Cops Seize Car When Told To Get A Warrant, Tell Owner That's What He Gets For 'Exercising His Rights'

from the 'to-seize-and-retaliate' dept

Yeah, so you've read the headline. No criminal activity. No charges brought. And a cheap shot fired across the bow of the Fourth Amendment, not to mention Vermont's own Constitution.

But let's travel back further to set this up. Twenty-one-year-old Gregory Zullo was supposedly pulled over for having his license plate registration sticker (incidentally) covered by a small amount of snow.

Not a crime. From the ACLU filing [pdf link]:
At all times relevant to this action, it was not a violation of Vermont law to drive a car on which the validation sticker on the rear license plate – but not the numbers and letters of the license plate itself – was touched by snow, leaves, or any other material.
The lawsuit notes that the officer who stated this was the reason he initiated the event spent no further time on that subject. He didn't bother to brush the snow away from the registration sticker or have Zullo do it, despite the fact that both spent over 30 minutes no more than a few inches away from the offending plate.

Officer Hatch spent most of his time trying to talk Zullo into allowing him to search the vehicle without a warrant. Hatch seemed to be convinced that Zullo was involved with the heroin traffickers he was searching for. Hatch tried everything, including lying.
More than once, the defendant’s employee told Mr. Zullo that Mr. Zullo should consent to a search because the police dog in the back of his truck smelled something.

But the police dog in Hatch’s truck was not a drug detection dog, and, at all times during the encounter between Hatch and Mr. Zullo, the dog remained in the truck with the truck’s windows rolled up.
This isn't just a mere allegation based on Zullo's statements to the ACLU. It's confirmed during the few minutes of actual dialog captured by the dash cam's mic. (Interestingly [or not, depending on your particular faith in law enforcement], Officer Hatch was wired for sound, but either his body mic wasn't activated or was buried so far beneath his winter gear it was rendered useless.) At no point does the non-drug dog appear outside the vehicle. About 30 minutes into the recording, Hatch returns to his vehicle to inform his precinct that Zullo wouldn't agree to warrantless search, so "he's [Hatch] just going to take it [Zullo's car]."
During that same call, the defendant’s employee admitted that he did not have a drug detection dog with him, but would have access to one at the state police barracks. App. A at 33:59
As the officers and Zullo waited for the tow truck, they continued to try to get his permission for a search. Zullo held firm, so the cops ditched him miles from home in 20-degree weather.
Mr. Zullo asked Hatch if he could retrieve his money and cell phone from his car, because he did not know how he would get home without either item.

Hatch refused, saying that getting home was “not my problem,” and warned Mr. Zullo that if he attempted to retrieve those items from the car he would be arrested. When Mr. Zullo walked towards his car, Hatch placed his hands on Mr. Zullo to restrain him from reaching the car.

After the tow truck arrived and took Mr. Zullo’s car, Hatch and the second state trooper left the scene, leaving Mr. Zullo stranded on the side of Route 7.
After being seized, Zullo's car was searched by Officer Hatch using an actual drug dog and an actual warrant [pdf link]. Nothing illegal was uncovered. Hatch found both a pipe and a grinder with "marijuana residue." Again, no laws were broken by Zullo's possession of these items.
On June 6, 2013, Governor Shumlin signed the bill, and the relevant parts of the enactment became effective on July 1, 2013. 2013 Vt. Acts & Resolves 669. As a result, at the time of the events giving rise to this suit, Vermont law deemed possession of an ounce or less of marijuana by a person over the age of twenty-one a civil offense, punishable by no more than a fine contestable in the Judicial Bureau. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 18, §4230a(b)(1).
That part of the state statutes reads:
Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person 21 years of age or older who possesses one ounce or less of marijuana or five grams or less of hashish or who possesses paraphernalia for marijuana use shall not be penalized or sanctioned in any manner by the State or any of its political subdivisions or denied any right or privilege under State law.
Both the drug angle and the registration sticker angle dead end into a search and seizure based on non-criminal actions. The state does have an out (one that will likely be deployed in its defense against Zully's lawsuit) that still allows law enforcement to search for marijuana, even if what's discovered isn't a criminal amount.
This section is not intended to affect the search and seizure laws afforded to duly authorized law enforcement officers under the laws of this State. Marijuana is contraband pursuant to section 4242 of this title and subject to seizure and forfeiture unless possessed in compliance with chapter 86 of this title (therapeutic use of Cannabis).
But this should have resulted in something better than the response given to Zully when he finally made his way to the precinct to retrieve his vehicle (as well as being told he was responsible for the towing fees).
When Mr. Zullo asked the defendant’s employee why he had to pay for the tow, the defendant’s employee told him that the tow cost was Mr. Zullo’s fault for exercising his rights.
There's the now-familiar lesson: exercise your rights and cops will make you pay -- one way or another -- for making their jobs difficult. This was plainly stated by an LAPD member shortly after the situation in Ferguson blew up: be anything but compliant and you'll be hurting. If you have problems with us steamrolling your rights, sue us. That attitude brings us to this. Another lawsuit filed against a law enforcement agency simply because a police officer couldn't handle being told, "No."



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  • identicon
    New Mexico Mark, 29 Sep 2014 @ 4:03am

    General corruption?

    There will always be bad apples in any organization. The response of that organization to an incident will reveal whether corruption is rampant or not. In this case, at a minimum, there should be a public apology, meaningful disciplinary action of the officers involved, and voluntary reimbursement of ALL expenses incurred. (In an ideal world, that would come out of the officers' and supervisors salaries to they can begin to understand the pain they are inflicting on others with this abuse of authority.)

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 4:36am

      Re: General corruption?

      "Do unto others..."

      Put the cop out in the freezing cold at the side of a road without his car, wallet, cellphone, badge, gun, ... and let him think about the errors of his ways.

