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Thread: Well it finally happened

  1. #1
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    I'm a student at ODU and carry any time I'm not on campus.

    I drove to get some coffee from a place which boarders ODU property. Got in, bought my coffee, got out no problem. On the way back to my car parked down the street I noticed a friend and his girlfriend in their car so I stopped to chat for a few. About 5 minutes later an ODU police officer showed up and asked if he could talk to me. I obliged. He then said he noticed that I was carrying a weapon in view and just wanted to "verify" who I was. I gave him my name and he asked for my ID. I had no intention of reaching in my back pocket to get it, so I "did him a favor" and put my hands on the hood of is car so he could get my wallet (with a big orange "Guns Save Lives" VCDL sticker on the back ). He made it very clear that I wasn't under arrest. At that point I started to get a little pissed about being treated like a criminal, but remained quiet while he checked for records.

    Enter tool cop #1

    The first officer who arrived was respectful and I guess the reason why I played along for the amount of time I did. Between the time he arrived, and the time I gave him my ID, 2 more ODU PD officers arrived. I think one of them was a detective. Well the detective wanted me to do him a favor and sit on the curb. I was tired of doing favors and asked if I was being detained. He said, "No you're not but I'm telling you to sit down." :what: To which I replied, "Why must I sit down?" He responded, "For my own safety..."

    Wait a minute... So I'm not being detained, but I can't refuse to sit down. What's going on here?

    I did not sit down. After a few seconds he yelled, "Sit on the curb!" I complied. Less than 5 seconds later I asked him if he realized he had to have reasonable suspicion to detain me. I got exactly what I expected in response... nonsense about me carrying a gun (i.e. exercising a civil right). Apparently, he was under the impression he had enough suspicion. So I told him I was pretty sure exercising my 2nd amendment rights was not reasonable suspicion for detainment.

    The first officer then said he was going to take down some information for a field information card. I asked him why he needed the information. Reason: I was adjacent to a University (not a crime - neither would be carrying on campus) and they like to know who carries a weapon other than the police. He reiterated that I was not under arrest. Seeking clarification I asked if I was free to go right then. He said after he got the info he needed. I asked if I was being detained to which he replied yes. So he got my Norfolk address and cell phone number. He then asked if I knew about the "policy" (pleased he got that part right) about weapons on campus. He thanked me for my "cooperation" (more like my ability to obey). I went back to my friends car and he hug around... to watch I guess.


    Thoughts?? Was this an illegal detainment?
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

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    Regular Member UtahRSO's Avatar
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    No doubt about it.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    t33j, you aint gonna like my answer.

    No, you were NOT illegally detained. You hung around. The first officer told you you were not under arrest. Time to go.

    This sounds harsh but NEVER COOPERATE. They are not your friends and trying to be cooperative is asking to be abused.

    Cop number 1 asks if he can talk to you, ask what for.
    He asks for ID, NO!
    Ask if you are under arrest and he says no, you say "Then I'm free to leave"
    If he says no....you are being detained.
    If he says yes, GO!

  4. #4
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    I'd like to add that many OC'ers spend hours sharpening their shooting skills but spend no time preparing for an encounter with the police...which will happen sooner or later.

    Cops role play all the time and are good at it. They teach some of it in the academy and pass on techniques between each other. It's a game to them.

    I've never understood why a law abiding citizen would let themselves be minulipated like that.

    Did you have your recorder?

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    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    peter nap wrote:
    I'd like to add that many OC'ers spend hours sharpening their shooting skills but spend no time preparing for an encounter with the police...which will happen sooner or later.

    Cops role play all the time and are good at it. They teach some of it in the academy and pass on techniques between each other. It's a game to them.

    I've never understood why a law abiding citizen would let themselves be minulipated like that.

    Did you have your recorder?
    Yeah, got it all.

    This was my first negative encounter ever, cops or otherwise. I've really had no practice so I wasn't very sure of myself.

    How is it I can cooperate and then be detained? Why would I not be able to leave at any time?
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

  6. #6
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    t33j wrote:
    peter nap wrote:

    How is it I can cooperate and then be detained? Why would I not be able to leave at any time?
    It isn't just you. Law abiding people want to cooperate. The ones that are funny are the criminals. The number of people that have gone to jail because they said sure take alook, and had a trunk full of dope.

