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Show ALL Forums  > Off Topic  > How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?      Home login  
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 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 2
How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?Page 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)

When you are stopped by a cop while walking (and doing nothing wrong like loittering or public drunkenness), are you obligated to answer their questions? If you refuse and they get belligerent, is there a legal recourse (for you or them?)


No but it begs the question...if someone is doing nothing wrong, then what reason have they got to lose by answering their questions. If you refuse and they get "belligerent," well then I guess it would depend on the circumstances.


What about while driving? If they stop you on 'suspicion' can they legally make you get out and search your car? I heard they have to get permission and that you can say 'no' to a search request, but many people don't do that because it might makes the cops even more suspicious and try to hurt or arrest you. Isn't that illegal? How far can stopping a person on 'suspicion' go?


In the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and, as far as I know the United States Constitution, protects from unreasonable search and seizure. So you can refuse their request for a search. This is one I would be inclined to challenge them on since their is a question of "probable cause."

In Canada, we also have standards for use of force. So, if the police use excessive force, they can end up in considerable trouble. Sometimes.

Not being a lawyer of course.
 NurbyDriver
Joined: 7/30/2007
Msg: 3
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How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/5/2010 1:01:26 PM
If you are absolutely not breaking any law then yes, unless you are being detained or arrested, you have every right to walk away. If the officer is getting badge heavy for no reason, contact the IA division of the department the officer works for, if you get no satisfaction there, go to the city manager or the city attorney.

If there is legitimate probable cause to make a traffic stop, then, technically you are being detained. Getting a traffic ticket is technically being arrested, you are simply released on your written promise to appear in court.

Now if during that good PC stop, if an officer sees something in the car and he is standing someplace he has a legal right to be, i.e. standing next to the car he looks in a passenger side floorboard ans sees a baggie of cocaine or a firearm, then he has the right for his safety to remove you from the car in the case of the weapon and conduct a search of both the car and you, or to remove you and search the car for more fruits of the crime pursuant to a lawful arrest for possession of a controlled substance or any other illegal contraband.

But be aware that certain laws and policies can vary state to state and department to department.

I would find out if there had been a crime in the area and your brother matched the description of either a suspect or a suspect vehicle. But I will say after they determined it was not who they were looking for, they could have simply explained that X happened nearby and the person who did it was described as XYZ and we stopped you because you matched that description or your vehicle did, and sorry for the inconvenience and drive safe.
 daynadaze
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 4
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How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/5/2010 1:22:13 PM
I was followed by the police for months, pulled over several times, questioned and asked for proof of my identity, etc. It was annoying, it was because I drove a car that matched some drug dealer's they were looking for. Since I was not that person, it was only annoying, but hey if they catch a criminal what do I have to bytch about. I don't want the bad guys to get away just so I don't have to be inconvenienced.
 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 5
How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/5/2010 1:33:30 PM
Hm. I have been stopped by police before (I'm a white female), having done "nothing", either.
One time I asked the cop, "May I ask why you stopped me?" She said my vehicle was like one that had robbed a bank. She checked my registration and let me go.
Another time, as soon as the cop got to my door, he realized I wasn't what he was looking for--I assume on that night, as well, something about my truck made him think it was suspicious, or it matched another vehicle but not the occupant, whatever.
Once, my brother was driving my truck while I was a passenger, and the cop stopped us. My brother went BALLISTIC and started raving and getting worked up over NOTHING--so I got OUT of the truck before the cop could get there (a no-no, I'm sure), said, "Hi, this is my truck, is there a problem?" He explained we would be detained while he checked on my registration (my plates were out-of-date; um, yes, he DID approach the vehicle to see who was driving). If I had allowed my BROTHER to do the talking, it would have been a fight between two alphas trying to show the biggest dkcs.

I am pretty sure cops, just like the rest of us with a job to do, aren't wasting a great amount of time "hassling" people for a lark.
I'm always polite, even if I'm pissed at the inconvenience.

I think you are required to not only answer the "usual" questions (name, addy) but also to provide proof of identity.

