Question police ID, charged with crime?


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Sindawe
July 28, 2005, 03:17 PM
Woman In Trouble With Law After Questioning Officer's Identity
73-Year-Old Cited For Misdemeanor Obstructing & Delaying

POSTED: 7:41 am EDT July 28, 2005

RALEIGH, N.C. -- What are you supposed to do when a police officer knocks on your door at night? Officials with the Raleigh Police Department say in a particular case, the answer was obvious, but an elderly woman who had her doubts got charged with a crime.

Marie Venezia, 73, is in trouble with the law after she questioned a police officer's identity.

Marie Venezia, 73, lives by herself in her Raleigh home. Last Tuesday night, a Raleigh police officer knocked on her door and asked her about damage to a neighbor's fence.

"I said 'I don't know what you want me to say. I don't know who it was.' He said, 'You know who it was.' I said, "I don't know who it was." He said you do," she said. "And at that point, I began to wonder if this guy really was a policeman because I didn't think officers acted like that."

Venezia told the officer she was going to call 911 to confirm who he was.

"He said, 'Don't close that door.' I said I am going to close it and then I went and called 911," she said.

When Venezia came back, the officer charged her with misdemeanor obstructing and delaying, issuing her a ticket.

"The exchange that occurred between the officer and the resident was unproductive to the point that the officer felt the charge was necessary," said Jim Sughrue, a representative with the Raleigh Police Department.

There have been a number of prior cases in Wilson and Raleigh about people posing as law enforcement officers. Plus, a WRAL investigation found a Web site selling badges. However, the Raleigh Police Department said those are unfair comparisons because in this case, the officer was in full uniform and his patrol car was in plain sight.

Raleigh police officials say when an officer is in full uniform and the car is visible, just cooperate. WRAL checked with other agencies and most say it depends on the situation. The Chapel Hill Police Department actually encourages double checking.

Source: http://www.wral.com/news/4779724/detail.html
==========================================

So uniforms, badges, auto paint and lighbars are not available?

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scbair
July 28, 2005, 04:10 PM
So . . . when did speaking to a police officer, or even answering questions (especially if the officer makes it known or apparent one is a suspect, as in "You know who it was.") become a legal requirement? Unless he had a search warrant, an arrest warrant, or at least probable cause to arrest the lady, why should she not refuse to speak further and close her door?

Boy, things sure have changed since I wore a badge . . . :scrutiny:

Derby FALs
July 28, 2005, 04:13 PM
Some folks have no business dealing with the public.

El Tejon
July 28, 2005, 04:17 PM
So, what brought the po-po there?

What are you suppossed to do? Nothing. If you got a warrant, you might as well come in. Otherwise I do not open the door to anyone (well, hot redheads notwithstanding) in the middle of the night.

carebear
July 28, 2005, 04:26 PM
So, what brought the po-po there?

Coffee can in the trash by the curb?

rick_reno
July 28, 2005, 04:30 PM
Read like a good bust to me - remember, this is the "War on Terror" - strike that, it's been renamed to the "global struggle against violent extremism". This old lady wasted an officers time, time he could have spent out chasing down terrorists. She's lucky all she got was a citation.
I'm not worried. In the future when we're all living out of shopping carts this problem with the door not being open won't be an issue.

Pilgrim
July 28, 2005, 04:35 PM
I am not aware of any duty to answer a peace officer's questions.

Pilgrim

Luchtaine
July 28, 2005, 04:38 PM
Seems to me that when i was a younger they were always saying to verify polices badge # when they showed up at the door.

She wasn't being uncooperative by calling the police to check his ID first.

The whole just cooperate thing is getting rather frightening it seems to be expanding to more and more areas.

nico
July 28, 2005, 04:45 PM
absolutely absurd. The jerk ought to be fired.

Punkermonkey
July 28, 2005, 04:59 PM
Now be a good ward of the state and drink your cool-aid.....

SLCDave
July 28, 2005, 05:08 PM
Isn't the correct answer always "Submit to their demands, and everything will be ok", no matter who is making the demands?

armoredman
July 28, 2005, 05:12 PM
Good thing her next door neighbor didn't get mad at her, and call ATFE, reporting illegal machineguns and headscarves.
Knock on my door, you'll be showing ID.

Powderman
July 28, 2005, 05:13 PM
Sounds like someone got charged with contempt of cop.

I agree with the above posters--Mr. Hitler with a badge should get severely reprimanded. I hope that the woman contests the citation, and goes to court. And, I sincerely hope that the court has a field day with him.

Punk with a badge. :cuss:

R.H. Lee
July 28, 2005, 05:17 PM
Yeah, who does she think she is anyway? She has no business being old and wasting an officer's valuable time. She's lucky he didn't taser, cuff and arrest her. I hope she gets a big fine. That'll teach her and others like her to question authority.

