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Thread: Identifying ourselves to police?

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by SgtScott31 View Post
    If I can articulate enough reasonable suspicion to detain you, then you're obligated (by law) to give me enough info to identify you. This is the case whether the involved state has a "stop and identify" statute or not.
    Really? How so? Under what 'power' does any LE have to compel identification without statute? I will await your cite for that one.

    Without the "stop and identify" statute, there isn't a 'by law' to compel identification.



    Quote Originally Posted by SgtScott31
    If Citizen wants to imply that my understanding of case law and stop/identify issues are insufficient because I didn't read a court's entire opinion, I'm going to give him my take on the matter. Are you his big brother?
    It was quite clear that you did have an insufficient understanding of the stated case law, as the text did support his claim, and did not support yours.

    No, I am not his big, small, or same sized brother. None of that is relevant a bit, other than an attempt at the ad-hom argument.
    Last edited by wrightme; 01-15-2012 at 01:24 AM.
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  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrightme View Post
    Really? How so? Under what 'power' does any LE have to compel identification without statute? I will await your cite for that one.
    I too would like to see the cite. For the original assertion.

    No offense to Wrightme, but he shifted the meaning ever so slightly when restating it. I don't want SgtScott31 to wriggle out of something by supplying a cite to a paraphrase or arguing that is not what he said.

    I just want SgtScott31 to give a cite to his assertion. As represented by the two quoted sentences taken together.

    And, just to close the door on another wriggle avenue, this is from the forum rules:

    5) CITE TO AUTHORITY: If you state a rule of law, it is incumbent upon you to try to cite, as best you can, to authority. Citing to authority, using links when available,is what makes OCDO so successful. An authority is a published source of law that can back your claim up - statute, ordinance, court case, newspaper article covering a legal issue, etc.
    Last edited by Citizen; 01-15-2012 at 01:28 AM.

  3. #53
    Campaign Veteran Verd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SgtScott31 View Post
    If I can articulate enough reasonable suspicion to detain you, then you're obligated (by law) to give me enough info to identify you. This is the case whether the involved state has a "stop and identify" statute or not.
    How the hell can you sit there as a LEO and proclaim that someone you detain is obligated by law to ID themselves, even if there is not a law about that on the books??? If there is no law about it, you cannot state "It's the law!"

    How is this good cop behavior in any way/shape/form?
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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verd View Post
    How is this good cop behavior in any way/shape/form?
    Remember the 'good cop/bad cop' paradigm! Our "good cop" is doing his best to balance the bad cops that he knows.

    We may beat his rap, but we cannot beat his 'ride'! Be not the one.
    Last edited by Herr Heckler Koch; 01-15-2012 at 07:21 AM.

  5. #55
    Founder's Club Member Brass Magnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SgtScott31 View Post
    If I can articulate enough reasonable suspicion to detain you, then you're obligated (by law) to give me enough info to identify you. This is the case whether the involved state has a "stop and identify" statute or not.
    Just like the others, I'm eating popcorn and waiting for a cite to back up this absurd idea.



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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brass Magnet View Post
    Just like the others, I'm eating popcorn and waiting for a cite to back up this absurd idea.



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    +1, although I sense we may be waiting a while...

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verd View Post
    How the hell can you sit there as a LEO and proclaim that someone you detain is obligated by law to ID themselves, even if there is not a law about that on the books??? If there is no law about it, you cannot state "It's the law!"
    There is more law than just statutes. There is also court-made law, called case law, as found in court opinions.

    Also, not really applicable here, so just for information, there is the "common law", which started out centuries ago as legal traditions that were not necessarily written down, but over time was written down in court opinions. So, today "common law", where it exists, is almost synonymous with the words court opinions.

    But, back to the current thread direction. Waiting for a cite from cop/law student.
    Last edited by Citizen; 01-15-2012 at 03:51 PM.