In any case, when a person with a gun asks ME a question, I answer it truthfully. I think all of you raging against the machine on that one are just being obstinate.


<div class='quote'> I am an elderly white woman that looks like I might have some $$$. lol somehow, I find this hard to believe.
==========
No doubt blacks get stopped more often. I had a black BF, and believe me, cops/security guards would make sure I was "all right" whenever I was with him. My brother looks Arab, gets stopped all the time, which is one reason he got so bent out of shape. VVVVVVVVV
 jelunc
Joined: 8/24/2008
Msg: 7
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How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/5/2010 1:47:23 PM
I have never had a problem personally with the police.
Any time they stop this old woman they ask "do you know why I stopped you?"
I usually smile or laugh and say "I have no clue"
I have an idea that having my union sticker in the rear side window is helpful.
For the most part the police dispatchers are members of the same union I am in.
One time it was terribly windy, a November afternoon, and the officer was a bit gruff. I put that off to it being so uncomfortable outside on the highway.
The officer at the hearing was very nice and let me off with no fees with just a "be a bit more careful".
All this being said, in our general area there are reports on a regular basis of some high profile athlete who is of a dark complexion being stopped for no good reason.
Naturally, millionaires who are stopped in error get a nice apology.
 WalksOnWater2
Joined: 5/19/2009
Msg: 8
How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/5/2010 1:59:43 PM
I have been stopped by the police several times for traffic violations.
There was a l w a y s a reason they stopped me.
I goofed up while they were looking, which is too bad.
That’s what they do, it’s their job.
So I keep my hands where they can see them, and I answer politely only the questions I’m asked. Then I, the white middle-aged female, go and pay the fine . I'm polite, they are polite. End of story.


I was furious and indignant. I told him he didn't have to give anything

That's when they can haul your ass out of the car and teach you some manners.
Get it into your thick head, that if you want to give them trouble, they can and WILL give you more of it. Legally!

 daynadaze
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 9
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How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/5/2010 2:00:20 PM
Police have a job to do, sure there are some asswipe cops but they aren't in the majority. Thinking yourself some victim and being picked on is a good sign that something isn't healthy in your make up, you might want to take a good look at that part of you. The reason some areas are more likely to have police checking you out is because that area has a higher rate of crimes, that is not the fault of the police. No we shouldn't have to pay for the sins of our neighbors but life isn't fair and the police are just trying to do their jobs. The same people who whine about police abuse are the ones who bytch like crazy when the cops don't help them. You can't get it both ways. Some people just like to lay blame elsewhere and like to play victims, which is insulting to real victims.
 jelunc
Joined: 8/24/2008
Msg: 10
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How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/5/2010 2:24:39 PM
ddind says:

<div class="quote">they can and WILL give you more of it. Legally!


jelun must add... or not.
We have a big case going on now about a death that was ruled a homicide from a checkpoint stop looking for drunks driving.
The whole situation sounds really messed up. there is no obvious reason for the victim to have run and become combative, we know why the cops reacted strongly, there is that adrenalin rush... but, why they continued after having the man under control?
who knows.
I think most of us who are law abiding for the most part can understand that cops see and experience things that people should not experience, we can even forgive a bit of over reaction, but, to use deadly force when it is avoidable? Nope, as soon as you realize you are tempted to do damage cycle out in some way.
Police depts should really set up systems to make this easy and without stigma.
 english lass
Joined: 11/14/2007
Msg: 11
How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/5/2010 3:46:54 PM
I would tell them what they want to know; they have the right to ensure that 'all is well' and how would they know without asking questions and receiving the info. Why make things harder than they need to be
 tjrogelio
Joined: 11/8/2005
Msg: 13
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How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/5/2010 5:53:31 PM
When I lived in Mexico, there was an organization that checked on police corruption. Actually, it was part of the police department. I would get stopped often, as did everyone else, but especially foreigners. The first thing they would see in my wallet was their card, and their next action was to wish me a good day and to be safe. They knew that I knew my rights, and that I would make a phone call if these rights were violated. I don't know if there is an equivalent organization in the US that would make a policeman think twice before harassing innocent people.
 raxarsr
Joined: 7/10/2008
Msg: 14
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How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/5/2010 6:57:52 PM
first of all.....if your driveing a car...yes....a cop can ask for id and proof of insurance and you MUST show it.....and yes.if they ask to search it..you can refuse........but they can hold you till they get a warrent to search it..