    Just play it by the numbers. "Am I being detained? Am I free to go?

    That puts the ball in your court. You can't be NOT free to go if you're not being detained.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    You know this has always bothered me.

    I've read dozens of these reports, and I know it by heart. Am I free to go? Yes. Then go.

    But why?

    If I'm not detained, why should I not be FREE to STAY and continue my conversation, or read my newspaper on a bench, or whatever I may wish to lawfully do? Why should I be denied my present space just because I'm OCing and a "tool cop" happens along?

    Maybe one day we will reach the point where "free to go" also means "free to stay... and without further harassment!"

    Just some thoughts.

    TFred

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    t33j wrote:
    SNIP Was this an illegal detainment?
    This is Virginia. We have detentions. Other states have weird words like detainment.

    It sure sounds like it was illegal. The problem is one doesn't really know what information the cop has. He may have an exaggerated oraltered report from the 911 dispatcher to him.

    You could FOIA the 911 call. If you think there was one. You didn't really say whether the cop passed you,got bug-eyed at at the gun, then turned around to come back and confront you.

    This just covers the reason for the contact.It does not address yourinitial consent to the encounter. Your initial consent renders moot whether theearliest minutes of theencounter was illegal. SeetheBusted video at:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqMjMPlXzdA



    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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    t33j wrote:
    SNIP After a few seconds he yelled, "Sit on the curb!" I complied.
    At that point you were seized.

    We conclude that a person has been "seized" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment only if, in view of all of the circumstances surrounding the incident, a reasonable person would have believed that he was not free to leave.Examples of circumstances that might indicate a seizure, even where the person did not attempt to leave, would be the threatening presence of several officers, the display of a weapon by an officer, some physical touching of the person of the citizen, or the use of language or tone of voice indicating that compliance with the officer's request might be compelled. US vs Mendenhall http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/htm...6_0544_ZO.html

    Unless the circumstances of the encounter are so intimidating as to demonstrate that a reasonable person would have believed he was not free to leave if he had not responded, such questioning does not result in a detention under the Fourth Amendment. INS vs Delgado http://supreme.justia.com/us/466/210/case.html
    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.

  10. #10
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Citizen wrote:
    t33j wrote:
    SNIP Was this an illegal detainment?
    This is Virginia. We have detentions. Other states have weird words like detainment.

    It sure sounds like it was illegal. The problem is one doesn't really know what information the cop has. He may have an exaggerated oraltered report from the 911 dispatcher to him.

    You could FOIA the 911 call. If you think there was one. You didn't really say whether the cop passed you,got bug-eyed at at the gun, then turned around to come back and confront you.

    This just covers the reason for the contact.It does not address yourinitial consent to the encounter. Your initial consent renders moot whether theearliest minutes of theencounter was illegal. SeetheBusted video at:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqMjMPlXzdA


    So you're saying he should have asked if he was under detention

    It sounds like he was fishing, That's not illegal, just rude.
    The real problem was giving cop number 1 his ID. Among other things, it put him on a leash.

    When number two came up and wasn't nice, he didn't want to walk away because he needed his ID back.

    Easier to Just Say No.


  11. #11
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Citizen wrote:
    This is Virginia.┬* We have detentions.┬* Other states have weird words like detainment.

    It sure sounds like it was illegal.┬* The problem is one doesn't really know what information the cop has.┬* He may have an exaggerated or┬*altered report from the 911 dispatcher to him.

    You could FOIA the 911 call.┬* If you think there was one.┬* You didn't really say whether the cop passed you,┬*got bug-eyed at at the gun, then turned around to come back and confront you.

    This just covers the reason for the contact.┬*┬*It does not address your┬*initial consent to the encounter.┬* Your initial consent renders moot whether the┬*earliest minutes of the┬*encounter was illegal.┬* See┬*the┬*Busted video at:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqMjMPlXzdA

    ┬*┬*
    He said he noticed I was carrying a weapon. That's it.
    I suspect it was a call from an ODU bus driver parked a few spots away.