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obstruction_of_justice

    Bam, there's the cite for you needing to identify. You are obstructing an officer trying to perform an investigation. Just ignore the bit in the cite about the 5th Amendment and the right to remain silent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aknazer View Post
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obstruction_of_justice

    Bam, there's the cite for you needing to identify. You are obstructing an officer trying to perform an investigation. Just ignore the bit in the cite about the 5th Amendment and the right to remain silent.
    Um, I don't want to go off on a tangent, nor give SgtScott31 a cite he didn't have.

    But, I don't see anything about refusal to identify or supporting SS31's assertion at the link you provided. Were you being a little sarcastic? If you were sincere, would you quote the exact text in the wiki article, please. I skimmed twice and didn't see it.
    Last edited by Citizen; 01-15-2012 at 04:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Um, I don't want to go off on a tangent, nor give SgtScott31 a cite he didn't have.

    But, I don't see anything about refusal to identify or supporting SS31's assertion at the link you provided. Were you being a little sarcastic? If you were sincere, would you quote the exact text in the wiki article, please. I skimmed twice and didn't see it.
    Very first sentence: "The crime of obstruction of justice, in United States jurisdictions, refers to the crime of interfering with the work of police, investigators, regulatory agencies, prosecutors, or other (usually government) officials." So by refusing to give your name you are interfering with the work of the police! It just requires you to ignore the second sentence of the second paragraph that states: "However, in most common law jurisdictions, the right to remain silent allows any person questioned by police merely to refuse to answer questions posed by an investigator without giving any reason for doing so."

    Yes my response was sarcasm, though I believe I've seen people mention on this board that the OOJ charge is relatively common when one refuses to waive their rights when a cop demands it. Not that it sticks, just that it is initially used to try and get the person to comply.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aknazer View Post
    Not that it sticks, just that it is initially used to try and get the person to comply.
    Remember "you may beat their rap but you will not beat their ride."

  12. #62
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aknazer View Post
    Very first sentence: "The crime of obstruction of justice, in United States jurisdictions, refers to the crime of interfering with the work of police, investigators, regulatory agencies, prosecutors, or other (usually government) officials." So by refusing to give your name you are interfering with the work of the police! It just requires you to ignore the second sentence of the second paragraph that states: "However, in most common law jurisdictions, the right to remain silent allows any person questioned by police merely to refuse to answer questions posed by an investigator without giving any reason for doing so."

    Yes my response was sarcasm, though I believe I've seen people mention on this board that the OOJ charge is relatively common when one refuses to waive their rights when a cop demands it. Not that it sticks, just that it is initially used to try and get the person to comply.
    If that's the citation someone is going to try to use, then they may wish to enroll in continuing education in the form of remedial English.
    Noncooperation is not interference.

    The definition of 'interference' illustrates the meaning by giving such examples as - -
    to come into opposition with, as one thing with another;
    to take part in the affairs of others;
    to meddle in another's life;
    to strike against each other, or one against another;
    to come into physical collision;
    to interpose or intervene for a particular purpose;
    to act reciprocally so as to augment, diminish, or otherwise affect one another;

    The astute reader will note that one must take opposing action in order to interfere; to stand to one side, to move away from, to refuse to become involved with or to refuse to cooperate are not interference. Were it so, then if the police put out an advertisement for all criminals to come in and confess their sins and a criminal did not, then he could be changed with obstruction of justice for failing to cooperate.
    It's immediately obvious that such is not the case.
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 01-16-2012 at 05:47 PM.

  13. #63
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    I don't know about other states, but this is the cite from the Alabama Code:

    Section 15-5-30

    Authority of peace officer to stop and question.

    A sheriff or other officer acting as sheriff, his deputy or any constable, acting within their respective counties, any marshal, deputy marshal or policeman of any incorporated city or town within the limits of the county or any highway patrolman or state trooper may stop any person abroad in a public place whom he reasonably suspects is committing, has committed or is about to commit a felony or other public offense and may demand of him his name, address and an explanation of his actions.
    (Acts 1966, Ex. Sess., No. 157, p. 183, §1.)

