Connecticut Supreme Court Says State Cops Can Detain You Simply For Being In The Vicinity Of Someone They're Arresting

from the serving-up-retcons-and-rights-removal dept

Gideon, the pseudonymous public defender who blogs at A Public Defender, has a thorough rundown of a very disturbing ruling recently issued by the Connecticut Supreme Court. It involves every Connecticut citizens' civil liberties, which have now been thrown under a bus bearing the name "officer safety."

The court's decision basically makes everyone a suspect, even if they're suspected of nothing else than being in the relative proximity of someone a police officer suspects of committing a crime, or someone simply "matching the description." How does this work in practice? Gideon posits a single scenario, as interpreted by the person being (wrongly) detained and those doing the actual detaining.

First, imagine you are walking down a public street with your friend. You’re both on your way to the local grocery store to buy some hummus. The police pull up, take a look at you friend and mistakenly believe that he’s a notorious wanted criminal. They order him to stop. You, not wanting to be caught up in this police business, keep walking, but they order you to stop, even though they don’t know you, don’t suspect you and you haven’t done anything wrong. You have rights, dammit and you know the Fourth Amendment. Can they stop you and force you to give up your freedom?

The second is this: what I’ve just described above is a version of the events that transpired. They’re “facts” in a sense that they’re your recitation of the events. But that’s obviously not good enough, right? There is another version – that of the police officers. So who gets to decide which is the “truth”? Which is believable and accurate and should be relied upon? Because – and this is critical – the law is entirely fact-dependent. How the law applies depends on the nuances of the factual scenarios. And that is left entirely up to the trial judge: the judge that hears the evidence from you and the police officers and then decides what “actually” happened. That’s called fact-finding and will only be overturned if “clearly erroneous”. Meaning almost never. There is a deified deference paid to the trial court’s “findings of fact”.
As always, this situation becomes your word against theirs. But the court has now placed even more confidence in "theirs." Your version is that you just happened to be in the vicinity of someone the police are expressing interest in. Their version is that anyone within eyesight is probably either a) an accomplice or b) a threat. And it gets even worse. The police can be completely in the wrong and still be covered by this ruling.
One of the bulwarks of the Fourth Amendment protection is that the police need something called particularized suspicion, meaning that they need to have some evidence to believe that you have committed a crime in order to stop you.

This opinion does away with that. In fact, the police don’t even have to be correct about the person in your vicinity they are seeking to stop.
So, police can be targeting the wrong person and sweep up anyone who happens to be in the vicinity and still be immune from the consequences. In essence, the court gives police the ability, if not the actual right, to detain anyone at anytime for no reason at all. How did the court manage to arrive at this bizarre rights-trampling ruling? Well, it had to do a whole lot of re-imagining of the actual events using the most paranoiac of police officers' mindsets. As Gideon points out, he's never seen the court engage in such a thorough retroactive fact-finding mission -- one that involved massaging the facts until they conformed with the court's preferred outcome.

From the majority opinion:
The defendant next claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the trial court properly had found that Detective Rivera and Lieutenant Angeles were justified in detaining the defendant because they had a reasonable concern for their safety. In support of this claim, the defendant asserts that the trial court’s conclusion was based on clearly erroneous factual findings and, further, that the Appellate Court ignored those erroneous findings and improperly upheld the trial court’s ruling on the basis of facts that the trial court never found.
Explained in plain English by Gideon, who has been following this case as it has progressed through the system:
In support of the finding of officer safety, the trial judge found that the guy the police were looking for (who, of course, was neither of the guys stopped) had a felony warrant for possession of a firearm, and that’s it.

The Appellate Court found that the stop was justified because of the felony warrant for a firearm and credible evidence that the guy they were looking for was armed and dangerous, a fact omitted by the trial court.

The Supreme Court had to agree that the “felony possession of a firearm” factual finding was clearly erroneous because no witness testified as to those words. It was, in fact, a warrant for a violation of probation.
It doesn't add up, but the court fudged the math. Officer safety trumps rights because credible threats are credible even when they're not threats (a probation violation rather than an "armed and dangerous" suspect) and even when they're not credible (no witnesses stating anything to the effect of "armed and dangerous").

The dissenting opinion shows just how dangerous this ruling is.
I agree with the majority that the police have a legitimate interest in protecting themselves. There must be, however, some restrictions placed on the intent. In my view, there are several potential unconscionable ramifications to the majority opinion. For instance, if a suspect with an outstanding warrant is talking to his neighbor’s family near the property line, can the police now detain the entire family as part of the encounter with the suspect? If the suspect is waiting at a bus stop with six other strangers, can they all be detained? If the same suspect is observed leaving a house and stopped in the front yard, can the police now seize everyone in the house to ensure that no one will shoot them while they question the suspect? What if the suspect is detained in a neighborhood known to have a high incident of crime, can the police now seize everyone in the entire neighborhood to ensure their safety while they detain the suspect? There simply is no definition of who is a ‘‘companion’’ in the majority opinion. I would require more than mere ‘‘guilt by association.’’ Ever mindful of Franklin’s admonition, we cannot use the omnipresent specter of safety as a guise to authorize government intrusion.
This is a law enforcement blank check. This allows police to use spurious reasons to detain people they just don't want around -- like eyewitnesses and photographers. This allows police to perform en masse detentions and gives them the opportunity to root around from something more than weak obstruction/interference charges. This eliminates the public's right to live their lives unmolested by law enforcement officers. This makes simply existing "guilt by association." If a criminal is arrested in your yard, you and everyone in your house and every rubbernecker on the street can be detained by officers in order to ensure their safety.

