Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How Hardnosed Should Cops Be?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Confederate, Apr 17, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Confederate

    Confederate Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,104
    Location:
    Bethesda, MD
    I have a friend who told me the story once of how he and his partner pulled over an elderly man. During the course of the stop, they, for whatever reason, asked the guy if he'd mind if they searched the car.

    For whatever reason, he said yes and one of them found an old .22LR Jennings under the seat, unloaded and without a magazine. At that point, and I'm ashamed to admit that a friend of mine did this, they placed the old guy under arrest and charged him with carrying a concealed weapon.

    I looked at my friend and said, "Why would you do that? Why wouldn't you just put it in the guy's trunk and tell him to be careful not to carry concealed weapons without a license?" My friend shrugged and said that if they hadn't done it and it became known that they hadn't done anything, they would have risked getting into trouble.

    Well that's garbage. Police have wide discretionary powers on things like this and it was an old man who didn't even know the gun was there or who it belonged to. Anyway, I just began thinking of this again and it got my blood boiling. I much prefer living in a country with an Andy of Mayberry approach rather than that of Darth Vader's storm troopers. The fact that this happened in Arizona makes it even worse. It wasn't New York or Chicago.

    Am I being too hard on my friend or was I right to give him hell? What do some of you LEOs have to say?
     
  2. Gator

    Gator Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Messages:
    2,231
    Location:
    Stuck in Crook Co., IL
    I'm not a LEO, but here's my opinion anyway! :)
    You were NOT too hard on your friend. He should be ashamed of himself for what he did. Covering his own a** was more important to him than the welfare of that old man. Unfortunately this attitude is very prevalent today.
     
  3. coelacanth

    coelacanth Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    455
    Gator nailed it. . . . .

    your "friend" is no better than any other bully or jackbooted thug who is more impressed with his own authority than with justice. When I see "To protect and serve." on the side of a police cruiser I can't help remembering those words don't always mean the same thing to the police inside that they mean to those of us watching it drive by.
     
  4. Warner

    Warner Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Messages:
    248
    Shame.

    This is a " letter of the law, vs spirit of the law" example with LEO's whom don't appear to understand the concept.


    W
     
  5. lonegunman

    lonegunman Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2005
    Messages:
    352
    Location:
    pac nor west
    It's called being a "Jack Booted Thug."

    LEO's and their fan club always claim that if they didn't trample on the rights of the rest of us they could get in trouble or some such silliness. The implication is that they simply enforce the law blindly and have the complete and total inability to distinguish a criminal from an 80y/o man who never did a thing wrong in his life.

    My retired Dad was driving back from New York to Florida in about 1990 when he was stopped for speeding. The cop asked to search his car and he said no. The cop then harassed him for twenty minutes, cuffed him and stuffed him in the back of his car and sat there threatening him with arrest for refusing to allow a search. My 67y/o dad said he'd be happy to go to jail.

    Well the cop finally announced he saw a weapon and searched the car and found my dad's ccw in a zippered closed toolbag, sitting on the floor out of view completely obsured by a small lunch cooler.

    My dad posted bail asked for a trial, retained an NRA recommended lawyer and drove back to North Carolina in 60 days for a trial. After the cop testified under cross examination he knew the defendant had a gun because he had a ccw and searched without consent because he considered the ccw probable cause, the judge stopped the mess and dismissed the charges. My dad had his gun returned and drove home.

    My dad was not from NC, nor was he stopping in NC, he has no criminal record of any kind and was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police of all things. Any reasonable person would have given him a ticket and got on with life.

    This guy is part of a nationwide problem. These days cops consider anyone not a cop a badguy. They treat everyone equally bad and more than a few of them use any provocation as an excuse to dump on people.

    I have lovely story about an out of control deputy pulling a gun on me for getting the mail from my company mailbox, in my company coat, driving my company truck. When he calmed down, he explained "he saw my radio and thought I needed help." So to help me he pointed a gun at me and screamed like a nut for five minutes.

    Even his supervisor was embarassed. I got three apologies from various people. I accepted and asked them to restrain this guy or get him mental help before he killed someone. All they kept saying is, "Yeah he gets like that sometimes." We used to let them use our facility for training and had a nice relationship with them. Now for fear of being shot we don't allow them on the property.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2008
  6. Moonclip

    Moonclip Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,766
    Location:
    USA
    It gets kind of tricky I suppose. I'd probably let him off with a warning and put the gun in the trunk but what if sometimes these cops didn't, say in the case of a young black man who did the same?

