By John Wilkenson
(NOTE: No part of this essay is to be construed either directly or indirectly as "legal advice". It is for educational and informational purposes only, and is 100% political speech/opinion protected by both the United States and Colorado constitutions. See the Legal Disclaimer section of this website. Keep in mind Wikipedia is by no means authoritative. It is merely an extremely useful gateway to online research.)
Of great interest to me are the types of people who, possessing zero first-hand information, are willing to have combatively-proud-of-ignorance opinions on such events. So I decided to conduct an experiment of sorts and combine the information I obtained from the experiment with a basic tutorial on "How To Talk To Police 101".
I looked up Danièle Watts' (DW) Facebook (FB) page and Twitter address, and left a comment1 on the story which was posted on DW's FB page. As of this writing, there were 65 replies and 487 "likes" reflecting various attitudes about my comment, which, of course, inferred various attitudes on the relevant issues dealt with in this essay. One guy even wrote, "I could swear at least 100 comments on that thread were deleted by users. It was much more active than 65 comments."
(NOTE: In my little social media experiment, I deliberately did a couple of provocative things. I used the insulting word "illiterate" to describe what I anticipated would be some of my detractors. I didn't mean they can't read. I meant they are functionally illiterate in Constitution 101 (which they are). I also said "the cop/s responsible should be fired", when, in the absence of all the facts, that is impossible to know to a moral certainty. But I knew it would light a fire under the constitutionally illiterate "cops are always right" crowd. And it did. I just hope they are intellectually curious enough to read this entire essay and find out why their ilk is part of the reason the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law are dead in America, and why Americans have the corrupt, divide-and-conquer, Heleglian-dialectic, police-state government we collectively deserve. BTW, folks who don't know that cops routinely lie about what the law says are living in a dreamworld of blissful ignorance. That's their problem, not mine.)
At the outset, it is necessary to state that I was not a witness to the alleged events, so my analysis is based on the same media reports everyone else reads. The facts of any given case determine what law applies to that case. See Courts On Trial: Myth And Reality In American Justice, by Jerome Frank. Some sensationalize-everything spinners have said Daniele was having sex and then played the race card. That seems to have evolved into "a male white and female black were involved in a sexual act inside a Mercedes". Whatever the whole truth is, I view it as irrelevant to a discussion about the political2 realities of this case and of how best to talk to police during a "contact".
It is necessary to dispel one common misperception about police. Many "love-cops-no-matter-what-they-do" types believe the police are there to protect the individual from harm. False. Police have no legal duty to protect the individual. See DeShaney v. Winnebago City Social Services Department, 489 U.S. 189 (1989). They exist to enforce public policy, no matter how blatantly unconstitutional or evil that policy may be. Worse yet, it is no legal defense against physically resisting police that their actions were willfully and knowingly illegal. Of course, many clueless "left v. right" types don't understand that harsh reality.
To be fair, it is necessary to point out that some of the people police deal with are dangerous and violent-bully scum-of-the-Earth types. This can help explain (but not excuse) the "we-they", "empty-your-gun-into-the-center-of-the-perp's-body-mass" training cops get. This can also explain (but not excuse) the fact that virtually 100% of police officers will lie if they believe the circumstances warrant it, and/or if they believe their case or career depends on it. It's called "testilying", and has been discussed at some length by Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz.
The reason all cops will cheerfully lie about threshold probable cause is because they can't admit they stopped you for no articulable reason, or they simply don't have a case because all evidence gained from a technically illegal stop/"contact" can be suppressed. That doesn't work for any cop who decides to charge you with something, so they lie about threshold probable cause to solve that problem.
I like to think of talking to a cop as a sort of chess game. It's easy to play the game with a "good" ("nice guy") cop, and more tricky with a "bad" (tyrannical AH) cop. The first requisite of being a good chess player is to know the rules. So every citizen needs to understand the law regarding being stopped by police. I like to know the law (which I do) without overtly telling the cop I know the law. So I never say things like "I know my rights". The first thing you need to know is that anything you say can (and WILL) be used against you by the cop in a court of law. So it's just plain not smart to come off as a smart aleck, not to mention the fact it is very bad public relations.
In any political2 discussion (which I view a police stop as being), the object is to narrow down your opponent's options and talking points as much as possible, while simultaneously preserving as many of your own options and talking points as possible. That's what I automatically do if I am forced to talk to a police officer who is on duty and acting in an investigatory capacity under color of law. "The First Amendment protects a significant amount of verbal criticism and challenge directed at police officers." City of Houston v. Hill, 482 U.S. 451, 461, 107 S.Ct. 2502, 96 L.Ed.2d 398 (1987).
During a "contact" the citizen's job is harder than the cop's job because the citizen has to know the rules of the game and know what to say at just the right times. As an investigator, all the cop has to do is ask you questions, the answers to which constitute "evidence" and WILL be used against you if the "contact" results in charges and an appearance in court. There is NO WAY giving evidence to a cop can help you. Zip, zero, nada. So I try not to do that. At the opportune time, I might ask things like, "are you conducting a criminal investigation, officer?" or "what is the nature of your investigation, officer?"
