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Thread: Rexburg Idaho robbery and telling officers no

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    Regular Member bowb's Avatar
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    Rexburg Idaho robbery and telling officers no

    Today in Rexburg Idaho supposedly the credit union I work by was robbed. As I was leaving work, in my car, law enforcement was trying to Id everyone in the area. They do not like being told no. I was detained for suspiciously not answering their questions until they ran my plates and identified me. After I was free to go, I was again detained by a second officer. Once again I told him no to the Id request and his other questions. They wanted to see my Id and wanted to know where I was coming from. I did run the questions in circles, he finally told me if I told him where I worked I could leave as he had contacted dispatch to see if I had been Id'ed. So I told him where I worked and was once again free to go.

    Both officers that stopped me were carrying M4's and I was at one point told that I would be arrested for obstruction of justice. I was ask to step out of my car, which I did and I locked it. As I kept telling the officer I do not consent to searches and being Id'd the officer turned rather snarky and was mocking me and cursed a few times. I asked him if he would be professional and stop cursing. I asked for a supervisor and was told that everyone in the area was a suspect. I still did not answer any questions and asked if they were going to Id everyone and stop everyone in the area. Somewhere along this time another officer told me it was best if I would just be quiet. I found this somewhat difficult as they kept asking me questions. I really never said much beyond if I was being detained, why I was being detained, I do not consent to any searches, no I would not give my Id and why did they suspect me. Eventually I was asked to sit on the curb for officer safety. I asked if I could stand for my safety and was told no, and was threatened with obstructing justice from an officer that was mostly passing by. The officers eventually obtained my Id by running my plates.

    I was not carrying and did not have my firearm on me or in my car (which I do plan on fixing once I get secure storage in my car) and I believe if I was carrying openly would have caused oh so much more fun. I also was not recording as this was rather unexpected and I did not have time to get my cellphone recording. My car was only looked at through the windows and the officers never asked to search my car or me. It may have been because one of the first things out of my mouth was I do no consent to any searches.

    I learned some interesting things about how my mind does, does not work when put under pressure. I actually forgot how to say that I am going to exercise my right to remain silent. I was asked why I was not answering question and did respond that it was my right not to answer but the words remain silent eluded me. I was not trying to be an ass and I was a rather unwilling participant. I know it would have been very easy to just show my Id and get it over with, but I see this as a learning opportunity for myself on how I am able to handle the stress. I left a free, but temporarily detained man.

    I believe the officers at the scene thought they were doing what is right for the situation, and I thought it was a good opportunity to get some training while under stress. I could have handled it differently, but it is what it is now. I am thinking about writing the higher ups about it and I am sure it would land on very deaf ears given the situation at hand. But I am neck deep in a masters degree and have a ten page paper due.
    Last edited by bowb; 11-07-2012 at 10:48 PM.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Sounds like you basically did good. Don't beat yourself up about forgetting how to say "right to remain silent". Not many of us get to practice that - especially when any role-play rules prohibit the JBTs from actually hauling you off to real jail.

    Pardon the impertinence of the question, but after telling the police (politely) to go pound sand why did you answer their question about where you worked?

    Having been there myself, I understand how much energy is expended in standing up against officiousness committed in the name of violating your rights because they think they can get away with it. It also can take being willing to take the ride and fight them in court.

    Remember, if the cops actually can arrest you/want to arrest you they will do that regardless of whether you answer their questions or not. I'm not a big* advocate of poking the bear but there are times when you need to let them put up or shut up.

    stay safe.

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    Regular Member CornfedinOhio's Avatar
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    Rexburg Idaho robbery and telling officers no

    I have had police officers tell me if a suspect was in a stadium they can and will detain every person in the stadium to investigate. I think that it is unreasonable and a violation of #4 to do so. I also think your detainment and License demands are in violation.
    However, My ideals and thoughts are not based in case law. My opinion will not change the fact that it is reasonable to stop and question all persons in the area. Resisting could put you in the hot seat despite my opinions. I am certain the court would uphold searching you car due to proximity to the scene is also reasonable.

    I don't like the "cast a net" police work but they can't just stand there potentially watching the criminal leave.


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    Quote Originally Posted by bowb View Post

    Both officers that stopped me were carrying M4's
    .
    Everyone should learn how to disarm a person with a M4 ... its rather easy, with practice ...

