Judge Tears Apart Law Enforcement's Ridiculous Assertions About 'Suspicious' Behavior

from the now-we-just-need-a-few-hundred-more-judges-like-him dept

This opinion -- written by Texas appeals court judge Brian Quinn -- is a breath of fresh air for those of us who have watched as courts have continually deferred to law enforcement officers and their declarations that nearly everything drivers do -- or DON'T do -- is "suspicious."

It's also a slap in the face of those same law enforcement officers -- the ones who use their "experience and training" to find nearly any action, or lack thereof, to be supportive of a warrantless search.

As Scott Greenfield points out, Judge Quinn does something few judges are willing to do: be honest.

In a remarkable decision, Chief Justice Brian Quinn of the Texas Court of Appeals, Seventh District at Amarillo, does something that could destroy the very foundation of the criminal justice system. He’s intellectually honest.

The opinion deserves to be quoted from at length, which is exactly what I'm going to do. Judge Quinn skewers both the supposed indicia of "suspicious" behavior as well as officers' routinely unchallenged assertions that such stretches of the imagination are based on years of "training and experience."

The opening of the opinion [PDF] is fantastic, a wonderful taste of the more thorough examination (and debunking) of the officer's claims that follows. (Internal citations omitted and linebreaks added for readability.)

A logical reasoning sequence based upon some “training and experience” — because drug traffickers have been seen breathing, then breathing is an indicia of drug trafficking. Because they normally have two hands, then having two hands is an indicia of drug smuggling. Silly — maybe, but one can wonder if that is the direction we are heading. Whether it be driving a clean vehicle, or looking at a peace officer, or looking away from a peace officer, or a young person driving a newer vehicle, or someone driving in a car with meal wrappers, or someone driving carefully, or driving on an interstate, most anything can be considered as indicia of drug trafficking to law enforcement personnel.

Maybe this is because drug smugglers just happen to be human beings and being such, they tend to engage in the same innocuous acts in which law abiding citizens engage. See Gonzalez-Galindo v. State, 306 S.W.3d at 896 (observing that “[c]riminals come in all makes and colors. Some have hair, some do not. Some are men, some are not. Some drive cars, some do not. Some wear suits, some do not. Some have baseball caps, some do not. Some want attention, some do not. Some have nice cars, some do not. Some eat spaghetti, some do not. And, sometimes, some even engage in innocent activity.”).

The defendant was pulled over for driving three miles above the speed limit. When approached on the passenger side of the vehicle by the deputy, the defendant opted to open the door. Starting with nothing, the officer quickly built a case for drug trafficking in his mind.

He approached the passenger side of the stopped vehicle. Instead of lowering the car window, though, appellant opened the passenger door. That was suspicious to the officer because in his “training and experience” drug smugglers have lined car doors with drugs which act impedes a window’s operation. Once the door was open, the deputy smelled cigarette smoke and a strong scent of cologne; so too did he see the car’s ashtray full of cigarette butts. Those circumstances added to his suspicion because from his “training and experience” he knew that drug smugglers have used odors to mask the scent of drugs. Soon he discovered that the vehicle happened to be a rental with “no smoking” decals affixed to it, and appellant apparently was returning from some unknown casino to Miami, Florida. The deputy recalled from his “training and experience” that drug smugglers rent vehicles to transport their contraband. So, the presence of a rented vehicle heightened his suspicion that his detainee may be engaging in criminal activity. Also noted by the deputy was appellant’s “severe” nervousness and failure to calm down after being told that he would only be receiving a warning ticket.

A drug dog on the scene was deployed and several pounds of marijuana were uncovered in the resulting search. But that doesn't matter now because Judge Quinn isn't buying the excuses that elevated a traffic stop into a warrantless vehicle search. As Quinn sees it, simply relying on (unproven) "experience" isn't enough to justify a search simply because some indicators might fit profiles of those arrested in the past.

In other words, unusual behavior may fit the profile of someone who engages in a particular kind of crime. But what elevates it to the level of reasonable suspicion is not that it fits a profile but that it is unusual and the officer can explain why it is suspicious in the particular scenario before him. Id. That is, the officer must explain why the activities are unusual and, therefore, meaningful in the specific case under assessment. To reiterate what we said in Gonzalez-Gilando, just because that bald guy committed a crime while wearing a suit and after eating spaghetti does not mean that other bald guys who wear suits while eating spaghetti are about to engage in crime too.

