Mighty Jalapeno wrote:They are allowed to ask. And she is allowed to protest that until she finds confirmation. And the cops should be prepared to educate citizens as to their rights, preferably by knowing enough about those rights to be considered a trustworthy source. Until all parties are satisfied as to the rights provided to each party, there doesn't seem to be much GAIN from violently arresting someone for the crime of 'actively looking up information to better answer police questions'.
Unfortunately, the video is a perfect example of what not to do with Police right now. But at the same time, Police need to recognize the language of less educated? (knowledgeable?) people and perhaps treat them a bit better. At the end of the day, Police are bureaucrats and they speak the language of bureaucrats. Poor cops can get confused about the steps, but they typically undergo specific training. The correct key-words at the right points can bring back your rights if you know them.
1. Officers are allowed to "stop" you and ask questions. During this phase, you are free to leave. There are no "police powers" under use right now. Just as anyone on the street can stop you and ask you questions, a police officer is allowed to stop you and ask you for questions.
2. Officers can escalate a situation to "detained" if there is a reasonable suspicion for a crime. Officers gain additional powers while you are detained. They can search you, including frisking you for weapons or contraband. Furthermore, you lose your right to leave freely, you must stay with the officers as long as you are "detained".
IMO, it seemed like the Officer interpreted the lady as leaving him as she turned away from him, and then escalated the situation to an arrest. I think we all can agree that the officer should have allowed the lady to have her legal counsel (Americans should _always_ have the right to legal counsel), as well as the right to plead the fifth. It would seem like in this case, the officer got confused about the steps and made an error in judgement. IIRC, officers commonly make mistakes during "detaining" suspects, so its important for you to know what rights you do have.
Anyway, You have a right to be detained only for an appropriate amount of time (up to 15 minutes for a traffic stop, varies by situation as well). At which point the officer needs to let you go. You still have a right to a lawyer and the right to remain silent while detained.
IMO, I think the lady would have had a very different situation if she knew her rights and before
getting on the phone, she said "Officer: am I free to go?". The officer would then say "No, You aren't free to go. I have some questions for you". Then she'd should be allowed to ask questions on her phone. However, she'd also have to be clear with the officer that she'd still be working with him (in particular, turning away was probably interpreted as her attempting to flee the officer... unfortunately). Another point: Police often understand "bureaucratic speak". Reminding the officer that you are in a state of "Detained" and that you are seeking "Legal Counsel" often works the magic. Lady responded more... typically in the situation. But speaking the language that Police understand can help prevent misunderstandings.
EDIT: Found a good video about the situation
. That's more or less what I was taught in school. It doesn't necessarily mean the officer will treat you pleasantly, but it does communicate the fact that you know your rights to the Police officer.
3. "Arrest" is the final step, which the officers put you in a car and off to jail with you. I'd argue that the video was an unlawful arrest, but I think the right words could have prevented the situation. Still, in the case of actual arrest, you must comply with the officers and not resist.
When evidence comes out later, it will be clear that you weren't resisting arrest
and you'll sue the police department... and throw out the illegally gathered evidence before court. That does take some legal know-how unfortunately and starts getting to the obscure corners of law. Might even vary on a state-by-state basis.
Officers are allowed to detain you for "reasonable suspicion". She was almost certainly under a state of "detained" during the altercation. There was a traffic incident and the other lady was pointing a finger at her, that more
than qualifies as "reasonable suspicion". Escalating the situation to "Arrest" definitely seems unwarranted however.
In any case, it is important for citizens to understand the state of "Detained", and how to interact with officers in that state. (At least, in theory). In the majority of cases, officers will be a bit more cautious against people who know their rights... because if they follow improper procedure then you can ping them in courts later. So definitely study up. The state of "detained" is very common: every traffic stop is technically a state of "detained".
I personally didn't know about "Stop and Identify" laws either. So it seems like the details of "Detained" vary on a state-by-state basis. So study up for sure.
Diadem wrote:Fair enough. But either way she was a driver, and police are allowed to ask for ID.
In the US, you have a right to independent legal counsel. It slows things down a bit, but I'd have to say the cop was itching for an arrest that day or something. With that said, I'm pretty sure you do have to show proper identification when an officer asks for it. But an officer should never
stop someone from requesting legal counsel.
EDIT: In the US, the Police are allowed to use everything you said from "stage 1" and "Stage 2: detained" against you. It is only natural for citizens therefore to be distrustful of police when they are being detained. I think it is an expectation that Police be patient with a citizen who is detained and double-checking the legal status of various situations on a cell phone.
First Strike +1/+1 and Indestructible.