Report Shows LA Sheriff's Deputies Engaging In Biased Policing, Performing Tons Of Questionable Traffic Stops

from the so,-you-know,-just-like-lots-of-other-law-enforcement-agencies dept

The LA Times has put together a blockbuster piece showing local law enforcement engaging in some arguably biased policing. Analyzing over 9,000 traffic stops recorded by the LA Sheriff's Department over the last five years, the LA Times noticed some alarming statistics. Latino drivers comprised 69% of the stops and had their vehicles searched two-thirds of the time. Other drivers -- the remaining 31% -- were subjected to searches less than half the time.

Also alarming: most searches were consented to by drivers, suggesting drivers are either unaware of their rights or simply felt pressured into allowing deputies to do what they wanted. It also suggests most stops are fishing expeditions, rather than truly traffic-related, which may put more recent stops on the wrong side of legality, thanks to the Supreme Court's Rodriguez decision. This decision said traffic stops are over when the objective of the stop has been fulfilled -- i.e., the delivery of a citation or warning. Killing time to wait for drug dogs or backup units is no longer permissible if reasonable suspicion has failed to materialize.

The LA County Sheriff's Department likes to brag about the hundreds of kilos of drugs it has seized over the years. But it doesn't have much to say about its apparent targeting of Latino drivers or the fact that these drivers were no more likely to be carrying contraband than races/ethnicities stopped/searched far less frequently.

The whole thing is worth reading, but a couple of details pop out. First, the author of the paper was riding shotgun during what appears to be an illegal traffic stop. Deputies stopped a Mexican man for driving too slow and searched his entire vehicle, including removing part of the dashboard to look for hidden drugs. Nothing appears to have risen to the level of probable cause and the paper's documentation of the stop doesn't include the driver giving his consent to be searched.

The deputies may have had reasonable suspicion to extend the stop, but that's only if you believe a person reacting normally to the presence of several law enforcement officers is inherently suspicious.

The man seemed fidgety and nervous to [Deputy John] Leitelt. With traffic zooming by, the deputy instructed him to get out and walked him to the back of the Volkswagen. Leitelt asked in Spanish whether he was carrying methamphetamine. Heroin? Cocaine? Marijuana? A large amount of cash?

The man repeatedly said no, and his voice and expression remained unchanged — usually a sign, the deputy said later, that someone is being truthful. But Leitelt also thought the man was avoiding eye contact, which he interpreted as an indication of possible deception.

Truthful, but lying. From there, Leitelt discovered a suitcase and searched it, finding normal stuff: clothes and some greeting cards. If you think this may have dissipated the cloud of suspicion, you obviously don't work for the LASD.

Thinking the suitcase could be “a prop,” Leitelt kept going. Using an assortment of prying tools, he and the other deputy popped off a section of the dashboard in search of a hidden compartment traffickers sometimes build.

Luggage is a "prop." Remember that when a government employee says your lack of luggage is suspicious. Stuff you bring with you is suspicious. Stuff you didn't bring with you is suspicious. Your mere existence on a road drug traffickers use is suspicious.

No drugs were found and the driver was free to go. Everyone's time was wasted, along with some tax dollars, because a deputy thought a bunch of normal stuff was "suspicious." The finely-tuned collective instincts of LASD's deputies has resulted in a ton of stops but contraband is found less than 20% of time, according to the LA Times' analysis.

But let's go back to what's claimed to be reasonably suspicious enough to extend a traffic stop past its original intent. Courts are starting to call out cops for claiming anything a driver does during a stop is suspicious, even when one alleged indicator of suspicion is the polar opposite of another indicator stated in another case. Mainly surfacing in drug cases where deputies have managed to find contraband, judges are seemingly a bit less willing to give law enforcement a pass on bad faith assertions.

A suppression motion resulted in some conflicting testimony from Deputy Michael Vann, who received a solid hammering from the suspect's defense attorney.

When the driver, Mario Manjarrez, told Vann he had been visiting family in Los Angeles and pointed toward the city, the deputy saw the gesture as “an anchor point movement,” which he said criminals use to distract officers. In this case, Vann concluded, Manjarrez had been struggling to recall a made-up story about visiting family and pointed toward the city in an attempt to seem more confident.