several yrs ago when i was working night shift...i'd be heading home the same times the bars closed......every friday night...i got pulled over.......when i asked why.....the answer was always...."you were driveing irratically"............now.......after the 3rd time......i knew where they sat.......watched them pull out behind me and turn on their lights right away.....i finally got sick of it and told them....."you've already seen my license and insurance several times........i wasnt driveing bad....and i'm sick of it,.......your stopping me because its closeing time at the bar and i wont stop again....."well......they pulled me out of my truck.....cuffed me and started ripping stuff out of my car.[these were township cops]......as they were doing it.....a local boro cop that i know quite well pulled up..after talking to them......[and they spun about 10 lies].....he talked to me...........when i asked about probable cause, the search and getting stopped every week.......he exploded.....3 days later i got a formal written applogy from the township and a letter from the township board asking me not to sue
 m14shooter
Joined: 10/2/2009
Msg: 15
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How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/5/2010 8:04:57 PM
This is how you deal with a unlawful search. These clowns were overstepping their power and he called them on it. I have done this several times. I will never allow a cop to search my vehicle and simply refusing does not give them probable cause to search as it is your right to refuse a search without a warrant. I had a incident several years ago where a cop insisted on searching my vehicle and I drove off and went home when he could not provide a warrant. He had me pulled over for 30 minutes, tried to make me roll my window down which I also refused as once its down he can pull me out or taser me. I pulled into my garage and locked the door and went about my business in my house and called the police on him but I called the sheriff who responded. The cop knocked on my door and told me I had to open it which I refused and he said he was going to kick it in and I w told him he would be treated as a criminal if he did and that I was armed. Told him to get a ****ing warrant and then he could search. Sheriff backed me up and made him leave and investigated him and he was fired. I have been pulled over twice by the same department with no incident after that.

I have a very clean background and the cop had no right to search me.




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFS7oZtE8Ks
 m14shooter
Joined: 10/2/2009
Msg: 16
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How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/5/2010 8:12:20 PM

Yep and it is people like you that need to keep their lawyers and bail bondsman's number in their purse too. You should save that furious and indignant rant for when you get to your house and call your lawyer. You pull that at the traffic stop and you make the call to the lawyer from a jail cell. Timing is everything.


If you don't want to man up and stand up for your rights then just keep getting them trampled on. If a cop pulls you over he needs a legitimate reason and he does not have the right to search your vehicle unless you give it to him. Most will back off if you stand up to them as they know they do not have a right to search without a warrant. Cops are corrupt to the core and there is now way in hell I am getting out of my vehicle and letting him search my vehicle without a proper warrant. Arizona is losing a bunch of cops and phoenix alone is losing over 350, I say good riddance and now there will be less to pull people over for no reason.

If the police come to your door you also are under no obligation to open it for them. They legally need a warrant to kick your door in as well.
 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 17
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How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/5/2010 8:17:03 PM
sounds like it "might" be racial profiling. my kids get it all the time, if in a white area or where there is gang activity. my friend back east was a very prestigious minister who lived in a white area of rich people. they stopped him whenever he walked his dog, if they were new to the beat!

last year this woman followed my kid all around her store as if she would steal something--more racial profiling. out of rage, she bought an expensive item with her amex card. however, she didn't need that item and that enfuriated me more. i told her if it happened again, she should politely ask the woman if she follows white people around her store.

if it's police i tell them not to attract the attention until they are a bit older and have more "power". such as screech loud music on the car and wear their gangsta outfits. my eldest's partner, does this along with a grille. to me, he's too old for this and highly immature, but nonethless he is being profiled. there is no law against how he dresses.