Certainly, the deputy must be given some credit for his asserted "training and experience," Quinn acknowledges:

Smoking in a car while driving despite the presence of “no smoking” stickers, wearing cologne, driving a rental car, driving with windows rolled up, opening a car door, not rolling down a car window, travelling to casinos, and driving to Miami, Florida are activities committed by people who have no relationship to criminal activity. Alone, none of them implicitly or explicitly connote criminal activity. Nor to the reasonable, common man would they connote such activity if they occurred all together. Yet, the test is not what the common man thinks but what the reasonably prudent officer would perceive under the same circumstances. And, that requires us to view the situation through the prism of the detaining officer’s knowledge and experience.

But how much credit, especially if the only thing backing up claims of "experience" is the deputy's assertion itself?

[A]side from the deputy simply invoking his “knowledge, training and expertise,” the State did little to illustrate of what it consisted or how it was garnered.

Quinn examines the state's sole witness and his claims of "experience."

To one trained and experienced in the fields of law enforcement, smuggling, human behavior, and drug interdiction, each of the aforementioned indicia have special significance, opined by the deputy here. Yet, what of the deputy’s training and experience and knowledge — what does the record say about it. Our answer is, not much.

The state apparently wants circular reasoning to do its job for it.

We were left to accept as suspicious what the deputy said was suspicious merely because he said it was suspicious given his unexplained level of “knowledge, training, and experience.”

Every one of the supposed indicators of "suspicion" are probed by the court and discarded. First, Quinn notes that people are more likely to be nervous when speaking to law enforcement officers than not, especially if the questions turn to suggestions of criminal behavior. As to the cigarettes and cologne being nothing more than masking agents to conceal drug odors?

People smoke cigarettes in cars while driving. Indeed, that act is so common manufacturers designed cigarette ashtrays into their vehicles. So too is wearing fragrances a commonplace event. If this were not so then seldom would we be accosted by the myriad aromas wafting through the air at the entrances of many department stores. And, if both the overpowering scent of cologne and the presence of cigarette smoke could mysteriously dissipate upon entry into a car, many of us would not have been bothered as a child by that parent who happened to strike up his Pall Mall after dousing himself with Aqua Velva in the morning. Yet, those common activities became unusual and indicative of drug smuggling when performed on an Interstate highway, according to the deputy.

The same goes for the "suspicious" behavior that is renting a vehicle.

We accept the likelihood that people who have rented cars have also possessed drugs within them at one time or another. But, so too do we accept the likelihood that people have rented cars without engaging in such criminal conduct. The deputy was not asked to explain whether, from his “knowledge, training or experience,” he could opine if one scenario happened more than the other or if the former occurred to such an extent so as to provide rational basis from which to infer some significant nexus between rental cars and drugs.

The court notes that there was one suspicion the deputy could have cleared up immediately but, for some reason, chose not to: that the driver did not roll down the window because the door panels were filled with drugs. But rather than check the window himself or ask the driver to do it for him, the deputy opted to leave this mystery unsolved and engage in some logical gymnastics.

What we have here is a mere leap from the fact that appellant opened the car door to the assumption that the car windows do not work because the doors are stuffed with drugs. There may be other reasons why someone opens a door rather than a window. One of those reasons may well be a circumstance also mentioned by the deputy. To him, appellant seemed “confused” when the deputy opted to approach the passenger-side door as opposed to the driver-side door. Nor can we ignore the deputy’s own testimony regarding the number of times he had encountered drugs being hidden within the doors of a car driven on the Interstate. Again, that number was just “a few.” Such limited experience makes a leap from 1) opens door to 2) drugs in door little more than a hunch.

The caveat, of course, is that this opinion means little more than Judge Quinn won't be as easily swayed by assertions of "expertise." Many, many other courts will continue to treat such law enforcement proclamations as unimpeachable. The other problem is that Quinn's opinion simply demands law enforcement officers do a bit more CV-buffing before testifying in court, as Scott Greenfield points out.

Chief Justice Brian Quinn’s opinion reflects intellectual honesty. The upshot is that the legal system will still believe any nonsensical lie told by a cop on the stand if the prosecution fleshes it out with enough background fluff to satisfy the demand of creating the appearance of expertise.

