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Thread: Non-legal Stop Outside of Home District

  1. #1
    Regular Member NoTolerance's Avatar
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    Non-legal Stop Outside of Home District

    My dad shared a story with me over the weekend about a friend's encounter. As I don't know all the actors involved, this is all second-hand information; a "friend of a friend" type story. Given that, let's just assume things played out the way I describe here, as relayed to me.

    We'll call my dad's friend "Joe" for the sake of discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by My Dad
    Joe was driving from somewhere in Milwaukee to his home in Muskego Friday night. As he's passing through the city of New Berlin, he observes a driver in a black SUV basically force an elderly couple in a smaller sedan out of their lane change by quickly accelerating up on them and cutting them off. From Joe's perspective, he thought they were all lucky an accident wasn't caused.

    As Joe approached the next set of lights, they turned red, stopping Joe right alongside the black SUV. Joe looks over to the SUV, sees a kid of about 10 in the passenger seat, and catches the eye of the male driver. Joe raises his hands, palms up and shakes his head as if to say, "What the hell, man? Really?"

    As the light turns green, Joe pulls away and the black SUV changes lanes to get behind him. Within seconds, Joe sees the tell-tale reds and blues flashing in his rearview mirror. The black SUV was an unmarked police vehicle.

    Joe pulls over and a very agitated man in plain clothes charges up to his open window. He yells, "What's your problem, man!?"

    "You drive like sh!7," Joe replies.

    "Excuse me? Do you know who I am??"

    "No, I don't. I haven't seen an ID or a badge," Joe retorts.

    The guy reaches into his pocket, produces a wallet and flips it open, displaying a City of Greenfield detective's badge and ID.

    Joe looks at the badge, then back to the man and says, "Well, Detective McFriendly, you drive like sh!7. You cut that old couple off and almost caused them to lose control."

    Detective McFriendly then demands Joe's license. Joe hands it over and McFriendly heads back to his truck with it, reaches inside momentarily, and comes back with a business card along with Joe's license. He tosses both at Joe and spits out, "If you have a problem, that's where you'll find me." He then turns around and gets back into the SUV with his kid.

    Joe pulls off and the SUV stays on him all the way back to his subdivision in Muskego.

    Joe gets home, showers up to cool off for a couple minutes and then sits down at the kitchen table and proceeds to write up a 3-page long complaint about Detective McFriendly, giving his version of events in as much detail as possible. Once finished, he jumps in his car, drives to the City of Greenfield, and drops the letter off at the Police Station.
    My immediate response to my dad was, "There is no way I would have provided him with my license. I would have refused and forced him to call it in if he wanted to press the issue. This is exactly why I have an app on my phone to record all stops. I also would have dialed 911 right after - if not right after, then definitely when it became clear the guy was following me."

    But I have to admit: this drew some interesting questions in my mind.

    First, if I were Joe, would I have been within my rights to refuse to provide ID and end the encounter right there by just driving away? It's abundantly apparent that the stop wasn't a result of RAS - it was road rage. What would you have done?

    When a plain clothes man steps out of a vehicle that is also occupied by what is obviously a regular civilian (a young kid in this case) and angrily charges up to your open window, are red and blue flashing lights enough to satisfy you that the man is actually an officer? I can see a situation like this turning very wrong, very fast.

    How would you have handled this encounter?

  2. #2
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    I don't know what Greenfields policy is, but my agency forbids making traffic stops with non-personnel in the squad (with the exception of sanctioned ride alongs).

    Most agencies allow plain clothes officers to make traffic stops, but it isn't something that should be a habit. One is within their rights to request a uniformed officer in a marked squad to respond. But unless you're sure that the person is not a police officer and is impersonating do not just drive off. Doing so shifts the burden of justifying actions to you.

  3. #3
    Regular Member NoTolerance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
    But unless you're sure that the person is not a police officer and is impersonating do not just drive off. Doing so shifts the burden of justifying actions to you.
    Useful advice. Thanks for sharing from your perspective. When you say you can request a uniformed officer respond, would that be via 911 or by requesting the plain clothes officer to put in the request?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoTolerance View Post
    Useful advice. Thanks for sharing from your perspective. When you say you can request a uniformed officer respond, would that be via 911 or by requesting the plain clothes officer to put in the request?
    You could do either, but remember that 911 is for actual emergencies and they can get pi**y about it if they want to push the issue. Though a guy in civvys with an unmarked car flashing a badge sounds like a 911 to me.
    You might want to just call information and get a non-emergency number.

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    many old people should not be on the road ... driving like 15 MPH in a 35 zone ... always braking whenever a vehicle gets in front of them ..

    That's likely what happened...

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    many old people should not be on the road ... driving like 15 MPH in a 35 zone ... always braking whenever a vehicle gets in front of them ..

    That's likely what happened...

    If that was the case, then the officer is still in the wrong here. Besides, from what i've seen in this state, driving like a jerk has no age limits...

  7. #7
    Regular Member Lurchiron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    many old people should not be on the road ... driving like 15 MPH in a 35 zone ... always braking whenever a vehicle gets in front of them ..

    That's likely what happened...
    That...and every side-street intersection has a "phantom" stop sign visible only if you're over the age of 70!!!
    Bale da Hay

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    Founder's Club Member protias's Avatar
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    This is where a car camera would come in handy.
    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson (1776)

    If you go into a store, with a gun, and rob it, you have forfeited your right to not get shot - Joe Deters, Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Prosecutor

    I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians. - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

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    Campaign Veteran rcawdor57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protias View Post
    This is where a car camera would come in handy.
    Couldn't agree more! Heck, how about THREE on board cameras! No "He said, she said"...just what the cameras recorded. That is how you stop corruption.
    “The Constitution shall never be construed... to prevent the People of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” -- Samuel Adams

    “Today, we need a nation of Minutemen. Citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom.”

    —John F. Kennedy

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