When the motorist took a step away from the car, the deputy wrote, it was an unconscious attempt at “distancing himself” from what was inside. And the fact that he switched from saying ‘no’ to silently shaking his head when asked if he had methamphetamine or cocaine was reason for Vann to suspect he was carrying the two drugs.

Manjarrez’s lawyer questioned how handing a license over too quickly could be a telltale sign of deception. She noted that Vann claimed in other stops that it was suspicious when drivers were slow and clumsy in handing over their licenses.

And she pointed out that although Vann maintained that Manjarrez’s finger pointing was a sign of a forgotten cover story, the deputy also had said that in other stops he based his suspicions on people who recited their stories too smoothly.

Deputy Vann tried to argue every stop was unique, which was why things that were suspicious in other cases weren't suspicious in this one… or vice versa. The court was not impressed.

U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez concluded that Vann’s justifications could make any word or movement grounds for suspicion.

“I have doubts about the magical psychological powers of Deputy Vann,” Gutierrez said at a hearing in November. “To me, it’s psychological babble.”

Here's the full version from the linked hearing transcript [PDF], which is even harsher in its assessment of Deputy Vann and his magical law enforcement powers.

The issue becomes -- so he says it -- and I believe the parties mention this. At least six times he says "based on my training and experience." And the other incidents -- for example, if he says, based on my training and experience, the defendant looking up means nervousness or whatever. I'm just giving examples. Then in some other prior instances, based on my training and experience, looking down means nervousness. And then in other cases he says based on my experience looking straight at me is nervousness.

That bears on whether or not the Court should give credibility to his, quote, "training and experience" that it's -- in this particular case. The same applies to "He gave me the license quickly. That means he wants to shorten the stop."

In the other case, "He fumbled and gave it to me, and that gives me some other fact that gives me reasonable suspicion to suspect criminal activity." Or he points in a certain direction in this case which means something and pointing in another case means something else.

And I don't think it's any surprise because I've never seen any testimony like Deputy Vann's before. I mean, to me, as I said before, it's psychological babble. And from my perspective, even without these other instances, I think the government is going to be hard-pressed for me to give credibility to Deputy Vann not only for the psychological babble, because you can turn any stop -- Deputy Vann is adept, I guess. He could turn any stop into a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot.

But the other clincher for me was his attitude. He has a bad attitude. He had a bad attitude in this court. He was disrespectful. He was short. The public defender was just asking him questions. He didn't need to be disrespectful. The public defender was just doing his job. But he decided he was going to take charge of the cross-examination which he did but it reflected on his credibility as being straightforward.

Perhaps hoping to avoid an adverse precedential ruling covering pretextual stops, prosecutors dismissed charges before a ruling on the suppression motion was handed down.

What's detailed in this excellent report is troubling. The LASD says it doesn't engage in biased enforcement but the stats say otherwise. Deputies may honestly believe they're not singling out Latinos, but somehow that's still who's getting pulled over the most. On top of that, they're far more likely to have their vehicles searched. And from what was observed by the LA Times, deputies don't seem all that concerned about the Constitutionality of the searches they perform. Further, their testimony in court indicates they believe everything is "suspicious." And when everything is suspicious, it's pretty easy to extend stops past their purpose.

Targeting drivers who might not be familiar with their rights or speak English well just greases the wheels for invasive searches. And even with all of this going for them, deputies only find contraband 20% of the time. This doesn't mean 80% of vehicle searches performed by deputies are unconstitutional, but it does mean a not-insignificant percentage of them very likely are.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Oct 2018 @ 4:19pm

    LATimes wimps

    "...local law enforcement engaging in some arguably biased policing."


    >> "arguably biased" ???

    wow, what wimpy weak conclusion by the LA Times editors-- L.A. cops will certainly be shaking in fear from such a 'powerful' indictment (not)


    surely there's some much broader lesson to us from this little newspapers story ?

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      D Bunked, 12 Oct 2018 @ 4:53pm

      Re: LATimes wimps

      wow, what wimpy weak conclusion by the LA Times editors-- L.A. cops will certainly be shaking in fear from such a 'powerful' indictment (not)

      Well, there's no need to wonder at your bias.

      From the piece is this contextless factoid:

      Latino drivers comprised 69% of the stops and had their vehicles searched two-thirds of the time.

      First, that gives no numbers of convictions by ethnicity. -- You can state your bias if want, but you have no numbers, either.