if they are stopped, i advise to be polite to a point, unless roughed up or detained w/o cause. then they are to immediately ask to make a call for me and/or an attorney. i also advise to get to know your local police. drop into their outreach offices and explain your situation. a large part of this problem is that there is no neighborhood policeman any more who knows you and who you know you can trust. so, do the next best thing and get involved voluntarily so you can always drop someone's name. also give to their league and make sure the sticker shows on your car!

when i first adopted my kids severely traumatized, the police helped me lot. but, often their hands were tied. something is wrong with this entire system.
 Double Cabin
Joined: 11/29/2004
Msg: 18
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How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/6/2010 7:30:17 AM
With all due respect OP do you know for certain that these police were not pursuing a suspect who's description matched this man's appearnace or vehicle? If you can get access to their logs, etc., and determine they were not pursuing any such suspect that night then your indignation is well founded and I would get an attorney on this right away. If not you might consider thanking these patrolmen/women for doing their job.
 FL CO
Joined: 12/23/2008
Msg: 19
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How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/6/2010 7:55:12 AM
There's no good reason not to answer them. You have to realize that at 2:30am alot people would be getting questioned. It also depends on how you're brother dresses. Appearance can have a lot to do with it.
 7iron
Joined: 7/5/2008
Msg: 20
How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/6/2010 7:57:28 AM
I'm sure that there are some police officers out there who are professional and overall good people but unfortunately there are some who could be described as the worst of the worst and should not be allowed to work in law enforcement but they are and we've all heard many horror stories involving the bad ones. I have to approach any encounter with police as if I'm dealing with the worst of the worst, therefore I'm non-confrontational and just try to get through the ordeal and go on about my business. One thing I've learned in my life is if I'm dealing with an idiot is to not do anything to cause them to over-react and keep the encounter as short as possible.

In my state if you are pulled over by the police you are required to present your CHL along with your driver's license. I've only been pulled over 3 times since I got my CHL but in each instance, once they see the CHL, they write me a warning ticket and let me go.
 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 21
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How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/6/2010 11:51:49 AM
what is a CHL?

the above poster is correct about being given preferential treatment. i suppose without neighborhood bonds, this is a way around it when the police and communities do not know each other.

not sure about CA, but, long ago back east family members were given these "id"s" that cops recognized and would let them off. my sister in law had one and i saw this in action. that is why i say to donate to the police charity such a PAL. put the sticker on your car!!!

one hand washes the other. not saying you will get away with a crime, but when they stop you w/o cause but because you "look" to them as dangerous (the root cause of racial profiling), it has a psychological affect. this is what economics and ghetto making has done to this society, not helped any by commerical television.

on the other hand, i had a foster kid once who was raving in my home and i could not physically restrain her. the police's hands were tied, unless she threatened to kill me or herself. it's a vicious circle. they have responsibilies w/o authority, so they take it out on those they percieve to be weaker.

i know in this "white" area, they are working on racial relations. but, the african american "community" is very smart. they have themselves plastered into all the political power pivots, contribute to all the right causes and know the upper ups. so if racial profiling happens, that they are aware of, they just mosey on down to the upper ups and get it handled. a very smart strategy!

still, we now have to deal with a skinhead population hiding out in our mountains. interestingly, if you now look like a skin head, you too are racially profiled. around here the older guys will shave their heads so as not to look bald. add some tatooes to that and a beach area, and they had better have some liberal stickers on their cars as well! they didn't need the police to get a skinhead couple off the beach. they had nazi tatoos all over them, but their rights "were" violated. if it were me, i'd go and talk to them. yes, i'm jewish but i've worked many different ethnic pockets and i have found that clearing up ignorance goes a long way. it must be a concerted effort and in the beginning, it can be emotionally taxing. but the greater good in the long run is worth it!
 verygreeneyez
Joined: 3/15/2006
Msg: 22
How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/6/2010 2:38:56 PM
~OP~ It's true, there is no legal reason to answer and yes, there is search and seizure laws. HOWEVER, federal and state laws protect police personnel with one very simple statement: "Reasonable Cause." Unfortunately? Reasonable is in the mindset of the officer(s.) The precedent has proven time and time again that what it really means? If they wanna mess with you, they likely can and will. Much like illegal search. If in a vehicle and they "think" something isn't quite right ~ they're search and they have the "right" to do so. The only recourse that I know of are clauses involved in Federal Civil Right statutes and those are so very difficult to pursue, that unless the authorities act so egregiously serious injury to mental and/or physical well being is suffered, it's not going to get anywhere.