Courts have said: "Encounters between police officers and citizens generally can be categorized as arrests, investigatory stops, or consensual encounters." See United States v. Shareef, 100 F.3d 1491, 1500 (10th Cir. 1996) and U.S. v. Reeves, 524 F.3d 1161, 1169 (10th Cir. 2008). But IMO that's not clear enough because it doesn't mention Terry-type detentions. Is the detention for 10 seconds, 10 minutes, or 10 hours? It makes a difference as to what law applies and whether a "detention" constitutes (or turns into) an "arrest". So I would add a fourth category of "fishing expeditions" where the stop ostensibly starts out as a brief "investigatory" stop with the officer hoping you'll provide him with information to extend the detention or turn it into an arrest. The difference is that a "Terry stop/detention" must be based on reasonable suspicion, whereas a "fishing expedition" is based merely on the officer's hunch, profiling (e.g. race, demeanor, body language, etc.) or baseless inclination to make the stop because he doesn't like your looks (or skin color).
An "arrest" is legally required to be based on probable cause or an arrest warrant. An "investigative" stop/detention is legally required to be based on reasonable suspicion. A "fishing expedition" is basically illegal and cops will ALWAYS lie about them because they will NEVER admit to doing something illegal. They could lose their jobs, not to mention not having a case. A "consensual" stop/conversation is ill-advised and inherently dangerous because, unbeknownst to the average Constitution-101-illiterate citizen, any little piece of information could instantly turn a "consensual" stop/conversation into a "fishing expedition", a "Terry detention", or a full-scale arrest. That's why the citizen should know the law regarding all four types of police encounters, and how to calmly and dispassionately "play the game" in all four situations like a master chess player. Because of how the "system" functions, I consider it absolutely crucial to get it on record that NO dialogue between me and any on-duty police officer is consensual. Why? Because it determines what law applies to the situation.
When they stop you, good cops will usually either tell you why they are stopping you or ask if you know why they are stopping you. If they don't, I ask politely -- (honey catches WAY more flies than vinegar) -- something like, "Did I do something wrong, officer?" If he says "No," you have instantly eliminated probable cause, simultaneously with narrowing the cop's options. If the cop asks something like "where are you going?" I might counter with something (logically contextual) like "I'm on my way to the grocery store -- (or wherever) -- do you suspect me of something?" If the cop is a smart aleck he might ask, "what makes you think I suspect you of anything?" In that case I would respond, "because I am presuming that you didn't stop me without an articulable reason -- right?" If the cop says he doesn't suspect you of anything, you have instantly eliminated reasonable suspicion and simultaneously narrowed the cop's options to "fishing expedition" or "consensual" conversations.
At that point the cop may just write you a ticket or terminate the "contact". If the cop does not terminate the conversation/"contact" at that point, the game can get more interesting. Depending on the cop's behavior, there is nothing wrong with asking something like "I really need to get going now, am I free to go?" If the cop says "No," from a legal point of view, he has instantly turned his fishing expedition into a non-consensual Terry stop/detention, which means he is legally required to have reasonable suspicion. At that point I might repeat the question, "What do you suspect me of doing wrong?" If he says "Nothing" then the stop has lost its legality at that point (but it serves no useful purpose to tell a cop you know that). Never let your opponent know how good a chess player you are. At that point I might say something like, "I have already shown you my ID, and the U.S. Supreme Court has said the citizen has no legal obligation to talk consensually with a police officer. It is my policy not to consent to this type of conversation." If the cop has the guts to say, "why don't you want to talk to me, have you got something to hide?" at that point I would have no problem saying something like "No, it's just that I have a policy of not engaging in consensual conversations with any person for whom it is legal for them to lie to me but illegal for me to lie to them. I don't like uneven playing fields. Am I free to go?" It's not smart to play the "am-I-free-to-go" card too soon, as it can irritate tyrant-type cops who have "heard it all" before. The great value of the "am-I-free-to-go" card is that it instantly determines whether or not the investigatory conversation was "consensual". And that, in turn, determines what law applies to the situation.
If a cop asks if it's OK (he's looking for your consent) to search your car, I might say something like, "Because it determines what law applies to this situation, I have a policy of never consenting to searches, but if you are going to search anyway without my consent, it is also my policy to not resist." If the cop wants to push the game farther, he might say, "I can have a dog come out and sniff your car." In that case, I might say, "You have to do whatever you think is your job. My job is to make sure you understand that I do not consent to anything. Am I free to go?"
In states where it is legal to do so, I wouldn't hesitate to record an encounter with police without their knowledge, provided that I was a party to the conversation, and, therefore, recording my own conversation. It would greatly enhance the likelihood of them getting caught in their own lies. Cops routinely destroy evidence (a serious felony) of their illegal behavior, and your recording device would most likely be seized and "lost" if the cops knew they were being recorded. In states where it is illegal to record conversations in which not all parties to the conversation have been notified, I would work to change the law because the prohibition of recording criminal government behavior only enables it instead of deterring it. Such laws were passed by lying, manipulative, police-state-minded control freaks, NOT real servants of the people and self-ownership. In my opinion, destruction of evidence by a cop, prosecutor or judge should be a Class 1 felony.
What is of absolutely crucial importance for any citizen to understand is this: in an encounter with the police, YOUR BEHAVIOR AND DEMEANOR CAN BE JUST AS LEGALLY DETERMINATIVE of what kind of "investigatory stop" it eventually morphs into as the behavior/demeanor of the police officer/s. My guess is that Daniele Watts didn't understand that crucial little tidbit of information. My guess is that's why she apparently unwittingly knocked the board over during the chess game before the game was finished.