More courts need to be willing to challenge such questionable connective tissue between observed (but often normal) behavior and suspicionless stops and searches. Most won't. And haven't. And that's why we're in the situation Judge Quinn describes in the opening paragraph of his opinion: where breathing and having two hands are next on the list of criminal activity indicia.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2016 @ 4:12pm

    Yep...

    In a remarkable decision, Chief Justice Brian Quinn of the Texas Court of Appeals, Seventh District at Amarillo, does something that could destroy the very foundation of the criminal justice system. He’s intellectually honest.

    yep... intellectual honest would damn sure destroy the criminal justice system, unfortunately... honesty is simply just not an objective in Law-enforcement, Court, or the DOJ. Just look at the scum in the executive office and the scum seeking to replace him.

    America has made it DAMN CLEAR! We could give a flying fuck about honesty! Let's keep voting in the biggest and baddest fucking liars around so they can install more corrupt lying assholes and then let it trickle down as far as it can go. We can call it trickle-down-corrupto-nomics!

    Every Nation gets the Government it deserves!

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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Oct 2016 @ 4:31pm

    In my “training and experience” this decision will get appealed yet again, until they can find a Judge who thinks “training and experience” is a nice catchall for fishing trips.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2016 @ 4:35pm

    Please join me in standing and applauding for Chief Justice Brian Quinn's legal opinion.

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

  • identicon
    Whoever, 13 Oct 2016 @ 4:50pm

    Intellectual (dis)honesty

    The whole "War on Drugs" is built on intellectual dishonesty.

    Various US government officials and presidents have commissioned reports on the harmfulness of marijuana, only to have the report show that the drug is relatively safe.

    The reports and the people who wrote them have then been trashed to justify making the drug illegal and empire building amongst the agencies responsible for enforcement of drug laws.

    Before the DEA was created, marijuana was used as a recognized medicine, so the current position of the DEA that it has no medicinal uses is completely dishonest.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2016 @ 5:14pm

      Re: Intellectual (dis)honesty

      Stops like this are often based on tips from illegal surveillance. Parallel construction has become so routine that they will stop people for literally no reason at all and demand a search. When something ends up being wrong and people don't have anything on them, they sometimes find themselves being subjected to hours of government sponsored rape.

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      • icon
        TRX (profile), 15 Oct 2016 @ 2:50pm

        Re: Re: Intellectual (dis)honesty

        > Parallel construction

        It's "parallel construction" when the police and prosecutors do it.

        When ordinary people do it, it's called "perjury."

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  • icon
    OldMugwump (profile), 13 Oct 2016 @ 4:55pm

    Please close the door and roll down your window, sir

    That's all he had to do to confirm or falsify his suspicions.

    Rental cars are generally new and the windows work. If the guy didn't/wouldn't/couldn't roll down the window, I'd say the cop had reasonable suspicion at that point.

    Short of that, he's got nothing.

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    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 13 Oct 2016 @ 5:10pm

      Re: Please close the door and roll down your window, sir

      Yeah, I was going to say that being a rental car and not being able to roll the window down because of hidden drug stashes are kinda mutually incompatible... unless the rental agency specializes in cars for smugglers. :)

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2016 @ 1:32am

      Re: Please close the door and roll down your window, sir

      Rental cars be unfamiliar to the driver, and the door handle is always obvious, while figuring where and which switch opens the window can take time. Therefore opening the door can be the easiest option when in an unfamiliar vehicle.

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

      • icon
        art guerrilla (profile), 14 Oct 2016 @ 5:57am

        Re: Re: Please close the door and roll down your window, sir

        w-a-y back in the day when i took drivers ed, we were taught to get out of the car and approach the donut eaters with our license and registration in hand... few times i was stopped i would do that, in fact, being invited to sit next to the officer in their car as they ran the license, etc...
        was told they were less threatened with us NOT being behinfd the wheel of a couple ton killing machine...
        i guess that thinking is no longer operative...

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2016 @ 7:14am

          Re: Re: Re: Please close the door and roll down your window, sir

          Walking towards a donut eater with something in your hands? Won't that make them fear for their lives?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2016 @ 12:24pm

      Re: Please close the door and roll down your window, sir

      "If the guy didn't/wouldn't/couldn't roll down the window, I'd say the cop had reasonable suspicion at that point."