      And if he asks why? Present him with the tow bill.

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      • identicon
        Nom, 29 Sep 2014 @ 4:46am

        Re: Re: General corruption?

        Wow, I can't believe you would want someone to do that to you. You must be some kind of masochist.

        Seriously though, "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

        Tit-for-tat is far more likely to lead to escalation than prevent it. Entertaining thoughts of revenge might make us feel better, but it's better to focus on how to fix problems. Don't let your rage control you.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 5:20am

          Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

          Indeed. Be a doormat and comply with every instruction. If the police overreact suck it up and take it. After all, you deserve it for exercising your rights. Want a solution? Don't exercise your rights.

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          • identicon
            Nom, 29 Sep 2014 @ 5:42am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

            That's not much of a solution. Then again, neither is visiting the same injustice upon cops. Both are extreme responses to the same problem that are more likely to exacerbate the situation than anything else.

            I sincerely hope you are not so cynical and jaded that those are the only two responses you can muster.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 7:24am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

              "Both are extreme responses to the same problem that are more likely to exacerbate the situation than anything else."

              Oh, so because the cop may take the law into his own hands and retaliate the solution is to not punish him for his bad deeds? That's like saying that reporting a criminal that broke into your place is a bad idea because he might retaliate and cause you more harm. That's not how the law should work. The law should punish him enough to seriously discourage him from doing anything like that again or retaliating and the punishment for any attempted (or even suspected) retaliation should be enough to ensure it doesn't happen again. These are law enforcement officers and we need to make sure the powers we give them are used responsibly. If they can't handle the power it should be taken away.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 8:38am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                and one of the reasons law enforcement officers get off light is because it's often their first offense. Which is fine to some extent but their punishment should still be harsher than that of a civilian first offender. but it should be made very clear that a second offense will be much harsher than a civilian second offender.

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              • icon
                jupiterkansas (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 8:38am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                Which is why the easiest solution is to just fire the cop.

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                • identicon
                  DogBreath, 29 Sep 2014 @ 10:11am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                  You just need to find a big enough cannon... to fire the cop out of.

                  Oh yea, no safety net. It is not your responsibility to provide one, and the cop should have brought his own net.

                  Even if he did bring one, it will have to be taken from him for not being up to code (needs fire marshal inspection, smelled marijuana on it, or some other made up bull), and will need to be immediately confiscated. It is only property and therefore has no rights. Oh, the cop will get it back, just not in time to catch him on the way down.

                  Also, he will be solely responsible for his own hospital bills, because if he didn't want to hit the ground he should have exercised his wings.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 8:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

              It has already been established that exercising your rights will get you shot or ruined. This includes requesting for appropriate penalties or fighting to get laws changed or citizens more protection. You see it regularly in the threads - if citizens weren't so criminal the police wouldn't have to shoot them.

              There's no reasoning with a brick wall. The brick wall will wear you out, then crush you under its weight.

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            • identicon
              TAB, 29 Sep 2014 @ 3:12pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

              It's not injustice to make a criminal pay for their actions. That jerkoff stole his property and left him out in conditions that he KNEW could kill him. That makes him guilty of grand larceny and attempted homicide.
              Evil people do not see your servile appeasement as attempts to sue for peace. They see you as what you are: an easy victim.
              The only thing he deserves is a grave.

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          • icon
            nasch (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 5:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

            Be a doormat and comply with every instruction.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 7:08am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

              I don't think think the "eye for an eye" or False Dilemma really rise to this occasion.

              For simplistic problems where people are not losing body parts or facing significant loss then getting what you have given (like a walk home in the cold) are fairly good methods of justifiable retribution. Now, the problem here is that the Cop deserves more than just a "walk home in the cold" because he abused his authority. The Officer should be straight up Fired for showing the willingness to take things too far over so little!

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          • icon
            Gracey (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 8:40am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

            Rights? What rights?

            It appears that any written rights once afforded citizens are already burned to ash. All that's left is to sweep away the remains of the burned paper.

            Rights appear to be a fluid commodity, offered or not, at the whim of whatever authorities you aren't able to avoid.

            And it's not just the US that suffers from this.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 5:40am

          Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

          And what punishment does evil deserve? Leaving someone out in freezing weather could kill them. How does that serve the public interest?

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          • identicon
            Nom, 29 Sep 2014 @ 6:01am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

            For endangering someone's life because they would not yield to your authority? Sounds like they should be stripped of that authority at the very least. In other words, losing his job.

            If the guy would have died, possibly negligent homicide for leaving him alone without money or his cellphone. I am not sure if there is a non-death related crime of which the officer could be tried.

            Other than that, the police department should get some encouragement to ensure such things will not happen again. A civil lawsuit might do the trick, though there are other ways.

            Personally, I would like to see the officer get charged a small fee as well, though I am not sure what the long term effects of such a system would be. I would like to see some research into the matter regardless.

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            • identicon
              Editor-In-Chief, 29 Sep 2014 @ 6:40am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

              The attitude is that of murder, so he should be charged with attempted murder and since the evidence is that he did if fact leave the young man out there to die, be found guilty and placed in a maximum security prison for life as he was in a position of authority when he rendered illegal judgement of a death sentence on the young man. This is the procedure the law enforcement agencies use, so they should be facing the same consequences.

              If all you think is that he should be fired then you don't understand that the police officer had premeditated murder as his motive of action.

              David Oliver Graeme Samuel Offenbach

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              • icon
                Oblate (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 3:23pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                > he should be charged with attempted murder

                Don't forget to add the charge of assault with a deadly attitude.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 1:55pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

              Given that the officer should KNOW that being without phone, money etc in 20 degree weather can kill, I would hope the MINIMAL charge was attempted homicide.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 7:21am

          Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

          In this situation the cop should not only be forced to pay compensatory damages they should be forced to pay punitive damages that go beyond the damages the officer incurred to the person being searched.