The reason cops hate video and/or audio recording of their conversations and behavior is because those recordings can be used to prove that the cop is lying (committing perjury) in court on the witness stand. Recordings are generally not admissible under the rules of evidence, so the cop must be asked penetrating questions under direct examination. If the cop lies under examination, the recordings (which are "hearsay"), depending on the jurisdiction, may suddenly become admissible to impeach the testimony of a lying witness, which cops routinely are. IMO, perjury should be a Class 1 felony for cops, prosecutors and judges. The integrity of the justice system and the very concept of "rule of law" depend on it. Otherwise "justice" is nothing more than a crap shoot.
With all due respect for the Constitution-101-illiterate "the cops are always right" crowd, any person who is too ignorant to understand why it's not smart to talk to the police, should please watch the video titled "Don't Talk to Police" embedded below. It is most informative and enlightening. You will hear why a law professor and a world-class criminal investigator say you should never talk consensually to any police officer under any circumstances. Be the American police state and its militarized, jackbooted-thug cops as they may, refusing to give "name, rank and serial number" (ID) is not a hill I am willing to die on. It's too much of a distraction from more important chess moves. Free speech is the hill I am willing to die on. If I were unwilling to show my ID, I would simply leave it at home. Perhaps I simply forgot it and accidentally left it home in another pair of pants. I just want to quietly win the chess game and help restore the U.S. Constitution to Supreme Law of the Land status, not out-pose, out-posture, and out-huff-and-puff some anti-constitution, anti-self-ownership jackbooted thug.
A word of self-preservation advice: don't think for even one split second that you can intimidate a "law" enforcement officer, whether verbally or physically. They are trained to take control of the situation, even if that means calling for assistance, beating you to a pulp, and/or killing you. If you resist them, or otherwise defend yourself, it's "assault on a police officer". If they kill you (no matter how unconstitutionally) it's "enforcing the law" or "self-defense".
Trying to intimidate a cop is like threatening to hit a professional boxer: they are not impressed; they are trained "full contact" warriors. Because the American people are collectively stupid enough to tolerate a fraudulent "war on drugs", cops kill countless innocent people and pets in warrantless wrong-address no-knock raids, all the while knowing that nothing is going to happen to them because their bosses, unions and co-workers will lie, cover up and "politick" for them if necessary. Cops have no way of knowing in advance which citizens are armed and dangerous criminals, and citizens have no way of knowing in advance which cops are dangerous anti-constitution psychopaths. So don't even think about going down that dead end street unless you have a death wish when dealing with a psychopathic, anti-constitution thug/bully cop (like the ones who beat Kelly Thomas to death). Always be polite -- not friendly or obsequious, just courteous. And while you're at it, take away their potential talking points by KNOWING (and obeying) the law.
One common method of police lying is to pretend that probable cause is not necessary in cases of so-called “exigent circumstances”. That is not true, see U.S. v. Reeves, 524 F.3d 1161, 1169 (10th Cir. 2008).
One common misperception among the "cops-are-always-right" crowd is that a 911 call constitutes probable cause for a police officer. That's not accurate. "4th Amendment probable cause" and "justification for investigation" are obviously not legally synonymous terms. A 911 caller could be making a false report to the police. That doesn't constitute probable cause. It's only "hearsay", but it can constitute constitutionally valid justification for a "stop and talk" or "knock and talk" investigation. See "Knock and Talks", by By Jayme W. Holcomb, J.D, starting at page 23 (of 35) of the August 2006 edition (Volume 75, No. 8) of "FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin". In this situation, the police apparently received a 911 call, which was then radioed to the cops for investigation. That's two-layer hearsay -- kind of like "Bob called George, who radioed Fred." That's hearsay and, as I said, can be justification for a constitutionally valid investigatory stop, but it does not constitute 4th Amendment probable cause because the investigating (and arresting) officers have zero first-hand information/knowledge upon which to base an arrest.
Some states have so-called "stop and identify" statutes. Colorado's statute is C.R.S. 16-3-103, which says in pertinent part, "(1) A peace officer may stop any person who he reasonably suspects is committing, has committed, or is about to commit a crime and may require him to give his name and address, identification if available, and an explanation of his actions. A peace officer shall not require any person who is stopped pursuant to this section to produce or divulge such person's social security number. The stopping shall not constitute an arrest."
You may notice from the statute's wording ("reasonably suspects") that constitutional "reasonable suspicion" is still required for the stop. So the statute is merely a redundancy dreamed up by control-freak politicians to "give police one more tool". The police already have enough "tools" because the great unspoken law of the justice system is that "the judge can do as s/he pleases", the Constitution be damned. It is the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free who need "another tool" for deterring government criminality -- some "tool" which reasonably lies somewhere between tolerating government criminality and violent civil war to restore the U.S. Constitution to Supreme Law of the Land status.
The inherent problem with cutesy "stop and ID" statutes is that it is politically untenable to criminalize silence. For example, in Colorado's stop and ID statute, part of the language is, "A peace officer may ... require [the detainee] to give his name and address, identification if available, and an explanation of his actions." What "actions", picking his nose or clipping his toenails? The cop still has to be able to clearly articulate which "actions" he wants the detainee to explain. And if the detainee fails (or declines) to speak, then, the statute is either 1) criminalizing silence in direct violation of the 1st and 5th Amendments, or 2) amounts to nothing more than a wannabe-clever political manipulation designed to deprive the detainee of constitutional talking points in court. Absent torture, it is impossible to make a person speak. All the law can do is punish a person for remaining silent -- and that idea is anathematical to the 1st and 5th Amendments.