      My driver side window's motor failed a while back. The poor design/arrangement of the door's internal mechanisms would require a crazy amount of dough to replace the motor due to the number of unrelated items that must be dismounted and remounted. The motor would be cheap - the labor charges would be wacky high...cheaper to replace the entire door.

      There's no requirement to roll down a window - or open a door. I'll stick with doing neither. I am not required to surrender my license, registration, of proof of insurance - I need only display them; I can do that through a closed window. No "reasonable suspicion" obtains.

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

      • icon
        OldMugwump (profile), 18 Oct 2016 @ 9:47am

        Re: Re: Please close the door and roll down your window, sir

        It was a rental car.

        On an older car, I agree that inability to roll down the window shouldn't constitute reasonable suspicion.

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Whatever, 13 Oct 2016 @ 5:59pm

    A slow new days at Techdirt, so Masnick has to resort to anti-cop trash like this. I'd say more, but I know all of you will simply censor me. Fuck you, PaulT.

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

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 13 Oct 2016 @ 6:19pm

      Re:

      Your claim is that siding with an honest judge against a crooked cop is being anti-cop.

      XKCD: Free Speech

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

    • identicon
      christenson, 13 Oct 2016 @ 6:22pm

      Re: Trashing the cops

      We can argue whether the internet's bad news amplifier is giving bad cops a bad name or not....but this is not cop bashing.

      The appeals judge told the cop there's a book, and you have to follow it, you can't just say "I don't like that guy!"(he hardly speaks english) and arrest him. By the way, I might also get in a rental car, especially on a hot summer's day in Texas, and not know how to operate the windows! That's what the air conditioner is for!

      Now, I can tell you that if Hillary Clinton or especially Donald Trump ever comes to my property, I'm going to need a cop to prevent trespassing by either of those two highly entitled people.

      ****
      Now a big part of the problem is that violent crime is down, but because of the war on drugs, we need more cops!
      ****
      Now, time for the tinfoil hat -- there was a warrantless NSA search/tipoff not disclosed by the state. Too bad there's no chance of forcing the cop to confess that.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Whatever, 14 Oct 2016 @ 2:09am

        Re: Re: Trashing the cops

        Ooooh, fuck you PaulT! How dare you censor my truth! Ooooooh!

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 14 Oct 2016 @ 3:05am

          Re: Re: Re: Trashing the cops

          You know, the only thing sadder than a troll is someone who spends their time pretending to be him.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2016 @ 4:29am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Trashing the cops

            I think what's sadder is that between the troll and his alleged parody, the parody turns out to be the more honest of the two...

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

      • icon
        Whatever (profile), 14 Oct 2016 @ 4:20am

        Re: Re: Trashing the cops

        "Now a big part of the problem is that violent crime is down"

        It is true when you look at overall numbers, but it does not perhaps reflect what people experience in their day to day lives.

        Part of the problem is that high levels of gang activities in major cities, especially peaking a few years back, was such that many cities saw record numbers of murders and other violent crime. More recently (outside of say Chicago) there seems to have been a calming of the gang activity. Well, at least they are learning to be more discrete!

        But in our day to day lives, what do we really experience? The US has a specific problem with disrespectful acts which lead to making public places less inviting. You have all of the things that make cities depressing (dirty, noisy, rude people, and so on), added to the fact that most cities now turn into war zones after dark, with metal roll downs covering the stores turning blocks at a time into poorly lit spaces. There is the question not of the crime that happens, but the crime we perceive.

        Add the internet and especially things like Facebook. When someone is a victim of crime, they tend to go social and share it with their friends. We all know people who have had their car, their bike, or their tech gear stolen at some point in the last 12 months. We know friends of friends who have died tragically, perhaps violently, or have been injured. We pretty much know people who have been mugged, have been in car accidents, have been verbally or physically assaulted - or we are friends with someone who knows someone who did... it's the echo chamber effect of the internet that perhaps makes us feel crime is closer to us.

        The proof is in the amount of gun ownership. Those numbers continue to surge, as people feel the need to "protect themselves" or "protect my family" by having a piece under the bed, in the car, or tucked under your jacket if you can get a carry permit.