          Furthermore the warrant probably should have never been granted in this case in the first place.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 7:32am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

            and this is an unwarranted seizure. The law is against unwarranted searches and seizures. They seized his car without a warrant (before getting a warrant) which, AFAIK, is still illegal.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 8:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

              They seized his car without a warrant (before getting a warrant) which, AFAIK, is still illegal.


              The cop would argue that if he didn't seize the car immediately, the guy would drive off and dispose of any evidence once he was out of sight. (Which is actually true.) The seizure was necessary if the search was going to be done, and I think that part was legal.

              So that by itself isn't the problem. The problems include the cop pulling him over for something that isn't illegal in the first place, leaving him on the side of the road as retribution, and making him pay for the tow after not finding that a crime had been committed.

              And on a side note, I understand why warrants are generally done with only one side present. But in cases like this one where the evidence is impounded before getting the warrant, there is absolutely no reason why the other side shouldn't be allowed.

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              • icon
                John Fenderson (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 8:36am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                "The cop would argue that if he didn't seize the car immediately, the guy would drive off and dispose of any evidence once he was out of sight. (Which is actually true.) The seizure was necessary if the search was going to be done, and I think that part was legal."

                Except that the cop had literally no indication that the car contained drugs. In the absence of some kind of minimal standard -- even as minimal as "reasonable suspicion" -- then this can't possibly be legal. Saying it is would be saying that cops can seize literally any car they want at any time.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 9:06am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                  I'm sure he was tipped off by some of that non existant NSA to DEA to local law enforement information trading. Assuming something was in his vehicle, the chain of evidence can easily be whitewashed and another one goes to club fed to enrich the pockets of those private companies that profit from the war on drugs.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 9:25am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                    "I'm sure he was tipped off by some of that non existant NSA to DEA to local law enforement information trading."

                    Ding ding ding. We have a winner. This appears to be another case of parallel construction.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 9:16am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                  Except that the cop had literally no indication that the car contained drugs


                  Not quite. The cop said (before the search, so it wasn't an after-the-fact justification after they found the pipe, and to another cop, so it may not have been just an attempt to get him to consent) that he could smell weed. Given the circumstances I do believe the cop that far. He can't know whether the amount is greater or less than 1 ounce before doing the search.

                  Whether that's probable cause is up for debate, but it is at least a "reasonable suspicion." Certainly it's something more than "literally no indication".

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                  • icon
                    John Fenderson (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 9:21am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                    Ah, I missed that point.

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                  • identicon
                    Uriel-238 on a mobile device, 29 Sep 2014 @ 4:45pm

                    Cops smelling weed

                    Don't buy it. My personal experiences with Law Enforcement includes a pat-down in Berkeley since they were looking for some robber allegedly matching my description. Officer Pat swore up and down that I smelled like weed amd wanted badly to have me confess as much.

                    Alas I was sober and empty handed.

                    Giving Officer Pat the good-faith benefit of the doubt, maybe he smelled the grass (as in turf) on my costume in a duffle. More likely, he was lying to try to secure a confession.

                    This guy didn't smell pot, he saw black skin and smelled blood.

                    And this is not the first time that the secret, magical language between a cop and his dog was used to invoke "reasonable suspicion."

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                  • icon
                    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 3:51am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                    The cop said [snip] that he could smell weed
                    The article says he could smell something, not necessarily weed and the cop claims to have been looking for heroin. And even assuming it were true that he could smell weed it still leaves 2 problems:

                    First, for what reason did he pull Mr Zullo over in the first place? Could he smell weed from his car while driving? Or are the police just allowed to pull over people committing no motoring or other offence when they feel like it?

                    Second, it's still thin as a reason since, absent any other evidence, it seems "smelling weed" is not a very good reason to suspect a criminal offence is occurring, personal possession being legal and all...

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                    • icon
                      nasch (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 5:54am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                      The article says he could smell something, not necessarily weed and the cop claims to have been looking for heroin.

                      Does heroin even have a strong odor?

                      First, for what reason did he pull Mr Zullo over in the first place?

                      There's always something they can pull you over for. You were "weaving". You failed to signal for the full 600 feet before turning. In this case his license plate was partially obscured, though he didn't do a good job following through with that pretext.

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                      • icon
                        Derek Balling (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 6:04am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                        In this case his license plate was partially obscured,

                        Except that's not the case. The sticker on his plate was obscured, but that is NOT a violation, actually, according to the original post.

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                        • icon
                          nasch (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 7:27am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                          The sticker on his plate was obscured, but that is NOT a violation, actually, according to the original post.

                          What I'm wondering is, does it matter? If the stated reason for pulling someone over isn't justified, does that mean anything that happens subsequently can't be used as evidence?

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                          • icon
                            Derek Balling (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 7:34am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                            It *should* matter.

                            If you proceed from an assumption that the LEO knows the statutes (which - since they write tickets and arrest for such, they should), then the LEO should know that the obscured sticker is not a violation.

                            Thus:

                            1.) That was not sufficient cause to pull over the car
                            2.) He has falsified official documents, by stating that this was his justification, as it is just as valid a justification as "that car was red".
                            3.) It indicates a clear intent to simply fish for evidence of unrelated crimes, as opposed to enforce evident violations/crimes.

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                          • icon
                            Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 8:19am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                            What I'm wondering is, does it matter?
                            Does it matter? Probably not - as many others have pointed out authority will always find a way to justify its actions.

                            Should it matter? Isn't it kind of the point of living it a "free country" that it's supposed to? Especially one that has it written right there in the alleged basis of their laws.