Some judges like to go into shamanistic, esoteric "all-around-the-mulberry-bush" arguments about how a defendant didn't have a "reasonable expectation" that the answers to whatever question/s government interrogators were asking him would incriminate him, therefore he couldn't "take the 5th". That's a crock of police-state B.S. on it's face. IMO, the free-speech (show-your-ID/"papers-please") point has nothing to do with "incriminating" oneself. The point is that the same 1st Amendment which recognizes our Creator-endowed right/choice to speak also recognizes the right/choice to not speak. Back in 1950s, when The House Un-American Activities Committee was questioning folk singer Pete Seeger and trying to be politically cutesy, Seeger declined to answer on grounds of the 1st Amendment, NOT the 5th Amendment. See United States v. Seeger, 303 F.2d 478 (2nd Cir. 1962) - the decision in which the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit reversed Seeger's contempt of Congress conviction and dismissed the indictment.
Criminalizing silence is clearly destructive to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, therefore, according to the terms of the United States Declaration of Independence of 1776, whenever any gang of government criminals attempt to criminalize silence, it is the "Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
Lastly, a person walking (e.g Edward Lawson of Kolender fame) being asked for ID is a different situation from a person driving being asked for ID. There is a constitutional right of locomotion, in other words to walk from place to place. See Kent v. Dulles, 357 U.S. 116 (1958). There is not a constitutional right to drive a dangerous machine (e.g. automobile) from place to place. That has long been considered a "privilege" for which a driver's license and obedience to public-safety-based traffic regulations are required. In the latter situation, the driver's license and "ID" are the same. When you show your driver's license, you are automatically showing your ID. A person who is walking or riding in some kind of vehicle (bus, train, car, etc.) doesn't have to carry a driver's license, so he doesn't have to carry (or show) ID.
Also, I see a huge difference between being asked to show ID when you are on foot in a 1st Amendment protest and being asked to show ID when you're driving a motor vehicle.
Having said all this, do me, yourself and the entire growing self-ownership and restoration-of-the-U.S.-Constitution movements a huge favor. If you break the law and get some kind of traffic ticket, just take your licking with grace and keep on ticking. NEVER try to play the role of a "constitutionalist" just to try to get out of paying the fine on a traffic ticket for an offense of which you are in fact guilty. That's not a hill you want to die on. Individuals who do that morally disgrace themselves and cheapen the entire individual freedom movement, not to mention the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and legacy of the magnificent "Freeborn" John Lilburne (the man -- mentioned in Miranda -- arguably most responsible for establishing the civil right of an accused person to refuse to incriminate himself. Lilburne was tortured, and imprisoned for his pro-self-ownership efforts. He died in his early 40s from poor health resulting from cruel treatment. Remember the heroism of the magnificent John Lilburne if you ever find yourself in a situation of being harassed by police or told by some corruptocrat judge or legislative body that you must either incriminate yourself or be in "contempt".
Personally, I never feel anything but moral outrage and contempt for any arrogant government corruptocrat (in any branch of government) who thinks s/he can lie with impunity about the U.S. Constitution and get away with it because the hoi polloi are too stupid to understand what's going on.
EPILOGUE: From the story at Raw Story News titled, "Photos show ‘Django Unchained’ actress straddling boyfriend in car: ‘They were f*cking’", it appears that a lawyer from the ACLU agrees with my assessment of the law:
"An attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union said police are permitted to ask for ID, just as they are allowed to ask to search personal items, vehicles, or homes – but cooperation isn’t always required."
“'Just because they can ask doesn’t mean you have to allow them to see your ID,' said Peter Bibring, staff attorney for the ACLU of Southern California. 'If you don’t want to provide identification, you can politely say you do not want to do so and ask if you are free to go.'”
"However, he said, police may arrest someone who has been stopped for a driving offense and fails to show ID.
“'If officers are actually trying to write you a misdemeanor citation, you may have to provide identification or face arrest for the misdemeanor offense,' Bibring said."
"Some states require anyone suspected of a crime to show ID if stopped by police, he said, but California does not."
"Police are conducting an internal investigation of the incident, but the ACLU attorney said sometimes it’s probably better to show officers ID if asked."
“'Refusing to show ID could make their investigation take longer even though it’s not illegal to refuse,' Bibring said. 'Providing identification can also just help an interaction with police go more smoothly. Police may want to check for warrants so they can be sure you aren’t a dangerous, wanted criminal. They may be less nervous if they feel they know who they’re dealing with.'”
IMO, Peter Bibring nailed it. IMO, citizens would do well to follow his advice, not to mention the fact there is zero possibility of the ACLU taking up your cause if you don't.
We still don't know all the facts of the case. But it seems highly unlikely to wind up in court, unless some lawyer wants to steal Watts' money. What is definitely worthy of note is how calm the police officer seemed. He looks Latino, so he knew he had the race card covered. I'm curious as to whether or not it was a strategic decision to have a minority cop contact a minority "person of interest". (Whether or not that happened, you can count on the fact such things are discussed internally by police departments.) Also worth noting is the fact Los Angeles Police Sgt. Jim Parker allegedly told the media a witness reported, "they were f*cking." IMO using the word "f*cking" as being reported by a witness was a transparent political manipulation. Parker knew that more people would be on the cops' side if he used the "F-word" than if he used a term such as "copulating" or "having car sex". Personally, I find that kind of wannabe-cutesy pubic relations manipulation despicable, but citizens need to know that if you get into a PR contest with Big Brother, he will do anything possible to demonize you in the eyes of the public. That's part of the "government" game that cops know about but the average citizen doesn't. Unfortunately for Parker, I am a LOT more turned off by his cutesy PR manipulations than by the Watts/Lucas alleged sexual antics. Watts' and Lucas' sexual antics don't represent remotely the threat to human freedom that the debt-as-money oligarchs Parker's ilk serves do. In his heroic book, "With Justice for None: Destroying an American Myth", Gerry Spence said "judges serve Power." So, obviously, do cops.