    Picking and choosing what laws to enforce and with what people can be risky I'd say. Where did this occur? And I predict threadlock soon...
     
  7. Erik

    Erik Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,660
    Location:
    USA
    "This is a " letter of the law, vs spirit of the law" example with LEO's whom don't appear to understand the concept."

    And if the letter and spirit of the law was complied with?

    That said, I cannot imagine hooking the fellow if that was all there was to it. But it likely isn't the case that that was all there was to it. The question I'd follow up with your friend is why they asked to search the car? That's not something typically associated with elderly men and traffic infractions.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2008
  8. plexreticle

    plexreticle Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,240
    The justice system is a big numbers game.

    Your buddy saw a good bust so he took it. I'm sure the DA will agree. The guy will plea out and have to pay some exorbitant fee and everybody can chalk one more dangerous gun off the street.

    High Five!
     
  9. Technosavant

    Technosavant Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Messages:
    2,011
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Tell your friend we're all glad they're keeping us safe from old men with unloaded pot metal guns. Search the car of every AARP member, it's the only way we'll be able to stop the crime that infests our cities and the evil that walks our streets. God willing, the gangs of white haired (or no haired) elderly will finally be brought to heel, and the streets will be safe for modern youth groups to go forth, sell drugs, and liberate excess personal property from the rich.

    I think we'd all agree your buddy did the world a service.
     
  10. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Messages:
    4,755
    Location:
    Utah
    I have several friends and family members that are LEO. NONE of them would have done that.

    If I could see this guys rap sheet, and it showed up spotless but for this one thing........

    Well-My reply is not fit for the high road.

    And as for your friend you've leaned something. He's powerhungry and a :cuss: to boot. So watch your six around this "public servant":scrutiny:
     
  11. vanilla_gorilla

    vanilla_gorilla Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Messages:
    360
    This will be an unpopular opinion here, but I'll say that I don't have a problem, other than the law itself is unconstitutional.

    There seems to be a prevalent opinion that old people cannot commit crimes or be "bad people." I was riding with a friend who's a deputy sheriff recently and went to back up another unit on a call. He's going to get the other half of the story on a domestic violence case. Already talked to the wife, who's not really cooperating. She changed her story a dozen times, so let's get his side, send her to her daughters home for the night, and go do cool stuff, right?

    The 60+ year old husband (about 5'6 and maybe 175lbs) with titanium rods in his legs and a cane spoke to us. After he was asked about his wife, he then got agitated and tried to hit both deputies and me with his walking cane. Then he tried to bite the deputy. After that and before they got the cuffs on, he grabbed the cord from a lamp tried to hit me with it. :mad: That little old man managed to tear up the inside of the deputy's patrol car and wound up having to be restrained with a hobblestrap.

    Just because he's a little old man who looks innocent doesn't mean there's no intent or no crime.

    Just playing devil's advocate here.
     
  12. WinchesterAA

    WinchesterAA Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Messages:
    870
    60 is hardly elderly... My dad is 65, Assistant Chief, and can still kick my ass.
     
  13. USMCDK

    USMCDK Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Messages:
    620
    Location:
    New England
    I am no LEO or a residence of AZ but some states have laws that you are to have a permit to just have a handgun.

    With that said... They may have done the right thing MAY HAVE!!!
    further more A police officer has the right to ask anyone ANYONE if he/she may search that car. Now the driver has the right as well to either say yes, no, or for what reason/probably cause do you have to ask said question sir/ma'am?

    If the old man felt that there was nothing to hide in the car then hell why shouldn't he let them do the perverbial job???

    It's a dubba edged sword my friend. and it doesn't look pretty no matter how you cut the mustard with it.

    Also I would like to point out that there is a statement/law out there that obligates all drivers to know what is and isn't inside the car before and after driving it. Also the responsibility to report anything that would be henceforth illegal.

    Ignorance may be bliss but it not a legitamate excuse for illegalities.

    Also may I add that in most, if not some/all, states you have to keep the weapon in the trunk without any ammo present there as well. In some states it goes as far as having the weapon disassembled, I do believe, as well just for safety sake.