    Do notice that it does not say that you have to produce any form of government-issued identification. Other states may require you to produce an identity document on demand, but, again, I would think that the officer would have to have RAS to make that demand.

    One of you brighter individuals may have the cite, but, if I remember correctly, the courts have found that the mere carry of a firearm does not, in and of itself, create RAS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    If that's the citation someone is going to try to use, then they may wish to enroll in continuing education in the form of remedial English.
    Noncooperation is not interference.

    The definition of 'interference' illustrates the meaning by giving such examples as - -
    to come into opposition with, as one thing with another;
    to take part in the affairs of others;
    to meddle in another's life;
    to strike against each other, or one against another;
    to come into physical collision;
    to interpose or intervene for a particular purpose;
    to act reciprocally so as to augment, diminish, or otherwise affect one another;

    The astute reader will note that one must take opposing action in order to interfere; to stand to one side, to move away from, to refuse to become involved with or to refuse to cooperate are not interference. Were it so, then if the police put out an advertisement for all criminals to come in and confess their sins and a criminal did not, then he could be changed with obstruction of justice for failing to cooperate.
    It's immediately obvious that such is not the case.
    I'm just curious, but did you not see the second paragraph where I said my response was sarcasm? Also just because one isn't truely obstructing the cops doesn't mean that they won't at least charge you with it and go from there until it gets thrown out. I believe MKEgal had even been charged with OOJ in the start (though I could be wrong).

    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Heckler Koch View Post
    Remember "you may beat their rap but you will not beat their ride."
    You know, after I hit post I thought of editting the post to say at the end "just because you will beat the rap doesn't mean you will beat the ride" in order to help highlight how a cop could try to charge you with OOJ even if you aren't truely obstructing justice.

  15. #65
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aknazer View Post
    I'm just curious, but did you not see the second paragraph where I said my response was sarcasm? Also just because one isn't truely obstructing the cops doesn't mean that they won't at least charge you with it and go from there until it gets thrown out. I believe MKEgal had even been charged with OOJ in the start (though I could be wrong).

    You know, after I hit post I thought of editting the post to say at the end "just because you will beat the rap doesn't mean you will beat the ride" in order to help highlight how a cop could try to charge you with OOJ even if you aren't truely obstructing justice.
    I saw it.... ok, ok a bit late and had to reword my post lest I look foolish (Technically 'more foolish than usual' :P)
    I thought you had a very good argument as to why it wasn't obstruction, and I hoped my reworded post only reemphasized what you had already said. Please accept my apologies if it came off as less complimentary and more adversarial than intended.
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 01-16-2012 at 08:47 PM.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFCRetired View Post
    I don't know about other states, but this is the cite from the Alabama Code:

    Section 15-5-30

    Authority of peace officer to stop and question.

    A sheriff or other officer acting as sheriff, his deputy or any constable, acting within their respective counties, any marshal, deputy marshal or policeman of any incorporated city or town within the limits of the county or any highway patrolman or state trooper may stop any person abroad in a public place whom he reasonably suspects is committing, has committed or is about to commit a felony or other public offense and may demand of him his name, address and an explanation of his actions.
    (Acts 1966, Ex. Sess., No. 157, p. 183, §1.)

    Do notice that it does not say that you have to produce any form of government-issued identification. Other states may require you to produce an identity document on demand, but, again, I would think that the officer would have to have RAS to make that demand.

    One of you brighter individuals may have the cite, but, if I remember correctly, the courts have found that the mere carry of a firearm does not, in and of itself, create RAS.
    ...
    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    I posted Citizen's opening text on another thread and someone offered a list of states which have stop and identify laws. I don't know these to be factual but here they are;

    States with “stop and identify” laws
    Alabama Ala. Code §15-5-30


    Yes, Alabama is one of the few states that DO have a "Stop & ID" statute on the books.
    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

  17. #67
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    I do hope we hear from SgtScott again, I'm very interested in seeing him come up with a paragraph from the Tennesee Code requiring someone to do what he says the law says.
    I look forward to adding that section of Code to my list.