Just as troubling is the amount of creative thinking the court had to engage in to reach this horrific decision. Facts are no longer facts. Facts are just something to be considered or discarded at the court's whim.
It is certainly very curious that the Supreme Court would take the extraordinary step of clarifying “factual findings” by the trial court in an effort to support the conviction, when the clear record below – the words said by the judge in open court – would support a reversal…

Where does it stop? Are facts only facts as long as they’re convenient? Are rights only rights as long as they don’t get in the way of governmental authority?
The Connecticut Supreme Court has delivered its public into the hands of a police state. Anyone, anywhere can be detained for absolutely no reason at all, and when they complain or file lawsuits, this ruling will allow officer safety to override all other concerns. If any facts are actually considered, they'll be filtered through law enforcement sensibilities.




Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 2:03am

    No guessing needed

    I'd say it's pretty obvious what the target here is: people taking photos, or videotaping police on the street.

    If someone isn't being detained, or charged with something, then a cop doesn't really have many (legal) tools they can use to stop them from videotaping them. However, now that they can detain everyone in the area, if someone refuses to stop recording, the cops can just detain them as 'potential accomplices', or something along those lines, and flat out take the camera/phone away from them, and there's nothing they can do about it.

    It goes without saying but, hopefully this one can, and will, be appealed higher, and this insane ruling overturned.

     

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  2.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 4:02am

    I thought we were supposed to have rights.
    Now the only right we have is to be abused by people who are supposed to protect us.
    They do not need to tell the truth, and the adjudicators can just make up any narrative they need to keep the powers that be from any justice for abusing their position.
    Of course few will say anything now, because it will only be used against "Bad People"(tm) and the "Good People"(tm) have nothing to fear... until a cop decides they aren't "Good People"(tm) and the court who is supposed to be impartial railroads them down the road... and they suddenly understand they have no rights they imagined they have... and they gleefully supported these things coming to pass.

    Land of the "Free" * indeed...

    * - "Free" is just a word, you have no rights unless we decide to let you have them and we will take it away when it suits us.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 4:05am

    and their definition of "vicinity" is... ?

    ok.. what's the exact definition of "vicinity"?
    I want it defined in meters, centimeters and milimeters please.

    if not defined, i think they assume that "vicinity" means something on the order of, let's say... 15000 kilometers?

    This should make sure that everyone on Earth (diameter: ~12700km) and in orbit can be arrested just because they want to.

    Verizon Math^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h Fascist Logic at its best

    /sarcasm

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 4:07am

    Now the officers have a reason to fear.

    Now the police WILL have something to fear from the bystanders. If an innocent person who has seen hundreds of situations where it will cost them thousands just to be found innocent is about to get swept up in some officers paranoia, you can bet they will use any and all means needed to escape that situation.

    I foresee many assaults on police officers by bystanders now in trying to escape this situation.

    What a bunch of idiot judges.

     

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  5.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 4:16am

    Re: No guessing needed

    I'd say it's pretty obvious what the target here is: people taking photos, or videotaping police on the street.

    Delete everything after people and you have a point. Those in power simply couldn't care less with the people. When you see those morons criticizing North Korea just tell them to fix their own damn glass ceiling before throwing stones at others.

     

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  6.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 4:18am

    Re: Now the officers have a reason to fear.

    Well, at least officers will fear anyone and everyone. I suppose we'll be seeing more of those pictures of the lone guy blocking a long line of tanks...

     

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    kenichi tanaka (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 4:27am

    I find it hilarious that the above article leaves out too much. First, if the person you're walking with is under suspicion of a crime, the police don't know if you're also involved. They have every right to detain you until they can confirm your identity and involvement with that person you're walking with.

    While the ruling is too broad, it's more designed to prevent morons from stopping and distracting police officers who are not just investigating someone they suspect but also because they don't know who you are.

    Don't always assume that decisions like this are 100% wrong. There are legitimate concerns for officers to be concerned with their own safety.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 4:42am

    and now who thinks the USA is NOT a 'Police State'? this is another step in that direction, where 'authorities' can do as they please and anyone not wearing a police badge is guilty, even if only of getting out of bed! and you can bet your arse, that if this is upheld at appeal, both before during and after, the police will use this ruling to their full advantage, removing all protections from citizens at the same time!! disgraceful ruling and those who made it should be ashamed and called out on it!! i hope to read more from this, as far as it being re-trialled

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 4:48am

    Another state to avoid.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 4:52am

    Can we arrest the police for a breach oif the peace, then?

    I'd pay to watch that, after the stupidity of this rule.

     

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    me, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 4:53am

    Re: No guessing needed

    This needs to be overturned. Any abuse of it, as in any of it, needs a lawsuit in response.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 4:53am

    Re:

    So you are perfectly okay with this ruling supporting lies they told in court that were not supported with facts until the court made them facts.

    So someone sitting in judgement can accept a lie and make it fact and there is no downside, no recourse.

     

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    alternatives(), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 4:56am

    The whim of the Court

    Just as troubling is the amount of creative thinking the court had to engage in to reach this horrific decision. Facts are no longer facts. Facts are just something to be considered or discarded at the court's whim.

    That is already the case. You don't even have to be a cop to have a casual relationship with the "truth" - just being a lawyer is good enough because lawyers can't lie in Court. They can only preform misconduct.

    2 cases in Wisconsin that never got to any appellate level - a guy has been running a business of under 50 employees and in previous lawsuits claimed via his own affidavit he was the General Manager of the business. In the 1st of the 2 lawsuits when asked via interrogatory if he knew who the owners were he claimed he did not. In the 2nd lawsuit said guy claimed he was the 50% owner.

    No perjury charges for him because the claims were filed by lawyers - he was never "on the stand".

    Such deception issues are long term - the ABA in 1995 published in May issue "The Lies Have It" where the 40+ year Milwaukee DA E. Micheal McCann pointed out that they just don't bother with civil felonies for perjury.

     

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  14.  
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    alternatives(), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 5:07am

    Re:

    I find it hilarious that the above article leaves out too much.

    Tis much more humorous (in that gallows sort of way) to see how you don't bother to expand or show proof to back up your positions.

    They have every right to detain you until they can confirm your identity and involvement with that person you're walking with.

