring the pot"

I hope you are not referring to me with this statement.

GRB
May 25, 2005, 03:29 PM
Gunmoney,

Incidents described in this thread have only started occuring in the last generation or so, what was the change. My father and many older folks I know tell me just the opposite stories of cops and how hey actually used to try and help people. Honestly, what has happened? Do you truly believe that cops only harass people, if so maybe it is the outlook toward cops and other LEOs that has changed since your pop’s time and not the role of the LEOs. Why not go to the widows and widowers of those who have been killed in the line of duty while protecting the public and ask if there spouses tended to harass more or help more.

Let's see, police and other LEOs enforce the laws. The laws legislated and enacted by the government that was elected by the people. The laws that can be changed and, often are changed, by the people who vote. That does not make them bad guys - does it? That is not what you meant by ‘hassled’ was it?

As far as the implication you made that LEOs no longer help people lets see if there are any examples of them doing so. Officer Joe Hardbutt arrives on the scene with his partner at a domestic violence dispute where the husband has beaten the snot out of his wife and is about to kill her. They arrest him and the wife goes ballistic and tries to assault the cops because they are harassing her man. I guess there was no help offered by the police there so maybe I see your point.

Officers hassle a local small time drug dealer who sell pot to Johnny. Johnny is then sold Angel Dust spiked pot by the same dealer, just a small time crook. Johnny smokes it and goes into cardiac arrest and dies. The kid's dad go berserk , seeks out the dealer and beats him to a living heap of flesh. The same cops who hassled the dealer by arresting him several times wind up giving him CPR to save his life and arrest him and the dad. Were they hassling or helping?.

The World Trade Center is attacked by terrorists, the towers collapse as hundreds of LEOs are killed while trying to save others. Or was that just hassling because they should have minded their own business? Even after the collapse of both towers, as fires raged (remember number 7 also collapsed due to fire) the LEOs dove right in to serve and protect! It wasn’t their job was it? Wasn’t that the job of the fire department. Yet they went right in there too with all those brave firemen.

After 9/11 thousands of LEOs volunteered for dangerous duties. Some as security, some directing traffic, some on terrorist task forces investigating the terrorist attacks, some going under cover in terrorist organizations, some as federal air marshals, some digging through the rubble of the buildings, many living at the WTC site - sleeping on cots in shifts, some just donating time after work at Red Cross coffee trucks. Many were volunteers. They got little if anything for this extra service except the ulcers, shot nerves, stress, family problems due to stress, and bad dreams that often accompany high stress jobs. Are you aware, one of the most horrific duties for which they volunteered was that of going through the WTC rubble once it was removed from the site and delivered to a NYC landfill? Their main purpose was to look for body parts - rotted, putrid body parts. Yet I never heard much praise for the LEOs who so volunteered. There were few if any TV crews filming them as they filmed at the actual WTC site. There was no one calling them heroes. Few if any praising their service. Few who even wanted to realize that such a heinous job had been demanded by the families of the lost. Few who would talk about the fact that such a job was being done by LEOs. Few who would admit or even bother to think about that such a job would imprint a life long brand of trauma in the minds of those who carried it out. (I mean because of the attitude of the public of: why think about them, that is their job after all isn't it, they are here to serve and protect!) Do you think they did this for glory, or for overtime, or because they thought it was another way to hassle people? They did it because they were and are good people who wanted to do good for the victims of 9/11. There are not many others among our citizenry who would have done likewise - most would have said that's not my job! Yet they did it for months on end. Think about that - months and months of going through the debris to look for lumps of rotted flesh to satisfy family members who demanded closure at all costs. What about the cost to those officers psychologically and physically – when do they get closure from the nightmares? Yet those same officers are the ones who would volunteer or take action to save your behind if you were somehow a victim in a terrorist attack, a bank robbery, a hostage situation and so forth.