  18. #68
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrightme View Post
    ...
    Yes, Alabama is one of the few states that DO have a "Stop & ID" statute on the books.
    But ONLY upon RAS, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    But ONLY upon RAS, right?
    Yes. "S & ID," wherever it is in the US, isn't a 'papers please'. Without RAS, "S&ID" isn't 'the law.' Without statute, it isn't even 'the law' WITH RAS.
    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFCRetired View Post
    I don't know about other states, but this is the cite from the Alabama Code:

    Section 15-5-30

    Authority of peace officer to stop and question.

    A sheriff or other officer acting as sheriff, his deputy or any constable, acting within their respective counties, any marshal, deputy marshal or policeman of any incorporated city or town within the limits of the county or any highway patrolman or state trooper may stop any person abroad in a public place whom he reasonably suspects is committing, has committed or is about to commit a felony or other public offense and may demand of him his name, address and an explanation of his actions.
    (Acts 1966, Ex. Sess., No. 157, p. 183, §1.)

    Do notice that it does not say that you have to produce any form of government-issued identification. Other states may require you to produce an identity document on demand, but, again, I would think that the officer would have to have RAS to make that demand.

    One of you brighter individuals may have the cite, but, if I remember correctly, the courts have found that the mere carry of a firearm does not, in and of itself, create RAS.

    That is a classic stop-and-identify statute. The part about "reasonably suspects" is in reference to reasonable articulable suspicion (RAS.) This statute aligns with a SCOTUS decision that said LEOs must have RAS to seize you before they can demand identity. That case is Brown vs Texas.

    You are correct--this statute does not require an identity document. Another case that came after Brown was Kolender vs Lawson. Basically, Kolender invalidated a California stop-and-identify statute because the statute was unconstitutionally vague about what was required from the detainee in the form of credible and reliable identity information. The statute gave police too much leeway to judge what forms of information satisfied the statute, allowing the police too much discretion about giving out a citation (or arresting?) someone for violating the statute. Thus, many stop-and-identify statutes do not require a particular form of identity document. However, and this is really important, some people seem to think Kolender represents the idea that cops can only demand verbal identity. This is emphatically not true. All Kolender did was invalidate a statute that was too vague as to what types of identity info was credible and reliable. Vagueness is the crux of Kolender. I have personally read at least one state statute that solved the vagueness problem by specifying the documentation: a drivers license or state issued ID card if he has them on his person at the time. Because of Brown, even this statute required the cop to first have RAS.

    So, its really important to know your state statutes and local ordinances--some localities have their own stop-and-identify ordinances where the state itself does not have one. Virginia is one such place: no VA state stop-and-ID statute, but a good number of counties and cities have stop-and-ID ordinances.

    Now, I do have a problem with the quoted statute. The part about explanation of actions. This would seem to me to violate the 5A right against self-incrimination. Hiibel vs 6th Judicial District Court mentions other opinions that represented a person does not have to answer questions. For example, Justice White's concurring opinion in Terry v. Ohio said that questions can be asked, but the detainee is “not obliged to answer, answers may not be compelled, and refusal to answer furnishes no basis for an arrest.” Berkemer vs McCarty said, “is not obliged to respond” to questions. None of these quotations were from the holdings in those cases (the holding is the legally binding part of the opinion), but I cannot imagine the court not striking down such a statute as the one above based on the 5A right against self-incrimination, or least the part of the statute that seems to violate 5A. I estimate that those quotes had the 5A right against self-incrimination as a premise.