        Just like terrorism, violent crime isn't just about what happens to you personally, but about the perception built up by those around us. The old six degrees of separation means we are never that far removed from bad things.

        We live in the world we create.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2016 @ 4:27am

          Re: Re: Re: Trashing the cops

          So... you think constant surveillance programs and a lack of police oversight is the solution?

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

          • icon
            Whatever (profile), 14 Oct 2016 @ 5:10am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Trashing the cops

            Troll fails!

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2016 @ 7:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trashing the cops

              Why the violent reaction over a question? That's the sort of thing antidirt mocks everyone else for.

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

              • identicon
                I.T. Guy, 14 Oct 2016 @ 7:59am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trashing the cops

                It was a relevant perfectly valid question. And of course Whatever doesn't think constant surveillance is the answer. But he can't say so here. G forbid if he agrees with things that the TD community agrees upon. He's the new Anti-Mike. 5 paragraphs of utter nonsense.


                Wilbur... is what I like to call Whatever... he's like a debate team tasked with taking on an issue... That issue is opposite of whatever TD posts on that particular day.

                "Troll fails!"
                Takes one to know one Wilbur.

                In-laws watching the baby today wiLLie? It's like 6 months now huh?

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                • icon
                  Whatever (profile), 14 Oct 2016 @ 1:43pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trashing the cops

                  You fail equally hard, because you ignored my post, and instead are posting about me. That's the type of crap that ruins a discussion. You can disagree with my post, disagree with my points, or pick nits all you like - but a post that is just about how horrible a person you think I am is just trolling.

                  Sorry, but you fail worse that snappy one liner troll above.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2016 @ 5:55pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trashing the cops

                    a post that is just about how horrible a person you think I am is just trolling

                    So... every post you make about Cushing or PaulT or random anonymous posters you assume to be PaulT or Techdirt staff magically making your posts disappear.

                    For someone who complains about people judging you for your post history you seem to have no qualms doing that constantly.

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

                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 17 Oct 2016 @ 1:44am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trashing the cops

                    "You fail equally hard, because you ignored my post, and instead are posting about me"

                    He responded to your one liner "troll fails". What substance do you hallucinate being present there?

                    "Sorry, but you fail worse that snappy one liner troll above."

                    The "one liner troll" asked a reasonable question about what you said. You responded with a meaningless comment calling him a name... but this is somehow unacceptable when someone does the same to you, even though all they're doing is noting your own recorded actions?

                    All makes sense in that strange little head of yours, I suppose.

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

                • icon
                  Padpaw (profile), 14 Oct 2016 @ 10:36pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trashing the cops

                  I am pretty certain he is a paid poster. In that he gets paid to write pro police state stuff.

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

        • identicon
          Christenson, 14 Oct 2016 @ 5:34am

          Re: Re: Re: Trashing the cops

          You have generally amplified my point. Are you sure the six degrees of separation haven't become five due to the internet and its amplification of bad news?

          As to the poorly lit spaces when the sidewalks are rolled up...my lighting cost has just dropped significantly, due to LEDs (innovation), maybe it's time to require motion-activated lights under the rollup doors!

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

          • icon
            Whatever (profile), 14 Oct 2016 @ 1:49pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Trashing the cops

            I agree, the feeling that something bad is happening to people we "know" is a big part of the deal, I think - no matter how much crime goes down, the feeling is that there is more crime.

            Lighting won't help. The problem isn't the rolled up sidewalks as much as what is left as they are rolled up. All the good tends to go away and what is left isn't particularly nice or safe. That is the perception, and that's what it's all about.

            Overall the question is simple: Is there more crime (or more police shootings, or whatever else) or is there just more reporting, more amplification, and more exposure?

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

        • identicon
          I.T. Guy, 14 Oct 2016 @ 7:51am

          Re: Re: Re: Trashing the cops

          "It is true when you look at overall numbers, but it does not perhaps reflect what people experience in their day to day lives."
          LOL!!!!

          Tell your doctor to up the dosage. It's still not right.