                            Sure you can re-define the word "reasonable" to mean anything you like.... but by any "reasonable" definition of the word this isn't.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2014 @ 1:14pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                        They certainly can pull you over for anything. I remember a few years back I was driving through a small town in Arkansas on my way to Kansas City. The only way up was a state highway unfortunately. It widened out to what I thought was two lanes for passing so I decided to get over to let the cop behind me pass (have out of state plates will make them ride your bumper like a prom date trying to get some backdoor action) I was pulled over for being "left of center" and then the citation I was given said "swerving to the right"....which is it officer, left of center or swerving to the right? I let it go and tossed the citation at the next gas station I found.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 8:36am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                The seizure was necessary if the search was going to be done, and I think that part was legal.

                Seizing the car, and leaving the person unsearched does not make sense if searching for a small quantity of drugs, which could be as easily on the person as in the car,therefore the search was probably illegal.

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              • identicon
                clown, 29 Sep 2014 @ 4:09pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                The cop never developed reasonable suspicion of a crime as he didn't even have a drug sniffing dog and the dog he did have never even got out of the truck. The cops have no case. The reasonable suspicion that they DID develop occurred after they searched the car. Not only the cop is a criminal but the judge that signed the warrant with a rubber stamp is no doubt complicit as well. Civil forfeiture was the goal here. The cop was looking to become a hero on the blackasphalt website. Wanted to become a top narco seizing top dog regardless of what laws he has to violate to do it.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 9:07am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                "The cop would argue that if he didn't seize the car immediately, the guy would drive off and dispose of any evidence once he was out of sight."

                The guy was out of the car already. If the guy was willing to wait for a warrant then the cop could have handled it differently. Perhaps he could detain the guy temporarily (if the guy consented) until they got a warrant (if he doesn't consent to being detained ... I'm not sure what the law is there if they can detain you for a period of time while getting a warrant). The cop presumably already has the guy's license plate number (and communicated it to other cops) so running may not be wise. Alternatively the cop could have called for backup so that they can surround and 'detain'/gridlock the car until they got a warrant.

                but, as others have noted, whether or not they can do all this may depend on whether the cop had probable cause to begin with. If the cop didn't have probable cause and they didn't have a reason to pull him over in the first place then, technically, the cop is supposed to ... let him go and he shouldn't even be given a warrant (these things are too easy to get sometimes). Not having a reason to pull him over and not having probable cause may, rightfully, preclude the cop from detaining him (or his vehicle). In which case ... yes, he should be allowed to drive off and not face any consequences because the cop has no legal reason to detain or search him.

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                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 9:29am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                  If the cop didn't have probable cause and they didn't have a reason to pull him over in the first place then, technically, the cop is supposed to ... let him go and he shouldn't even be given a warrant (these things are too easy to get sometimes).

                  Part of this that's infuriating is what's the big deal? It's not as though the officer had reason to think this guy was dangerous. So somebody might get away with a minor drug violation. If he's a regular drug user he's probably going to get caught eventually anyway, or if he doesn't it means he's not bothering anyone. It seems like this guy was punished for contempt of cop.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 1:30pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                    As long as he's not 'driving under the influence' then I don't really care. The problem is that when we ban it we don't regulate it and so we don't have any standard, quantifiable, standard to go by to determine what constitutes 'driving under the influence'. It's illegal period. Unlike with alcohol where we at least have blood alcohol level.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 1:47pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                      don't have any legal, quantifiable, standard *

                      You know what would be interesting though. Is if we had some sort of statistic on the percentage of times that a warrant is granted (almost always) that something is found. If, when a warrant is granted, there is a low probability that something would turn up then judges should consider the alleged probable cause submitted in future warrant requests so that they can be more careful not to grant warrants that are unlikely to yield anything. The police shouldn't be allowed to just go on phishing expeditions.

                      Or, perhaps, a better idea is to fine the police every time they request a warrant that turns up nothing. Or, better yet, fine the judge/court for granting such warrants (that way the police don't have as much incentive to directly plant something, though the real solution to that is to give the cops a greater burden to prove that anything found was originally there and not planted). That way the cops/courts have greater incentive to evaluate the likelihood that something will show up, to evaluate the probability of their cause, before requesting/granting such warrants.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 1:52pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                        "Or, perhaps, a better idea is to fine the police every time they request a warrant that turns up nothing."

                        Only problem there is that it gives them an incentive to make sure something is found, whether or not something was actually there. You know?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 2:25pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

                  but, as others have noted, whether or not they can do all this may depend on whether the cop had probable cause to begin with.


                  Well, yes. The question then becomes whether there was probable cause.

                  The complaint says these were the reasons given in the warrant:

                  Smell of burnt marijuana from the car
                  Car had air freshener on the rear-view mirror
                  There were eyedrops in the center console
                  Zullo admitted to smoking marijuana in the past day
                  Zullo refused to answer questions about where he was driving

                  What do you think? Enough probable cause to seek a warrant? I see 2 reasonably good reasons and 3 not so good ones.

                  On a side note, that air freshener was clearly not doing its job because the cop still smelled the marijuana. :)

                  The guy was out of the car already.


                  Because they told him to get out of the car. I'm not sure what that has to do with anything.

                  If the guy was willing to wait for a warrant then the cop could have handled it differently.


                  Wait where? On the side of the road in freezing weather with the sun going down? And what does "willing to wait" even mean in this context? I don't think he has a choice - the cops seized his car, and he can't get it back until they either get a warrant and search it, or the warrant application is denied. If he wants his car back, he's waiting, whether he's "willing" to or not.

                  Perhaps he could detain the guy temporarily (if the guy consented)


                  Consent to be detained? The entire point of being detained is that it's involuntary. Otherwise you're just hanging around. Was there a reason they couldn't give him a ride home, or to the station? I mean, you'd think they'd want the big bad criminal to be somewhere that they could find him instead of hitching a ride on the highway at dusk.