    They really should not be carrying around M4s ... what do they need them for anyway? The robbery is done, robbers are long gone ...

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    I would be looking into the case law on this one. Unless the cops had solid legal ground to stand on, I'd be raising a fuss. Even if they had solid legal ground, I'd probably still be raising a fuss.

    I'll bet they didn't catch the robbers by IDing everybody in the vicinity, either.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

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    Regular Member bowb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Pardon the impertinence of the question, but after telling the police (politely) to go pound sand why did you answer their question about where you worked?
    .
    I needed to get home. My wife had plans to leave the house and I needed to get home to be dad. Since I was already detained for around 20 minutes I was done being there and the officer gave me an easy out so I used it. It was quite frustrating.
    Last edited by bowb; 11-07-2012 at 11:57 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bowb View Post
    I needed to get home. My wife had plans to leave the house and I needed to get home to be dad. Since I was already detained for around 20 minutes I was done being there and the officer gave me an easy out so I used it. It was quite frustrating.
    Of course it was frustrating. The courts use privacy expectations as an analysis standard. Courts even say reasonableness is the touchstone of 4A doctrine.

    I don't think I've yet seen a court say that security is the touchstone of the 4th Amendment, or even mention it except by accident when quoting the first sentence.


    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects..."

    Of course, senseless detentions and demands by guntoting, badged thugs is quite frustrating.
    Last edited by Citizen; 11-08-2012 at 12:05 AM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowb View Post
    I needed to get home. My wife had plans to leave the house and I needed to get home to be dad. Since I was already detained for around 20 minutes I was done being there and the officer gave me an easy out so I used it. It was quite frustrating.
    I believed that they could not detain you with out it being an arrest for more than something like 10 minutes. I might be way off but I ran across something to that effect one day. It's hard to remember where because I find this while look up other bits of laws and cases.
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom1Man View Post
    I believed that they could not detain you with out it being an arrest for more than something like 10 minutes. I might be way off but I ran across something to that effect one day. It's hard to remember where because I find this while look up other bits of laws and cases.

    There is no hard-and-fast time limit. The courts judge each on its own merits as to whether the seizure lasted unreasonably long. There have been a number of cases where appellate courts ruled about claims of too-long duration. A not uncommon one is cops making people wait for the drug dog after the originial reason for the traffic stop is handled--defense attorneys arguing that the drugs found during the dog sniff should be suppressed because the wait was unreasonably long.

    The real problem is whether the seizure was reasonable in the first place. Of course, it wasn't. But, good luck getting a court to agree.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom1Man View Post
    I believed that they could not detain you with out it being an arrest for more than something like 10 minutes. I might be way off but I ran across something to that effect one day. It's hard to remember where because I find this while look up other bits of laws and cases.
    In most places, most of the time, an officer can only detain you long enough to run your name, license plate and criminal history thru dispatch. Once that is complete they must release you unless they have probable cause to the contrary. During all this they can ask any questions they want. Its your choice as to whether you answer them or not. That standard is normally held to traffic stops but Terry and similar stops have a similar guideline. I believe the courts would give a little leeway in this case due to the nature of the "investigation". I use the word investigation loosely here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bowb View Post
    I needed to get home. My wife had plans to leave the house and I needed to get home to be dad. Since I was already detained for around 20 minutes I was done being there and the officer gave me an easy out so I used it. It was quite frustrating.
    Well, there ya go. Decision made and acted upon. Nothing further can be said. The impulse to respond immediately is a difficult habit to overcome. I have found that a 2-5 second pause prior to opening my pie-hole mitigates the forgetfulness that comes from stress induced forgetfulness.

    Good luck.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    What idiots! If you are suspect they need to read you your rights and the number one right is to remain silent. Just because a incident happened in a place does not give officers RAS. Now if you fit the description that might be different, they then would have RAS to ask for name or ID, but that is it.
    Last edited by WalkingWolf; 11-08-2012 at 03:26 PM.
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    Regular Member bowb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Well, there ya go. Decision made and acted upon. Nothing further can be said. The impulse to respond immediately is a difficult habit to overcome. I have found that a 2-5 second pause prior to opening my pie-hole mitigates the forgetfulness that comes from stress induced forgetfulness.