I don't care to be harassed by any authority figure (or anyone else for the matter) but picking your battles wisely is the best route. In addition, you can't be certain your friend was questioned "for no good reason." Maybe he matched the description of someone they were looking for. That would be well within their rights and he should have just willingly cooperated. Scared or not, the more evasive one is, the more guilty they look JMO
 jelunc
Joined: 8/24/2008
Msg: 23
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How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/6/2010 3:12:53 PM

Actually you will be the one face down on the ground with cuffs on screaming about your "rights" while I chuckle and drive off. Keep the number for that bail bondsman handy. Your going to need it.


Funny, seeing this little line of BS reminded me of the one time that I was pulled over that I did let the officer involved know that he was in the wrong.
We were on private property so (in this state anyway) he had no authority.
He was incorrect in his assertion that I had "cut off his cruiser" as I was on the right and therefore had the right of way.
Was I a bit concerned that when I pulled off the parking lot and into the public way I might regret taking a stand? Sure was... it was just fine, though.
So, you may chuckle, but the world is not POF.
There are means of standing up for yourself against authority figures who are in the wrong.
 Worbug
Joined: 4/23/2009
Msg: 24
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How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/6/2010 5:18:12 PM
Last saturday night, me and another plumber ran a service call for a clogged bath tub for a customer that we have done alot of major work for in the past South Side of Chicago). Innocent enough right. WRONG. Finished the job and upon leaving the customers house was pulled over by the Narcs. we did nothing wrong, seat belts on. Once pulled over, complied in everyway. was ask to exit the vehicle, then hand cuffed in front of everyone and detained on the side of the road for an hour or better while they searched the truck, cross examining us twenty different ways, re checking the truck. Wanting to talk to our customer to verify our explanation for being there.

Neither of us do drugs, no prior records, sqeaky clean in a company lettered truck.

Did not mind the pull over, minded waisting all of my time and degrading me and my friend. also did not look good with the customer, a 72 year old lady.LOL

All of this headache for doing a good deed as we did not charge the lady due to her hard times. No good deed goes unpunished.


So do police over step their boundries, yes, on a daily basis. Can we do anything about when they do. most of the time NO. Look at the recent cases in Chicago where the victims had video coverage of blatant abuse. All lost their cases. Pathetic.

 NurbyDriver
Joined: 7/30/2007
Msg: 26
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How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/6/2010 5:58:59 PM
Okay, first, let's get the terminology right, it's probable cause.

Which segues right in to the reasonable man test, which is something I have used throughout my involvement in law enforcement.

The reasonable man test is just this; would a reasonable man. given the same set of circumstances come to the same conclusion as you and would he reasonably take the same actions. If yes, you are good to go.

Not, what do you know, now, not what did they find out later. What did your training and experience tell you with only what you knew at that moment. Stick to that and you will never go wrong.

Some cops, I admit, seem to take it a little personal, like "I am going to get this guy, I know he's dirty, but can't prove it" type of thing. So they make something up or something trivial, what we used to call hummers, because you look at the report and you go "hmmm, what the hell was he thinking?" And invariably it gets thrown out of court and the officer loses some credibility with that judge, happens often enough, you will never win a case in front of that judge no matter how good your evidence.

You usually find that with rookies and guys in their first few years, we call it the John Wayne syndrome. When I was an FTO I used to tell my rookies "Look, it's not up to you to clean up the world, you're probably right, this guy is dirty as hell, but if you don't have enough to get him, let him walk and avoid the hassle, if he's a criminal, he'll get got, if not by us, by some other cop down the line, and got so bad he will be righteously put away for a long time"

We used to have a mirror at one division I worked leading from the locker room to the briefing room, so we could check our gig lines and uniform, above it was a sign that read "This ain't the movies, and you ain't John Wayne"

Was great for keeping your head on straight just to read that each shift.
 verygreeneyez
Joined: 3/15/2006
Msg: 27
How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/7/2010 2:35:38 AM

Okay, first, let's get the terminology right, it's probable cause.

