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Gaff
Just like the gypsy woman said

join:1999-09-05
North TX, US
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

1 edit

Detained by law enforcement

Ok, I want to knock this out whilst it's still extremely fresh in my mind.

As part of my exercise routine I have taken to doing long walks (3-4-5 miles) around town. I was out and about today, walking around a place I've walked around plenty of times before, when I saw a Sheriff's Deputy cruiser go past me. I noticed it, and carried on walking. A couple of minutes later another Sheriff's Deputy cruiser came towards me in the opposite direction and drove past (it was probably the same one, but I'm not 100%). Again, I carry on walking. Finally, a different Sheriff's Deputy cruiser pulls up directly in front of me, and indicates I should stop. I then notice that the first Sheriff's Deputy has pulled up behind me, so I'm sandwiched between the two.

I stood there, stopped my podcast (I had a Bluetooth headset on) and waited. One of the officers approached me and said something like “What are you doing out here today”, to which I said something like “Walking”. He then said “Do you have ID on you?”, to which I replied, “Yes”. He said “Can I see it?”. At this point I asked him “Am I being detained?” and he replied “I'm just asking a question”. I repeated, “Am I being detained?” and added “Am I free to go?” He got a bit flustered at this point, and said “I need to talk to my colleague” (the other officer who had pulled up in front of me). The other officer, as he was walking away from me, told me to take my hands out of my pockets, which I did.

They talked for about a minute, before the officer who had been speaking to me came back and said something like “You aren't being detained, but we would like to see your ID”. I asked “So I'm free to go?” He said “Yes”, at which point I told him to enjoy his afternoon, turned around, started my podcast and continued to walk down the road.

In my mind I thought “Bullet = dodged” and that was that.

At the end of the street that I was on was a small bridge, at which I usually stop for a few minutes before turning around to head home. One of my shoelaces was loose, so I got to the bridge, stood to the side, untied both of my shoelaces and re-tied them. I finished this and took a look at my phone, saw I had a text and started to read it. At this point the two Sheriff's Deputy cruisers pulled up to the bridge, got out of their cars and approached me again. The second officer (the one I had not spoken with earlier) told me that now I was blocking a public highway, was being detained, and said I had to give him my ID. I took my ID out of my wallet, gave it to the first officer, put my wallet back in my jacket and then the second officer told me to put my hands on my head and turn around so he could pat me down for weapons. I complied, and of course he found nothing. When he was done I asked him if I could take my cellphone out of my pocket. He told me no, that because I was being detained I couldn't make any calls at this time. I replied that I was not going to make a call but was instead going to start recording. He said no, and that there was no need because I was currently being recorded by the dashcam from his car and also the mic on his jacket. I replied that I didn't doubt what he said but I wanted to make my own recording. He again said “No”.

So we're standing there and he starts asking me things like what I was doing out here. I told him that I was walking for exercise, and that I come around this area often. He said that this is a “high crime area” and that people don't observe the speed limit across the bridge all the time, and that I shouldn't stop on this bridge for my own safety. I asked him how long this was going to take, and he replied “Until he has run your ID for warrants”.

Since I was being so...annoying... I guess would be the word, he said something like “Given how you are acting, have you had any issues with law enforcement in the past to make you act this way?” I believe I responded something like “I am aware of my constitutional rights and know that I don't have to answer your questions unless I am being detained”. He seemed very non-commitable about this answer. They asked me how long I had lived in this town, and I replied. He asked me where I was from, and I replied “England”. They asked me why I had come to this country, and I replied “A girl”. They said “Are you still together?” and I informed them that my wife had died three years ago, and they said they were very sorry to hear that.

After another couple of minutes of me standing there looking like an idiot, the first officer came back, handed my ID back and told me that I was free to go. I put it back in my pocket, started up my podcast, wished them a good afternoon and walked back the way I had came.

Now, after all that, I'm here to ask: could I have done anything better? As a (legal) immigrant this was quite literally my first interaction with law enforcement here. I'm not afraid of law enforcement, nor do I believe they are the devil incarnate as is the popular opinion in places. I am well aware of my constitutional rights, however, and I want to know if there was anything I could have done different than what I did to protect myself.