TallPine
July 28, 2005, 05:18 PM
AFAIK, you don't even have to answer the door to a LEO in Montana. I do know that the local deputies will NOT come inside unless specifically invited (or unless they have a search/arrest warrant).

That's not the way I would react - it would more likely be "Hi, [first name] what's up?"


This is really sick, when a so-called cop cannot talk politely with a senior citizen :barf:

gm
July 28, 2005, 06:41 PM
uh oh :eek:mr personality needs to be sent to the rubber gun squad to work off all that frustration. :neener:


what a nice image to present to the public :barf:

griz
July 28, 2005, 06:48 PM
The 911 tape ought to settle the issue of how "productive" the witness was. Also, the fact that she opened the door again after the call tells me she wasn't just blowing off the whole visit.

It doesn't surprize me that the officer made a mistake. People do tend to do that when pushed. But it does surprize me that with the benifit of hindsight the department is backing him up. Is it possible that their is more to it? :confused:

Konall
July 28, 2005, 08:12 PM
TallPine, this is actually the type of thing that can happen in Montana. MT State code on obstruction includes It is no defense to a prosecution under this section that the peace officer was acting in an illegal manner....

A Bozeman case I vaguely recall was interpreted to mean that us citizens must obey any commands of our law enforcement, even if those commands are not legal. That section (45.7.3) also says you can be convicted of resisting arrest even if the arrest itself is not legal.

In this lady's case she was ordered not to close the door, she closed it, she's guilty of obstruction if it were here in Montana. Doesn't matter if the cop's order was legal or not.

CTRL-ALT-DEL
July 28, 2005, 08:25 PM
In this lady's case she was ordered not to close the door, she closed it, she's guilty of obstruction if it were here in Montana. Doesn't matter if the cop's order was legal or not.


That smells like Police State. I understand Acting under Color of Law, but the above is just BS.

armoredman
July 28, 2005, 09:01 PM
If someone tried to nail me with that particular code, I would end up owning the legislature that passed it. Ordering me to commit crimes? Sorry, I cannot be forced to obey an illegal order, or maybe Nuremburg slipped thier minds?

Kurush
July 28, 2005, 09:25 PM
That law isn't even logically coherent. Suppose a cop ordered you to obstruct him. Don't bother challenging it as long as we have this Supreme Court though, Souter would probably rule you can be jailed for disobeying an order to kill yourself.

pax
July 28, 2005, 09:28 PM
It doesn't surprize me that the officer made a mistake. People do tend to do that when pushed. But it does surprize me that with the benifit of hindsight the department is backing him up. Is it possible that their is more to it?
There's almost always more to the story.

As it is, though, it sure sounds damning.

pax

dpesec
July 28, 2005, 09:31 PM
The SCOTUS ruled that when asked by LEOs you must provide name, address or provide some form of ID.
That ruling came out last year. Prior to that ruling you could just smile and say nothing. Again, the response to potential terror has our freedoms being taken away little but little

insidious_calm
July 28, 2005, 09:47 PM
dpesec,



It was the officer's identity that was in question. It was late in the evening and someone knocked on her door in a uniform. She called 911 to verify his identity. The lady was being questioned at her doorstep and appeared to have no desire to continue the conversation. Why this cop is not currently in jail or out on bond is beyond me. We are far past the boiling point because of crap like this. Sooner or later someone will just decide enough is enough. Hopefully this particular JBT will be the one it happens too.

Also, DMF will be along shortly to explain that we're all a bunch of whacko extremists and that we should be thankful that it wasn't his particular alphabet soup agency on the call. Otherwise, not only would she have been cited, but they would have stomped her cat to death in order to get the blood to ink the pen she had to use to sign the citation. :barf:



I.C.

dpesec
July 28, 2005, 09:54 PM
I know that. The question was asked, when did it become a requirement to answer questions.
Honesly, I'd have done the same thing the lady did, or perhaps I wouldn't have even answered the door.
I normally don't when I'm not exepcting somebody.

Justin
July 28, 2005, 10:04 PM
http://www.macvanmaps.com/BUSTED.gif

RevDisk
July 28, 2005, 10:09 PM
I think Justin has a point. Perhaps the officer in question saw a coffee can inside her residence! More than enough cause to cite her or detain her if need be.

:rolleyes:

Standing Wolf
July 28, 2005, 10:33 PM
The exchange that occurred between the officer and the resident was unproductive to the point that the officer felt the charge was necessary...

For the cop's ego. If I were his chief, I'd have given him a last, final written warning—after tearing up the ticket and accompanying the cop to the old woman's house so he could apologize.

RevDisk
July 28, 2005, 11:29 PM
For the cop's ego. If I were his chief, I'd have given him a last, final written warning—after tearing up the ticket and accompanying the cop to the old woman's house so he could apologize.

Old timers tell me that's why they used to have woodsheds. So incidents like this could be handled behind one.