I've got some news for the "cops-are-always-right" crowd: serving the debt-as-money oligarchs is WAY more dangerous to humankind than a little car sex, which brings us to the subject of what kind of culture we want to live in here in the USSA. My deceased parents were Christian missionaries to Africa, and I never once in my life heard my mother utter one word of profanity. Yet, even she would not have dreamed of calling the cops in a situation such as the one at hand. Mom probably would have prayed a brief silent prayer for the "perps" in question. Those were more libertarian times. Now, everything, including law, justice and policing has been politicized, even core values. How incredibly sad for humanity.
We also don't know whether or not any charges will be filed against Watts and/or Lucas. If no charges are filed, then handcuffing -- especially in a manner that causes Watts' wrist to bleed -- a non-consenting "contact" appears much less justifiable. I suspect the cops, knowing full well they can beat people up and kill them without adverse consequences to themselves, just wanted to teach Watts a lesson. Fine. Question is, in a police-state paradigm where the "good" cops routinely spin, obfuscate and cover-up the blatantly UNconstitutional behavior of the "bad" cops, who gets to teach police-state jackbooted thugs -- (and, like it or not, there ARE some) -- a badly needed lesson prior to Civil War ver 2.0? Hopefully Watts learned the lesson that USSA is nowhere near as free a country as she thought it was. IMO, it will take a lot more suffering and polarization before the American people, en masse, regardless of skin color, age, gender or economic status are ready to do whatever is necessary to throw off the oppression of the debt-as-money oligarchy and restore the U.S. Constitution to Supreme Law of the Land status.
(FULL DISCLOSURE: I have never met Danièle Watts, Brian James Lucas, or the police officer/s who investigated them. I have never seen any of their work, or talked to them or any of their friends. So I am neither a fan nor a detractor, just a neutral "cyberspace-bystander". In fact, I had never heard of either of them prior to the online publicity of Ms. Watts' arrest. I have no personal connection with them whatsoever. I am simply a pro-constitution self-ownership activist who believes (silly as it may sound) that "government3" should obey the law and that America's local police and sheriff departments should be demilitarized, because militarized police departments, with their warrantless, wrong-address, no-knock raids have killed the U.S. Constitution and rule of law in America under the fraudulent "for the children" rubric. “The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.” ~ Adolf Hitler)
RELEVANT COURT DECISIONS AND STATUTES:
(NOTE: Because your humble webmaster lives in Colorado, for my own reference, in addition to U.S. Supreme Court decisions, I have used mostly decisions of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and the Colorado Supreme Court. The reader should look up the relevant court decisions in his or her state and federal circuit.)
Video Captures EXACTLY How Cops Treat Black People - Cenk Uygur
"Police — Your constitutional right to not talk to them" (Pro Se University)
"Reasonable suspicion" - Wikipedia
Stop and identify statutes (Wikipedia)
Look up the rules in your state. Here are some of the Colorado's rules relating to obstruction of justice:
C.R.S. 16-3-103 (Colorado's stop and identify statute)
N.R.S.171.123 (Nevada's stop and identify statute)
C.R.S. 18-8-102 Obstructing Government Operations
C.R.S. 18-8-103 Resisting Arrest
C.R.S. 18-8-104 Obstructing a peace officer, firefighter, emergency medical services provider, rescue specialist, or volunteer
C.R.S. 18-8-105 Accessory to crime
C.R.S. 18-8-111 False Reporting To Authorities
C.R.S. 18-8-114 Abuse of public records
C.R.S. 18-9-303 Wiretapping prohibited - penalty
C.R.S. 18-9-304 Eavesdropping prohibited - penalty
Watts v. Indiana, 338 U.S. 49 (1949) - Justice Robert H. Jackson concurring: "The suspect neither had nor was advised of his right to get counsel. This presents a real dilemma in a free society. To subject one without counsel to questioning which may and is intended to convict him, is a real peril to individual freedom. To bring in a lawyer means a real peril to solution of the crime because, under our adversary system, he deems that his sole duty is to protect his client -- guilty or innocent -- and that, in such a capacity, he owes no duty whatever to help society solve its crime problem. Under this conception of criminal procedure, any lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect in no uncertain terms to make no statement to police under any circumstances."
Ohio v. Reiner, 532 U.S. 17, 20 (2001) - "We have never held, as the Supreme Court of Ohio did, that the privilege is unavailable to those who claim innocence. To the contrary, we have emphasized that one of the Fifth Amendment's "basic functions ... is to protect innocent men ... 'who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances.'" Grunewald v. United States, 353 U. S. 391, 421 (1957) (quoting Slochower v. Board of Higher Ed. of New York City, 350 U. S. 551, 557-558 (1956)) (emphasis in original). In Grunewald, we recognized that truthful responses of an innocent witness, as well as those of a wrongdoer, may provide the government with incriminating evidence from the speaker's own mouth."