    Please anyone correct me if I am wrong here.

    BTW you ask our opinion and this is just mine.

    Respectfully,

    USMCDK
     
  14. Confederate

    Confederate Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,104
    Location:
    Bethesda, MD
    Thanks for the replies.

    I've never been one of those people who believe that each and every person ought to be treated the same. That's part of today's make-believe hypocrisy, and it doesn't work in reality.

    An elderly white man with a Jennings is a far cry from a young man (regardless of color) who's driving an expensive car with smoked glass windows and the *BOOM, BOOM, BOOM* of a stereo stem cranked up to its limit. A cop's gotta go with his gut, I think. If he calls in the license and there are no priors, no restraining orders, and the guy has a calm, gentle demeanor, is respectful, he ought to take that into account.

    When I'm pulled over, I have my license and insurance out of my wallet, the registration out of the glove box (which I leave open) and my hands and the items on my steering wheel. I answer the officer's questions succinctly and with the same respect I expect from him (or her). When the officer hands me back my items, I keep them in my hands and my hands remain on the wheel. If he asks for something else, I put everything on the passenger's seat and move very slowly. If he asks for permission to search my car (and no cop has ever done so), I would respectfully decline.

    If all that doesn't work, I raise my voice and ask him why he isn't out catching criminals and threaten to have his badge. I then will demand his badge number and remind him that I help pay his salary. And when he hands me the ticket, I tear it in half and throw it on the floorboard of my car. But I only do all that if I want to spend some quality time with a 300-pound inmate named Chuck, who is bald and has tattoos on his arms and neck and who frequents the county jail on most weekends. :D

    Addendum: I believe that any cop should be able to ask any person if he or she may search a car. I strongly recommend that anyone not do so if asked. I believe courts have ruled that failure to grant such a request does not constitute "reasonable cause." Even if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to gain by saying no. I think most attorneys would agree.
     
  15. USMCDK

    USMCDK Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Messages:
    620
    Location:
    New England
    I sincerely hope and feel that this was a joke.

    yes and no. LEO's do have the right to visually inspect the contents of your car when they walk by. by flashing the light and scanning without ever getting in the car. also if you decline and they give you the reasonable cause and you still decline they also have the write to call in a warrent with said reasonable cause and if granted then you are screwed, cause they have the right. and boy let me tell you, some cops at that point will find anything that they can and when they do GOOD-BYE!!!

    I only know this cause like you I have friend in the force here in Manchester NH!!! and they tell me everything I need to know to keep my nose and record clean.
     
  16. .41Dave

    .41Dave Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    655
    What about the whole principle of mens rhea?
     
  17. hirundo82

    hirundo82 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    998
    Location:
    The Deep South
    If they think they have probable cause then it doesn't matter if you decline; they can legally search your car, no warrant required (vehicles are held to a lesser standard than one's home, which does require a warant).

    At that point, if something is found all you can do is challenge in court that the officer had PC.
     
  18. BBroadside

    BBroadside Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Maine
    Confederate, did your friend tell you why the man was stopped? Just curious. If it's something approaching reckless driving, and he gives the officers a funny vibe, and then it turns out the driver possesses a pistol he doesn't know about, maybe they had more reason to arrest him than we know.

    I'm not a cop, so I don't know exactly what a "funny vibe" would be. I gather that cops are pretty good at picking up on subtle signals that would be lost on most of us. I'm not saying I think the old guy was a creep, I'm just saying the cops may have had reason to suspect him that they didn't let on. (In any case, I do hope they try to figure out the gun's origins; it could have been tossed through an open window or something.)

    Anyway, I don't condone any laws making it illegal to have an unloaded gun in your car, but they are on the books; I don't fault the cops.

    You know your friend better than I, so maybe you had reason to criticize him.

    Edit: I just read your next post, Confederate, so a lot of my questions have been answered. Old guy with a gentle manner and no priors ... they probably should have let him alone.
     
  19. flyby

    flyby Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    S.FL
  20. KD5NRH

    KD5NRH Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Messages:
    187
    A large South American birdbrain? Or do you mean thinking like that woman from Cheers? :p
     
  21. evan price

    evan price Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,476
    Location:
    http://www.ohioccw.org/ Ohio's best CCW resour
    Why does any of this matter? Does that mean that you think a young guy with a loud stereo deserves less Constitutional rights than an elderly white guy? That somebody with an expensive car with tinted windows is not supposed to be having the same rights as the guy with the beater work truck? That choice of music means criminality?
    :rolleyes:

    Do tell, I'd like to hear the explanation... :scrutiny:

    From where I'm sitting, we are all supposed to have equal protection under law.