To me it seemed like the "blocking a highway" claim they made on the second stop was a pretext to get my ID and run it, but I'm unfamiliar with the intricacies of Texas traffic law so maybe they had a legitimate reason to stop me, but it didn't seem like it.

I'm still a little shaken, and I'm sure I've got some words and phrases wrong from the interactions, but broadly it is correct. I'd welcome anyone's input.
--
My PC Gaming Blog
»www.unbooted.com

towerdave

join:2002-01-16
O Fallon, IL

2 recommendations

This is going to sound snarky, but why not just show your ID the first time? Sure, you had the right not to, but what did you prove? And to who?

By refusing to show your ID, you raised the suspicion meter from not so high to very high.

TD


Gaff
Just like the gypsy woman said

join:1999-09-05
North TX, US

5 recommendations

Because I knew I had no obligation to do so.
--
My PC Gaming Blog
»www.unbooted.com

towerdave

join:2002-01-16
O Fallon, IL

1 recommendation

So you proved a point, like I said, but to who? What did you accomplish by not showing it the first time?

TD


Gaff
Just like the gypsy woman said

join:1999-09-05
North TX, US
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
To myself, I guess? In identical circumstances I'm sure you and maybe a lot of other people would choose to do so, and that is your right. Equally, it was my right not to, since I was aware of the law.
--
My PC Gaming Blog
»www.unbooted.com

LittleBill

join:2013-05-24
kudos:1

2 recommendations

reply to towerdave
i guess you have never the term, " We can do this the easy way, or the hard way"

you simply chose the hard way. you are completely in your right,

that being said, it was not the smart move. giving your id would have ended the situation in minutes. instead you forced them to use some idiotic law to force you to submit

you were right but did you ultimately win. i would say no

that being said. in my area when younger if you passed a cop after 2 am in the morning you got pulled over, didn't matter it just happened.

after a while it does get old. generally within the first 3 minutes i would ask for a breathalyzer test, since all they wanted was an underage charge. generally after that it was over in 3 minutes and on my way instead of the 25 minutes conversation where they would ask 45 times in a row if i was drinking

its never smart to argue with cops. there are about a billion things they can find to charge you with if they choose too..


Gaff
Just like the gypsy woman said

join:1999-09-05
North TX, US
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

3 recommendations

I certainly appreciate your input, but this was not 2am, nor was I driving. I was simply walking down a street, listening to a podcast, with my hands in my pockets. My wallet and my phone were literally the only two articles in my possession.

If you can't walk down a street these days without being detained by a law enforcement officer, whilst having committed no crime whatsoever, things have taken a very bad turn for the worse.
--
My PC Gaming Blog
»www.unbooted.com


signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5

2 recommendations

reply to Gaff
To be blunt: Get out of Texas, that's my advice. It's just as bad in TN. I would go out for 4 mile walks and the cops harassed me also. Makes you wonder if the USA is turning into a police state. Another piece of advice: Watch out, there are a lot of bad and evil cops, and if you stand up to them like that, they'll beat you up, arrest you, even kill you. I've seen it, it's happened to me. Even here in the city I live in just the other day a city cop here in CT did something like this (so I heard in the news), he has a God complex. Cops have one goal, not protecting and serving, but creating their own law and pushing people around.
--
Join Teams Helix and Discovery. Rest in Peace, Leonard David Smith, my best friend, you are missed badly! Rest in peace, Pop, glad our last years were good. Please pray for Colin, he has ependymoma, a brain cancer, donate to a children's Hospital.

towerdave

join:2002-01-16
O Fallon, IL

3 recommendations

reply to Gaff
Let's look at this from the other side of the steering wheel. I'm a cop, driving through a high crime area, and see a person walking through that area with hands in pockets. I have my buddy drive by and look as well, and we decide that it might be the same person that committed a crime just last week in that same area, description is very close. So we stop and ask that person for ID and they refuse. Hmmmm. No warning bells go off there.