How about the cop who helps deliver a baby or two or three. The guy on patrol in a ghetto for most of his career. The guy who gets glared at each time he passes another corner on his patrol – glared at by the ‘youths’ selling drugs and who all have guns. The same cop who was labeled a racist because he shot a kid from a certain racial group who he thought pointed a gun at him. The same guy who was labeled psycho killer by the press. The same guy who was on trial for weeks or months. It happens. The fact that he helped deliver 2 or 3 babies (of the same racial group as the kid he shot) now becomes irrelevant and it is lynching time in the press and in the eyes of the public! This is the same cop who if exonerated goes back to his same patrol and back to his same volunteer coaching job at the PAL.

Sure there are cops/leos who beat prisoners, who are racists, who steal, who sell drugs, who sell classified information, who commit heinous crimes and take advantage of being a police officer or LEO to do so. Thankfully they are usually weeded out and prosecuted. That is a big change from 20 or 30 or 40 years ago. Do you really think that cops 20 or 30 years ago were not flawed as some are today. There was not as much oversight of leos and police back then. Do you think your father's memories are correct? I think that his recall is flawed by the haze of age, it tends to soften one’s memories over time - you don't have to be real old to be so affected. Sure, today, there are lots of things that cops do badly, and there is a good number of bad cops too. The thing is that you do not hear the praises of cops sung as often as you do hear the complaints against them because the bad stuff is what sells newspapers and what riles people up. Bad stuff, war stories, make for better tales to be told and listened to. Namby, pamby stuff, that is ok for a short while, but people want to hear the dirt – that is human nature for a great many folks. The bad stuff is what people want to read about. There are also plenty of good cops and other LEOs out there; many of them do lots of good that protects and serves. There are many more doing good than there are ones doing bad. In fact the good ones often arrest the bad ones. It is, I think, the outlook of the public that has changed more markedly than that the attitudes or actions of the police have become worse.

All the best,
Glenn B

griz
May 25, 2005, 04:19 PM
Thank you to all the experienced reasonable LEOs that have posted on this thread. I'm glad that they are in the majority.

Centac, may all your coffe cans be full of dryer sheets. :uhoh:

jlwatts3
May 25, 2005, 04:31 PM
To answer the question posted above about what has changed this past generation, I believe it has to do with the War on (Some) Drugs.

This topic could fill another thread so I'll leave it at that.

TheFederalistWeasel
May 25, 2005, 04:40 PM
In spite of all those who have problems with LEO’s here…


And I don’t know if it matters to anyone here or not, but last night while on patrol I received a call to “smoke in the area” from dispatch on a major highway from a passerby who called 911.

We get these calls every so often from panicked residence who freak out everytime someone strikes a match around here and 99.9% are due to people burning off brush and whatnot, night falls and the cool air keeps the smoke low to the ground and it drifts for miles sometimes.

I placed myself enroute and made my way to the area.

About a mile from the location (a mile marker), which the caller reported the smoke I saw an eerie sight, full moon high on the horizon, clear sky and the unmistakable billowing, rolling column of black smoke that comes from a house fire.

Radioed dispatch and advised them to tell FD to turn the Dalmatians hat around and put big red in the wind they had a full involved structure.

I arrived just as the residents were running across their very large front yard to a neighbor’s house for help.

The first question out of my mouth was is everyone out; the female was frantic telling me her husband was trying to get the pets out of the house.

I ended up going after him, helping carry about 5 cats to a pen in the back of the yard, and then watched as the FD worked valiantly to salvage what was left of the house.

I helped carry his cats to safety.

I helped a neighbor move several more cats and some dogs to a yard across the street so the husband could stay with his wife.

I called the red cross and had to get very spiteful with the “operator” who seemed unconcerned and uninterested about sending an aid worker out, but in the end had them authorize a hotel and food and clothing vouchers in town for them.

I don’t even know the mans name

They lost everything.




Yeah all cops are JBT's looking to jack people up over empty coffee cans...

:banghead:

Nitram68
May 25, 2005, 04:52 PM
I agree, there are some good people out there that happen to be LE.