"Mere submission to lawful authority does not equate to consent, rather valid consent must be unequivocal and specific, and freely and intelligently given." U.S. v. Manuel, 992 F.2d 272, 275 (10th Cir. 1993) (citing Florida v. Royer, 460 U.S. 491, 497, 75 L. Ed. 2d 229, 103 S. Ct. 1319 )
Florida v. Royer, 460 U.S. 491, 103 S.Ct. 1319, 75 L.Ed.2d 229 (1983) - "The person approached, however, need not answer any question put to him; indeed, he may decline to listen to the questions at all and may go on his way. He may not be detained even momentarily without reasonable, objective grounds for doing so; and his refusal to listen or answer does not, without more, furnish those grounds."
Florida v. Bostick, 501 U.S. 429 (1991) - "Held:
1. The Florida Supreme Court erred in adopting a per se rule that every encounter on a bus is a seizure. The appropriate test is whether, taking into account all of the circumstances surrounding the encounter, a reasonable passenger would feel free to decline the officers' requests or otherwise terminate the encounter."
"(a) A consensual encounter does not trigger Fourth Amendment scrutiny. See Terry v. Ohio,392 U. S. 1, 392 U. S. 19, n. 16. Even when officers have no basis for suspecting a particular individual, they may generally ask the individual questions, Florida v. Rodriguez,469 U. S. 1, 469 U. S. 5-6, ask to examine identification, INS v. Delgdo, 466 U. S. 210, 466 U. S. 216, and request consent to search luggage, Florida v. Royer,460 U. S. 491, 460 U. S. 501, provided they do not convey a message that compliance with their requests is required."
Kolender v. Lawson, 461 U.S. 352 (1983). - "Terry encounters must be brief; the suspect must not be moved or asked to move more than a short distance; physical searches are permitted only to the extent necessary to protect the police officers involved during the encounter; and, most importantly, the suspect must be free to leave after a short time and to decline to answer the questions put to him."
"[T]he person may be briefly detained against his will while pertinent questions are directed to him. Of course, the person stopped is not obliged to answer, answers may not be compelled, and refusal to answer furnishes no basis for an arrest, although it may alert the officer to the need for continued observation."
United States v. Matlock, 415 U.S. 164, 170-71, 39 L. Ed. 2d 242, 94 S. Ct. 988 (1974). "Held:
1. When the prosecution seeks to justify a warrantless search by proof of voluntary consent, it is not limited to proof that consent was given by the defendant, but may show that permission to search was obtained from a third party who possessed common authority over or other sufficient relationship to the premises or effects sought to be inspected."
Stearns v. Clarkson, 615 F.3d 1278, 1282 (10th Cir. 2010)
U.S. v. Reeves, 524 F.3d 1161, 1169 (10th Cir. 2008)
Cortez v. McCauley, 478 F.3d 1108, 1116 (10th Cir. 2007)
Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial Dist. Court of Nev., Humboldt Cty. 542 U.S. 177 (2004), Dissent (John Paul Stevens)
Dissent (Stephen G. Breyer)
Kaufman v. Higgs, No. 11-1390, 697 F.3d 1297 (10th Cir. 2012) - Refusal to answer questions during a consensual encounter, expressed by silence and assertion of "privilege," is not an "obstacle" as the term is used in [Colo.Rev.Stat. § 18-8-104(1)(a)].
Oliver v. Woods, 209 F.3d 1179, 1186 (10th Cir.2000) - "An officer is free to approach people and ask questions without violating the Fourth Amendment. However, the person approached under these circumstances is free to refuse to answer questions and to end the encounter."
Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573 (1980) - "Held: The Fourth Amendment, made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment, prohibits the police from making a warrantless and nonconsensual entry into a suspect's home in order to make a routine felony arrest."
Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968) - Office can stop a suspicious person and ask for ID.
Adams v. Williams, 407 U.S. 143, 92 S.Ct. 1921 (1972) - Officer is permitted to detain the individual until the investigation is completed.
People v. Wilson, 784 P.2d 325 (Colo. 1989) - "Since probable cause to arrest the defendant was based on an illegal search, evidence obtained directly as the result of the arrest must also be suppressed. Wong Sun v. United States, 371 U.S. 471, 83 S.Ct. 407, 9 L.Ed.2d 441 (1963)."
People v. Schreyer, 640 P.2d 1147 (Colo. 1982)
Stone v. People, 174 Colo. 504, 485 P.2d 495 (1971)
When and How to Invoke Your Right to Silence - Nolo Press - "What to Say to Invoke the Right to Silence. The new Supreme Court decision [Berghuis] raises weighty questions, such as whether it’s reasonable to place the onus of asserting constitutional rights on everyday people, most of whom have never cracked the spine of a criminal procedure or constitutional law book. The more practical question is what, exactly, an out-of-custody person must say to inquisitive police officers in order to claim the right to silence. To be safe, they should make clear that they are invoking their Fifth Amendment right to silence and have nothing further to say. That way their subsequent failure to answer any questions cannot be mentioned at trial."
"The only way to prevent the government from introducing evidence at trial of the suspect’s silence is to explicitly invoke the right to say nothing. In other words, without being warned by the police or advised by a lawyer, and without even the benefit of the familiar Miranda warnings (which might trigger a 'I want to invoke my right to be silent!'), the interviewee must apparently say words to the effect of, 'I’m not saying anything because I invoke my right to silence.'"