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        • icon
          art guerrilla (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 7:34am

          Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

          no, YOU are the idiot here: as the other poster said 'do unto others...'; IF the scumbag kop believes that, then certainly he has NO PROBLEM with being treated the same way he has treated others, richtig ? ? ?

          get it, nom nuts ? ? ?

          'we' are ONLY doing unto HIM that which HE HAS ALREADY DONE TO OTHERS, so -assuming the kop is not an amoral psychopath, by no means a foregone conclusion- THEN said kop would have NO OBJECTION to being treated like the scumbag has treated others...

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          • icon
            Atkray (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 5:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

            You keep spelling criminal wrong.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 1:37pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

            ...

            I don't think you understand the proverb. The proverb is a personal reflection. It's not "Do unto other as others do unto others."

            By you're logic, you would be fine having a cop do the same thing to you as you are fine having it done to him. In which case, you support such abuses as acceptable. I think we both know that is not the case.

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        • identicon
          Ruben, 29 Sep 2014 @ 8:49am

          Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

          I don't believe that's what he was insinuating. I think what he was trying to say was that the cop should have taken his blinders off and exercised a modicum of empathy before leaving this poor guy on the side of the highway in the freezing cold with no means to call for or otherwise obtain transportation.

          I absolutely believe that there should be some kind of restitution/retribution on behalf of Mr. Zullo. Police officers should be held to a higher standard, and Officer Hatch should be held to account for what he's done.

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        • identicon
          davd millette, 29 Sep 2014 @ 8:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

          I would look the pig in a frezzer

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        • identicon
          Game Theory, 2 Jan 2016 @ 3:56am

          Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

          This has been debated for thousands of years but decades of computer simulation have shown that tit-for-tat is the most effective way to enforce an equilibrium and survive.

          So yes, they must be punished in the same way they abused other people and more to discourage others.

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          • icon
            nasch (profile), 2 Jan 2016 @ 6:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

            This has been debated for thousands of years but decades of computer simulation have shown that tit-for-tat is the most effective way to enforce an equilibrium and survive.

            Actually generous tit for tat has outperformed straight tit for tat (at least in some circumstances). That is, a few betrayals are forgiven before retribution.

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      • identicon
        lili, 5 Oct 2014 @ 6:54pm

        Re: Re: General corruption?

        I'm sure because Greg Zullo is black, he had an even harder time getting home trying to hitchhike.

        If the "suspect" had died of hypothermia, what would their action have been? Destroy the video? Destroy records? Relocate and abandon the vehicle?

        Just wonderin'

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      • identicon
        Blue, 3 Jan 2016 @ 7:58am

        Re: Re: General corruption?

        But, but, but... He's a cop.

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    • icon
      Groaker (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 4:45am

      Re: General corruption?

      The bad apple theory has a corollary -- a bad apple spoils the bunch. Cops, supervisors and judges knew what was happening here, yet allowed it to proceed. Knowing that the actions of another officer are illegal, and allowing them to proceed is a crime.

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      • icon
        nasch (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 5:48am

        Re: Re: General corruption?

        Knowing that the actions of another officer are illegal, and allowing them to proceed is a crime.

        What's even more disturbing to me is the possibility that it's legal. That there is some law that allows police to confiscate a car for essentially no reason. But I guess at least such a law could be found unconstitutional.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 9:05am

          Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

          Unlikely. The cops have cop-friendly judges who would never attempt to diminish police power, all the way up to the Supreme Court. Until one of them has a wife or daughter that gets thrown belly-first to the street while pregnant or molested or beaten by a cop during an illegal search and seizure, they're not going to change the system.

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      • identicon
        PT, 1 Oct 2014 @ 3:38am

        Re: Re: General corruption?

        The institution is corrupt and it has a trickle down effect.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 6:44am

      Re: General corruption?

      "There will always be bad apples in any organization. The response of that organization to an incident will reveal whether corruption is rampant or not."

      Really you think this may be corruption? What response would you want? A slap on the wrist? A Naughty Naughty dont do that again?

      "In this case, at a minimum, there should be a public apology, meaningful disciplinary action of the officers involved, and voluntary reimbursement of ALL expenses incurred. (In an ideal world, that would come out of the officers' and supervisors salaries to they can begin to understand the pain they are inflicting on others with this abuse of authority.)"

      The only way to make a point with goons like these is to fire the lot of them and then take away their pensions, and to top it all off the city should be on the hook for millions so they will tell the rest of the GOONS not to be so stupid, but hey that would make sense.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 8:14am

      Re: General corruption?

      Your bad apples are leaving innocent people to freeze to death in Vermont weather when they're not beating up old ladies on the roadside.

      How many bad apples does it take before we decide this is a problem?

      And what about a system that focuses on covering for bad apples rather than culling them out?

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    • icon
      Derek Balling (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 10:16am

      Re: General corruption?

      When the bad apples start getting arrested by the good apples, I believe they're just "A couple bad apples".

      But the volume of complaints these days tends to point towards "all these apples taste like ass, but there's occasionally a couple apples that are good and tasty in the bushel", but they're just vastly outnumbered by the bad ones.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 12:30pm

      Re: General corruption?

      that would require the police to believe something is wrong. For the most part the general police attitude seems to be "lick our boots or get beaten up, robbed, and/or shot, for the disrespect you give us"

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    • identicon
      Rekrul, 29 Sep 2014 @ 6:22pm

      Re: General corruption?

      There will always be bad apples in any organization. The response of that organization to an incident will reveal whether corruption is rampant or not.

      I can tell you exactly what will happen: It will be decided that the cops did nothing wrong and that they followed all applicable police regulations. No punishment.

      The city will settle the lawsuit and nothing will change.

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    • identicon
      Mickey63, 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:21am

      Re: General corruption?