20cows
May 25, 2005, 05:08 PM
TheFederalistWease,

Hey, if those folks didn't say it or if they already did, I'll say it again. Thanks.

JohnBT
May 25, 2005, 05:09 PM
"None of this was done intentionally, but am I not still technically a criminal?"

According to an article in the paper the other day, the local inner city young men have a new and different standard. You aren't a criminal until you are convicted. They specifically discussed the act of killing someone. Among their group a person is not considered a murderer until, and if, they are convicted.

My, how times change.

John

Warren
May 25, 2005, 06:25 PM
This has turned into a "bash centac" thread. We do not bash members. Right?

Onto the topic: On economic grounds I have problems with government supplied policing as I do with all government supplied services. I try not to let the abuses I read about get me to wound up as I know they are a symptom of a larger problem. And if I spent my time wound up I don't think that would be good for me, health wise or good for my family to have to deal with me.

That said I have police encounters from my youth that run counter to the JBT profile.

1. Underage, drinking and drunk at the beach. All five of us were just gone on the booze. Cops show up ask our names, one cop kept getting mine wrong I did not correct him, and sent us on our way. This involved us getting into my buddy's truck and driving away. yup, the cops encouraged a drunk to get in his truck and drive a whole bunch of other drunks away. I still wonder about that one.

2. Underage, drunk and driving. Again five of us had been out drinking and were cruising about when we get pulled over. The driver is told to get out of the car and head back to the cop car. All the rest of us are panicking 'cause he is both blasted on rum and only 19 y.o.

The four of us in the car are all looking back at the cruiser expecting to see our friend hooked-up and put in the back seat. Instead, to our amazment the cop sends him away. He staggers back to the car and we all drive away.

3. Armed, stupid and doing a home invasion. Three of us decide we want to "raid" a house where a bunch of our friends live as a way to get back at them for something they did to us. It is about 2 A.M. so load up the truck and head off to buy cap guns. this was before cap guns got the orange paint on the muzzle.

So armed and wearing ski masks we burst through the unlocked front door and run their house "shooting" them. WE exfiltrate and as we are running across the street, with masks still on and cap guns in our hands a cop car passes and then pulls about 6 gees making a u-turn. It was almost an Immelman he got around so fast.

So he rolls up on us and hits the spot, and was about to jump all over us when Bill said "Hey man they're just cap guns". The cop nodded and took off.

It was then I realized I still had my mask on. I did not hit me until I woke up later that afternoon that that cop could have done all sorts of nasty to us and could have shot us.

I still wonder why he was so keen to believe Bill. I wouldn't have. If I was the cop in that situation all three of the capgunmen would have been sucking asphalt just to learn 'em that grown men don't run around with gun looking things and skimasks in the early morning hours.


I've had other encounters of course, but in only a few were the cops idiots or rude.

lunaslide
May 25, 2005, 07:54 PM
While still living in LA County, on my lunch break several LAPD would go to the same places I did for lunch because it was just outside of the city limits. I sometimes tried to say hello and engage them in the kind of neighborly dialog you might have with a store clerk or fellow customer. They would look at me like I was a frickin alien. The attitude I got basically amounted to "Who is this person trying to talk to me". Only one of perhaps 10 regulars there actually responded like a normal person, said hello and chatted about the weather. There is a distinctly cliquish dimension to many of the police officers I've met in my encounters with them. This behavior is much more pronounced in big cities.