    Good luck.
    I did not answer straight up, but I do need to take longer to think about what comes out of my mouth. Lesson learned, hopefully applied. I took some time and thought about angering my wife if I was delayed getting home any longer versus poking the bear. Of the two I would rather not do is anger the wife.

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    IMHO the officers were wrong, and I would file a formal complaint with their department, and maybe even sue them under the federal civil rights act.

    Anyway, one thing I did not see...did you ask them if they has a description of the robber? (I am sure they had video, all banks have video) The next question that comes to mind is "do I fit that description" (or do I fit the person in the video?) If not, why am I being detained?

    City of Spokane had a similar problem a few weeks ago...they detained everyone...even females...even though they knew the suspect was a male...I think that is in the courts right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bowb View Post
    I did not answer straight up, but I do need to take longer to think about what comes out of my mouth. Lesson learned, hopefully applied. I took some time and thought about angering my wife if I was delayed getting home any longer versus poking the bear. Of the two I would rather not do is anger the wife.
    Angering a bear is one thing, angering the tiger at home is a far more risky endeavor.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    IMHO the officers were wrong, and I would file a formal complaint with their department, and maybe even sue them under the federal civil rights act.

    Anyway, one thing I did not see...did you ask them if they has a description of the robber? (I am sure they had video, all banks have video) The next question that comes to mind is "do I fit that description" (or do I fit the person in the video?) If not, why am I being detained?

    City of Spokane had a similar problem a few weeks ago...they detained everyone...even females...even though they knew the suspect was a male...I think that is in the courts right now.
    Based on the OP's account he likely has no standing before the court for a 1983 civil action.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Regular Member bowb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    Anyway, one thing I did not see...did you ask them if they has a description of the robber? (I am sure they had video, all banks have video) The next question that comes to mind is "do I fit that description" (or do I fit the person in the video?) If not, why am I being detained?
    If I recall correctly, I was told everyone in the area was a suspect. Apparently those that told them no to being stopped were more so, which I would bet was only me.
    Last edited by bowb; 11-09-2012 at 08:29 AM.

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Based on the OP's account he likely has no standing before the court for a 1983 civil action.
    He was detained for no good reason. That they suspect everyone means they do not know how to investigate a crime, and they do not know the law. Any financial institution will have security cameras. Next time you go into a financial institution look at/near the entrance door jam...there will be a scale of some sort...there will also be a specific camera pointed that scale. Every tellers station will have a camara... plus you have the teller that was robbed as a witness.

    It would take less than 2 minutes to determine the thief was male(or female), 6' about 200lb (or 5' and 100lbs). If bobw does not fit the minimum general description, he should not be detained, not asked for ID or anything else unnecessary.

    Now, if they had told him. This credit union had just been robbed, and the robber was a male, about 6', about 200lbs about 45 years old...and bowb met this discription, then that is a different story...but to stop and detain everyone regardless of how closely, or not, they fit the discription, that is a violation of the 4th amendment, and the Idaho equivilent (Article 1 Section 7 here in WA)

    Detaining everyone is just not legal. That is like when you were back in grade school and little johnny put a tack on the teachers chair and the teacher held every kid in class after school until some one said "it was little johnny" (if they knew it was little johnny or not. Not cool, and not legal, and when you have been detained for no good legal reason, you should at least make a formal complaint. That is the way you get this type of illegal activity stopped.

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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post

    Detaining everyone is just not legal. That is like when you were back in grade school and little johnny put a tack on the teachers chair and the teacher held every kid in class after school until some one said "it was little johnny" (if they knew it was little johnny or not. Not cool, and not legal, and when you have been detained for no good legal reason, you should at least make a formal complaint. That is the way you get this type of illegal activity stopped.
    Unfortunately that only gets you screwed by the local police. There was a guy who got a speeding ticket here in Washington, the cop said that he was pacing him to get his speed. The guy goes to court and points out that the cop is the only who admitted to speeding without an emergency. The guy said that if the cop does not get a speeding ticket then he could not have been paced by the cop. The judge ended up issuing a speeding ticket to the cop.

    Ever since then the county SD in the county in which the guy lives would have an officer hanging around his house. Not at the house but with in sight distance of his driveway. Every time they guy got on the road the police would follow him and/or pull him over.