    Good Citizen Tanaka - you posted on TechDirt and these posts were seen in the proximity of posts of Alternatives(). Please come with us because we have a few questions.

    designed to prevent morons from stopping and distracting police officers

    Errrr - STOPPING a police officer would fall under existing law. Care to justify why present law isn't good enough and police need MORE authority? Or are you just going to tuck your tail between your legs and scuttle off?

     

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    alternatives(), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 5:10am

    Re: Re:

    So someone sitting in judgement can accept a lie and make it fact and there is no downside, no recourse.

    Yes, that would seem to be the case.

    US V Reynolds a case where 'experts lied' and once the truth was discovered it was not reopened.

     

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    kenichi tanaka (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 5:40am

    I never said we didn't live in a police state. But, then again, I don't go out actively trolling cops with a loud mouth and a videocamera or a camera/cellphone. While it technically isn't illegal, when you actively provoke a bear, expect to get chased down and attacked. How many of you deliberately provoke a hive of angry bees? Remember, never wake the sleeping dragon, because you're bound to get bit.

     

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    Arie, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 5:41am

    Quote from the article: "As always, this situation becomes your word against theirs. But the court has now placed even more confidence in theirs [Police Officer]."

    This doesn't sound that strange to me.
    I live in The Netherlands where police officers are sworn in by taken a "Oath of office". They [cops / law enforcement officers] are believed to tell the truth or truthfully describe what happened and not lie.
    When there is a dispute over what has really happened in a specific situation a judge will try to reconstruct/establish what was really happened and if this can not be established or remains unclear, a judge will (very likely) rule in favor of the police officer as it has 'sworn to tell the truth' when he or she became a police officer.
    Then a citizen must prove otherwise. But is nearly impossible when there are no cameras, sound recordings or reliable witnesses.

    We all know that everyone lies (at least sometimes), and police officers are no exception to this rule.
    However, proving this may be very difficult.

     

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  18.  
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    m.hawranke, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 5:41am

    Cops Can Detain.....

    poor people in the U.S. nothing better than KGB-Russia and Gestapo-Nazi-Germany even more worse! Get out of there as long
    it's possible!

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 5:52am

    This pisses me off. Serious question, what can we do to get this overturned? Would our representatives be able to do anything, or the ACLU?

     

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  20.  
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    Groaker (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 5:53am

    Officer safety is a rather bizarre concept. The homicide rate of police "on the job" is low. One fifth that of cab drivers. Much lower than that of farmers.

    Yet police, whose primary concern should be the safety of the civilian population, kill more innocents than police are murdered. The police have voluntarily accepted a paid position to provide protection to us, but continually refuse to see those who are not police as being less than human.

    It reaches the final irony of Orwell's Farm when the pigs are walking on two trotters, and claim "some four legs good, two legs better."

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 6:01am

    Re:

    So, a cop can detain me simply because he doesn't know who I am? So, if I'm a cop from Brooklyn who moves to Connecticut, I don't know anybody in my new precinct, therefore I can arrest everybody. Seems like cops legitimately concerned for their safety would not do stupid shit like detain people they really don't have to. This ruling offered cops the choice to do so. Cops have a mandate to protect and SERVE the public. What they do mostly is treat the public like wartime enemies. This ruling just gives them more power to continue this behavior.

     

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  22.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 6:07am

    Re:

    While it technically isn't illegal, when you actively provoke a bear, expect to get chased down and attacked. How many of you deliberately provoke a hive of angry bees? Remember, never wake the sleeping dragon, because you're bound to get bit.

    Do you ever get tired of blaming the victim? Really, your excuse wouldn't sound out of place coming from the aggressor in an abusive relationship. 'Well if they wouldn't aggravate me, I wouldn't have had to smack them around so much! It's their own fault for not doing what I told them, and for not showing me proper respect!'

    Also, learn to use the 'Reply to this' function, it's really not that difficult to figure out.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 6:09am

    Re:

    You're the sort of nitwit who blames the victim for hitting the bully's fist with his eye, aren't you?

    Jackass.

     

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    scotts13 (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 6:21am

    Two advantages -

     

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    scotts13 (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 6:24am

    Two advantages -

    With this ruling, passersby will be scattering like cockroaches whenever police action is taking place, lest they be caught up in the net. This clears the field of action, for the police to do whatever they want without interference. And, if necessary, they can be shot while "fleeing." They're trying to escape, they must have done something wrong.

     

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  26.  
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    dadtaxi, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 6:30am

    Re: kenichi tanaka

    'it's more designed to prevent morons from stopping and distracting police officers'

    Did you even read the same article, its not about the law is designed to do, its about what now the law can be used for

    'While the ruling is too broad,'

    Ah so you did read the article, so what's your point? That the law is poorly thought out maybe?. Well that is what is being said.

    Or is it that that's not how the intention of the law turned out?

    Kinda the point of the article

     

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  27.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 6:35am

    Re:

    I live in The Netherlands where police officers are sworn in by taken a "Oath of office". They [cops / law enforcement officers] are believed to tell the truth or truthfully describe what happened and not lie.

    'Believed to tell the truth', and 'Do tell the truth' are, unfortunately, not always one and the same, hence why people have increasingly taken to recording police, because when it's a cop's word against the accused, even if they're lying or just 'mis-remembering' what went down, the court will always take the cop's word as fact, with very few exceptions.

    However, introduce video/audio evidence, and suddenly the public has a way to fight back, and give their 'version' of the incident equal weight(well, in some courts at least).

    We all know that everyone lies (at least sometimes), and police officers are no exception to this rule.

    Rather significant difference though: If I lie, the odds it's going to result in someone spending time behind bars, potentially for a long time, is pretty low, at best. If a cop lies however, there are all sorts of extremely unpleasant effects that can have, from fines, charges on the permanent record, to jail time, either short or long term.

    However, proving this may be very difficult.

    And this is why people are videotaping police, so that they can provide evidence if a cop lies.