I would elaborate just a little further. Being trained investigators for whom it is perfectly legal to lie to a suspect, cops are professional liars and word parsers. In other words, in a situation where cops, prosecutors and/or judges want to play cutesy word games to obtain a conviction, merely remaining silent or saying "I have a right to remain silent" or "I want to invoke my right to remain silent" doesn't mean the same thing as clearly and unequivocally invoking the right or saying something like "As of this very second, I hereby clearly, unambiguously and unequivocally invoke my 5th Amendment right to remain silent, therefore I have nothing more to say to you." (Hopefully, asking "May I go to the bathroom please?" or "Am I free to go back to my cell?" doesn't constitute a waiver of your right to remain silent regarding the criminal investigation, but you never know what level of perversity and intellectual dishonesty you might be facing. Hopefully, we do at least know that it is unequivocally illegal for police to torture an interviewee, see Brown v. Mississippi, 297 U.S. 278, (1936).)
Davis v. United States,
512 U.S. 452 (1994)
Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U. S. 477 (1981)
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)
Brown v. Mississippi, 297 U.S. 278, (1936) - "Convictions of murder which rest solely upon confessions shown to have been extorted by officers of the State by torture of the accused are void under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment." In the United States, it is illegal for cops to torture a confession out of a suspect.
Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616 (1886)
Counselman v. Hitchcock, 142 U.S. 547, 563 (1892)
RECENT VIDEOS, BLOGS, ARTICLES, COLUMNS, AND STATEMENTS:
: See John's Twitter for one of the web's most eclectic mashups of interesting real-time news articles. I surf the web for interesting real-time news stories and informative tidbits so you don't have to.
Danièle Watts Has Nothing To Apologize For, by Charing Bull - Madame Noire
'Django Unchained' actress defends not giving ID to cop - CNN Entertainment
7 Rules for Recording Police - Reason.com
Testimony of Alan M. Dershowitz (On Testilying) - House of Representatives Judiciary Committee
Controlling the Cops; Accomplices To Perjury - New York Times
Police Officers Don't Like To Hear These Words - PoliceCrimes.com
Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Not Talk to the Police, by James Kirk Piccione
Dont Talk to Police - YouTube Video - Regent University law professor, James Duane and Virginia Beach Police Department Officer George Bruch explain in practical terms why citizens should never talk to police under any circumstances.
Andrew Napolitano - Recording the Cops - YouTube Video
Ex-FBI Agent Reveals What to Do If The Police Get in Your Face - YouTube Video
How to Never Talk to Police - YouTube Video
How handle POLICE STATE encounters - Part I - YouTube Video
How handle POLICE STATE encounters - Part II - YouTube Video
How to handle POLICE STATE encounters AT YOUR DOOR - Part I - YouTube Video
How to handle POLICE STATE encounters AT YOUR DOOR - Part II - YouTube Video
Lady Lawyer Educates, Owns Bensalem, PA Cop - YouTube Video
DONT TALK TO COPS says NYPD Detective - YouTube Video
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts-U.S. Gold Gone - YouTube Video
For your convenience, I transcribed Dr. Vieira's anecdote about how law is taught, and linked a PDF file HERE.
JEFF DICKSTEIN (lawyer): (at about 5:25 into vid) “All a lawyer means is that you paid a lot of money to a university to be brainwashed that the judges decide what the law is. When I was in law school, we never read the Constitution. We read decisions of judges telling us what the Constitution meant.” (at about 6:00 into vid) "Well, there is no [U.S.] Constitution anymore. It's just an idle word. It doesn't exist. It's been flushed down the toilet. It doesn't exist. There's no 1st Amendment. There's no 2nd Amendment. There's no 4th Amendment. There's no 5th Amendment. There's no 6th Amendment. It just doesn't exist."
How to Overcome Fear When Facing Real Danger - YouTube Video
Hope Number 9: Robert Steele - Spy Improv: Reality Unfiltered - YouTube Video
Catherine Austin Fitts The Looting Of America - YouTube video
Illuminati Vs Anonymous - How To Kill New World Order 2014 - YouTube video
The History of Political Correctness (Complete) - YouTube video
POLICE: Michael Brown Robbery Discredits MSM Narrative - YouTube Video
NYPD cops choke man to death - YouTube Video - A gang of cops chokes Eric Garner to death. I don't believe the cops intended to kill Garner (that would be murder), but I do believe they didn't give a damn whether or not they were hurting or killing him. That would make it reckless involuntary manslaughter, a serious crime for which all the cops involved should be fired and prosecuted. IMO, Michael Brown was a thug/bully/criminal whose Karma caught up with him. IMO, Eric Garner is a genuine victim of criminal police behavior. It would seem that the scumbag professional race hustlers should do a better job of picking their saints.
Obama on Race at White House Correspondents' Dinner - YouTube Video
On the subject of race, the race-dividing Kenyan Usurper cracked wise at the WHC' Dinner: “As a general rule, things don't end well if the sentence starts, 'Let me tell you something I know about the Negro.' You don't really need to hear the rest of it. Just a tip for ya. Don't start your sentence that way.”