      People keep talking about "a few bad apples" without a second thought about the rest of the adage; "...spoil the whole bunch"

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    • identicon
      Theo DiLeone, 30 Sep 2014 @ 11:58am

      Re: General corruption?

      One bad apple spoils the bunch.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2014 @ 8:08pm

      Re: General corruption?

      At this point it is best to assume all are corrupt since it seems the vast majority will not do anything that crosses that crosses the blue line. A few bad apples spoils the bunch.

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  • icon
    Ed (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 4:04am

    And LEOs wonder why they get no respect? They don't deserve any, that's why.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 2:33pm

      Re:

      I know some great cops. Unfortunately in one city the awesome cop I knew quit because, a he put it... he couldn't stand the "racists and assholes" he worked with.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 4:08am

    At least he wasn't beaten

    In Baltimore, it's apparently standard operating procedure for police to violently assault anyone they consider a "suspect:" http://data.baltimoresun.com/news/police-settlements/

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 4:11am

    Thugs

    This cop is no better than a thug. He should be locked up like one too.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 4:41am

    Imagine all of the corruption that would disappear if people in power were held accountable for their bad actions.

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    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 8:42am

      Re:

      But that's exactly what the corruption is there to prevent.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 2:14am

      Re:

      Nah, thats just down right to obvious........hence the peoples unbelief by said actions followed through by the feeling of anger once the realization of the world we live in, and finishing up with the frustration of a sense of inability, all the while seing it continue, for the lack of accountability that would make the next folks actually think before doing another thing so stupid......or we can get lucky and get a guy that is ignorant to their actions or just plainly doesnt give a fuck, .....yeah, lets give, those folks, manufactured power, and then let them do whatever the hell they want, sans accountability, what could go wrong

      Dictated by the phony deluded self proclaimed "good guys", ......fun times ahead /s

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 4:52am

    "non-drug dog"

    So if a non-drug dog doesn't smell drugs, then there must be drugs. It's simple logic, right?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 5:19am

    There is nothing like the hands on approach of hired goons.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 5:29am

    This old movie will go a long way in explaining law in the US

    From Wikipedia
    Lone Star (1996 film)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lone_Star_%281996_film%29

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  • icon
    got_runs? (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 6:14am

    More proof Cops are just a organized street gang.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 6:48am

    "no laws were broken by Zullo's possession of these items."

    Except the laws of common sense.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 7:04am

    For a untrained dog to react to drugs in a sealed, heated car would mean.....it was the cop that was carrying drugs!

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    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 8:59am

      Re:

      Given that an untrained dog won't react to the presence of drugs at all regardless of how detectable they are, I think you're wrong. If the dog reacted, it's more likely to be because the cop administered the drug to the dog.

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

    • icon
      Joe (profile), 2 Aug 2016 @ 1:29am

      Re:

      No shit here in Michigan we had a Detroit police officers driving against highway traffic High on alcohol and cocaine

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 7:12am

    seems there's another ongoing lawsuit against same officer

    http://www.wptz.com/news/vermont-new-york/burlington/aclu-sues-vt-state-police-over-outrageous-traff ic-stop/28194170
    from transcript:

    BUT WE'RE LEARNING IT'S NOT THE FIRST TIME TROOPER HATCH BEEN SUED THIS YEAR OVER HIS ROADSIDE TRAFFIC STOPS. A SECOND, PENDING IN RUTLAND FEDERAL COURT, SAYS HATCH STRIPPED TWO MEN NAKED BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD - AND FOUND NOTHING. AS WITH ZULLO, NO CRIMINAL CHARGE FILED.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 7:48am

    If you don't break the law , you better be damn sure we'll get money from you somehow , court costs , loss of wages while preparing and going to court, time lost while recovering your illegally confiscated goods, towing and impound fees ,Not to mention degrading and belittling you, fuck that cop and all others who have power and use it to bully and push people down.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 8:05am

    I wouldn't be surprised if the thugs in Vermont, tore this guy's car dashboard apart and cut open all the seats because "the dog told them something was in there".

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  • icon
    limbodog (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 8:06am

    Timing

    So it appears this happened back in March. Anyone know if there's any response from the police on this? Even just the "no sign of any wrongdoing" rubber stamp?

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  • identicon
    pyrosf, 29 Sep 2014 @ 8:22am

    Assult

    This is Assault with a deadly weapon.

    The weather, in some cases, is weapon enough to cause harm or injury (see frostbite). Intentionally depriving someone of Identification, cash, and method to call for assistance after you placed that person in distress is to intentionally attempt to inflict environmental damage to said person.

    I would also agree with the attempted murder, if the driver was ill equipped for the exterior weather, the act of placing someone in an exposed state with a long distance from any support would be a big deal.

    Better yet, imagine the 911 call when he finds a farm house and needs assistance due to the condition he was left in.

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  • identicon
    Alex, 29 Sep 2014 @ 9:11am

    Fuck THE POLICE.....

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

  • identicon
    John Cressman, 29 Sep 2014 @ 9:40am

    Good lesson

    Good take away lesson... don't get out of your car without your money, cellphone and anything else you need to survive since apparently the cops no longer "serve and protect" unless you drop your pants at their whim... in which case, the "servicing" you get might leave you unable to sit for a few days.

    Public flogging and reimbursement from their own pockets would stop these abuses and overreaches.

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    • icon
      Derek Balling (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 10:18am

      Re: Good lesson

      If you get out with your phone on your person, they'll be able to put their hands on it as they search YOU, and then commit all sorts of violations on the data contained on that as well.

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      • identicon
        ryuugami, 29 Sep 2014 @ 11:02am

        Re: Re: Good lesson

        If you get out with your phone on your person, they'll be able to put their hands on it as they search YOU, and then commit all sorts of violations on the data contained on that as well.