One day on my way to a local range, a cruiser started following me just about where the freeway off ramp is. They followed me for nearly two miles without making any moves toward me. Only when I turned on my blinker for the street where the range is did they turn on the lights and pull me over. The range is the ONLY thing on that dead end street and happens to be owned by two former LAPD. When one of the officers came to my window, he immediately asked where I was going. Since the range was the only possible destination and we were literally 20 feet from the entrance to it, I told him the range. He then asked if I had any guns in the car with me. In turn, I asked him why he had pulled me over. He said I had run a red light (impossible, the major street I turned onto is constantly busy and you can't turn against a red without coming to a complete stop to wait for the traffic to break). He again asked about guns and I told him yes, I did. He asked if I was transporting them properly and I said yes, they are unloaded, locked in their cases and in the back of the car. He asked if he could "check to see" that they were being transported properly. I said that he may, but that I do not consent to a search of my car. He asked me out of the car and sat me on the sidewalk. He took the two cases out of my car and gave them to his partner, who took them to the trunk of the cruiser. While his partner "checked" my guns in the trunk, where I could not see him, the first officer went and searched my car against my wishes. A short time later, the partner comes back and says that he "found" a round in the chamber of one of the guns and they arrest me. Before going to the range, I had cleaned both guns the night before. I didn't have any 9mm ammunition in my possession at the time and had intended on buying some at the range to shoot that gun. There is no way that either of them had been loaded. The police department of that city, I later learned, is issued 9mm Glocks.

I have no criminal record before or since. My car was properly registered and insured, I had no outstanding tickets or warrants. I drive a stock Jeep Wrangler Sport and typically dressed at the time in jeans, t-shirts and a ball cap. There were no bumper or window stickers on my Jeep at the time, not even an NRA sticker.

My case was later dismissed when the judge, after hearing the partner testify that he could not even confirm that there even is a light at the intersection they accused me of running through. It was clear from the beginning that the primary purpose of them stopping me on my way to the range was to hassle and possibly arrest (fraudulently if necessary) a lawful gun owner. They might not have thought that the charges would stick, but what they were counting on was that I wouldn't have adequate defense or that I would make a mistake. Nothing ever happened to them for falsifying evidence, since the trial never got that far. In spite of asking for them repeatedly, I did not get my two pistols back from over 2 years. I asked my lawyer to look into it and he said "It's LA County, they're gone, forget about it." When I finally got them back, a recent decree had come down that confiscated property, including firearms, had to be returned to the rightful owners in cases that were dismissed or acquitted. Even so, when I talked to the property clerk who returned the guns to me, he said that the department often "lost" guns they didn't want to return, or had them destroyed before the defendant had a chance to get them back. I only got mine because that particular clerk felt it was bogus and because he wanted to return everyone’s' property before he retired in a few weeks.

When I was in grade school, a high school student at my father's school accused him of rape. The police treated my father with tremendous disrespect and cruelty, despite the fact that the girl was a known liar and drug addict. For three years my family went through hell because of that case and in defending himself, my father had to spend all of what he had saved to put my sister and me through college, but the greatest indignity was the treatment of the police, which my father would never forget.

With all of that having been said, I do not hate police officers. Rather, for most of them I hold a high level of respect. They perform a very difficult job and frequently do so with distinction and honor. I am personally considering a job in law enforcement, and in my current job of fraud investigation, I work with law enforcement from many different agencies, all of whom have been professional and courteous in our communications.

However, I will never stop criticizing those people in law enforcement who feel they are above the law. I will not relent in calling out police who feel that they are separate and above the people they are supposed to serve. I will not let slide the abuses that eventually drive all peoples into submission and servitude.

You can bring up all the emotional appeals about LEOs on 9/11, saving cats from burning houses, whatever; but those examples never justify the abuses of power, or even the elitist attitudes, of many of their brethren. Nor does a "correct outcome", such as mine, or a correction made by the courts, justify abuse of power by those who enforce the law. Intimidation and imposition alone of unlawful influence and force will keep a populace cowed and compliant, and no doubt indignant toward police. Indeed, the men and women who serve the people righteously and consider themselves a part of the community should be doing everything in their power to root out the power hungry and the cruel in their midst who tarnish the badges they have valiantly worn.

"Law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual." --Thomas Jefferson

Carlos
May 25, 2005, 08:14 PM
So, ole Centec disappears.

Ya, he was stirring the pot. Probably one of those GOD-like LEO's from over at Glocktalk Coptalk.