    If you want to know more about stop-and-identify, the three main cases seem to be:

    Brown v Texas http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/htm...3_0047_ZO.html

    Kolender v Lawson http://supreme.justia.com/cases/fede.../352/case.html

    Hiibel v 6th Judicial District Court http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-5554.ZO.html
    Last edited by Citizen; 01-16-2012 at 09:13 PM.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFCRetired View Post
    SNIP One of you brighter individuals may have the cite, but, if I remember correctly, the courts have found that the mere carry of a firearm does not, in and of itself, create RAS.
    I don't know of any SCOTUS cases that say that in those words.

    The closest SCOTUS has come, that I know of, is Florida vs JL. That case was about reliability of a tip. The arrest underlying the case involved a minor and a concealed handgun; but "[t]he question presented in this case is whether an anonymous tip that a person is carrying a gun is, without more, sufficient to justify a police officer's stop and frisk of that person. We hold that it is not."

    In the body of the text of the opinion, where the court talks about precedents and its rationale (called dicta), the court said:

    A second major argument advanced by Florida and the United States as amicus is, in essence, that the standard Terry analysis should be modified to license a "firearm exception." Under such an exception, a tip alleging an illegal gun would justify a stop and frisk even if the accusation would fail standard pre-search reliability testing. We decline to adopt this position. (Bold emphasis added by Citizen).

    This language (dicta) is not legally binding. The legally binding part is the holding--for example, "we hold that a person cannot be compelled to answer questions during a police interrogation."

    So, this case which is the closet approach SCOTUS has come, as far as I know, does not actually say that mere carry of a gun cannot create RAS of a crime. But, the court, by expressly declining to adopt Florida's and US's position about guns sent a pretty clear message to LE and government how it felt about it.

    Otherwise, there may be state and lower federal court opinions that say mere carry of a gun is not RAS of a crime.

    Beyond that, one has to rely on other cases regarding RAS in general, which in a way is as it should be because mere carry of a gun is no more or less RAS than a cellphone, or candlestick, rope, knife, or pipe wrench (all the classic murder weapons from Clue ).
    Last edited by Citizen; 01-16-2012 at 11:05 PM.

  22. #72
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    US v. DeBerry would also be very applicable in this instance. See Judge Woods concurrence at paragraph 10.
    "...The only fact that saves the officer's stop of DeBerry, in my opinion, is the fact that it is unlawful in Illinois to carry a concealed weapon. The tipster informed the police that DeBerry was armed, and it appears from the facts before us that the weapon was not in plain view. I do not agree that this case would necessarily come out the same way if Illinois law, like the law of many states, authorized the carrying of concealed weapons. At that point, the entire content of the anonymous tip would be a physical description of the individual, his location, and an allegation that he was carrying something lawful (a cellular telephone? a beeper? a firearm?). This kind of nonincriminatory allegation, in my view, would not be enough to justify the kind of investigatory stop that took place here. It would mean, in states that permit carrying concealed weapons, that the police no longer need any reason to stop citizens on the street to search them. However, we do not have that situation. Because I therefore consider the Court's comments on lawful concealed weapons to be dicta, I concur in the result reached today..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    US v. DeBerry would also be very applicable in this instance. See Judge Woods concurrence at paragraph 10.
    "...The only fact that saves the officer's stop of DeBerry, in my opinion, is the fact that it is unlawful in Illinois to carry a concealed weapon. The tipster informed the police that DeBerry was armed, and it appears from the facts before us that the weapon was not in plain view. I do not agree that this case would necessarily come out the same way if Illinois law, like the law of many states, authorized the carrying of concealed weapons. At that point, the entire content of the anonymous tip would be a physical description of the individual, his location, and an allegation that he was carrying something lawful (a cellular telephone? a beeper? a firearm?). This kind of nonincriminatory allegation, in my view, would not be enough to justify the kind of investigatory stop that took place here. It would mean, in states that permit carrying concealed weapons, that the police no longer need any reason to stop citizens on the street to search them. However, we do not have that situation. Because I therefore consider the Court's comments on lawful concealed weapons to be dicta, I concur in the result reached today..."
    1. I am having a little trouble with this one. Not a disagreement. Just trouble wrapping my wits around what is being said, and aligning it with other cases, and trying to figure out how it is good for freedom-minded gun carriers. Can you 'splain for me?