        That's far from the worst case scenario, though. So the cop pulls you over, you reach for your cellphone and wallet before getting out... and the officer hair-trigger shoots you dead because "I thought he was reaching for a gun and was afraid for my life".

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  • icon
    JustMe (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 9:55am

    The cop could smell it?

    He could smell it while driving on the freeway? He could smell it with a frozen nose? Wow, he must be super cop. Wait, not super cop... what's the word? Oh yeah, super dishonest cop. Idiots like this cop make it difficult for the few honest cops out there.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 10:16am

    Holding Responsible

    I agree that holding the individual officers responsible is the way to go, but with the collective bargaining provisions in place, the officers are often given paid administrative leave, and even if fired, are often given their jobs back, or just go to work for another department. I think holding the unions financially responsible (suing the government just raises taxes as we wind up paying for any fines or settlements anyway) is imperative. On top of that, any collective bargaining agreement should not allow protections for officers disciplined for cause.

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    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 10:41am

      Re: Holding Responsible

      "I think holding the unions financially responsible"

      How about holding the police management responsible as well? Unions don't just draft their contracts unilaterally. Both the union and management have agreed to the terms.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 10:57am

        Re: Re: Holding Responsible

        Agreed, if we can find a way to make them personally liable, financially and otherwise. Unfortunately I think the taxpayers wind up paying, and/or they just transfer (and possibly get promoted) into another department.

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        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 11:32am

          Re: Re: Re: Holding Responsible

          "Unfortunately I think the taxpayers wind up paying"

          Personally, I consider this a feature, not a bug. In the end, it's the taxpayers who allow all this to continue, after all.

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          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 1:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Holding Responsible

            And when the taxpayers get to vote in police that are forced to admit 'yeah, I suppose I am the kinda guy who would leave someone in the snow to freeze to death if he annoyed me', then I might agree with you.

            Since, as far as I know, the public doesn't know the future, and doesn't get veto rights over individual officers, no, the police themselves are the ones responsible and need to be punished personally.

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            • icon
              Derek Balling (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 1:45pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Holding Responsible

              There's two levels of blame:

              1.) The person responsible for their own actions
              2.) The person or persons responsible for not adequately vetting the people who carry around badges and guns

              #1 is the officer. #2 is the taxpayers.

              Both of them have culpability.

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            • icon
              John Fenderson (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 1:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Holding Responsible

              The voters do elect the key people in police management, and, at least where I live, they vote to approve the police budgets. The way it works around here -- and it has worked twice in the last couple of years -- is that when the police do things that cause them to have to pay out a lot of money, that money is not made up for in the budget approvals, and the people in charge of running the police are voted out of office.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 2:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: Holding Responsible

          Personally I suspect the best solution to the blue wall is to take the settlements out of the police retirement fund. That would get them turning on the corrupt among them very quickly.

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

  • icon
    Phoenix84 (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 11:21am

    Hatch refused, saying that getting home was “not my problem,” and warned Mr. Zullo that if he attempted to retrieve those items from the car he would be arrested.


    Getting arrested, making your one phone call, and being released on bond (assuming they allowed that) would be faster (and probably safer, assuming the cops didn't beat you), than being stranded on the roadside in winter.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 1:30pm

      Re:

      The cop was willing to leave him to freeze, I'm pretty sure a beating(at a minimum) would have occurred had he done something to get arrested.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 11:26am

    The police act like criminal gang lets start treating them like a gang

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 11:47am

    This is the reason when I hear of a cop being shot, my first reaction is "he probably deserved it".

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    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 29 Sep 2014 @ 12:53pm

      Re:

      go watch the youtube clip from the first terminator film of Arnold shooting up the police station.

      I like to imagine he is a disgruntled citizen taking out dirty cops. It is quite nice.

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  • identicon
    DMNTD, 29 Sep 2014 @ 12:13pm

    Cops lie.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 12:53pm

    All cops are pigs, but not all pigs are cops.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 1:57pm

    Then again if the defendant isn't both a) Rich and b) white then the police force of vermont doesn't give two shakes of a rats cock about him and probably thinks he deserves to die.

    During the case I'd seriously recommend moving out of the area as he may be 'accidentally' shot in the head several times whilst they search for a completely different looking suspect.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2014 @ 4:28pm

    It's not attempted homicide

    For all those who are saying it's attempted murder: It's not. Even though it's conceivable that he would freeze to death or get run over, there's no evidence they actually intended to kill him. They did, after all, allow him to take his sweatshirt. To call this attempted murder is to cheapen actual attempted murders.

    However, according to Vermont law:

    "A person who recklessly engages in conduct which places or may place another person in danger of death or serious bodily injury shall be imprisoned for not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00 or both. "

    That might be a bit more reasonable. He didn't have a hat or gloves in below-freezing weather, so frostbite would be a danger even if death was unlikely.

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    • identicon
      Editor-In-Chief, 30 Sep 2014 @ 3:19am

      Re: It's not attempted homicide - oh but it is.

      For all those who are saying it's attempted murder: It's not. Even though it's conceivable that he would freeze to death or get run over, there's no evidence they actually intended to kill him.
      Hatch refused, saying that getting home was “not my problem,” and warned Mr. Zullo that if he attempted to retrieve those items from the car he would be arrested. When Mr. Zullo walked towards his car, Hatch placed his hands on Mr. Zullo to restrain him from reaching the car.

      After the tow truck arrived and took Mr. Zullo’s car, Hatch and the second state trooper left the scene, leaving Mr. Zullo stranded on the side of Route 7.
      On the evidence presented, you are wrong. To say that they had no intention of killing him and yet left him in a situation where the possibility of death was actually high says that they did internally hope/believe that he would come to serious harm, including death. As has been said before, if you aim a gun at someone, you intend to use it. This is, in effect, no different. They intended harm, they also expected that if he suffered death, there would be no way that they would be found culpable of his death.