      But, WHO, knowing Los Angeles is major drug market and the highways are main corridor to Frisco for drugs imported from Mexico, would think that some strictly "fair" by ethnic quota number of traffic stops is a rational policy? -- No one.

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

    • identicon
      Bruce C., 14 Oct 2018 @ 1:38pm

      Re: LATimes wimps

      "apparently" would arguably have been a better word choice for a good adverb to avoid the ministrations of the libel police. Grammar police? present and accounted for.

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

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 12 Oct 2018 @ 4:22pm

    Also alarming: most searches were consented to by drivers, suggesting drivers are either unaware of their rights or simply felt pressured into allowing deputies to do what they wanted. It also suggests most stops are fishing expeditions, rather than truly traffic-related, which may put more recent stops on the wrong side of legality, thanks to the Supreme Court's Rodriguez decision. This decision said traffic stops are over when the objective of the stop has been fulfilled -- i.e., the delivery of a citation or warning. Killing time to wait for drug dogs or backup units is no longer permissible if reasonable suspicion has failed to materialize.

    Cops will just use their backup excuse to hold the person there until a drug dog arrives; "I smelled marijuana."

    U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez concluded that Vann’s justifications could make any word or movement grounds for suspicion.

    Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      D Bunked, 12 Oct 2018 @ 4:42pm

      Re: Hey, "Rekrul" -- why was that hearing even being held?

      There's no clue in the minion's text above, but as I point out, a criminal case resulted. Perhaps you just assumed, but I doubt you bothered to check the only relevant link.

      This is just another case, the usual, in which minion tacitly hopes that some drug mule will get actual evidence suppressed by some technicality.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Oct 2018 @ 4:43pm

        Re: Member when you left forever

        It always brightens my day to vote your stupidity off the island.

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

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          D Bunked, 12 Oct 2018 @ 4:59pm

          Re: SAY, speak of SUSPICIOUS! It's a CRIMINAL CASE, # CR 16-850

          Re: Member when you left forever

          Except that's only your drug-addled mis-interpreation! I never wrote any such.

          It always brightens my day to vote your stupidity off the island.

          It always dims my day when Techdirt fanboys exhibit their stupidity. I want you to do better so I don't despair of all humanity. -- At least, if you're going to ad hom, do it directly, not with some wimpy little ellipticism. Sheesh.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    D Bunked, 12 Oct 2018 @ 4:38pm

    SAY, speak of SUSPICIOUS! It's a CRIMINAL CASE, # CR 16-850 PSG

    Deputies stopped a Mexican man for driving too slow

    That's reasonable if on a freeway! A MINIMUM SPEED IS POSTED.

    So check off: [x] Cause for stop within ordinary traffic rules.

    Mainly surfacing in drug cases where deputies have managed to find contraband,

    I suspect you object to drugs being contraband!

    Now, why didn't you mention a KEY point at any time that a CRIMINAL CASE resulted? You just start BOLD FACE blockquote, no introduction or apparent connection to even the prior boldface, just out of the blue!

    You have falsified the record exactly as so often accuse the police of. It'll change reasonable opinion to learn what you portray as pointless harassment of a Latino presumably resulted in drugs found and a criminal case.

    Now, the defense attorney did exactly they're supposed to, but "suspicious" is always in a full context far too complex to be described. That's irrelevant, just your hook for credibility. -- It's HIGHLY suspicious that Techdirt minion gives us a textual "anchor point movement" to some statistics while trying to sneak past a cause for criminal case.

    I haven't looked into the case, and won't, because this piece by Techdirt is the actual topic: it's a PASTICHE of innuendo attacking law enforcement as usual, with more than hints of wanting a drug mule to be let off.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Oct 2018 @ 5:29pm

      Re: SAY, speak of SUSPICIOUS! It's a CRIMINAL CASE, # CR 16-850 PSG

      He was let off. You think the DA let him of because he felt bad? No he knew he had no case.

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

    • icon
      lucidrenegade (profile), 12 Oct 2018 @ 6:20pm

      Re: SAY, speak of SUSPICIOUS! It's a CRIMINAL CASE, # CR 16-850 PSG

      You said you were leaving. Why are you still here?

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 12 Oct 2018 @ 6:57pm

      why didn't you mention a KEY point at any time that a CRIMINAL CASE resulted?