     

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  28.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 6:46am

    Re:

    You seem hung up on the idea that this will only apply to people trolling them... read the example again.
    They voided the 4th Amendment that they need a ACTUAL reason to stop and detain someone more than they were NEXT to someone we thought might have done something wrong.

    That they can scoop up and hassle anyone in the area that might happen to be filming is an added bonus for them getting away with murder. Or did you miss that magically NYPD managed to find charges against the person who filmed them murdering a man over selling loose cigarettes.

    In CT they now have no reason to justify any stop of anyone, and the public have no recourse even if you show they lie about their reasons. Because a court can just assume the actual facts aren't relevant, and insert their own made up facts in place of actual reality.

     

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    Peter (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 6:49am

    That's wonderful...

    Because the police are involved, I'd say it was a very serious problem. If other people were involved at least I could see the issue, but because the police are involved, I think it's guaranteed that there's going to be criminal acts, but no one will complain -- BECAUSE it's the police.

    Unfortunately I really don't see how it can be fixed -- it'll just come up in a different form somewhere else, probably in many other places. I only hope (which is very unlikely) that it's get's addressed at the Supreme Court level very soon and very swiftly, so there can be a little bit of reason left.

     

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  30.  
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    Quiet Lurcker, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 7:01am

    Re:

    I should think violence against the cop would be defensible under the right of self-defense.

    I wouldn't be surprised to learn that a citizen's arrest might hold. The cop is committing the felony crime of false imprisonment, perhaps false arrest, perhaps kidnapping.

    Perhaps a few dozen incidents in which the cop attempts to detain the innocent and is summarily arrested by the by-standers (assuming the rest of the cops cooperate) in any given town might serve to warn the cops how to behave.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 7:07am

    Re: Re:

    (assuming the rest of the cops cooperate)

    There's the stumbling block, cops would never co-operate with such a plan, either because they know they'd likely face a similar 'arrest' in the future due to their actions, or simply to 'protect' the privilege, 'one law for me, another for thee' state they enjoy.

    Citizens arresting cops would muck that up terribly, and completely flip the balance of power, so you can be sure they'd never allow it.

     

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  32.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re:

    I should think violence against the cop would be defensible under the right of self-defense.

    I wouldn't be surprised to learn that a citizen's arrest might hold.


    I would like to think that's true, but I'm afraid it's a fantasy. If you commit violence against a cop and manage to survive the experience, you're going to jail. No court is going to consider a self-defense claim protecting yourself against arrest, even if it was an unjustified arrest (which in the jurisdiction of this court apparently no longer exists).

    And if you try to arrest a cop the best you can hope for is a car ride in handcuffs, with other possible results including familiarity with the effects of one or more of the following: night sticks, pepper spray, tasers, and small arms fire.

     

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  33.  
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    Easily Amused (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 7:46am

    Re: Kenichi

    Kenichi you remind me so much of my friends from college who were fairly well-off white kids from good neighborhoods that had never witnessed police abuse or blatant racism, and would speak at length about how the system works as intended and any assertions to the contrary were trumped up by scammers or criminals trying to find loopholes.

    Then one of them got falsely accused of sexual assault by a girl they met at a bar and got a front-row seat to the circus of law enforcement. He was eventually acquitted after spending thousands of dollars and having his reputation ruined due to the police leaking 'facts' about the case that were later proven false. After being embarrassed in court when the judge tossed most of their evidence as unsound, the cops decided to stop and harass him for no reason frequently. Eventually he transferred schools out of state to start over.

    All of those naive mouthpieces saw firsthand how being in the wrong place at the wrong time can strip away all of your rights, and we all heard stories about similar crap that had happened to friends like driving-while-black or having police trail you through a mall because you weren't dressed like you could afford to shop there.

    The people brave enough to record the public actions of the police are crucial to maintaining our freedoms. It has been objectively proven that officer bullshit and mistreatment fall drastically when they know that eyes are on them, either with their own cameras or the public's. The argument that anyone 'in the vicinity' can be detained is pure bullshit. Police officers have NEVER BEEN SAFER in the history of the union, both in actual harm and reported incidents. At the same time, successful reports of excessive force are steadily rising because people now have evidence in these recordings that break the old 'your word against the cop' status quo.

    You need some real world experience before your opinion on the subject carries any weight beyond petty trolling.

     

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    Sheogorath (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 7:46am

    Hows about this scenario?

    While making purchases at an automated checkout, somebody exiting the store triggers the alarms. As you exit, you see a woman being placed under arrest, but you carry on to your vehicle in the parking lot. Suddenly, you find yourself under arrest for 'being in the proximity of the arrested shoplifter'. Is Nineteen Eighty-Four being rewritten IRL or something?

     

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    kenichi tanaka (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 7:49am

    The morons with the videocameras and cellphone cameras are exactly what I'm talking about. I can't tell you how many times I've watched videos where idiots just deliberately stop to film police officers in order to provoke a confrontation. I just watched one video, a few days ago, where these idiots were flying drones over a private area of a police station in California and they proceeded to argue with the cops over it. It was obvious they were provoking a confrontation.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 7:54am

    Re: Now the officers have a reason to fear.

    You dont seem far off! I can see the abuse from cops getting more out of hand. What option are they leaving us?

     

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    alternatives(), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re:

    I should think violence against the cop would be defensible under the right of self-defense

    The rabbit trail to go down starts with John Bad Elk v US.

    Here is a link http://www.constitution.org/uslaw/defunlaw.htm

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 8:11am

    Re:

    In your view, what is the difference between exercising ones right to do anything that is not strictly prohibited by law, and provoking a confrontation?

     

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  39.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 8:15am

    Re:

    I can't tell you how many times I've watched videos where idiots just deliberately stop to film police officers in order to provoke a confrontation.


    How is filming police officers from a safe, respectable distance "provoking a confrontation"? Please explain.

    Also, "LEARN TO THREADED MODE!"

     

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  40.  
    icon
    Greevar (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 8:17am

    It never fails to astonish me.