Sure, you had the right, but by cooperating the first time, you basically buy yourself good graces so if I'm out driving around in a week, and see you getting beat up from a block away, I might hurry quicker to help out. Now, you've pissed me off, so if I see you getting beat up, I'll help, but I might go easy on the gas in my car to get there to save the fine taxpayers some money.

TD


DannyZ
Gentoo Fanboy
Premium
join:2003-01-29
Erie, PA

6 recommendations

reply to LittleBill
So the moral of the story is we should allow LEOs to violate our rights because it's more convenient, or out of fear that they may bully us even more

To me that sounds exactly why we need to stand up for our rights and not back down. LittleBill See Profile, I am guessing that you are not part of a demographic that regularly receives undue harassment from LEOs
--
Out the 10BaseT, through the modem, down the co-ax, over the fiber, across the backhaul, past the edge router, off the network...nothing but net


Gaff
Just like the gypsy woman said

join:1999-09-05
North TX, US
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to towerdave
An interesting viewpoint; thanks for providing it.

I would add that that officers both seemed quite polite and courteous, so there was that.
--
My PC Gaming Blog
»www.unbooted.com

LittleBill

join:2013-05-24
kudos:1
reply to DannyZ
said by DannyZ:

So the moral of the story is we should allow LEOs to violate our rights because it's more convenient, or out of fear that they may bully us even more

To me that sounds exactly why we need to stand up for our rights and not back down. LittleBill See Profile, I am guessing that you are not part of a demographic that regularly receives undue harassment from LEOs

am i a white male? yes i am. i have been stopped by police over 35+ times in my life at this point, which is prolly well above the average.

and i am not stupid enough to fight with police, do you honestly think your going to win? i was training to be a state police officer. i am well aware of why they do what they do.

that being said, you by yourself against a police officers word will never win.

you can accept reality and not get harressed for 2 hours.

or you can stand your ground and lose 2 hours, which will only affect you

i personally would rather have the 2 hours back

and yes attack me all you want profiling works. im a strong believer in it. is it 100% no it isn't neither is anything else.


DannyZ
Gentoo Fanboy
Premium
join:2003-01-29
Erie, PA

2 recommendations

Your reality is not the same reality faced by millions of Americans.

Perhaps your convenience is more important than your rights, I happen to feel otherwise. Many have given their lives to protect our rights and I happen to think that they are worth just a little bit more than a couple hours of my time.
--
Out the 10BaseT, through the modem, down the co-ax, over the fiber, across the backhaul, past the edge router, off the network...nothing but net

LittleBill

join:2013-05-24
kudos:1
said by DannyZ:

Your reality is not the same reality faced by millions of Americans.

Perhaps your convenience is more important than your rights, I happen to feel otherwise. Many have given their lives to protect our rights and I happen to think that they are worth just a little bit more than a couple hours of my time.

No. sadly i do live in reality.

i know for a fact standing your ground with literally the lowest person on the totem pole is pointless. you are changing nothing, your not changing the system, your not changing anything for anybody.

even if he agree's with you, nothing changes. No i am not a believer in one person changes the world, why because unless your willing to put the hours in and push it all the way to the top, its pointless, most people won't push it, thus pointless

i'll end my comments since we will never agree. its fine

Hellrazor
Bah Humbug

join:2002-02-02
Abyss, PA
Reviews:
·Service Electric..
reply to Gaff
You have a right to refuse. Then they also have the right to pick you off for the smallest BS reason ever and I think you found that out. If you have nothing to hide it is far easier to just show them your ID.

If you have a CC license and are carrying it is in your best interest to give them that ID along with your license. Most take that hint rather well. A few get very nervous.


hitachi369
Embrace Your Rights
Premium
join:2001-10-03
Grand Rapids, MI
kudos:4

4 recommendations

reply to Gaff
My only suggestion would be to check if you even need to give your ID if you are being detained. In a lot of states unless you are being charged with a crime you do not need to. Also no chit chat with the police, they were pumping your for information that they could have potentially used against you later.

