Some More Bad Cops

May 13, 2009 at 2:29 AM (Uncategorized)

Updates:
New post about this

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Last month, I said that 9,999 out of every 10,000 cops in the US are the good guys and are the sort of people that make little boys dream of growing up to be a cop themselves. They are the example of good guys at which parents used to point their kids.

But those good cops rarely get noticed any more because that one remaining bad cop gets all the press. That last son of a bitch ruins the image of all the good cops by forgetting that his badge doesn’t make him King Shit of Turd Mountain.

Let’s meet a few more of them here, one of which is apparently the sheriff of some Louisiana parish (or maybe a sheriff’s deputy and this guy couldn’t tell the difference).

They roust a guy sleeping on the side of the interstate (he was hitching). They start searching him, at which point he states that he does not consent to a search. They search him anyway, assault him, point taser guns at his head and his heart and finish up by stealing things from him.

Congratulations boys, you just gave your parish’s operating budget for next year to this guy, if he decides to file a civil rights lawsuit.

If that really was the sheriff himself, then he must be extra stupid. I can see a deputy screwing up like this, but the big bossman ought to know better than to make an illegal search, commit assault and to threaten someone with a deadly weapon. Hope you fellas have good lawyers.

Then there is the story of Shane Becker of Seattle, who got rousted out of some outdoor outfitter shop after taking a picture of a couple of rent-a-cops servicing an ATM. It ended with him sitting in a jail cell for a few hours.

First, we have a rent-a-cop from Loomis Armored, not even affiliated with the store where this all happened, threatening to attack and abduct a guy standing in line at this store.

Threatening to commit assault is just as illegal as actually committing assault and someone there in Seattle really ought to report that person to the police. Like, perhaps Shane?

I am confused by the rest of the story. A cop spins him around, cuffs him and drives him to the police station. He doesn’t say whether or not he was formally arrested, which would involve Miranda Rights and so on.

It sounds like they did not arrest him, since they let him go and he does not mention being booked. If that wasn’t an arrest, then the police may have broken a few laws.

Without arresting you, the police cannot take you against your will to the police station. They can ASK you to “come downtown”, but they CANNOT take you there if you don’t want to go. They sure as hell can’t cuff you and set you down in a cell. They have the authority to detain you at the scene long enough to sort out what’s going on or for safety reasons, but that’s it.

He says the police refused to let him leave without signing a trespass form. That is a legal form that states basically that you understand you are prohibited from being in a certain location. The police can require you to sign one, if the owner of the property requests it. If you go there anyway, you can be immediately arrested for trespassing without the owner saying a word to you.

The store’s manager denies that they asked for that form to be signed. The police department’s trespass form says otherwise. So one or the other of them is lying.

But that’s not the problem. The police wouldn’t let him leave until he signed it. If he was not under arrest, then they can’t do that. Holding someone against their will and forcing them to do something before letting them go is kidnapping and extortion. The form certainly would not be valid in any case.

He also says to a local newspaper that he wouldn’t give the police his I.D. because he didn’t want the cop handing it to the Loomis rent-a-cops (which seems like it would be illegal if they did).

Well, two things about that. You do have to identify yourself to the police and you get arrested if you don’t. On the other hand, you do not have to hand over identification papers unless you’re driving a vehicle (which Shane clearly was not doing inside of a store). I’m not sure which of these he did not do.

If he refused to identify himself, then the cops were perfectly fine in arresting him. If he identified himself but just didn’t hand over any I.D. papers, then he was falsely imprisoned.

I don’t know. Shane needs to spend a couple hours with a lawyer. Several laws might have been broken by the people around him that day. At the very least, he needs to have that trespass form voided, since he could be arrested in the future for being too close to that store.

Now I think I’m going to go looking around for stories of good cops. It’s a damn shame that the bad cops and the stupid cops get all the press these days.

Updates:

Nope, I’m wrong. As of six months ago, you definitely are NOT required even to identify yourself to a cop in Washington. So now I’m wondering exactly what legal justification the cop has for taking him to the police station.

The man arrested in the outfitter shop for… well whatever he was arrested for (nobody seems to know), has posted an update on his site.

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1 Comment

  1. Sometimes, You Gotta Be A Tool « Caldari Warrior said,

    […] take a look at the story of Shane Becker, which I discovered and wrote about yesterday. While standing in line at an outdoors outfitter store a few days ago, Becker refused to identify […]

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