      From the LA Times article:

      Prosecutors dismissed the [Manjarrez] case before the judge issued a ruling on whether Vann’s search of the car was illegal, and Manjarrez went free.

      Another man caught with 10 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in a tire was let go after a different judge ruled that Vann violated the man’s constitutional rights when he kept him detained without a valid reason. In a third case, a judge upheld the legality of a drug seizure but found that Vann had violated the driver’s Miranda rights.

      So there’s that.

      You just start BOLD FACE blockquote, no introduction or apparent connection to even the prior boldface, just out of the blue!

      This text came before the blockquote section that contained boldface type:

      A suppression motion resulted in some conflicting testimony from Deputy Michael Vann, who received a solid hammering from the suspect's defense attorney.

      A reasonably intelligent person could have put together the idea that the suppression motion in question was part of a court case and not the arrest that eventually led to said motion. I have to wonder why you did not.

      You have falsified the record exactly as so often accuse the police of.

      Please note what has been “falsified” in this instance.

      It'll change reasonable opinion to learn what you portray as pointless harassment of a Latino presumably resulted in drugs found and a criminal case.

      If a cop performs a questionable (at best) search, for what reason should I change my mind about their actions if that search leads to a criminal case? Police need to uphold a higher standard of behaviour than the criminals they wish to catch—otherwise, the police are little better than the criminals.

      the defense attorney did exactly they're supposed to, but "suspicious" is always in a full context far too complex to be described.

      If you had read either this article or the original, that “suspicious” behaviour from the suspect was different from other “suspicious” behaviour that Vann had noted from suspects in other traffic stops. Anyone who dares to act the least bit nervous around police can seem “suspicious”, even if they have done nothing wrong. If “suspicious” is so subjective a standard that literally anything can be considered “suspicious behaviour”, that standard needs an overhaul.

      I haven't looked into the case, and won't, because this piece by Techdirt is the actual topic: it's a PASTICHE of innuendo attacking law enforcement as usual, with more than hints of wanting a drug mule to be let off.

      It is not a “pastiche of innuendo” if actual courts are finding the testimonies of police officers in such cases to be less than credible (or outright damning of the actions of those officers). As I said above: Police officers must hold themselves to a higher standard of behaviour. If their behaviour results in the dismissal of charges against people who could have otherwise been convicted of a crime, the police must accept responsibility for their behaviour—which includes facing criticism for that behaviour from the general public. If you despise hearing such criticism, I suggest finding a Blue Lives Matter forum; they will be far more likely to accept your unquestioned subservience to the authority of the police than we ever will.

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

      • icon
        Gary (profile), 12 Oct 2018 @ 7:29pm

        Re: Patience

        Stone, you have the patience of a saint to itemize these things that Blue will dodge.
        Also:
        Blue has been demonstrated multiple times to lie.
        Blue doesn't know the actual meaning of Common Law and uses some weird made up version.
        Blue also seems really weak on the concept of "Ad Hom."

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Yawn.., 12 Oct 2018 @ 4:49pm

    The government is not here to be your friend

    "Latino drivers comprised 69% of the stops and had their vehicles searched two-thirds of the time. Other drivers -- the remaining 31% -- were subjected to searches less than half the time."

    There seems to be a lack of facts, such as the demographics of the area where the police stops occurs.

    http://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/los-angeles-population/
    Hispanic or Latino of any race: 48.5%
    White: 49.8%

    "Targeting drivers who might not be familiar with their rights or speak English well just greases the wheels for invasive searches."

    Stop making excuses for people who don't take an interest in their rights.

    "It also suggests most stops are fishing expeditions, rather than truly traffic-related, which may put more recent stops on the wrong side of legality, thanks to the Supreme Court's Rodriguez decision."

    If only criminals will just willingly admit they are wrong whenever they are pulled over.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Oct 2018 @ 5:33pm

      Re: The government is not here to be your friend

      The cops shouldn't try to deceive us. They should inform us of our rights so we are not abused.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 12 Oct 2018 @ 7:36pm

      There seems to be a lack of facts, such as the demographics of the area where the police stops occurs.

      As best I can tell from that website, individual Hispanic/Latino groups—rather than the bulk generality referred to in your citation—make up a minority of the Los Angeles population. When the police stop members of a demographic minority more often than they stop members of the majority, that suggests the notion of police having a certain “idea” of who looks “suspicious” and who does not based partially on race/ethnicity.