    The abundance of stupidity in the legal system is staggering. How these people manage to put their pants on straight every morning escapes my imagination. I have to defer to Hanlon's razor here, but I can't shake the feeling that this a mix of stupidity and malice. You would have to have little regard for others in order to so casually cast aside their rights in order to mitigate the risk you swore an oath to take on. It's impossible to ensure the safety of the people without first securing liberty. Breaching liberty breaches safety. How can one feel safe in public if their liberty is trampled on by officers in the name of safety?

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Man With Cam, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 8:17am

    Bob Marley sang "Stand up for your rights, " then he was murdered.

    Like the "idiots" who filmed the Rodney King beating, or the California CHP officer slugging an elderly (lost and confused) woman lying defenseless on the ground, or the video a few days ago of a gang of cops choking a man to death in Houston, for the "crime" of selling single cigarettes?

    Had they not been videoed, it is unlikely they would have otherwise been revealed... Not that it really matters, because nothing really changes for the better.

    We are apparently doomed until pushed to the point of moving about in legally armed groups willing to fight back against unjust, inhumane, insane behavior under color of authority.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 8:23am

    Re:

    Your logic works both ways.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    me, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 8:27am

    Cops should be required to be subect to malpractice

    And have a law enforcement license that can be disciplined just like a doctor or a lawyer.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    me, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 8:30am

    other cops cooperate?

    Or are massively outnumbered.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 8:32am

    So is it then within legal rights for leo's to shoot someone across the street ,because they are in the area of an actual crime, and may have been reaching into their pockets or picking their nose , what if it's a crowded street , do they open fire and walk away with in their rights .

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: Re:

    From the bottom of the linked article:

    "As a practical matter one should try to avoid relying on the above in an actual confrontation with law enforcement agents, who are likely not to know or care about any of it. Some recent courts have refused to follow these principles, and grand juries, controlled by prosecutors, have refused to indict officers who killed innocent people claiming the subject "resisted" or "looked like he might have a gun". Once dedicated to "protect and serve", far too many law enforcement officers have become brutal, lawless occupying military forces."

    It seems that regardless of what the courts decide, the law enforcement community is just going to do what it wants to anyway.

    I could go for a constitutional amendment that basically says that law enforcement does NOT get a presumption of honesty and must prove (without coercive deal making to get witnesses to testify) with evidence, their contentions, and that lying, even by omission, by either law enforcement or prosecution causes an immediate and non optional detention and prosecution of those involved.

    Submitted with the certainty that all of the holes in that theory will immediately be exposed by the community. Thank you.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 8:35am

    Re:

    While the ruling is too broad, it's more designed to prevent morons from stopping and distracting police officers who are not just investigating someone they suspect but also because they don't know who you are.

    I could care less that the officer(s) don't know who I am.
    That's exactly THEIR fucking problem.

    For the record, I don't know them EITHER. And because I don't know them, I don't trust them.

    It's becoming more and more obvious that a badge and gun do not in any way, equate to someone I can trust.
    If their jobs are "hard" and they can be so easily distracted, well, I've said it before - they can find another line of work.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 8:37am

    Mass protest

    Does this also apply to protests? All it would take would be one person to be suspected of having a warrant and everyone associated aka the whole crowd, can now be swept up as associates. I guess we will just have to apply this in reverse and arrest every cop when one shows up. You never know when associates might also be criminals pretending to be right holding citizens.

     

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  49.  
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    Greevar (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I agree. However, fighting off a violent attack from an officer making an illegal arrest would likely only result in either getting you killed by other officers in retaliation or being convicted of assaulting an officer after they fabricate testimony to cover up the assaulting officer's crimes.

     

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  50.  
    icon
    ECA (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 8:43am

    "So who gets to decide which is the “truth”? Which is believable and accurate and should be relied upon? "

    That isnt true..
    Law is based on the reasoning of a group of persons WHO think Balance should go more to 1 side more then the other.

    You are driving down the road and a police car Stops you..They SUGGEST that your rear light is not working,
    (Standard protocol means you are NOT ALLOWED to leave the car so you cant CHECK)
    And upon the Police leaving you,
    You Check the light?
    You go home and check the light?
    You goto a mechanic and HE checks the light?

    But the light IS/WAS working..

    If we could get Everyone to be truthful, would that help?
    Truth is in the perspective.

    Police SAFETY??
    Dont they have enough rights and abilities to Protect themselves already??

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 8:49am

    Re:

    Well, if the officers are in a public place, they, of all people should understand that they have no expectation of privacy. After all, it's that same expectation that allows them to observe the rest of us.

    If filming them provokes a confrontation, then something in that head of yours should be asking: why is he agitated? what is he doing wrong that he would not want the encounter to be documented? why exactly is recording the encounter provoking a confrontation?

    Again, if the job's too hard, find another job. But stop complaining that being recorded is somehow causing problems. If they are not doing anything wrong, then they should have nothing to hide, right?

     

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  52.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 8:52am

    Re:

    "They have every right to detain you until they can confirm your identity and involvement with that person you're walking with."

    No, they don't. They have to suspect you, in particular, of something.

    "it's more designed to prevent morons from stopping and distracting police officers"

    Then it's pointless, because we already have plenty of other laws that prohibit that.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    alternatives(), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 8:53am

    Re:

    But, then again, I don't go out actively trolling cops with a loud mouth and a videocamera or a camera/cellphone.

    Well arn't YOU just a special snowflake?

    Because YOU don't do something, no one else should either?

     

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  54.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 8:53am

    Re:

    "While it technically isn't illegal, when you actively provoke a bear, expect to get chased down and attacked."

    So what you're saying is that the police are so unprofessional that you have to treat them like animals?

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 9:07am

    Maybe it's time for citizens to stop paying taxes and toss all the Leo's Into the Boston Harbor. or Create a Citizen's Police Force, to police the police.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Darth Colonel Sanders, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 9:10am

    "Detain" is arrest without charge. It's no different than enemy combatant status.