    The bad part is I've watched that video more than once.


    I'm still confused how my consent to provide ID = consent to be detained.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

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    t33j wrote:
    SNIP How is it I can cooperate and then be detained? Why would I not be able to leave at any time?
    Your cooperation has no bearing on whether the cop has genuine reasonable suspicion of a crime before he approaches you.

    Permit me to suggest for your consideration that a person who politely, verbally, fully exercises his rights is cooperating to the full extent required by law and patriotic citizenship.

    Also, over a million Americans have died defending those rights. If I get yelled at, detained for four hours, or roughed up a little, I am getting off cheap.
    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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    t33j wrote:
    SNIP I'm still confused how my consent to provide ID = consent to be detained.
    It doesn't.

    A detention is by definition involuntary. If you consent to an encounter, it means you are voluntarily participating. Recall the video--by consenting you make a search or seizure reasonable (where your 4th Amendment rights are only against unreasonable searches or seizures: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, papers, houses, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated.")

    It is notwhether the cop says you are detained that makes the distinction. It is factorslike those listed above in Mendenhall.Think about it for a moment.A cop hauls a cuffedand searched prisoner to jail, books him, presents him to a magistrate, holds him for 36 hours, the entire time the cop is saying you are not arrested.Would thatreally mean an arrest did not occur?
    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.

  14. #14
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    t33j wrote:
    Citizen wrote:
    I'm still confused how my consent to provide ID = consent to be detained.
    It wasn't. I confused you, sorry.

    You voluntarily gave your ID and were not detained at that point.
    The problem with the ID is twofold and not everyone agrees with me about that.

    1. The cop was looking for something and didn't have any proof you did anything. Hanging around just gives him more time to find anything at all to use as Probable Suspicion.

    2. You gave him your information and he made a contact card. Better to be the unknown contact.

    By the strict definition, you were not free to go when cop number 2 told you to sit down. Actually, you could have walked away but didn't have your ID back and you let him intimidate you.

    Remember this, if he had a reason to arrest you, he'd have done it. The rest was just fishing and giving him your ID and allowing him to take it out of your pocket was just playing his game.

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    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Noted. Won't happen again.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    t33j wrote:
    Noted. Won't happen again.
    Get a recorder!

  17. #17
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    peter nap wrote:
    t33j wrote:
    Noted. Won't happen again.
    Get a recorder!
    lol The recorder is for the cops, the notepad is for myself.

    Maybe I should write a note on my wallet to make extra sure I don't give it to police.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

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    t33j wrote:
    SNIP He said he noticed I was carrying a weapon. That's it.
    I know of no law that requires a cop to tell the detainee the cop's reasonable suspicion.

    Google the term "permissible deception." Apparently cops are even allowed to lie to suspects.

    Meaning he could well have had genuine reasonable suspicion, but wasn't telling. But, it does not sound like it. I'm not saying he did or didn't. I am saying we cannot know for 100% certain.

    Fortunately you do not need 100% certainty to talk to a lawyer. Or, if a lawsuit is maybe more than you want to get involved in, you could file a formal written complaint.

    You could FOIA the 911 tapes for that time to see if someone did call in. And the dispatch recordings to see if/why dispatch sent him to see you. If none, then it is even more probable that you were illegally detained.

    But, realize the courts have been ruling about whethera given set of circumstances amounted to reasonable suspicion or not for years. For example, was it night? A high crime neighborhood? Did something about the circumstances make the cop think drugs and money had changed hands? I'm not posing the questions for analysis; I am posing them as examples of circumstances, of which there are probably tons more where a court has ruled there was enough for reasonable suspicion.

    So, it might ultimately turn out it wasn't an illegal detention. It doesn't sound like it; but do not lose sight of it.

    However, you are not required to know every court opinion and all aspects of the law before filing a formal written complaint. In your shoes, based on what you have told us, I would treat it as an illegal detention and file a formal complaint. Let the cops justify it--if they can. I would FOIA the records, 1) to close doors on making up justifications, and 2) just to double-check for legality to avoid wasting my time with a complaint.
    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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    Did they temporarily seize your gun "for officer safety"?