      Stop making excuses for people who don't take an interest in their rights.

      Stop making excuses for police officers who use someone’s ignorance of the law as a go-ahead for civil rights violations.

      If only criminals will just willingly admit they are wrong whenever they are pulled over.

      If only cops would willingly stop abusing their authority when they feel the need to perform searches/seize assets under false pretenses.

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 12 Oct 2018 @ 7:41pm

      "If only criminals will just willingly admit they are wrong"

      Most criminals don't know that they're being criminal or how. You, for instance, Yawn...

      And to the contrary, functions of the government are all supposed to be friendly to the public. It's been this way since the feudal era, that's been part of the obligation of the ruling class. If the government is antagonistic to the public, then what you have is a provisional occupational government (say, like Japan in Korea, pre WWII, or the British garrison here in the colonies before American independence.)

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2018 @ 6:22am

      Re: The government is not here to be your friend

      "Stop making excuses for people who don't take an interest in their rights."

      Why should anyone not be afforded rights simply because they are ignorant of same? This attitude seems rather juvenile.

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

  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 12 Oct 2018 @ 5:05pm

    Some police, unfortunately

    Your alive and driving a car, that is suspicious activity. Now you wait right there while we get one of our newly (and poorly) trained attack, oops sorry, drug interdiction dogs who will come down here and sniff your car while responding to their handlers cue's to decide whether that $60 in mixed bills has ever been handled by a machine that has also handled bill that came in contact with drugs and contaminated that machine and all the money that passed through it. Whew.

    By the way, you certainly look guilty...what did you do? Well, you're under arrest for whatever your answer was going to be whether that was actually a crime or not. We are professionals and our training (all non cops are bad and criminal) and experience (everybody tries to deceive us, so they must be criminal in some form or other and my job is to determine what to charge you with) tells us that you have done something chargeable. Is that cocaine or sugar under your seat. Here, let me test that. 10 seconds later, the test says it's cocaine, turn around and put your hands behind your back. I might as well add that charge to your offenses. What's this car worth, it will look good on my asset forfeiture totals for the month.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2018 @ 9:30am

      Re: Some police, unfortunately

      This may be a scenario that starts with cop finding out your prior arrests/ convictions. They can legally detain you for 72 hours without arresting you. During which time they can go through your belongings without your knowledge. Then come up with bullshit reason to get a warrant.

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 12 Oct 2018 @ 7:30pm

    An effort to reduce the number of searches

    The problem remains that when police engage in illegal searches but no crime is found, then the illegal search goes typically without detection. Only when a crime is committed are the searches that detected those crimes shown to be illegal, and at that point it's very tempting for a judge to allow the evidence to not be suppressed, as per good faith.

    Illegal searches should be detected and penalized (at least at the precinct level) regardless of whether or not a crime is detected.

    This sort of thing has been discussed before when regarding drug dogs, say that drug dogs that false positive more than 50% of the time, then they're not really detecting drugs and should be retired. (And we've heard about studies in Chicago in which drug sniffs of Latin civilians would false positive 97% of the time, so it's a problem)

    When a precinct engages in too many searches (consented to or otherwise) that don't reveal a crime, then the police department is too suspicious, and needs better officers or better policy.

    Now of course, in the current clime, our institutions don't care, but in fact want to harass undesirables to migrate elsewhere, into prison or to death.

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

    • identicon
      Christenson, 12 Oct 2018 @ 8:24pm

      Re: An effort to reduce the number of searches

      So far, so good Uriel.

      Now how do we set that up so those other illegal searches get in front of the judge and result in real consequences for the man in blue?

      Most of us are uninterested in wasting time with courts if we can possibly avoid it.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 12 Oct 2018 @ 10:55pm

        Re: Re: An effort to reduce the number of searches

        Financial penalties(on top of fine sufficient to cover legal fees), paid for directly from the officer in question(so no dumping it on the taxpayers) would probably provide sufficient incentive to go to court.

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

  • identicon
    Tin-Foil-Hat, 12 Oct 2018 @ 7:39pm

    Constitutional Violations are Crimes

    When the government commits a crime they call it a "technicality" or they legalize the criminal behavior as in civil forfeiture. If a cop asks you if you have cash and you lie that's a crime. If you tell the truth your money is stolen.

