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Thread: Pulled over, detained, searched without consent

  1. #1
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    I was pulled over for slowing down to look at a building while on the way back home with my wife and family in the car (including a 2 year old) at around midnight in southern Iowa. After checking my papers the officer ordered me out of the vehicle.

    A second officer from another car walked near us, and observed from the sidewalk.

    The 1st officer was very young (18-20) and extremely nervous. He was avoiding eye contact, his hands were shaking, he was touching my papers, his taser, his belt, etc. with his left hand, and his voice was shaking. He asked me question after question (fishing), and I responded I don't know, or with generic answers (i.e. "Where are you staying?", "A motel," "What motel," "I don't know what the name is").

    The 1st officer repeated what seemed to me his mantra over and over throughout this, "You're acting very strangely compared to the stops that I usually make." I'm not sure what his intent was when he made this statement over and over, but I just ignored it every time.

    Long story short. They searched my car without my consent. I stated very clearly, twice, that they DID NOT have consent to search my vehicle, but that I would comply with their orders, and officer 2 replied that he was going override me. They advised me that I had committed 2 infractions, one of them criminal were it true; yet the night ended with me driving off without so much as a ticket let alone an arrest. Bottom line is they did not know the law.

    At the end of it officer 1 asked me why I wasn't answering his questions, I responded to him that I've been told that it is not a good idea to answer questions. He asked, "Who told you it's not a good idea," and then "You don't think it's a good idea to answer questions asked of you by a police officer," and rolled his eyes at officer 2.

    He also asked why I didn't want him to search my vehicle, and I responded very very firmly, "Because I strongly believe in the 4th amendment."

    I guess there really is nothing halfway about the Iowa way they treat you.

    If you would like details PM me, and I might send you the extended version




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    So, where does your firearm come into play in this story?

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    so are you going to sue them?

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    Founder's Club Member Jim675's Avatar
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    We want video!
    So what made the guy so nervous? And why didn't the 2nd officer take him by the scruff and say "bad rookie!"?

    And aren't you very glad that you researched Iowa's open carry laws first?

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    diesel556 wrote:
    I was pulled over...
    Sounds outrageous on the surface.

    I'm wondering how they had reasonable suspicion of a firearm to make a warrantless search of the car. Or,how they had probable cause tomake a warrantless search of the carif the gun was notsuspected.
    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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    I have yet to read anything about a firearm.

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    TFED12 wrote:
    I have yet to read anything about a firearm.
    Really? Did you have anything constructive to add?

    We want video!
    So what made the guy so nervous? And why didn't the 2nd officer take him by the scruff and say "bad rookie!"?

    And aren't you very glad that you researched Iowa's open carry laws first?
    I thought that one of the first things taught in academy is to never correct another officer in public?

    Yes, I am very glad. They would have nailed me to the wall if they could have. Iowa's carry laws are very frustrating!

    Sounds outrageous on the surface.

    I'm wondering how they had reasonable suspicion of a firearm to make a warrantless search of the car. Or,how they had probable cause tomake a warrantless search of the carif the gun was notsuspected.
    Sorry for the lack of detail. I wasn't sure how much to disclose in my first post.

    They asked me point blank if I had a gun, after pulling me out of my vehicle. I wasn't able to think of a response to a direct question like that (Perhaps, "That's none of your business"). I told them that I did, and that it was stored unloaded in a locked container in the trunk.

    After checking it they advised me that it was illegal to store the ammunition in the case with the gun (which I believe is incorrect after reading Iowa Statute 724 again)

    This was a good learning experience for me. I tried to avoid being a total jerk to the officer to prevent myself getting a ticket, and ended up having my vehicle searched for the effort. I would have much preferred the ticket.

    In the future I think it will be easier to keep my mouth shut.

    I think my avenue of complaint will be the fact that the officer ordered me out of my vehicle twice (I responded that I preferred not to after the first request) after running my paperwork. He had no possible reason to order me out of my vehicle, and thereafter to interrogate me.

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    How did they get into the locked car to search it?
    Those same "Don't talk" videos also say to lock the doors when you get out.

    But lets see..... Taking a minor to a motel, you obviously had immoral ideas in mind.
    Good thing they didn't find the video cameras.

    But by admitting you were staying in a motel, you tossed out your federal
    transport defence. So bad answer to the question, fifth works better.


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    SlackwareRobert wrote:
    How did they get into the locked car to search it?
    Those same "Don't talk" videos also say to lock the doors when you get out.

    But lets see..... Taking a minor to a motel, you obviously had immoral ideas in mind.
    Good thing they didn't find the video cameras.

    But by admitting you were staying in a motel, you tossed out your federal
    transport defence. So bad answer to the question, fifth works better.
    They asked for consent to search the vehicle. I told them they did not have my consent, after the young officer told me that he needed to check my gun's serial number.

