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Thread: Chambering a round while driving without hands is Reasonable Suspicion of something

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    State v. Anderson, 2009 La. App. LEXIS 64 (5th Cir. January 13, 2009):

    In the present case, Detective Peterson, a law enforcement officer with approximately 10 years experience, observed the defendant chambering a round into a firearm while driving with no hands on the wheel. Detective Peterson testified that, although he did not witness the defendant committing a specific crime, he stopped the defendant to investigate because "[he] did not know if a crime had been committed or was about to be committed."

    We cannot say that the trial court erred in finding that Detective Peterson had sufficient reasonable suspicion that a crime was being committed, had been committed, or was about to be committed to justify an investigatory stop.

    Detective Peterson did not have to observe what he knew to be criminal behavior before investigating but rather behavior he reasonably suspected may become criminal activity.

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    That's consistent with the established Terry standard, as I understand it.

    -ljp

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    To me, it would seem near impossible to mistake a man plugging in a cell phone for a man racking a round into the chamber of a gun.

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    After reading the whole thing I think he was guilty.

    Afterall he had the holster on his side LOL !

    Eitherway the 4th Amendment get's stomped on ALL DAY b/c people don't know their own rights.

    Ever watch the show COPS. It's disgusting how much trouble people get in b/c they don't know when to shut up and they don't know thier own rights.



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    A few years ago I was the witness to a violent crime and was interviewed by the police as such. While I waited for the detective to arrive they gave me a form to fill out. This form is given to witnesses and suspects alike and contains the usual name, address, wocka wocka wocka.

    It also has a couple other questions. One is "do you know what crime we are arresting you for?" some others : What time did you commit this crime? Did anyone else help you commit this crime? and my personal favorite: "What other crimes have you committed either recently or in the past that this Department is not aware of?"

    The cops told me that yes, there are crooks dumb enough to fill out that info. Normally when I see such stupidity I insert a but these are criminals (the real kind) and I say it's a GOOD thing these goons are so stupid. Except that they were stupid enough to believe they could get away with what they did, and so they did it, and somebody got hurt because of it; so oh hells bells......

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    Dustin wrote:
    Afterall he had the holster on his side LOL !
    That was from a case the court cited in order to show they had good legal precedent. Kind of hard to follow legal writings, some times.

    In any case, as has been mentioned earlier, all the criteria for a Terry stop were there. Just too bad the prosecuter never got around, AFAWK, to asking him just how long he knew his girlfriend, then asking why in that amount of time he never knew she "collected guns." Seems a felon whose gf "collected guns" might have discussed that hobby with her.

    One more idjit off the streets - if he was not guilty of the crime they charged he was sure guilty of felony stupidity.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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    skidmark wrote:
    Dustin wrote:
    Afterall he had the holster on his side LOL !
    One more idjit off the streets - if he was not guilty of the crime they charged he was sure guilty of felony stupidity.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
    It's amazing what some people will do while driving: drink beer, eat a hamburger, eat a slice of pizza, apply makeup, have sex even.

    Distracted drivers are dangerous.

    Stay safe indeed: Defensive driving means regard all the other drivers as idiots.

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    Regular Member shad0wfax's Avatar
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    I think a LEO observing someone chambering a round while driving with no hands is probable cause to stop them forsomethingalong the lines of negligent driving. Of course this depends on each state's driving laws, but I'm pretty sure watching someone drive with no hands on the wheel is grounds for a simple traffic stop.

    However, I'm not so sure I'd agree with the interpretation that a crime is about to be committed just because someone chambered a round in a moving vehicle. I have done it before as a passenger (legally with a CPL in my state) and I had no intention of committing a crime. I was simply loading a weapon that had been cased.

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    Why would anyone be carrying an unloaded gun to start with.? Kind'a defeats the purpose.

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    Dude had both hands off the wheel. That's grounds enough to pull him over, Terry standard or not.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
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    shad0wfax wrote:
    I think a LEO observing someone chambering a round while driving with no hands is probable cause to stop them forsomethingalong the lines of negligent driving. Of course this depends on each state's driving laws, but I'm pretty sure watching someone drive with no hands on the wheel is grounds for a simple traffic stop.

    However, I'm not so sure I'd agree with the interpretation that a crime is about to be committed just because someone chambered a round in a moving vehicle. I have done it before as a passenger (legally with a CPL in my state) and I had no intention of committing a crime. I was simply loading a weapon that had been cased.

    Agreed. Seeing someone 'driving' and insupposed control of a moving vehicle with no hands on the wheel is certainly cause in this state (IN) for being pulled over and possibly charged with 'distracted driving'. Some cops might even go so far as to writea ticket for reckless driving. Maybe even brandishing?

    Beyond that, the cop has to be a mindreader to determine that a crime is about to be commited. What crime, specifically?

    And yes, I have also been a passenger in a moving vehicle and chambered a round, followed by reholstering. Not an uncommon thing to do after being at a gunshow and having your firearm unloaded and zip tied. Certainly I like to cut the zip tie, rechamber and reholstersooner than that, but when you're carrying out bootie:Pthat's the first chance one gets sometimes... Lots of other plausible reasons...

    As for the court case sited, there is a lot there that simply doesn't add up...


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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Dude, you said "bootie":celebrate
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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    Regular Member shad0wfax's Avatar
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    bobcat wrote:
    [SNIP] And yes, I have also been a passenger in a moving vehicle and chambered a round, followed by reholstering. Not an uncommon thing to do after being at a gunshow and having your firearm unloaded and zip tied. [SNIP]
    Those are precisely the circumstances in which I chambered a round as a passenger once.