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

  • identicon
    Mark Siegel, 13 Oct 2016 @ 7:20pm

    Re:Judge Tears Apart Law Enforcement's Ridiculous Assertions About 'Suspicious' Behavior

    Training and experience... Sounds like the police are misusing bayesian techniques, and the judge called them on it.
    In computer science terms:
    When training a bayesian filter for spam identification a sufficient number of items identified as 'not spam' (ham) needs to be included, along with items accurately identified as spam, or results will not be valid. If it isn't, all tested input will be identified as spam, whether it is or isn't.

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

  • identicon
    I Saw Joe Hill last night betten to death, 13 Oct 2016 @ 10:30pm

    This will not matter

    It is all to little to late, when you already have judges ruling in favor of cops when the VIDEO shows they are the criminals the battle is lost totally and completely.
    Protest and civil action will only delay the inevitable, the weight of history will catch up and it will not be just the united states, it is being everywhere, where the US foot print has been is just the beginning, congratulations Kissinger you have brought about the end of the world just in time for you to not care, success!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2016 @ 11:12pm

      Re: This will not matter

      when the VIDEO shows they are the criminals the battle is lost totally and completely.

      That damn, lying video again. We've just got to do something to protect cops from that.
      /s

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

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 14 Oct 2016 @ 6:46am

      Re: This will not matter

      it will not be just the united states, it is being everywhere, where the US foot print has been is just the beginning, congratulations Kissinger you have brought about the end of the world just in time for you to not care,

      W S Gilbert has a quote for you too:
      The idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone,
      All centuries but this and every country but his own.

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

  • icon
    Richard (profile), 14 Oct 2016 @ 4:43am

    WS Gilbert said it well over 100 years ago

    Maybe this is because drug smugglers just happen to be human beings and being such, they tend to engage in the same innocuous acts in which law abiding citizens engage.


    When a felon's not engaged in his employment
    Or maturing his felonious little plans
    His capacity for innocent enjoyment
    Is just as great as any honest man's
    Our feelings we with difficulty smother
    When constabulary duty is to be done
    Taking one consideration with another
    A policeman's lot is not a happy one
    When constabulary duties to be done, to be done
    A policeman's lot is not a happy one
    When the enterprising burglar's not a-burgling
    When the cutthroat isn't occupied in crime
    He loves to hear the little brook a-gurgling
    And listen to the merry village chime
    When the coster's finished jumping on his mother
    He loves to lie a-basking in the sun
    Taking one consideration with another
    A policeman's lot is not a happy one
    When constabulary duty's to be done, to be done
    A policeman's lot is not a happy one
    When the drunkard shows no sign of where the drink went
    He nobly bids all alchohol farewell
    When the juvenile delinquent to the clink went
    He hung his mother's picture in his cell
    When the cardshark's finished wiping out his brother
    He buys a rattle for his little son
    Taking one consideration with another
    A policeman's lot is not a happy one
    When constabulary duties to be done, to be done
    A policeman's lot is not a happy one
    from elyrics.net

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

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 14 Oct 2016 @ 4:55am

      Re: WS Gilbert said it well over 100 years ago

      Chief Justice Brian Quinn’s opinion reflects intellectual honesty. The upshot is that the legal system will still believe any nonsensical lie told by a cop on the stand if the prosecution fleshes it out with enough background fluff to satisfy the demand of creating the appearance of expertise.
      and again

      Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2016 @ 6:18am

    What is CV-buffing? Google's no help.

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

  • icon
    timmaguire42 (profile), 14 Oct 2016 @ 7:05am

    It's common and proper for a court to assume that a person in possession of facts that he does not release does not release them because they are harmful to his case.

    The officer here is not in the exact same position, but he is in a very similar one--if he thinks the window won't go down because there are drugs in the door, the simplest next step is to check to see if the window goes down. The court notes that he did not, but it does not take the obvious leap that the officer did not because this was a ruse rather than a reason. He did not, at that time, believe that there were drugs in the door.

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

    • identicon
      I.T. Guy, 14 Oct 2016 @ 8:07am

      Re:

      "A drug dog on the scene was deployed"
      I am curious about this. Did the original officer have the dog already? If not, what was the timing? Was a K9 called?

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

  • icon
    afn29129 (profile), 14 Oct 2016 @ 10:46am

    3 MPH over the limit

    3 MPH over the limit. This here indicates to me that the officer was quite determined that he was gonna arrest the driver, under any pretext. Just gotta do it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2016 @ 2:59pm

    Booyah!!!!!!!!

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


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