    They talked a bit, then I reiterated, "You do not have my consent to search my vehicle."

    The older officer who had been standing on the sidewalk informed me that he was going to override my refusal to a search as he had probable cause to verify that the weapon was stored unloaded, and ordered me to open the trunk.

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    diesel556 wrote:
    SlackwareRobert wrote:
    How did they get into the locked car to search it?
    Those same "Don't talk" videos also say to lock the doors when you get out.

    But lets see..... Taking a minor to a motel, you obviously had immoral ideas in mind.
    Good thing they didn't find the video cameras.

    But by admitting you were staying in a motel, you tossed out your federal
    transport defence. So bad answer to the question, fifth works better.
    They asked for consent to search the vehicle. I told them they did not have my consent, after the young officer told me that he needed to check my gun's serial number.

    They talked a bit, then I reiterated, "You do not have my consent to search my vehicle."

    The older officer who had been standing on the sidewalk informed me that he was going to override my refusal to a search as he had probable cause to verify that the weapon was stored unloaded, and ordered me to open the trunk.
    Have you talked to your lawyer yet? You should be in the process of subpoena right now, making sure the tapes aren't "accidentally" overwritten.

    In short: stop posting on line, start talking to a lawyer!
    "If we were to ever consider citizenship as the least bit matter of merit instead of birthright, imagine who should be selected as deserved representation of our democracy: someone who would risk their daily livelihood to cast an individually statistically insignificant vote, or those who wrap themselves in the flag against slightest slights." - agenthex

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Illegal search, period. What traffic offense/criminal offense did they say you violated? You should have asked why you were being detained. Did they search you? At the very least, I would file a complaint with the jurisdiction's DA and cop internal affairs. In your car with your wife and child, what RAS could they have? "Do you have a gun?" 'Yes, unloaded and locked in the trunk.' He had no probable cause, because you violated no law. PC deals only with strong probability that a crime was committed.An unloaded gun locked in a trunk violates no law in IA that I'm aware of after reading the statute. Too bad you don't live there. Good lawsuit material, but coming back to the state isn't worth it. A written complaint is, however.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    Gunslinger wrote:
    Illegal search, period. What traffic offense/criminal offense did they say you violated? You should have asked why you were being detained. Did they search you? At the very least, I would file a complaint with the jurisdiction's DA and cop internal affairs. In your car with your wife and child, what RAS could they have? "Do you have a gun?" 'Yes, unloaded and locked in the trunk.' He had no probable cause, because you violated no law. PC deals only with strong probability that a crime was committed.An unloaded gun locked in a trunk violates no law in IA that I'm aware of after reading the statute. Too bad you don't live there. Good lawsuit material, but coming back to the state isn't worth it. A written complaint is, however.
    Interesting. I wasn't 100% sure whether they had RAS based on my admission, and statement that it was unloaded/locked.

    I have an appointment with my lawyer for another illegal detainment/seizure that happened to me (Am I wearing a kick me/detain me sign on my back?).

    I will talk to him about this case as well, however, I agree that it would be difficult to do anything more than file a complaint.

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    diesel556 wrote:
    Gunslinger wrote:
    Illegal search, period. What traffic offense/criminal offense did they say you violated? You should have asked why you were being detained. Did they search you? At the very least, I would file a complaint with the jurisdiction's DA and cop internal affairs. In your car with your wife and child, what RAS could they have? "Do you have a gun?" 'Yes, unloaded and locked in the trunk.' He had no probable cause, because you violated no law. PC deals only with strong probability that a crime was committed.An unloaded gun locked in a trunk violates no law in IA that I'm aware of after reading the statute. Too bad you don't live there. Good lawsuit material, but coming back to the state isn't worth it. A written complaint is, however.
    Interesting. I wasn't 100% sure whether they had RAS based on my admission, and statement that it was unloaded/locked.

    I have an appointment with my lawyer for another illegal detainment/seizure that happened to me (Am I wearing a kick me/detain me sign on my back?).

    I will talk to him about this case as well, however, I agree that it would be difficult to do anything more than file a complaint.
    get the mistreatment on audio or video if you can--you can then at the very least post it all over youtube and make them famous...it will also make it easier for you to hold them accountable.

    if you feel your civil rights were violated you could submit an official complaint to the FBI Civil Rights division.

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    Police will often invoke an imaginary "officer safety" exception to the 4th amendment if you admit to having a gun anywhere in your car. You can always refuse to answer "do you have any weapons?" just the same as any other question. Do so and save yourself a lot of hassle. JMO.