I commend you for standing up for our rights, if more people followed your lead we would be better off. We shouldn't need to live in a police state where the Stasi demand to see your papers at their whim.

I have a somewhat related story where they (the police) were pounding on my door at 1am. I have a dumb brother who might have killed himself, so I answered the door. Once I ascertained that my brother wasn't dead, though apparently a suspect I was done with them. There requests to come in, were declined, there requests for my ID were declined. It is a scary world we live in, and the more that we allow our rights to be needlessly trampled, the worse we are off.
--
STOP THE NSA WIRETAPS


They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security
~Benjamin Franklin

LittleBill

join:2013-05-24
kudos:1
reply to Hellrazor
said by Hellrazor:

You have a right to refuse. Then they also have the right to pick you off for the smallest BS reason ever and I think you found that out. If you have nothing to hide it is far easier to just show them your ID.

If you have a CC license and are carrying it is in your best interest to give them that ID along with your license. Most take that hint rather well. A few get very nervous.

good point Hell. i always hand my CC card along as well if i am carrying. it saves a bunch of tension


Gaff
Just like the gypsy woman said

join:1999-09-05
North TX, US
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to hitachi369
As I was typing it the biggest flaw I could see is that I answered their questions when I had no obligation to do so. Thanks for confirming that. I really should have said something like "Respectfully, I decline to answer any of your questions without a lawyer present" and I suspect that would have closed that avenue.

I had thought that in the state of Texas you are obligated to provide ID if you are being detained, but »excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/20···it-says/ seems to indicate that you do not. Maybe if I had refused to give my ID their next move would have been to arrest me (on what charge I have no idea), compelling my need to show them my ID.
--
My PC Gaming Blog
»www.unbooted.com


Camaro
Question everything
Premium
join:2008-04-05
Westfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..
·Comcast

2 recommendations

reply to towerdave
said by towerdave:

but why not just show your ID the first time?

Because this is America, not Germany circa 1942. If the officer gave a legit reason, IE suspicious person in the area was seen, Etc.Then I would take it right out no questions asked. I don't give a rats ass if the President asked me for my id with no justification then kiss my ass.
Expand your moderator at work


ArkhmAsylm
Evrythng I need isn't really what I want

join:2006-02-22
Saint Paul, MN
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

reply to Gaff

Re: Detained by law enforcement

My suggestion would be next time to continue your mantra (Detained? Free to go?), but add "I wish to retain my right to remain silent, and will not answer any questions", and don't answer any questions.

Contrary to what the "make it easy on yourself" crowd says, by offering up answers and IDing yourself you could potentially be giving them something to use against you. They were troll fishing. They followed you for the opportunity to legally get your ID...they thought they had you pinned as a bad guy - THAT is why submitting to them is dangerous.

That isn't paranoia. It isn't being stand-offish. Any legal expert will tell you that you should not offer anything that you aren't legally required to.

"...Can and will be used against you..." - this doesn't just apply after one is arrested.

-
--
*Tap, Tap, Tap* Is this thing on?


Gaff
Just like the gypsy woman said

join:1999-09-05
North TX, US
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
Thank you.

I'm really wondering what would have happened if I had refused to show ID, since I know now you only have to show ID in Texas when being arrested, not detained.
--
My PC Gaming Blog
»www.unbooted.com


hitachi369
Embrace Your Rights
Premium
join:2001-10-03
Grand Rapids, MI
kudos:4
They would have hemmed and hawed and let you go. They had nothing on you.

85281231

join:2014-02-01
said by hitachi369:

They would have hemmed and hawed and let you go. They had nothing on you.

Unless they really wanted to be asses, you fit the description of whomever, you are under arrest.

Ya'll remember the video where the young guy refused to roll his car window down at a DUI checkpoint(if I remember right), and causes himself a LOT of unnecessary grief when if he had just rolled his window down and answered the cop's questions he would have been gone in a couple minutes.


hortnut
Huh?

join:2005-09-25
PNW
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Gaff
Some last questions. On your future walks, are you going to include the same area again? And if not, why?