    That is what police do to citizens who bust them for their wrong doings.
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom1Man View Post
    Unfortunately that only gets you screwed by the local police. There was a guy who got a speeding ticket here in Washington, the cop said that he was pacing him to get his speed. The guy goes to court and points out that the cop is the only who admitted to speeding without an emergency. The guy said that if the cop does not get a speeding ticket then he could not have been paced by the cop. The judge ended up issuing a speeding ticket to the cop.

    Ever since then the county SD in the county in which the guy lives would have an officer hanging around his house. Not at the house but with in sight distance of his driveway. Every time they guy got on the road the police would follow him and/or pull him over.

    That is what police do to citizens who bust them for their wrong doings.
    Can you provide a cite or a link? Not that I doubt the story, there was one when I was a kid and we had the federally mandated 55 speed limit, an older gentleman pulled a cop over and gave him a ticket for ignoring it went to court and the judge ruled in favor of the "civilian". He too was harassed for a long time after also. I can't find links to these though since they were before the days of youtube.

    Those of us in Bellingham who have dared to make an issue of police wrong doing has experienced the following and the semi harassment of their police force. Especially when we spanked them for their dislike and harassment of our OC.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Can you provide a cite or a link? Not that I doubt the story, there was one when I was a kid and we had the federally mandated 55 speed limit, an older gentleman pulled a cop over and gave him a ticket for ignoring it went to court and the judge ruled in favor of the "civilian". He too was harassed for a long time after also. I can't find links to these though since they were before the days of youtube.

    Those of us in Bellingham who have dared to make an issue of police wrong doing has experienced the following and the semi harassment of their police force. Especially when we spanked them for their dislike and harassment of our OC.
    Sorry no cite. It was a, now former, friend who had informed me about it.
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ca Patriot View Post
    One of the major ironies about police attempting to ID people in their investigations is that 99% of time its irrelevant.


    For instance, I am sure the police did not know the name of the person who comitted the robbery in the OP's story. So if the OP had given his name to officers it wouldnt have helped them either find out who the robber was or to even locate the robber...
    Not justifying, just explaining, their logic. If they do not know the name of the robber, on the off-chance that he is still in the area, having the name of every person in the area means that they now have his name at least on a list (again, assuming--a very big assumption--that he remained in the area).

    This does not justify what they did. They have a reason to stop everyone: to ask if they have any knowledge that might be of use in the investigation. If the stoppee has no such information, they must let him go. Saying that everyone in the area is a suspect does not comport with Terry's requirement for articulability. Everyone in the area is a potential witness.

    If I understand the situation correctly, I would have given my name and address (or whatever that State requires during a lawful stop--and, if I am being stopped as a potential witness, that is lawful) and stated that I saw nothing (unless, of course, I had seen something pertinent to the investigation).

    One does not need to be a suspect to be lawfully stopped. Please don't mistakenly make that assumption.

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    <snip> One does not need to be a suspect to be lawfully stopped. Please don't mistakenly make that assumption.
    A great many citizens concede to the abhorrent and incorrect notion that a "consensual contact" initiated by a LEO requires a response by that citizen to the LEO's inquiries.

    Missouri has a refusal to identify as a witness statute.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Each State may have different laws as to when and how one must identify himself to a LEO, but that does not mean that officers may not stop potential witnesses lawfully.

    Again, the caveat I am throwing out there is for folks not to assume that a stop is unlawful simply because they are not a suspect in a crime. There are other reasons an officer may stop you other than your being a suspect, including your being a potential witness to a crime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Each State may have different laws as to when and how one must identify himself to a LEO, but that does not mean that officers may not stop potential witnesses lawfully.

    Again, the caveat I am throwing out there is for folks not to assume that a stop is unlawful simply because they are not a suspect in a crime. There are other reasons an officer may stop you other than your being a suspect, including your being a potential witness to a crime.
    Stopping (detaining in my view) a "potential" witness does not translate into a requirement that the "potential" (in the eyes of LE) witness must ID themselves to a state agent.

    LEO: "Excuse me sir, did you.....?"
    Me: "No officer, I did not/was not."
    LEO: "Could I have your name please?"
    Me: "Officer, may I ask what relevance my name has with regards to your investigation?"

    There is no "unlawful stop" in the eyes of LE, there is only a "unlawful stop" in the eyes of the court. Of course, to get to the court a LEO must escalate the stop to a official detention, at a minimum, as a result of a citizen exerting their rights lawfully.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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