DSRUPTV
July 28, 2005, 11:42 PM
I can't remember learning anywhere that a citizen had to talk to the police. OTOH, I was told that it would happen on a regular basis, and there is nothing the officer can do about it without some sort of justification. I also see no problem with the woman saying she was going to call to be sure the man was an officer. If I was old and living alone I would probably be suspicious of anyone coming to my door as well.

Hawkmoon
July 29, 2005, 12:22 AM
The officer was investigating a specific complaint, so I suppose he had a right to ask her (a neighbor) if she knew anything. However, she said "No."

Once she said "No," in the absence of any proof to the contrary, the contact should have ended. "He said you do," isn't proof of anything except what the neighbor told the cop.

Bad cop. No donuts for a month.

DRZinn
July 29, 2005, 02:39 AM
The exchange that occurred between the officer and the resident was unproductive to the point that the officer felt the charge was necessarySo if I just don't have enough information for you, you can cite me?

I don't think so.

CTRL-ALT-DEL
July 29, 2005, 02:43 AM
Raleigh police officials say when an officer is in full uniform and the car is visible, just cooperate. :scrutiny:

CAS700850
July 29, 2005, 10:37 AM
We have a name for charges like this. POPO charges. Stands for Pissed Off Police Officer.

Our job as good prosecutors is to reject these charges, reprimand the officer, and make sure his or her superiors know about it. Do this once or twice, and the POPO charges stop coming across your desk. Did this yesterday for a detective who stacked the deck on a drug case because the guy ran, and the detective tore his suit pants climbing a fence. Wanted a child endangering charge because the bad guy ran from the stop, leaving a 3 year old child behind in a car seat. Of course, there were four officers there at the time...

Funny, around here, most of the officers are issued a photo ID. Sheriff's Department requires that the ID be displayed in a holder on the uniform. Policy also requires them to instruct a person to call 911 and verify the ID if there are any concerns. Sounds like what this lady did.

LAR-15
July 29, 2005, 10:50 AM
Raliegh, NC police chief is a woman who has to prove she's a man, baby!

You do that by ordering officers to go after 73 year old women.

misANTHrope
July 29, 2005, 10:51 AM
Update: RPD has voided the citation and will use the situation "in training sessions" in the future. I guess the public opinion went the wrong way for them.

http://www.wral.com/news/4784674/detail.html

RoyG
July 29, 2005, 10:52 AM
Nice of the newspaper to identify her as living alone. Even gave her full name so anyone can look her up.

Why wasn't the police officer identified as well?

Molon Labe
July 29, 2005, 11:05 AM
The SCOTUS ruled that when asked by LEOs you must provide name, address or provide some form of ID.This is not correct. The Supreme Joke ruled to uphold any state law that requires you to identify yourself. If North Carolina does not have a law that requires a person to identify themselves, then she was under no legal obligation to do so.

TheEgg
July 29, 2005, 11:29 AM
Our job as good prosecutors is to reject these charges, reprimand the officer, and make sure his or her superiors know about it.

At last, someone with sense!!!!!!!


Thank you.

Pilgrim
July 29, 2005, 11:36 AM
Update: RPD has voided the citation and will use the situation "in training sessions" in the future. I guess the public opinion went the wrong way for them.
More likely someone with a calmer viewpoint realized this case had no merit and chose to void the citation before things got worse.

Pilgrim

dpesec
July 29, 2005, 11:39 AM
Thanks, I didn't read the ruling, I just remember some of the popular media talking about it. It makes sense in that context, now how long do you think it will be before the States that don't have an ID law will enact job.
Can somebody say New York Minute

TallPine
July 29, 2005, 11:48 AM
TallPine, this is actually the type of thing that can happen in Montana.
Um, that might be the case legally.

All I know is what I have personally observed of the deputies in my area.

Actually, I think the LEOs are somewhat afraid of people around here. Virtually every household is armed, and it is legal to carry loaded guns in vehicles without a permit. This is somewhat of a weird county though - it has a reputation ;)

OTOH, most everyone I know would back up a LEO who got in trouble on a legitimate duty.

Dorian
July 29, 2005, 01:56 PM
While I was in NC police academy a couple years ago, I seem to remember being taught that if someone asks for your ID to prove that you're a cop, you SHALL provide it for them.

It was a couple years ago though...

roo_ster
July 29, 2005, 02:03 PM
Funny, around here, most of the officers are issued a photo ID. Sheriff's Department requires that the ID be displayed in a holder on the uniform. Policy also requires them to instruct a person to call 911 and verify the ID if there are any concerns. Sounds like what this lady did.
Wow. That makes a lot of sense. It is nice to see good and rational policy.

spacemanspiff
July 29, 2005, 02:05 PM
pshaawwwww! like, can't you all see this isn't important enough to even discuss! i mean, its not like they called in the feds to drive a tank through her home and set it and her family on fire.

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