    In the OP case: The guy had a concealed weapon without a concealed carry license. He gave permission to search. His own darn fault.
    That's why you don't drive a car you can't guarantee won't pass a search.
    If it is really a mistake, the judge will set it right. CCW is a FELONY in most states and LEO's don't have discretionary powers over felony charges in most juridictions- it's a standing order or department policy.

    It doesn't matter if it is a junky Jennings or a pimped-out Kimber.

    Personally I think it is your right to carry whatever you want whenever you want- but until we change the "laws" of this nation to reflect the intent of the founders- good luck standing up for that opinion except in a jail cell. There's an old saying- the tallest blade of grass is the first to be cut by the lawn mower. When the "Powers that be" have the guns, the tanks and the will of enough of the people on their side to enforce their bad laws- we don't stand a chance individually.

    Change the law, don't ignore it and complain about Jack Booted Thugs when you inevitably get busted.
     
  22. Ash

    Ash Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    5,358
    Location:
    Anywhere but here
    Draconian, eh?

    Well, I did have occasion to actually scold my way out of a ticket (though it would have been an unjust ticket). I got pulled over in a small town near where I live. I had been driving the speed limit, was in town, and stopped for the railroad tracks etc. The officer, a guy in his mid 20's, approached and I asked if there was a problem. He opened up with an NYPD Blue attitude (didn't call me buttface or punk, but it seemed he would in any second). He accused me of running a stop sign that I could not have run because I had not driven that road. I'll skip the details, other than to say I had pulled out of the wrong street to have run that stop sign in front of the church. I told him what I had done, where I had pulled out of, and even why. He continued the attitude and evidently my expression was telegraphic my own personal disdain. He stopped and asked me "You gotta problem?"

    I decided this would be worth the ticket and so I looked him in the eyes and told him that we could both be civil. He could get my information, inform me of what he believed I did, and I could answer his questions and provide him the information he needed. In no way did he need to be confrontational as long as I was polite to him.

    (I had been flying timber lately in a private plane and got to listen to the tower and pilot talking, and that government-to-citizen contact was very polite and courteous. If air traffic controllers be courteous to pilots, and vice-versa, then all government folks can be).

    Anyway, the officer returned, his attitude visibly changed. Evidently, he did not really want to be an a** and did not realize he was being a jerk. I only got a warning (I did not run said stop sign in any case) and we parted ways. I learned that this officer is probably an earnest guy. Perhaps he will be more Andy Taylor and less confrontational. His job will likely be easier in these situations. I now know that he is a decent guy, not for letting me off, but for changing his attitude. Had he been a real jerk, I would have gotten a ticket out of principle and perhaps would have gotten more.

    The guy with the unloaded Jennings should not have been charged. That was not right. The spirit of the law had not been broken, and arresting this guy on a technicality, while legal, was unjust.

    Ash
     
  23. AKCOP

    AKCOP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Messages:
    200
    Confederate, if this LEO is a friend you should sit with him and have an indepth discussion about his work and why he does what he does. It seems you had a short conversation, got a short answer that you did not like or agree with and hence you are a bit upset. I agree their are lots of LEO's out there that should be working elsewhere, just like any other profession. Would I have done the same, I don't know. I do agree with the post about officers not following the spirit of the law and leaning more toward the letter of the law. When I sat on interview boards I always asked for an explanation of the difference and was always amazed at how few understood.
     
  24. LiquidTension

    LiquidTension Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    2,881
    Location:
    SC
    I'd have taken the thing and arrested him. I may have even called ATF.

    Before you jump down my throat - my agency deals only with people that are forbidden under federal law from possessing weapons and ammo. If I were a normal traffic cop, I'd have informed him of proper storage laws and sent him on his way.
     
  25. rhweb32

    rhweb32 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Montana
    For me as an LEO it would depend on the gentleman's demeanor, and what he was doing. More than likely though I would have made him lock it in the trunk. However if it was loaded then it would completely change everything.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page