     

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  57.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 9:16am

    Re:

    enemy combatants at least get the Geneva Convention protections.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    FM Hilton, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 9:18am

    Re:

    So it's all good when it's the "suspect's" mother, father, sister or brother or anyone else they know?

    Did you ever hear of "involuntary detention"? The kind where they don't have to give you reason for your being taken off the streets? I mean, they don't even need to have one for any person, anytime, anywhere with this law. Just be walking the street with anyone the cops are supposedly looking for (but you didn't know that, did you?) and you're now part of the arrest sheet.

    Problem is, they won't have to press charges because you're possibly an accessory to a crime, therefore a suspect until you're read your rights..but if you don't know what your legal status is, they won't tell you, either. Then they'll charge you with all kinds of stuff. Guaranteed to be entertaining to you when you didn't even you know you broke the law by walking down the street with a 'person of interest.'


    Quick, someone call the SC and see if they have a spot on next term's calendar..this is a goodie!

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    DCL, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 9:19am

    Re:

    I never really agreed with it before but this the song lyric definition of freedom is getting more accurate by the day:

    "Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose"

    -From "Me and Bobby McGee"

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    AC, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 9:27am

    HAHAHA

    I have said it before and will say it again, time for a new revolution. Your government has gone insane and you are no longer a democracy, Obama is going to take over and become your new Emperor.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Darth Colonel Sanders, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 9:38am

    Re: HAHAHA

    When did Obama change his name to "Connecticut Supreme Court"?

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 9:43am

    Re:

    First, if the person you're walking with is under suspicion of a crime, the police don't know if you're also involved.


    The crime here was a parole violation. It's pretty much impossible for me to violate someone else's parole. And guess what: They also don't know if anyone else in the universe was involved.

    HOWEVER. In reading the opinion, it seems that the "detainment" consisted of the officers simply telling the companion to "stop, come here". At that point the companion started running away. I would have a hard time saying that the officers were not justified. Especially after he dropped a bag containing a white substance (which turned out to be cocaine.) Running from officers is pretty much considered to be automatically suspicious enough for them to detain you.

     

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  63.  
    icon
    Sheogorath (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 9:49am

    Re: Re:

    Not if they're in Git'Mo. Can you say "waterboarding"?

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re:

    Perhaps a few dozen incidents in which the cop attempts to detain the innocent and is summarily arrested by the by-standers (assuming the rest of the cops cooperate) in any given town might serve to warn the cops how to behave.


    Totally impractical (even without the "rest of the cops cooperate".)

    The police approached two men, told them to "come here", and the men started running, and one of them dropped a bag containing cocaine. So are you telling me that, as a bystander, you would correctly be able to determine that the police are allowed to detain THIS fleeing person but not THAT fleeing person? You would somehow know who they did and did not have a warrant to arrest?

     

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  65.  
    icon
    scotts13 (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 10:16am

    Re:

    ANYONE recording police action, by default, should be considered to be performing an important civic duty - one that can save other citizens their life or liberty. The provocation is entirely in the eyes of the "provokee."

    Heck, the cops want to consider us presumed enemies, that goes both ways...

     

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  66.  
    icon
    scotts13 (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 10:21am

    Re: HAHAHA

    Duh; of course. However, I said something along those lines to the girlfriend the other day. She told me not to be ridiculous; they can't exclude pre-existing conditions from health insurance anymore, and that makes it worth it!

     

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  67.  
    icon
    art guerrilla (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 10:22am

    Re:

    kenichi = abject authoritarian...

    that's okay, we'll defend your rights along with ours even if you are too chickenshit to do so...

    no thanks necessary...

     

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  68.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 10:28am

    Re:

    They have every right to detain you until they can confirm your identity and involvement with that person you're walking with.

    Wrong. There is no law in the United States that requires anyone to carry ID unless you are operating a motor vehicle or flying on a commercial air flight.

    24 states currently have stop-and-identify laws, but even in those states the police MUST have reasonable suspicion that you committed a crime. Walking with someone (even if there is reasonable suspicion that they committed a crime) does not meet that bar.

    The police cannot detain you for simply failing to identify yourself.


    You have a really bad habit of thinking that anything you agree with is legal and anything you dislike is illegal. That's not the way it works in the real world, so please stop it and try educating yourself about our legal system a little more. It really makes you look foolish at times.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Michael, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 10:50am

    Re: Re:

    "it's more designed to prevent morons from stopping and distracting police officers"

    Then it's pointless, because we already have plenty of other laws that prohibit that.


    Criminal distraction of a police officer? Gosh I hope not. Now, there are laws regarding interference with an investigation, interfering with an arrest, etc. but I hope criminal distraction is not really a thing. Billboards can be distracting, cars driving past on the freeway while they are giving someone a ticket, a waving American flag can catch someone's eye.

    If the police are so crippled by ADHD that they need laws to keep people from distracting them, we need to hire more competent officers.

     

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  70.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 10:54am

    Re: HAHAHA

    Obama is going to take over and become your new Emperor.

    If you think Obama is the problem, then you don't understand what is going on.

     

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  71.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re:

    Running from officers is pretty much considered to be automatically suspicious enough for them to detain you.

    I don't have any citations, but I'm pretty sure courts have decided that is not true. If it were, there would basically be no protection against unjust detention, because cops could tell anyone they want to "stop, come here" and if they do then they've got them, and if they don't they can chase them down and arrest them.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Michael, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 10:57am

    Re:

    when you actively provoke a bear, expect to get chased down and attacked. How many of you deliberately provoke a hive of angry bees? Remember, never wake the sleeping dragon, because you're bound to get bit.

    It must be crazy day because I totally agree with you. Some of the police in this country have become no more selective about their enforcement than a bear or an angry swarm of bees (I'll leave out the dragon because since they are imaginary we don't know if a dragon would actually use reason or if they too are just mindless machines ready to attack).

    The point is, the police are not supposed to be like a bear you have been poking with a stick, they are supposed to not only be human, but to be held to a higher standard than everyone else. They should have more restraint than a person, not the same amount as an angry swarm of bees.

