Mostly Positive LEO encounter

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Yup, that was just plain wrong regardless of how nice they were.

Just because a man smiles when he hands me a bag of crap, don't mean I gotta take it.

I think most LEO's are great people, have good intentions, and really take their jobs seriously. There are, just like any profession, a percentage who don't.

case in point - and I'm sure many of you have seen this video, but as a cyclist it gets to me:


and what's even better, the LEO stated in his official report that the cyclist was aiming for him, he tried to get out of the way but couldn't and the cyclist ran into him and knocked him down, causing the scrapes on his arm - he didn't know he was being videoed so he's on leave as they investigate.

Point is that just because someone has a badge doesn't mean they're always going to do the right thing. Be aware of your rights. I think the OP's encounter was a load of BS, a misuse of authority, and is lucky that nothing more came of it.
It is generally understood by most competant LEOs that a "Terry" stop is limited to a 20 minute detention. Anything over that, without being able to confirm the PC for the stop, has been adjudicated as unjustified. The LEO in question in the OP either didn't know or didn't care. In either case he as no business wearing a uniform!
Well I rated it as positive because they didn't take our gun, and didn't actually cuff us but now that I think about it It was kinda bad. After the dog didn't hit on anything they tore our car apart (we had lots of baggage) down to checking pockets in our shorts, checking our makeup (opening compacts and the like) and opening containers of food, then checking our engine compartment/trunk/under the car.
I get the feeling they where sure we had stuff even at the end just they couldn't find any reason to lock us up.

As for filing a complaint should we just call up the sheriff's department and give the name of the officer who stopped us (he's the only one we have a card for) ? Or should we have our attorney do this ? I am honestly worried that they will remember this and pull us over if they spot us again when we pass through there.
Do you have any reason to believe you were being profiled in any way (e.g. race, age, gender, attire/appearance)?

I'm asking more out of curiousity than anything.

Your story is kind of chilling. I do think you should follow up in some manner.
You are lucky. I got put in jail for having a pistol in a locked secured box in my car (legal in my state) and the officer found a cigarrette roller in my glovebox. Really and truly used for rolling cigarettes. He called it "paraphernalia".

I had not paused long enough at a stop sign (he said), so he used that as pretext. Pulled me over, asked if he could search, and thinking I was not breaking any laws (I wasn't) I said "sure". I told him there was a gun in the box, secured and locked up, and once he found the roller he handcuffed me.

Cost me a $300 fine and a day in jail.
This all happened at 7am, on my way to work.

I would call the OP's encounter positive in that it didn't end like mine.
Well my girlfriend was wearing her "candy" (raver beads) and we had several bumper stickers from Defcon (the security convention) on the car, stuff like EFF bumper stickers and the like.
But other than that I'm not sure if it was profiling, could have been though
Sue their butts! She refused a search and they did it anyway. You will win the case I suspect.
Wow. Not sure how anyone could interpret that encounter as "mostly positive"...

1. Why did they pull you over in the first place? Did your car/plates match a suspect's?
2. Illegal search (of the car) and seizure (car, gun, person, etc)

I hope you got a card or at least a name. At the very minimum a formal complaint needs to be made.
Sad that just because they didn't haul you away it was a mostly positive experience. Is that what society expects from those sworn "to serve and protect"?
Not only do cops lie, it's entirely legal for them to lie to you. But just try the reverse... Watch the google videos. DONT TALK TO THE POLICE
Not only do cops lie, it's entirely legal for them to lie to you.
Unfortunately for the cops in question, they didn't lie to HIM. They lied to the criminal justice system. As was pointed out, they're going to have a hard time explaining why the dog didn't find anything; why they tossed the car; and why they held him for so long.

If he can identify the cops, he's got them over a barrel.
Well the original reason for pulling us over is my girlfriend didnt pull into the far lane when we passed the second cop who had pulled someone else over (she would have but the first cop had us boxed in at that point so we couldnt get out of the lane we were in.

Edit: BTW Deanimator, I'm female =)
You don't happen to be a minority do you? I went through the academy about 3 years ago and I can tell you right now if you fit their profile they will search you every time. The reason I am not a cop right now is because of the "us vs. them" syndrome that I saw all the time. I am friends with most the cops in town, but the few that would spit on you sooner than look at you ruined it for me.
we are all white, though me and my girlfriend are lesbians if that qualifies as a minority.
It wasn't clear, but you seemed to be heading that way. Works for me. Any inappropriate sexual comment or innuendo? Every little bit helps to prove misconduct.
though me and my girlfriend are lesbians if that qualifies as a minority.

Do you have a rainbow banner on the car, or anything at all that could suggest your sexual orientation? If you do than I would start looking at the profiling angle, seriously.

This stop was anything but positive, IMO.

Of course, I belong to the "Am I being detained, Am I free to go?" type of answer to any question crowd. I also believe they need a warrant to get inside my car.

Ever since I started to open carry here in WA my best friend has become my voice recorder.

Doesn't sound vey positive to me either. Total load of B.S. unless you were speeding, left of center, expired tag etc.......something to warrant a stop. The profiling would begin after the stop, let's say you LOOK like a pot smoker or drug smuggler, basically a dark skinned person or biker w/ long hair and tattoos & such. Absolutely a violation of your rights as a human being much less a U.S. citizen IMO. What does a pot smoker look like ?????? You just have to take a look around. A rose by any other color is still a rose.

In my experience 99.9999999% of encounters have been less than positive. The usual things, speeding tickets, burglary reports, etc. I do have one instance that warrants ;) mentioning. Out for a bike ride early one morning, open freeway, 1-ish am. I decided to get some breeze going and cracked the throttle to about a buck thirty. I usually slow when passing at that speed but didn't and lapped a white crown vic. Got lit up by Mr. Law and thought that is "go to jail" fast. After stopping the officer asked "Why in such a hurry?". I said "just out for a ride sir." I showed him my papers were legit and then He said " How do you like your bike ?, I"ve been wanting to get one of those, How fast have you had it up to ?" handed me my ID and walked back to his cruiser. As he got in he yelled "Ride Safe !"
SomeKid said:
As an aside, when cops are nice and make small talk, they are looking for a reason to bust you. Don't talk to them.

If I was in that position, I would be a broken record.

"Am I free to go?"
"I do not consent to this search."

Well, my feeling is making small talk is a way for them to judge whether you are behaving suspiciously. Engaging in a minor amount of polite chitchat may well save you from a lengthy delay if you can avoid tripping their suspicion.

One can be polite and still attempt to preserve the right to be free from arbitrary search.
we don't have any rainbow stickers or anything like that (we steer clear of the GLBT scene/politics for the most part) but the officer did give me a weird look when I said my honey was driving (he had asked how we knew the driver).
When my honey gets home we're going to talk about this and get ahold of our lawyer.
I used to talk to cops, just trying to be friendly and put them at ease during the occasional traffic stop. I don't want the cop getting ANY feeling that I'm a threat. But then I went through some military training on interrogations(resisting them, not giving them) and saw the video on you-tube about never talking to cops without a lawyer present. I'll keep it to "Before I go for my wallet to get my DL, I'd like to let you know I have a concealed weapons permit and am carrying a pistol. how would you like to proceed?"
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