If encountering the same officers/patrol cars, will you acknowledge them in some sort of friendly manner? Get them to stop and shoot the bull?

I am sure you are still shaken, but having some 'friends' if you encounter others in your walks in other areas may be beneficial.

billydunwood

join:2008-04-23
united state
kudos:2

1 edit

2 recommendations

reply to Gaff
I have much experience with laws, case laws and am in school for Criminal Justice, so let me give you what I think.
#1 absoultely the correct thing to do, "Am I being detained, free to go". You do NOT have to show your ID, as Texas is not a Stop and ID state. However, if you are legally detained in TX you have to give your name, residence and DOB.
#2 When he told you to put your hands on your head so he can pat you down, did he ask? Because if he didn't, technically that is illegal. According to Terry v Ohio, he has to have a reasonable suspicion that you are armed and dangerous in order for him to pat you down, unless you consented. You should have refused.
#3 Never answer questions. Exercise your right to remain silent. That way anything you might have said cant be used against you.
#4 Does the bridge have a sidewalk on it for pedestrians? Im not too familar with TX law about this, but I can almost say that in order for you to be blocking a public highway, you have to be blocking something from moving. If there were no cars in the area trying to get through, you aren't blocking anything. This is the 1 thing I am not 100% sure of.
#5 If you are not detained(like the 1st time they stopped you), you do not have to take your hands out of your pockets.
#6 They can tell you to not take your phone out if you are being detained.
#7 They might be recording, but if they do something wrong and you/your lawyer needs that tape, 99% chance they already deleted it. Happens all the time.
With more details about the bridge and if they asked you if they could pat you down, I can tell you if it was an illegal detention or not. If it is, I will tell you to file a complaint.

Oh, and to all the people out there who say, why didn't you just give the ID, it would have been faster blah blah blah, "Rights are like muscles, they get weak when you don't exercise them".
--
No Victim=No Crime

billydunwood

join:2008-04-23
united state
kudos:2
reply to LittleBill
said by LittleBill:

its never smart to argue with cops. there are about a billion things they can find to charge you with if they choose too..

And Resisting Arrest/obstruction of justice aka Contempt of Cop is one of them that they seem to love using. As in a lot of cases, they would have just dropped the charge when he showed up at the Preliminary Hearing.
--
No Victim=No Crime

tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2
reply to Gaff
Over the past several months I've educated myself on these issues. No one can argue that once you start giving up your rights (freedom to move around on the US, not having to prove who you are unless suspected of a crime, etc.) law enforcement will simply start ignoring those rights. Perfect example... the OP and this post! The police had no right to stop him. From what he posted he was not "blocking a highway". It was something the police made up in order to get his ID and question him. Personally I think the officers should be held accountable for their BS treatment of a citizen. If they can't do their job without violating the rights of the public then they should seek other employment.


Hayward
K A R - 1 2 0 C
Premium
join:2000-07-13
Key West, FL
kudos:1

2 edits
reply to Gaff
said by Gaff:

I would add that that officers both seemed quite polite and courteous, so there was that.

Especially for Texass

And if they were profiling the OP for a recent crime they could have just said so and sorry as valid reason to ask for ID they said they would have gladly complied with vs the seeming random BS..
--


billydunwood

join:2008-04-23
united state
kudos:2
reply to tcope
said by tcope:

Over the past several months I've educated myself on these issues. No one can argue that once you start giving up your rights (freedom to move around on the US, not having to prove who you are unless suspected of a crime, etc.) law enforcement will simply start ignoring those rights. Perfect example... the OP and this post! The police had no right to stop him. From what he posted he was not "blocking a highway". It was something the police made up in order to get his ID and question him. Personally I think the officers should be held accountable for their BS treatment of a citizen. If they can't do their job without violating the rights of the public then they should seek other employment.

Completely agree, except police officers are usually not held to the same standard as normal citizens. And when you file a complaint, guess who investigates it? Another police officer! Sounds biased to me...
--
No Victim=No Crime