    Run the serial number?
    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.

  20. #20
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Thanks for your replies Citizen.

    I was considering a formal complaint before I posted this. I wouldn't say a lawsuit is completely out of the question. I'm just not sure.

    I sent a letter to the ODU PD a few months ago telling them about my intent to carry around ODU. Haven't been any problems since I sent it and I know other officers have seen me carrying. That leads me to believe they got some sort of call. However, the place all this happened was less than a 2 minute walk from their station so I suppose it is possible they were just driving by and noticed. The coffe shop I was at was less than 300 feet away from the station. Maybe they saw me leave from there.

    I guess tapes would clear that up. The cars had dash cams but unless there was no call I'm guessing that wouldn't be very relevant to the reasonable suspicion bit.

    My gun was not siezed but after I was told to sit on the curb, I felt siezed. For what reason?? If they had reasonable suspicion to begin with why tell me I was not under detention from the beginning?
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Let's see if we can sort this out.

    You were minding your own business when an ODU cop came over and asked to chat with you. You chatted with him. He asked you for ID.

    Problem point #1 & #2-

    A) You believed you needed to stay there and respond to the cop's request to ID yourself.This seems to be, up to this point, a "consensual encounter"- the cop wants to talk to you and asks who you are. He has no "official" reason to stop/detain/arrest/seize you and is counting on you cooperating out of fear/ignorance/bad judgement. Walk away. If you feel like it, say something to the effect that you do not wish to talk with him.

    (He will bluster and tell you you need to answer him, that you need to present ID, that you better do as he says. Ask him if you are being detained. If the answer is "No" then walk away. Go back to talking with your friends may not be the best thing to do, as opposed to walking across the street or otherwise away from him.)

    B) You believed that you needed to present some paperwork in order to ID yourself. All you needed to do was state your name and city/county of residence. Sorry you were not aware of that before your encounter.

    In your willingness to provide paperwork, you did the "up against the wall" posture to allow the ODU cop to put hands on you and remove your personal property from your clothing.

    Problem points #2 & #3 - by assuming a submissive posture you indicated to the cop that you A) had been through the arrest drill before, and/or B) you were willing to go through the arrest drill and/or C) you were willing to allow him to violate not only your person and your dignity but your rights as he saw fit. If you must (required by law, not the cop's whimsical desire) produce paperwork, tell the cop you will be reaching for it - do not let them take it as that will constitute a search that you consented to. That means he can then continue to search other parts of your clothing as well. Why let him, even if you "have nothing to hide"?

    "Tool cop" tells you to sit on the curb. You asked if you were being detained but when told "No" you hung around without sitting down so "Tool cop" uses his "command voice" to order you to sit on the curb.

    Problem points #4 & #5 - A) you were told you were not being detained but chose to remain there. (Does this begin to sound repetitious?) Instead, walk away or -- B) "Tool cop) uses his "command voice" and actually detains/seizes you.

    You get into a "discussion" with "Tool cop" about his legal authority to detain/seize you and his possible violation of your rights.

    Problem point #6 - "Never argue the law on the street - that's what courts are for." Sort of like "Never try to teach a pig so sing - you will get dirty and annoy the pig." Well, you both got dirty and annoyed the cop.

    Now that you are de facto detained/seized the cops have the authority to take your ID and copy it down so that they can enter it into their field notes, then transfer it into their database of known/suspected troublemakers, and use it against you in the future as "evidence" of being an uncooperative and suspicious/dangerous (gun-toting) person, worthy of keeping an eye on.

    The ODU cops finish with you, and you went back to your friends and hung around to see what would happen next.

    Could be problem point #7 - cops have a tendency to view that behavior as taunting - daring them to do something else. They wanted to roust you and convince you that it would not be healthy for you to be in "their" neighborhood. Sometimes a strategic retreat is the better part of both valor and safety.

    I'm not pointing all this out to chew you out or beat up on you about how you did or did not "blow" this encounter. There's just no absolute single way to respond when dealing with cops. I just figured you might want to look at some specific acts that might have contributed to the escalation of your encounter.