    I do notice this case was from 1996, and Florida v JL was from 2000 or so.



    2. Regarding very applicable, I would have to say it is only very applicable in the region covered by the 7th Circuit. Otherwise it is just an indication of how one federal appeals court viewed the issue, leaving the rest of the country at the mercy of the other circuits.
    Last edited by Citizen; 01-16-2012 at 11:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    I do hope we hear from SgtScott again, I'm very interested in seeing him come up with a paragraph from the Tennesee Code requiring someone to do what he says the law says.
    I look forward to adding that section of Code to my list.
    It's not in the TCA. There's a resist stop, frisk halt statute that you can look up, but it involves any force being used.

    I love how you people think that I'm pulling this out of my rear-end because you can't find it in a TN law book. I'll try to put it in context because it's really not your opinions on the matter that concern me at all. It's the TN courts that I attend quite often. Their opinions hold that officers have the right to identify a suspect of a crime if they can articulate that the person has committed, is committing, or about to commit a crime per the Terry standard. It's not rocket science. If we couldn't ever identify someone suspected of a crime, then many criminals roaming your streets wouldn't get caught. Hiibel has reinforced this. What do you think the standard is for the many states that don't have stop/identify statutes? You think you have to see it in a law/code book for it to be enforceable? I've done it hundreds of times and will continue to do it. Why? because it's perfectly legal in my state and any state where the reasonable suspicion standard is met. Ironically, this is directly from Hiibel,

    The principles of Terry permit a State to require a suspect to disclose his name in the course of a Terry stop. The reasonableness *188 of a seizure under the Fourth Amendment is determined “by balancing its intrusion on the individual's Fourth Amendment interests against its promotion of legitimate government interests.” Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648, 654, 99 S.Ct. 1391, 59 L.Ed.2d 660 (1979). The Nevada statute satisfies that standard. The request for identity has an immediate relation to the purpose, rationale, and practical demands of a Terry stop. The threat of criminal sanction helps ensure that the request for identity does not become a legal nullity. On the other hand, the Nevada statute does not alter the nature of the stop itself: it does not change its duration, Place, supra, at 709, 103 S.Ct. 2637, or its location, Dunaway, supra, at 212, 99 S.Ct. 2248. A state law requiring a suspect to disclose his name in the course of a valid Terry stop is consistent with Fourth Amendment prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures.
    The US Supreme Court has stated that principles of Terry permit a State to require a suspect to disclose his name in the course of a Terry stop. For some reason some of you believe that it has to be written in text to be enforceable. Their analysis also advises that for those states that do make it a law, it is not in violation of Fourth Amendment protection(s). Some states make it a crime to simply refuse by name. Other states make it a crime to use force in the process of obstructing a LEO during a Terry stop.

    Bottom line....it's constitutional for me to verify the identity of someone during a Terry stop. If they want to provide a name or government ID, it's up to them. If I have to use force (by removing an ID) to identify them while I'm investigating a crime, then they're getting charged with our obstruction statute. You may not agree with it, but it's not you wearing the black robe.
    Last edited by SgtScott31; 01-16-2012 at 11:47 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Verd View Post
    How the hell can you sit there as a LEO and proclaim that someone you detain is obligated by law to ID themselves, even if there is not a law about that on the books??? If there is no law about it, you cannot state "It's the law!"

    How is this good cop behavior in any way/shape/form?
    Case law holds plenty of things LEOs have done without it being statutorily created by the legislature. Do you see anything in TN Code Annotated about when an officer can detain someone? when they can frisk someone? It's not there. That doesn't make it illegal or unconstitutional does it?

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