Because I realize I could have been born any color (and therefore don't consider myself any better than anybody else), I don't have so-called "white guilt". Accordingly, I have some advice for black folks. To paraphrase the immortal mocking words of OKenyan: "As a general rule, things don't end well if the conversation starts with 'Let me tell you what I know about the Caucasian.' 'If you don't want to pay more taxes so I can have more freebies, you're a racist,' or 'If you object to me beating the hell out of you or killing you just for fun and stealing your stuff just because I don't like white people, you're a racist." You don't really need to hear the rest of it. Just a tip for ya. Don't start your conversations with white people that way.
Also, if you insist on pretending we're not all Americans, so you want to call yourself "African-American" then you can call me a "Euro-American". Many conservative blacks hate the term "African-American", and see themselves as being un-hyphenated Americans, just as AIM activist Russell Means didn't like the term "Native American". Means preferred the term "American Indian" because all people born in North America are "Native Americans. Of course the race-dividng Mainstream Media (MSM) will never say a word about the opinions of black "conservatives".
The Ferguson feeding frenzy - Michelle Malkin
Poll: Only 79% of Obama voters would vote for him again - Washington Examiner
1. Here is what I wrote on Danièle'sFacebook page:
"To the illiterate 'always show your ID' folks, here's how 'contacts' between police and citizens are supposed to work. The police are free to walk up to anybody and start talking, just as any citizen is free to walk up to a cop and start talking. Maybe they just want to exchange pleasantries. The citizen is under no legal obligation to talk to the police. See Florida v. Royer, 460 U.S. 491, 103 S.Ct. 1319, 75 L.Ed.2d 229 (1983) and Kaufman v. Higgs, No. 11-1390, 697 F.3d 1297 (10th Cir. 2012). But in a police state (which Amerika now is), it can be physically dangerous to point that out to a cop."
"A cop isn't supposed to detain someone unless s/he suspects the person has committed, is in the process of committing, or is imminently about to commit, a crime. To make the stop, the 4th Amendment requires that the cop have clearly articulable specific facts which would cause a reasonable person (e.g. a neutral magistrate) to believe there was probable cause to suspect the person has committed, is in the process of committing, or is imminently about to commit, a crime. See Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), Stearns v. Clarkson, 615 F.3d 1278, 1282 (10th Cir. 2010), Cortez v. McCauley, 478 F.3d 1108, 1116 (10th Cir. 2007). A common method of police lying is to pretend that probable cause is not necessary in cases of “exigent circumstances”. That is not true, see U.S. v. Reeves, 524 F.3d 1161, 1169 (10th Cir. 2008)."
"Some cops also like to violate citizens' 1st Amendment right to make a video or audio record of what actually happened. Some cops view recording them as a threat because they want the flexibility of acting lawlessly if they view it as necessary. So they routinely make false charges of 'disorderly conduct', 'interfering with' or 'obstructing' an officer against citizens who are only trying to make a record of the police's actual behavior."
"The cop/s responsible should be fired. Hopefully, Danièle will not take the 'nice guy' approach to the deliberate violation of her constitutional rights. While I probably would have shown my ID (precisely because I fully understand how dangerous cops can be in a police state), I have zero problem with Danièle choosing not to show hers when she thought she had done nothing wrong.
Daniele's illiterate detractors need to read the relevant U.S. Supreme Court decisions before flapping their combatively-proud-of-ignorance jaws. 'It's dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. ~ Voltaire"
"To Chuck McKenna: Grow up. AHs come in all skin colors."
2. Always remember, "politics" = person or group A trying to persuade person or group B to obey the will of A, most frequently for the personal financial benefit of A and to the personal financial detriment (higher taxes) of B. In other words, "politics" = manipulation. That is why deception = the so-called "art" of politics. That is also why "politician" = professional deceiver, and why "political" = deception-based, or having to do with deception. Everybody is competing for political power to steal labor and money out of the "other guy's" pocket and put it in their own. Politicians get votes by promising to be all things to all people. Because that is a physical impossibility, most of their promises of necessity get broken. Because they know this in advance, they are ALL liars to one degree or another. The king is always the most corrupt person in the kingdom. (The first two kings of ancient Israel, Saul and David, were murderers.) In my opinion, any person who sincerely wants to be the king is criminally insane and an implacable deadly enemy to the inalienable Creator-endowed rights of individual freedom and self-ownership. That is also why I believe that a Golden-Rule-morality-based culture is an indispensable prerequisite to any remote possibility of maintaining a U.S.-Constitution-based rule-of-law society for any length of time.
3. In reality, there is no such real thing as "government". It is not a rock, a tree, a river, or even a cloud. It is mere behavior, an established social order, a dominance-based pecking order. With other animal species, it is often called "dominance hierarchy". In the case of humans, the term "social hierarchy" is more often used. As Frédéric Bastiat said, "Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else." As H.L. Mencken said, "“The state — or, to make matters more concrete, the government — consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get, and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time it is made good by looting ‘A’ to satisfy ‘B’. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advanced auction on stolen goods.”" As General Smedley Butler has written, "War Is A Racket". Laurance Labadie said, "the State ... may be defined as an organization of rulers who rob the populace over which it can hold sway, and which uses that populace as soldiers to enlarge the territory and number of people it can exploit. The political history of the world has been the record of internal struggles to grasp State power, and between governments to enlarge their domains." In reality, "government" is merely the dominant individuals in the inherently evil and inevitably corrupting stupid-human pecking order struggle known as "politics"1. These disordered-by-definition dominant individuals merely call themselves "government" so the hoi polloi masses will view them as being intelligent enough and moral enough to merit following and obeying. See "A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace" by John Perry Barlow.
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