      This doesn't cheapen any form of attempted murder. It is no different, they just think that they can paint it as a simple mistake.

      Under the quote you make about Vermont law, you are assuming that this could be classified as reckless behaviour. On the evidence presented, it wasn't reckless, it was deliberate. So we are back to intent to murder.

      David Oliver Graeme Samuel Offenbach

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 8:52am

        Re: Re: It's not attempted homicide - oh but it is.

        and yet left him in a situation where the possibility of death was actually high


        It was below freezing, but it wasn't below zero. He didn't have a hat or gloves, but they did allow him the sweatshirt. They left him at the side of the road, but it was a US highway and not some side road where nobody would pass by to give him a ride. Death was a concern but not a likelihood.

        As has been said before, if you aim a gun at someone, you intend to use it. This is, in effect, no different.


        It's funny you should use that analogy. You know what the very next sentence of the statute I cited is? "Recklessness and danger shall be presumed where a person knowingly points a firearm at or in the direction of another, whether or not the actor believed the firearm to be loaded, and whether or not the firearm actually was loaded."


        So, sure. It's EXACTLY like pointing a gun at someone. The action itself is deliberate, the target could die or be seriously injured, and the perpetrator knows this and does it anyway.

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

        • identicon
          Editor-In-Chief, 30 Sep 2014 @ 8:38pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's not attempted homicide - oh but it is.

          So, sure. It's EXACTLY like pointing a gun at someone. The action itself is deliberate, the target could die or be seriously injured, and the perpetrator knows this and does it anyway.
          Murderous Intent. Point made.

          Die polisieman se bedoeling was moordende.
          Policajac je namjera bila smrtonosne.
          L'intento del poliziotto è quello di uccidere l'uomo.

          David Oliver Graeme Samuel Offenbach

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

  • identicon
    Jeremiah, 29 Sep 2014 @ 8:06pm

    This cop

    Cops like this who defile our constitutions when they are tasked to protect them should be found on the side of the road with a bullet in their head.

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

  • icon
    BAALZAKK (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:36am

    Too much broken trust, abused authority

    It is going to take decades to reverse the fear and mistrust the American people have for their local, State and Federal police officers. Time to show the people you're supposed to "protect and serve" that you're more than just a State-sanctioned gang of street thugs, who abuse the same laws they are sworn to uphold, while remaining above the law in almost any circumstances due to cronyism.

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

  • identicon
    bullsballs, 30 Sep 2014 @ 3:46am

    shoot the lying bastards...

    cops will wonder why people are going to start shooting them in the streets...

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

  • identicon
    Greg, 30 Sep 2014 @ 5:04am

    Bad Apples?

    Hi just a quick reply here.....Bad Apples? We're not talking about fruit here. We're talking about a brotherhood which refuses to police itself but has no issues "policing" civilians. If the police break the laws which they are supposed to enforce then all you are left with is lawlessness! Come on you guys. You need to crack down on the dirty cops and not stand up for them when they are running rampant! Did I miss something? You need to hold your own accountable. I know there are good cops out there and I am astounded you guys (the good ones) suddenly can't find your testicles when it comes to other members of the police running roughshod! Shame on you! It's not difficult if you all stick together and clean up the police from these characters! Ok I guess it wasn't a quick comment...lol...Where does this end?

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 5:56am

      Re: Bad Apples?

      Bad Apples? We're not talking about fruit here.

      It's called a metaphor, perhaps you've heard of them? ;-)

      You need to hold your own accountable. I know there are good cops out there and I am astounded you guys (the good ones) suddenly can't find your testicles when it comes to other members of the police running roughshod!

      Are they really good cops if they refuse to do anything about the bad ones?

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 6:25am

        Re: Re: Bad Apples?

        Are they really good cops if they refuse to do anything about the bad ones?

        Short answer: No.

        Longer answer: No, and their refusal to hold their own accountable makes them no better than the worst among them, putting the number of 'good cops' in the definite minority.

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

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 1:13pm

          Re: Re: Re: Bad Apples?

          To be fair, I can believe that the remaining good apples in law enforcement stay there out of desperation. It is still not easy to get a job, and I'm not sure if a cop's resume, especially if he left due to moral objections, would provide him any other career opportunities.

          So it very well may be that the good apples are laying low, trying not to cause too much damage, and trying to not get fired (which means in NYC conducting obligatory 140s). On the other hand, these good apples must know that they are aiding the further corruption of the system by functioning as part of it, and they must know they've ceased to qualify as good apples anymore.

          I find it difficult to be empathetic and I find it difficult to not be empathetic, watching how terrible the brutality and abuse is, without any hint of justice or improvement in the foreseeable future.

          It gives me mixed feelings about the whole Eric Frein affair, especially considering how massive the manhunt is and how he's still at large.

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

  • identicon
    mb, 30 Sep 2014 @ 9:39am

    Vermonter's love government

    They can't enough, can't wait to see there single payer system. I will have fun watching them get it good and hard.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 10:10am

    What happens when its the few bad apples that run the show lol

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

    • icon
      GEMont (profile), 1 Oct 2014 @ 5:19pm

      Re:

      If it was a "just a few bad apples", there would be no problem for the Good Cops to put an end to the corruption.

      Stopping internal corruption is only difficult when the bad guys greatly out-number the good guys and when the bad guys receive support and protection from a corrupt political and judicial system and the good guys do not.

      ---

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

  • identicon
    Gerry, 30 Dec 2015 @ 6:38pm

    Gestapo State Police

    How many crimes were committed while Dudley DoRight there pulled the kid over for pretty well nothing? I'm surprised the guy never got shot, or sent to one the many concentration camps in the U.S.A. for marijuana addicts.

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

  • identicon
    Dik hedlund, 6 Jan 2016 @ 5:42pm

    FUCK THE POLICE!

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


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