Centec is the very reason the the us-them attitudes around here.

Centec, if you read this, I fish. I put worms in my coffee can. I hope you grow up some day and don't ever think about moving to Portland, OR. Thanks. I depise cops like you.

Keep up the attitude dude. :neener:

GRB
May 25, 2005, 08:40 PM
You can bring up all the emotional appeals about LEOs on 9/11, saving cats from burning houses, whatever; but those examples never justify the abuses of power, or even the elitist attitudes, of many of their brethren.So tell me what excuses an elitist attitude such as the one you portray in the above quote? Did anyone here try to give emotional flare to this discussion regarding 9/11 or saving cats. No they did not but, they did give real life examples (and many people are readily familiar with 9/11) of how cops and other LEOs routinely help. You seemingly then try to imply that this is somehow standing up for dirtbag cops. maybe you had better go back and reference my last post, the one which made reference to 9/11 in a logical thoughtful but unemotional manner, and read it again. Do I ever write or even imply that bad cops should be given anything but jail time? Does anyone here in this thread, who is an LEO, advocate for abuse of power as you seemingly imply. I don't see that anywhere except maybe from one guy (maybe an LEO maybe not) who has quite possibly gone overboard if only likely because, in my opinion, he has trouble expressing himself or because he is confused as to what constitutes probable cause.

For your information, I have personally turned in other LEOs who have committed abuses of authority that I witnessed. Does that sound to you like supporting abuse of power. I just don't see where you get off implying that someone was supportive of such by mentioning service of law enforcement officers at the WTC - especially those at the dump who searched for body parts. That was not written about to stir emotion, that was written about because I'll bet my bottom dollar that not a handful of the non-LEOs (if that many) knew about that job being done. Yet you can all criticize LEOs for personal experiences you had with one or two in your whole lifetime. It amazes me.

Regarding one of your personal run ins with police, you said:
It was clear from the beginning that the primary purpose of them stopping me on my way to the range was to hassle and possibly arrest (fraudulently if necessary) a lawful gun owner. That is not clear at all, and you are likely imagining this. You mean to tell me, that from the BEGINNING (as you described it) they followed you for TWO MILES knowing you were headed to the range? Is that what you are saying? What is clear however is that these two police officers targeted you for whatever reason. Maybe they saw you run a light, maybe not. I am not saying their search was legal, nor am I saying the stop was justified, but who is getting emotional when you say they followed you from the beginning just to arrest a lawful gun owner. I do believe that if all was just as you described, then they probably just picked you at random, they had no idea when TWO MILES away from your destination as to where you were headed. When they saw you turn into the range road they stopped you because that was their last chance to do it before you got off the road. You assume this was all due to you going to the range; I figure it was because no matter what they had planned on stopping you regardless of where you were headed - you just happened to go to the range.

There is no excuse for what they did if you did not commit a violation of traffic regulations or break a law. No decent LEO herein would excuse that at all. Yet all of this is no reason to try to twist the post of someone else to fit your agenda by in essence saying they were trying to flame the fires of emotions or, by implying that any decent LEO would support abuse of powers.

