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Thread: Police authority

  1. #1
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    A random thought just fluttered through my mind just now.

    Is there a 'pecking order' of authority for LEO's in the state? For instance, can a sherriff arrest a city cop, or a Stater arrest a county-mounty? Would this be a trump card one could pull 'in the instant' of a confrontation with sub-jurisdictions?

    To whit: If confronted by a sherriff deputy who is behaving in an illegal manner (exercising authority illegally) could one call 911 and request a STATE trooper to the scene to either, as they say, "shut him up or shut him down" (correct or arrest him)?

  2. #2
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    Yes and no... Historically, the Sheriff is the "top cop" in the county and can be arrested by the coroner. In practice, any officer can be arrested by any officer.... BUT

    the difficulty comes when seniority raises it's head. ie. "if" patrolman joe doaks is drunk and unruly, the proper action would be to have the supervisor on scene. "If" he is the supervisor, have the chief or sheriff as the case may be. This would be whether on or off duty. Even though there is the blue line, the majority of agencies will handle the case as it should be done. It may and probably will take longer and be of a lower profile in order to protect the department image. As we all know, one bad apple makes a barrel full. Not only in OC but in everything we or they do.

    I know there will be some that think this is a cover up and I am certain that there are times that it does happen. Those times do finally come up and it gets real nasty real quick.

    Don't use that wide brush to paint every incident, OC or LEO. Give things chance to be handled appropriately.



    Flame away with your negatives, but life is not pretty.

  3. #3

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    Sure, while you are in the process of being detained/arrested go ahead and demand/exercise your right to call 911 and ask for a different cop.

    Let me know how it works out for you...




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    I was answering the question in regards to a cop being an azz, but not while detaining another citizen, but while being involved in conduct that would warrant his arrest.

    As far as while detaining a person, I agree completely with 911 Boss.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Ajetpilot's Avatar
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    IMHO, theoretically a citizen can arrest anyone who is committing a felony.



    RCW 9.41.270
    Weapons apparently capable of producing bodily harm — Unlawful carrying or handling — Penalty — Exceptions.

    (3) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to or affect the following:

    (d) Any person making or assisting in making a lawful arrest for the commission of a felony;

    But, good luck with that. If anyone tries it, let us all know how it all turns out.


  6. #6

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    Trigger Dr wrote:
    I was answering the question in regards to a cop being an azz, but not while detaining another citizen, but while being involved in conduct that would warrant his arrest.

    As far as while detaining a person, I agree completely with 911 Boss.

    Concerning his statement - "To whit: If confronted by a sherriff deputy who is behaving in an illegal manner (exercising authority illegally) could one call 911 and request a STATE trooper to the scene to either, as they say, "shut him up or shut him down" (correct or arrest him)?"

    I took the question to mean the person being confronted disagreeing with the legality of the issue at hand trying to cop shop for someone who would take his side. That just plain ain't going to happen.

    The cop may be wrong, but he/she will win that battle. There are processes in place to make a complaint on the behavior. The courts are will be the ones to determine what is "illegal".

    I can tell you from experience, a city cop will not respond to anything outside the city involving a Sheriff's Deputy, Sheriff's Deputy isn't going to go into a city on complaint of how the city cop is behaving,and State Patrol in the urban areas pretty much doesn't do anything but traffic enforcement on state highways and the interstate.

    If you want more info on what to expect whencitizens are refusing to comply with officers demands because they question the legality of the officer's actions, Google "Taser". A lot of people don't understand that most agencies consider the Tazer the first step in escalation after verbal commands dont' work. Due to its nature, copsAND citizens are less likely to be injured by a the application of a little electricity than by even a light scuffle.

    Here is one of my favorite examples : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb1FWt81lS4

    Woman believed the cop was acting illegally because he couldn't use radar while moving (wrong) so she decided she wasn't going to cooperate and started making phone calls. Her actions did get another cop to respond, only it was to back up the first cop. She getstasered and then goes to jail.

    If youclose your eyes after she getsrides the lightning,it could be mistaken for a low budget porn flick... think Meg Ryan in "When Harry met Sally"


    Technically, the Sheriff of a county can take control of a municipalpolice department if they are messing up real bad. Don't expect to see it happen outside of Mayberry though, there was some discussion on the matter during WTO...



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