    -ljp

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    Legba wrote:
    Police will often invoke an imaginary "officer safety" exception to the 4th amendment if you admit to having a gun anywhere in your car. You can always refuse to answer "do you have any weapons?" just the same as any other question. Do so and save yourself a lot of hassle. JMO.

    -ljp
    +1, but remember there are some states where there is a duty to inform.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come …………. PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Yeah, Ohio has a duty to inform, but only if you are carrying or transporting a weapon in a manner that requires a license. If I have a crate of unloaded long guns in my trunk, and 100,000 rounds of ammo, I don't have any duty to acknowledge their presence. Do learn the jurisdicion-specific legal requirements before you presume to assert "rights" you may not really have.

    -ljp

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    For future reference, the supreme court just ruled on such car searches. Here's my link to their link to some other link... anyway: http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum4/24857.html.

    No more "overriding" your refusal(which was illegal even under the old standard).

    -ljp

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    I left Iowa (Cedar Rapids) and will never go back. Draconian police. I grew up with them and I was a "geek" type good kid and still had nothing but BAD interfacings with them. I'll never go back. HA. The whole state is going under. Under what.. I'm not sure.. I'll stop there so I don't offend any prisoners of the great? state that WAS Iowa.

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    Hmm, this sounds bad all the way around. When I am asked a direct question by any LEO, I will always reply with another question. Yes, it pisses them off, but I am not the one initiating the stop, they are stopping me!

    "Do you have a gun" My reply would be "Do you see a gun?" or 'Why would you think that?"

    "Where are you going to/coming from" I point in the direction I am traveling or coming from. It is none of their business since I have free travel througout the United States.

    You may have gave them probable cause when you admitted to having a firearm in the vehicle, IMOyou had no obligation to answer that question .

    Go after them, if nothing else it may stop them from getting comfortable with violating several rights of others in the future.

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    Legba wrote:
    Police will often invoke an imaginary "officer safety" exception to the 4th amendment if you admit to having a gun anywhere in your car. You can always refuse to answer "do you have any weapons?" just the same as any other question. Do so and save yourself a lot of hassle. JMO.

    -ljp
    While this is true, the officer stated the reason for searching the car, and it wasn't "officer safety".

    diesel556 wrote:
    They asked for consent to search the vehicle. I told them they did not have my consent, after the young officer told me that he needed to check my gun's serial number.
    They clearly had no PC to search the vehicle, and when the officer stated that the reason for the search was to check the SN, he pretty much oblieterated his RAS. IANAL, but what that officer did appears to be in clear violation of AZ v Hicks, yet probably goes beyond since the gun was not even in plain sight.

    The RS of "Slowing down to look at something. " might fly, but come on. How many people don't do that?

    This cop was fishing, and the only reason they told you that you could be charged with a felony was to keep you from looking into it further.

    I'd guess (just based on what I've read here) that you have a strong case of civil rights violations. Any legal expense incurred would be payed for by them eventually.

    It's just a matter of if the OP has the finances and time to peruse it. Bad cops (and I do mean the bad ones) get away with this type of stuff because 1)some of them really don't know the limitations of the law placed upon them, and 2)they know that there is little chance of repercussion. (victims don't have the money or time to hold them accountable).



    ETA:

    This officer is using his badge to circumvent the law of the land. I believe this is one of those situations where if you are not going to peruse it through civil litigation, it's best to just let it go. Filing a complaint will only serve to educate the officer so that the next time he violates someone's rights, he'll be better at doing it so that he won't make himself so vulnerable to being sued in court for a civil rights infraction.

    It's much better that he remain ignorant so that if he ever does run into someone willing to pursue the matter, he will hopefully have still used the reason for search as, "I want to run the SN".

    Educating ignorance is good. However, educating willfulness to violated a citizens rights, will only serve to better them at that task, and it will only make it more difficult for the officers next victim.

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    diesel556 wrote:
    I think my avenue of complaint will be the fact that the officer ordered me out of my vehicle twice (I responded that I preferred not to after the first request) after running my paperwork. He had no possible reason to order me out of my vehicle, and thereafter to interrogate me.
    Then your complaint won't get very far. The US Supreme Court has repeatedly held (see Maryland v Wilson, 2007) that a Police Officer can order a driver or passenger from a vehicle during a traffic stop regardless of whether they believe any violation other than the traffic infraction for which they made the stop has taken place. Actually, the Supreme Court ruled thatthe driver could be ordered out way back in 1977 ( Pennsylvania v. Mimms, 434 U.S. 106). Once you are out of the vehicle, you certainly don't have to answer questions or consent to a search, but you (or your passengers) can be ordered to exit the vehicle without any further cause.

    I would think you are better off pursuing the warrentless/non-consent search issue.

    Gonzo

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    Once you are out of the vehicle, that forecloses on their ability to search the car at that point, so it is a good thing.

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