As for that elitist attitude you mention - well you are never going to rid police forces of that. Police deal will lowlife criminals on a daily basis. They do hold such an attitude to prevent themselves from seeing one another as dirtbags. This is a psychological mechanism to protect the ego. Besides that they train as a team, they operate as a team, they win as a team and they lose and grieve as a team. You are basically a spectator who call on them to score to make you happy, yet if they arrest someone close to you - you scream foul (this is meant generically and not with regard to your particular instances). So when they see another cop do something that is mot 100 percent ethical they don't always report it. They turn a sort of blind eye, but usually let the offender know he screwed up and if he does it again watch out for IA getting on your back. Yet when they see a real dirtbag among their own ranks it is often they who clamor the strongest to rid the force of the wrong doers. The Blue Wall of silence is long crumbled to the ground in most instances - except of course where dirty LEOs/cops are involved in supporting one another. I am not saying cops/leos run out to rat out one another for every little offense. That is not in their nature as I explained above as they are on a sort of team - there really is an us against them attitude that is necessary to make it through a work day of arrests, complaining citizens, a fellow officer being run down by a third party, not the guy he stopped while on a traffic stop (you have all seen this on TV lately I would think), a fellow officer being shot and killed, a new regulation that makes the cops give three additional pages of rights to an illegal alien from El Salvador, a new rule saying they must all refrain from certain habits on their own FREE time, a sergeant who has the sights on a guy that all the others feel for, not having lunch today and working 6 hours before getting a break, finally getting to a gut wrenching grease burger at some roadside pit stop where they want to take a break from it all and you show up and try to be chummy. This was not a bad thing on your part but lots of times people just take something like the cops' negative response way too personal without knowing the cops' side. So if they are not chummy with you when you say hi to them, maybe there is a reason. Maybe they had a really miserable day and after all they are human too and respond just like other people but, you see this as being cliquish. When is the last time you had to wrestle with a whacked out nut job who was trying to take away your gun to kill you and, then you get called a racist psycho cop if you shoot the guy. Would you restrain yourself once the guy was under control, once the threat was stopped. now figure this has happened 20, 30, 100 times in your career to one degree or another with you and bad guys; add on the fact that even the good guys give you grief such as the citizen who believe you should have arrested that guy, or should have let the other guy go, or were not polite enough, or were not quick enough, or gave someone I knew a hard time, or are all abusing power, or are all part of the hated government, or are all stooges of the government (regardless of their political convictions). This is not the type of thing the normal citizen faces repeatedly each day in his/her career unless an LEO.

Now as for you, do you think you are any different in those regards; the ones concerning a cliquish attitude. You, from the sounds of it, immediately sided with your father when he was accused of rape - was that a family clique? You say the accuser was a liar and a drug user. Hmm, do you realize that even liars, drug users and prostitutes can be raped? I am not implying for a moment that your father did such however; I only am pointing out how even a regular citizen is often involved in an us against them mentality. It was your father and your family against the police, the prosecutors, and the accuser wasn't it! That is human nature when part of a team.

And do you know what you would have believed if your father had actually done it? You likely would have believed he had not done it, you would have had a hard time accepting such, maybe you would have felt he must have cracked emotionally, or that somehow he was duped into it, or anything that would have at least in some manner supported him. Are the cops that different when it comes to human nature and their support of one another. Well sometimes no but, most times yes they are quite different. The answer is yes they are because they are trained and expected to overcome much of that human nature and still do the right thing.

Again, sure there are a lot of jerks and bad guys who are LEOs. Most though who are accused of bad things are in the same shoes as was your father. They are innocent until proven guilty and then they wind up with a not guilty verdict. The thing is that as in many criminal cases, as well as in accusations of non criminal nature, where there is an accuser - they have the deck stacked against them from the beginning just as did your dad. Look at it from that point of view and maybe you will see what I mean without thinking anyone is trying to get emotionally charged as opposed to being factually correct.

I understand you respect LEOs but, it is not really evident when you try to make it look or imply that what was said here by some LEOs was in anyway supportive of abuses of power. Maybe I misunderstood something but it was one of the messages I got in what you wrote.

Best regards,
Glenn B

Nitram68
May 25, 2005, 09:08 PM
I have personally turned in other LEOs who have committed abuses of authority that I witnessed.

What was the outcome? Go to IA? FBI? Did you have to testify in court? Broke the thin blue line, did you? I think I would change departments were I you...

Preacherman
May 25, 2005, 09:29 PM
Folks, I think we've had more than enough of this. From now on, please don't post "cop-bashing" threads here - they seem to bring the trolls out from under the bridges, and do no justice to the many thousands of good, honest LEO's out there. Enough! :fire:

If you enjoyed reading about "Cop bashing" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!