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

  • identicon
    dickeyrat, 13 Oct 2018 @ 2:32am

    No one can argue that the LASO isn't biased -- but a strong part of that is simply "us vs. them", which unfortunately targets Latinos more than any other group. I am not Latino, but I found out the hard way myself many years ago. The LASO's M.O. is simple: consent to the search, or we'll haul your ass in. You'll then have to bail out somehow, plus your vehicle will have been impounded, at a cost of over $300 per day (that price has probably gone up by now). It's strictly a perverted power trip played by bored, overpaid bad-ass L.A. County Sheriff's deputies, many of whom are acting out their own personal prejudices, racial or otherwise. And their habit is to tear private vehicles to pieces in the process. Again, that's how you discover how "bad" they are. The L.A. County Sheriff's Department is essentially a gang of over-aggrandized bullying bastards.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2018 @ 9:15am

    Miami cop pulled me over once just to make sure I hadn't stolen the beautiful quasar blue Iroc with T-Tops off I was driving. Pure violation of law.

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

  • identicon
    Bruce C., 14 Oct 2018 @ 1:42pm

    "But the other clincher for me was his attitude. He has a bad attitude. He had a bad attitude in this court. He was disrespectful. He was short. The public defender was just asking him questions. He didn't need to be disrespectful. The public defender was just doing his job. But he decided he was going to take charge of the cross-examination which he did but it reflected on his credibility as being straightforward."

    I get the feeling that the judge is making a point of using the same standards of "behavioral analysis" in evaluating the testimony of police witnesses that the officer applied in his traffic stop.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2018 @ 8:00am

    The police lie like crazy. They'll lie to get the public to do what they want. To give up your constitutional protected rights. They'll lie to cover their own butts or those of their fellow police officers. I don't think the word of a police officer is any better than a criminal. Maybe worse!!!

    As for Police Dogs. The officers can say they hit on anything and then they now have probable cause. You know what, don't give them access to search your car. Tell them no. Say as little as possible as they will use your words against you as they LIE right to you.

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

  • identicon
    Personanongrata, 15 Oct 2018 @ 11:40am

    Jurisprudence Pretzel Logic

    It also suggests most stops are fishing expeditions, rather than truly traffic-related, which may put more recent stops on the wrong side of legality, thanks to the Supreme Court's Rodriguez decision. This decision said traffic stops are over when the objective of the stop has been fulfilled -- i.e., the delivery of a citation or warning. Killing time to wait for drug dogs or backup units is no longer permissible if reasonable suspicion has failed to materialize.

    The US Supreme Court is at it once again with it's defective jurisprudence that reeks of hypocrisy.

    Was it not US Supreme Court decision in Whren v US that empowered law enforcements use of pretext traffic violation stops (ie fishing expeditions) in the first place?

    Italicized/bold text below was excerpted from the website wikipedia.org a webpage titled Whren v. United States:

    Whren v. United States, 517 U.S. 806 (1996),[1] was a unanimous United States Supreme Court decision[2] that "declared that any traffic offense committed by a driver was a legitimate legal basis for a stop."[3]

    The temporary detention of a motorist upon probable cause to believe that he has violated the traffic laws does not violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable seizures, even if a reasonable officer would not have stopped the motorist absent some additional law enforcement objective.[5]

    Has not the US Supreme Court handed law enforcement an open ended invitation to stop, question and search any persons being detained using the defective jurisprudence foisted forth in Whren v US?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whren_v._United_States

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

  • icon
    Ockham's Stubble (profile), 15 Oct 2018 @ 5:56pm

    Lawyers, learn from them

    I would dearly love for a cross-examination to casually slip in some of these hard-won pieces of officer wisdom, in response to testimony.

    "Officer, that response seemed very direct, and you were looking right at me. I'm going to caution you that perjury is a very serious action!"

    (Officer changes behaviour in next response.)

    "Officer, you demeanor changed quite a bit from your last response - isn't that indicative of deception?"

    (Officer frowns, gets more irritated in responding to next question...)

    "Officer, your curt responses indicate you're looking to get this cross-examination over with quickly, maybe because you have something to hide. What are you hiding?"

    >Repeat until judge dismisses case.<

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


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