    When police become rampaging animals, it is not a solution to get out of the way, they are supposed to be peace keepers and protecting us - if we have to avoid them to not get bitten, there is a serious problem.

     

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  73.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re:


    24 states currently have stop-and-identify laws, but even in those states the police MUST have reasonable suspicion that you committed a crime. Walking with someone (even if there is reasonable suspicion that they committed a crime) does not meet that bar.


    But now in Connecticut there's no bar, as long as they think there might be a legitimate target in the area.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm pretty sure courts have decided that IS true, but can't remember the case...

    Anyway, how about walking away without running?

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's not QUITE that bad... the police must still reasonably believe that the person is "accompanying" an "armed and dangerous suspect". That's not the same as "anyone in the area".

     

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  76.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: Re:

    But now in Connecticut there's no bar, as long as they think there might be a legitimate target in the area.

    Oops. 23 states then.

    Although, if Connecticut's law ever gets challenged in Federal court I'm thinking it would probably be overturned. I'd like to say that it's positive it would, but I'm not that confident about such things anymore.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 12:08pm

    And people were making fun of me for saying police will "temporarily detain" people in order to force them to shut off their cameras. Well la de da.

     

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  78.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This is just Illinois, but it ruled that police cannot stop someone just for running away from them:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illinois_v._Wardlow

    "The court concluded that flight alone, even in a high-crime neighborhood, did not provide reasonable suspicion of criminality. Noting this Court's precedents establishing a person's right to avoid police contact, the court adopted the reasoning of other lower courts which had decided that flight from the police was a manner of exercising one's right to avoid a police encounter. "

    This guy contradicts Wikipedia's account of Wardlow so I'm not sure what to think about him (I would tend to trust WP over some guy I've never heard of). He lists several other cases and concludes that running, by itself, isn't probable cause (or articulable suspicion or whatever the standard is for stopping someone), but if police can find some other circumstance to couple with it, then they may have enough cause.

    http://nccriminallaw.sog.unc.edu/?p=1143

    Anyway, how about walking away without running?

    Probably you're on much safer ground walking, though I'm not sure what I think about that.

     

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  79.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Although, if Connecticut's law ever gets challenged in Federal court I'm thinking it would probably be overturned.

    Not a law, just a court ruling.

     

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  80.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I was interpreting "stopping and distracting" as "actively interfering with the police when they were doing their job."

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Personanongrata, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 12:55pm

    Serfs Up!

    Serfs up in Connecticut.

    Whenever a serf comes into contact with a member of the governments self-entitled class it is imperative they bend and the knee and genuflect for their safety as it is well understood that serfs have no rights.

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 1:19pm

    Re: HAHAHA

    If Obama was going to declare himself Emperor, he would not have been drawing up rules limiting how drone strikes are to be used and then tossed them once he won re-election. Those rules show he was concerned about how Romney might act as president, and that proves he was willing to hand over power. If he wasn't prepared to hand over power he wouldn't have drawn up those rules.

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    Digger, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 1:26pm

    Connecticut SC to Tourists - Stay the fuck away

    Don't bother visiting Connecticut ever again, you'll be arrested because the cops feel like have a couple of laughs.

    Sorry Connecticut, but if your boys in blue did that to me, I'd have their badges and life's savings before I was done with those fucktards. I'd also have the judges de-benched for violating the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think you missed this part of that Wikipedia article:

    "The US Supreme Court reversed both the Appellate and Illinois Supreme Court decisions, with the Supreme Court stating that fleeing in a high crime area at the sight of police is enough to create reasonable suspicion."

     

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  85.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Connecticut SC to Tourists - Stay the fuck away

    Sorry Connecticut, but if your boys in blue did that to me, I'd have their badges and life's savings before I was done with those fucktards. I'd also have the judges de-benched for violating the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    How would you accomplish all that?

     

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  86.  
    icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 1:56pm

    Shooting someone across the street.

    It does look like we are baking another Boston Massacre, doesn't it? Only this one will be Connecticut cuisine

    What is it with me and food metaphors today?

     

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  87.  
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    Uriel-238 (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 1:58pm

    Officer Safety now has a name.

    From now on, I'm going to imagine Officer Safety as the name of the cop who decides a filming bystander has become part of the crime scene and his camera and rights must be infringed.

     

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  88.  
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    Uriel-238 (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 2:00pm

    "fleeing in a high crime area"

    That would rule in every human soul and a bunch of cats, wouldn't it?

     

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  89.  
    icon
    kP (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 2:08pm

    They only Suspect your friend...

    but you are GUILTY by ASSOCIATION, and because your momentarily SUSPECT friend is with you, he's now GUILTY too.

     

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  90.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not a law, just a court ruling.

    I stand corrected...again.


    ***(mumbles something incoherent about them damn pedantic Techdirt readers)***

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Eh. I was GOING to say something about that too, but the ruling has the force of law anyway, so I figured it was pointless. You can call it "case law" if you like.

     

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  92.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think you missed this part of that Wikipedia article:

    I did, thank you. That's a disappointing ruling. By now I think it should be clear that people living in a high crime area have very good reasons to avoid interacting with police, whether or not they're guilty of anything. With that said, my advice would be to walk away. Regardless of the legal situation, it attracts a lot less attention than running.

     

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  93.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ***(mumbles something incoherent about them damn pedantic Techdirt readers)***

    Yeah, I'm definitely in that club. :-)

     

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  94.  
    identicon
    RD, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 3:13pm

    Re: Re:

    "But stop complaining that being recorded is somehow causing problems. If they are not doing anything wrong, then they should have nothing to hide, right?"

    Lets repeat that about 100 times, LOUDLY:

    IF YOU ARE NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG, THEN THEY SHOULD HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE!!

    Good for the goose, good for the gander. EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW. Look it up.