    About the only thing we more-experienced folks can say is that if you ask if you are being detained and are told "No", the best thing is to walk away right then and there. (BTW, experience isthe stuffyou get right after something happens when you needed to know that stuff before or asthe eventwas happening. Some of us get experience first-hand and some of us get it vicariously watching stuff happen to others.)

    Now - what can you do (besides learn from the encounter)? My own opinion is that you have almost no leg to stand on in filing a complaint because you engaged voluntarily in a "consensual encounter". The "Tool cop" who told you to sit on the curb based on his perception of need for "officer security" has a pretty good case on his side - he was dealing with an argumentative armed citizen who may (don't know as I didn't see the encounter & you don't mention it) have been exhibiting some pre-attack indicators -- waving of hands/arms, increased rate of breath with breathing being shallow, increasing volume of voice, eyes focusing (looking at) elsewhere than on his face, etc. (All of this is from his point of view, of course. How you saw/described things would be different.)

    Bottom line seems to be you had a learning experience. Hope you can profit from it in the future.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    t33j wrote:
    SNIP If they had reasonable suspicion to begin with why tell me I was not under detention from the beginning?
    Good point. I imagine a very sneaky cop might do that, knowing he needs you in a cooperative frame of mind--to get more info. Then make the seizure if you decide to walk away. But, I think you have a good point.Keep thinking.

    I wonder if the second cop did not know the first cop lacked reasonable suspicion. How does it shift the dynamics if we let the first cop have no RAS (reasonable articulable suspicion), and the bossy cop didn't know about it.

    But, the gun non-seizure certainly proves he didn't consider you dangerous. So, he contradicted himself that he made you sit for his safety. Maybe he just doesn't like standing contact-ees. Makes him nervous or something, maybe. (chuckle) Maybe he didn't feel like running if you took off.

    The more I think about it, the more I think they knew all along you were just one of those open carry guys and were just out to ID you. It would have been too easy to claim officer safety, disarm you, and run the serial number to see if it was stolen.

    Anybody else got any ideas?
    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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    skidmark wrote:
    SNIP Now - what can you do (besides learn from the encounter)? My own opinion is that you have almost no leg to stand on in filing a complaint because you engaged voluntarily in a "consensual encounter". The "Tool cop" who told you to sit on the curb based on his perception of need for "officer security" has a pretty good case on his side - he was dealing with an argumentative armed citizen who may (don't know as I didn't see the encounter & you don't mention it) have been exhibiting some pre-attack indicators -- waving of hands/arms, increased rate of breath with breathing being shallow, increasing volume of voice, eyes focusing (looking at) elsewhere than on his face, etc. (All of this is from his point of view, of course. How you saw/described things would be different.)
    Oh, I don't know, Skidmark. Wouldn't you say bossy cop needed RAS of a crime before he had authority to take it to an involuntary level, as in seize the OCer?


    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.

  24. #24
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    If the 2nd cop assumed the 1st had RAS then I would have already been detained no? 15 seconds pass between when he (cop 2) tells me I'm not being detained, and when he tells me he has enough reasonable suspicion to detain me. I wasn't doing anything in those 15 seconds except sitting on the curb and complaining that I thought he didn't have RAS (assuming I was being detained at that point). He would have to have been lying to me the first time I asked.

    I'm pretty sure I was not coming across as dangerous. I felt calm and had my arms crossed at my chest in an effort to keep my hands away from my side. I was checking out their name tags but other than that I was making eye contact. Naturally, cops 2 and 3 were giving me the hard stare the whole time.


    Skid:
    Yes, I was not sure what information I was required to provide. I attempted find out a while back but couldn't find an answer that satisfied me. Do you have a cite?
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

  25. #25
    Regular Member richarcm's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
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    Yeah it seems that the turning point was letting him take your ID. I've always rehearsed in my head that if a cop ever questions me that I will pretend that I didn't drive and thus didn't have a need to have my ID on me. Once you let him take that and asked if you were being detained and he said no....you were still in a position where he forced you to remain because he was taking notes from the license.

    I'm glad nothing horrible happened from this. Because I too have never had to experience anything significant with an officer I do thank you for sharing. These things are good to read so I can learn from everyone ELSES mistakes.

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