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    A close, thoughtful reading shows something a little differentthan the conclusion inthe thread title--that chambering a round while driving without hands is reasonable suspicion.

    The court didn't quitesay that.

    The court said:

    We cannot say that the trial court erred in finding that Det. Peterson had sufficient reasonable suspicion that a crime was being committed, had been committed or was about to be committed to justify an investigatory stop. (Bottom of pg. 10)

    This would make you think that their refusal to reverse has the same effect as an affirmation thatRAS existed. And you would be right, as far as Anderson is concerned.

    But earlier, at the bottom of page 8, the court said:

    Next, defendant specifically argues that Det. Peterson did not have "probable cause to conduct an investigatory stop of Anderson's vehicle." Although defendant did not provide further support for his claim...(emphasis mine)

    In short, Anderson's attorney never gave the court anyinformation to help the courtfigure out one way or another why there was not sufficient for RAS.

    Near the top of page 10 the court quotes:

    A trial court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress is afforded great weight, and it will not be set aside unless the preponderance of the evidence clearly favors suppression.

    Read that quote again. And compare it to the fact that the defendant's attorney gave them nothing further to support his claim. Then compare it all to the actual wording of the court's conclusion in thefirstquotein this post.

    See how it all fits together?

    Actually, what I think this opinion does is leave things unchanged for everybody but Anderson. It doesn'taffirm RAS for chambering a round while driving. It just says thatit can't reverse the lower court's refusal to suppress without apreponderance of evidence that clearlyfavors suppression,something it didn't get from the lower court record, nor Anderson's attorney on the appeal.
    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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    Although, to my thinking, this one should have been a big problem:

    Det. Peterson testified that, although he did not witness the defendant committing a specific crime, he stopped the defendant to investigate because, "he did not know if a crime had been committed or was about to be committed."

    Excuse me? He did not know?The standard isn't that he doesn't know if a crime was, is, or is about to be. The standard is he suspects one was, is, or is about to be. With articulable facts taken together with reasonable inferences based on his experience as a police officer. So whereare the factsthat tie this behavior to criminal behavior he's seen or read reported before, and whatcrimeor crimes was he suspicious of?

    To me this testimony is indicative of an inchoate hunch. Something I believe has been excluded from acceptibility.




    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 shad0wfax's Avatar
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    Citizen wrote:
    Although, to my thinking, this one should have been a big problem:

    Det. Peterson testified that, although he did not witness the defendant committing a specific crime, he stopped the defendant to investigate because, "he did not know if a crime had been committed or was about to be committed."

    Excuse me? He did not know?The standard isn't that he doesn't know if a crime was, is, or is about to be. The standard is he suspects one was, is, or is about to be. With articulable facts taken together with reasonable inferences based on his experience as a police officer. So whereare the factsthat tie this behavior to criminal behavior he's seen or read reported before, and whatcrimeor crimes was he suspicious of?

    To me this testimony is indicative of an inchoate hunch. Something I believe has been excluded from acceptibility.



    I agree. His statement that he stopped the vehicle to investigate because he did not know if a crime had been committed or was about to be committed is prima facie evidence that he was conducting a Terry stop and had no RAS.

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    shad0wfax wrote:
    Citizen wrote:
    Although, to my thinking, this one should have been a big problem:

    Det. Peterson testified that, although he did not witness the defendant committing a specific crime, he stopped the defendant to investigate because, "he did not know if a crime had been committed or was about to be committed."

    Excuse me? He did not know?The standard isn't that he doesn't know if a crime was, is, or is about to be. The standard is he suspects one was, is, or is about to be. With articulable facts taken together with reasonable inferences based on his experience as a police officer. So whereare the factsthat tie this behavior to criminal behavior he's seen or read reported before, and whatcrimeor crimes was he suspicious of?

    To me this testimony is indicative of an inchoate hunch. Something I believe has been excluded from acceptibility.
    I agree. His statement that he stopped the vehicle to investigate because he did not know if a crime had been committed or was about to be committed is prima facie evidence that he was conducting a Terry stop and had no RAS.
    Now that I think about it some more, I don't know if I'd go quite that far. There may be other information in the record the court didn't cite or quote. All it would take is for two sentences later in the transcript for the officer to say he suspected the guy was preparing for a drive-by shooting, that he looked ratty, hada known gang tattoo on his neck, etc., etc.

    Certainly, if there was more, I don't think the court should have omitted the rest of the articulable facts, leaving onlythis information.

    But then again, I've seen a number of opinions where the articulable facts and inferences and so forth were written out as part of the quoted testimony, so maybe its not so far fetched to think that there wasn't any.

    I give up. I guess at a certain point you have to go on what you've got.

    Heheheheh. Certainly, the appellate courts do that plenty often. A little turn about is fair play:

    I think they screwed up on this point.



    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.

  18. #18
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    Citizen wrote:
    Although, to my thinking, this one should have been a big problem:

    Det. Peterson testified that, although he did not witness the defendant committing a specific crime, he stopped the defendant to investigate because, "he did not know if a crime had been committed or was about to be committed."

    Excuse me? He did not know?The standard isn't that he doesn't know if a crime was, is, or is about to be. The standard is he suspects one was, is, or is about to be. With articulable facts taken together with reasonable inferences based on his experience as a police officer. So whereare the factsthat tie this behavior to criminal behavior he's seen or read reported before, and whatcrimeor crimes was he suspicious of?

    To me this testimony is indicative of an inchoate hunch. Something I believe has been excluded from acceptibility.
    (Chuckle) Maybe the court recognized all this. Maybe that's why they worded it the way they did and used the rationale they did.

    Bad for the 4A, nonetheless. They should have reversed if they were really going to protect the 4A.

    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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