     

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  95.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 5:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "***(mumbles something incoherent about them damn pedantic Techdirt readers)***"

    Aren't they just loverly?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  96.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 5:37pm

    We live in a police state, of that I have no doubt.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Prisoner_population_rate_world_2012_map.png

    The revolution will put you in the driver's seat.
    The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
    will not be televised, will not be televised.
    The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
    The revolution will be live.

    Gil Scott-Heron

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 5:55pm

    Re:

    "Don't always assume that decisions like this are 100% wrong."

    In what possible way can the article above be considered an "assumption". Or is that just your word for somebody else's opinion that you don't agree with?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 5:59pm

    Re:

    So you're happy for society to be policed by LEO's that you consider to be as dangerous a provoked bear, a hive of angry bees, or (oh jeez...) a sleeping dragon? What the hell is wrong with you?!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  99.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 6:04pm

    Re:

    "I can't tell you how many times I've watched videos where idiots just deliberately stop to film police officers in order to provoke a confrontation."

    Yes, we know you can't do this, and we know why you can't do this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  100.  
    identicon
    Reality bites, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 8:36am

    Judges... Are they dumbest lifeform in the known universe?

    Nothing in the universe dumber or more ignorant than a judge, just a life support system for a asshole.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  101.  
    identicon
    robert spano, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 9:40am

    Re: ken tanaka

    what about our safety? did you forget who they work for?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  102.  
    identicon
    GEMont, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 12:58pm

    They who write the law, rule.

    Took a lot longer than expected, but...

    Finally, a law written by rich fascist crooks to legally allow the crooked cops on their payroll, to stop those pesky telephone-camera freaks from taking pictures of their criminal behavior and allow the victims no legal recourse from the false arrest and inevitable confiscation of their property.

    Another triumph of American Justice over the forces of freedom and truth!!

    There is no escaping the Grand Aquisition!!

    ---

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  103.  
    identicon
    theBuckWheat, Aug 6th, 2014 @ 6:44am

    Authority w/o Liability => Tyranny

    There is an old physicians axiom: obstruction begets infection. This is a great axiom for society and organizations as well. When a person is insulated from lines of accountability, he finds it easy to make decisions and to conduct himself in ways that are increasingly self-serving.

    This court decision will only result in creeping abuses by police as they find they can act with impunity and indeed the government will protect their rights above those of the citizen.

    It is long past time for a fresh and frank discussion about the role of government in society. To many in government now think they are the master and the citizen is their subject.

    The flip side of this is that the good citizens of this state could have put a stop to it long ago, but so far don't seem to care. Maybe they are getting the government they deserve. Let everyone who objects move to some other state and take all their money with them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  104.  
    icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Aug 6th, 2014 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Authority w/o Liability => Tyranny

    The flip side of this is that the good citizens of this state could have put a stop to it long ago, but so far don't seem to care.

    Only recently in my life have I been able to discover that piece of the elephant. My partner is a single mother working a high-stress job to sustain herself and her daughter, and it's a lucky day that she can peer up over her files and look at something that isn't about keeping the company afloat. And then, when she does, she generally does not want to look at things that give additional cause for worry.

    For me, Techdirt is often my daily dose of freak-out as I watch the integral cornerstones of my country disintegrate. I have the time to look at this stuff, to do research about the legalities or how these things have developed in prior eras. But that's a rare privilege. The Daily Show has commented on this: much of our nation's work force, while reasonable rational people who would doubtless find these developments concerning cannot afford to expend the time and thought for it.

    We've managed to make our people too busy and too stressed to effectively carry out their civic duty of staying informed enough to rule.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  105.  
    identicon
    GEMont, Aug 7th, 2014 @ 8:07pm

    Re: Re: Authority w/o Liability => Tyranny

    "We've managed to make our people too busy and too stressed to effectively carry out their civic duty of staying informed enough to rule."

    And do you really think that this is a coincidence??

    That inflation-induced poverty and work-place stress and daily bad news and universally crooked politicians and global Ebola epidemics and world pollution and openly bad cops and GMO ecology destruction and all the rest of the well-organized chaos that keeps everyone who is not already rich, in a state of near exhaustion and mental congestion could simply be due to natural causes.... is truly an optimist's pipe dream.

    No fascist ruler-ship wants an intelligent, healthy, alert and well-informed population with time on their hands.

    Fascism thrives on the kind of chaos that is modern life in America today. It does this by pretending to fight the very crisis it creates, using tax-payer's dollars to defeat tax-payer's demands.

    ---

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  106.  
    icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Aug 7th, 2014 @ 8:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Authority w/o Liability => Tyranny

    Well I won't say that there's some evil overlord reveling in the success of operation Make-The-American-Work-Force-Miserable.(The American People played right into my fiendish trap! Muhuhahahahahaha! Muhuhahahahahahahaha!)

    But I'll say that the same forces that capture regulatory agencies also push our workforce harder, pays them less and makes life generally more miserable. So...not a coincidence, but not an Illuminati conspiracy either. Mostly big corporations figuring out every possible way to increase the profit margin in the short term at the expense of the long-term.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  107.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 12:02am

    Re:

    In the US, cops are liars. They can lie through their teeth to you, but if you lie to them it's, I believe, a felony. Lying is just another 'investigative tool,' according to the courts. So, once they've been given blanket permission to lie to the public, why should we trust what they say on the stand?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  108.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 12:03am

    Re: Cops Can Detain.....

    If only it were that easy. Too many of us do not have the means to emmigrate, and wouldn't be accepted as citizens into the countries we were trying to enter. Our own educational and welfare system pretty much sees to that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  109.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 12:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No court is going to consider a self-defense claim protecting yourself against arrest, even if it was an unjustified arrest

    Except maybe Indiana, who has a law on the books allowing you to resist a false arrest up to and including shooting the officer in question. Good luck winning that case, though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  110.  
    identicon
    Demis, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 12:07am

    to stop cell phone cameras

    This sounds like a brilliant way to stop all the convicting cellphone videos of police stops, which remove the "your word vs. theirs".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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