Yes, let's do that, K? Here ya go:


REASONABLE CAUSE TO BELIEVE
To have knowledge of facts which, although not amounting to direct knowledge, would cause a reasonable person, knowing the same facts, to reasonably conclude the same thing.

http://www.lectlaw.com/def2/q015.htm
And or:


Reasonable suspicion is a legal standard in United States law that a person has been, is, or is about to be engaged in criminal activity based on specific and articulable facts and inferences. It is the basis for an investigatory or Terry stop by the police and requires less evidence than probable cause, the legal requirement for arrests and warrants. Reasonable suspicion is evaluated using the "reasonable person" or "reasonable officer" standard, in which said person in the same circumstances could reasonably believe a person has been, is, or is about to be engaged in criminal activity; such suspicion is not a mere hunch. Police may also, based solely on reasonable suspicion of a threat to safety, frisk a suspect for weapons, but not for contraband like drugs. A combination of particular facts, even if each is individually innocuous, can form the basis of reasonable suspicion. Reasonable suspicion is also sometimes called "arguable suspicion".

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


The reasonable man test is just this; would a reasonable man. given the same set of circumstances come to the same conclusion as you and would he reasonably take the same actions. If yes, you are good to go.

And who deems YOU or anyone else "reasonable" at any given moment? You (or the hypothetical cop in this instance) is hyped up, something doesn't "feel" right, he "feels" something is amiss, John Q. Public is "acting" suspicious (in said cops mind), so he can deem his own self "reasonable" when I might find John Q. Public's actions completely within normal means. Hence: it's up to the cop ~ no governing body.


You usually find that with rookies and guys in their first few years, we call it the John Wayne syndrome.

Interesting to me how it's so minimized by those who are "of that ilk." WE (whoever WE are in my profession) call it: Civil Rights Violation.

JMO
 want to travel
Joined: 7/29/2006
Msg: 28
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How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/7/2010 8:20:19 AM
generally in canada you have proof your identity, and a police officer can make you identify yourself, as far as our rights are go, we also have to have some cash, and they do have a right to ask
 NurbyDriver
Joined: 7/30/2007
Msg: 29
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How Do You Respond to Police - Legally?
Posted: 2/7/2010 9:29:30 AM

The reasonable man test is just this; would a reasonable man. given the same set of circumstances come to the same conclusion as you and would he reasonably take the same actions. If yes, you are good to go.

And who deems YOU or anyone else "reasonable" at any given moment? You (or the hypothetical cop in this instance) is hyped up, something doesn't "feel" right, he "feels" something is amiss, John Q. Public is "acting" suspicious (in said cops mind), so he can deem his own self "reasonable" when I might find John Q. Public's actions completely within normal means. Hence: it's up to the cop ~ no governing body.


:rooleyes: Jesus, you really do have to lead some people by the hand in this world.

Number one, in law enforcement it always has, and is, referred to as 'probable cause'- Did you have probable cause to take the actions you did, please don't tell me what terminology is used in the profession I've been in for 20 years, thanks so much!

The reasonable man test is not contingent on anyone's state of mind at the time, it's measured in court, looking at the totality of the circumstances and judging if a reasonable man would come to the same conclusion and react in a similar fashion.

And who said anyone was hyped up? I don't get hyped up for much, certainly not on a traffic or pedestrian stop. I approach, say hello, even introduce myself and ask a couple questions, then go from there based on their responses. I use the words please and thank you, no one is hyped up.

If something does happen then in my report I articulate that I saw this, he said that, was acting in a certain way or had certain physical clues (sweating, agitation or other objective symptoms) and based on my observations, training and experience I came to conclusion X and therefore did action Y. Whatever that might be.

You people watch way too much CSI and Law and Order LOL.
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