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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I was just coming home, along a 5 min stretch of interstate I was cruising along at 75 or so, and this primer black EG comes flying up on my tail. It was primered, slammed on flat black steelies, riced out N1 style can (which was literally an inch off the pavement, and throwing sparks on bumps), and some ricer stickers on the windows. So the guy gets right on my bumper, and as I'm about to change lanes he goes around me on the right with no signal, revs the engine and takes off. So I stay in my lane, he does a classic "stupid street racer" cut off of another car and gets ahead in the right lane. He slows down until I go by again, and then commences to tailgate me. I ignore him, and we eventually get to a light where the road is about to merge, there's a bit of traffic. So I'm a car ahead in the other lane at the light, like I should be in front when we're merging, and this kid just about pushes me off the road, but I hold my place, and he tailgates me for another mile, weaving back and forth, revving the motor, etc. Then he turns off at a light. A couple miles down the road, I stop to get fuel, and as I'm standing there a cop pulls up and comes to talk to me.
First off, he asks why I don't have an inspection sticker. I explain I just got registered, I have 10 days to get it, and show him my registration, I'm all good. Then he THANKS me for not racing with the civic! I was so nervous at first because I WAS speeding a little on the interstate, I guess he was behind us both the entire way! We had a 5 minute conversation about it, it was actually very pleasant. It makes me feel better that at least one officer around here might not think that all import drivers are stupid street racer wannabes.
I hope he went and got the kid after.
 

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downest said:
I hope he went and got the kid after.
You would think he would have pulled the kid over right then. If he wanted to pull him over, I doubt if he would have given the kid a 5 minute head start. Kinda cool, but I wonder why he let the guy go after seeing him driving erratically like that...maybe he thought he could get you on the inspection sticker bit ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah I think it was the inspection sticker. I'm hoping he radioed another cop to get that kid, it was classic stupid import type stuff, in a classic ricemobile, wish I had a camera on me.
 

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Speaking of interactions with cops, I got pulled over a week ago. i was heading up north about an hour to Dracut Mass to pick up a little trailer for hauling the Ninja out to Cali. I'm almost to the guys house, going around a big sweeping turn on a river road, pretty slow speed becasue i'm wathcing for the names of cross streets. I see this trooper around the bend parked shooting radar directly at me and cars coming from my direction. I look down, see i am doin gthe speed limit, look up at him, then keep driving. I look back a minute later and i see him catching up behind me. He flashes, pulls me over and tells me he pulled me over for not having a front plate and not having an inspection sticker. i tell him that I'm a college student at MIT I'm from Cali and i wrecked my other crx last winter on ice. tell him I got this car a couple months back, gutted it and have been working on it, swapping the motors and stuff. i tell him i can't get it inspected because the windshield has a fatty crack and I'm completely broke. tell him i'm just driving it because i need to pick up a trailer to take all my stuff back to cali in a week when i graduate and start my job. So i said a lot, and it was all basically true. so he take smy info, check sit out, then just writes my a warning and wishes me luck. i chatted with him about whether or not mass insurance will cover the windshield, and if i can get the rmv to forward my title that they never sen tme out to cali. he even tells me how to get to where i'm going.

what a nice guy! if he had given me a ticket for the inspection it would have been a moving violation and my insurance would go up. i'd no longer be in the lowest insurance bracket. Needless to say, i don't think cops are so bad. Then again i've always had good lukc with them. maybe i just know how to treat them since my dad is highay patro out in cali. ya thats right erik estrada is my dad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I thought you didn't need a front plate in MA?

I was pulled over in my old car a little while ago for an expired inspection, it was due in May. I didn't get it because I lived out of state, and I just got back in (true) and that I was selling the car in NY that weekend, so by the time i got an appointment it wouldn't matter. The cop was really nice, same thing ran my license, and my roommate's license since he was in the car, and came back and said have a nice day. He said I was taking my chances about who would pull me over, but he understood my situation.

That makes me think, Mark maybe you have some insight on this. When I've been pulled over, either with me or one of my friends driving, the police usually ask for the IDs of everyone in the car. The only times this hasn't happened to me was once with my sister and once with my girlfriend (neither time did I get a ticket). Is it standard for that to happen? I've been with my dad when he was pulled over and that didn't happen.
 

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Heh, I got pulled over a few days ago after passing a cop on a back road.
She turned around and followed me almost all the way to work and flashed her lights at a restaurant just before I made it. She was like " You know you have some front end damage to your car, Sir?" I said yes mam, it was backed into a few weeks back while I was away. I told her all the lights still worked and I have a drivers side headlight to replace the broken one (it was in the car) But I cant get the old one out without doing more damage. Told her Ive also just been driving to and from work just up the road. (WHich is the sad truth) She was like okay, ran my I.D. and told me a needed to get it fixed or drive something else.

She looked like she had been having a bad day or tired....But for a cop, she was hott! :lol:
 

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MarkWilliamson said:
Maybe.

Though it's probably not wise to contest it on the side of the road, passengers in a vehicle being stopped do not have to give ID...unless they get involved in the stop. Meaning that, if they say anything to the cop, they can be legally identified. The Supreme Court has held that passengers are detained, but only by virtue of being in the car.

That being said, cops can "ask" for ID's of everyone in the car. I do it if I think there's wanted people in the car. That said, young people tend to be wanted more often than old people in a minivan.
I personally have a problem with cops asking passengers in a car for ID as part of a routine traffic stop...glad that the ruling says they no longer have to show it. However...the "asking" thing is much like a cop "asking" to search your vehicle, though. Courts can make all the rulings in the world that certain searches and things like this are unconstitutional, but all the officer has to do is "ask" to search the car or "ask" for ID. Most people are nervous, a bit scared, and not entirely aware of the laws and latest court rulings, so they'll consent to the search or hand over their ID a great majority of the time. If the person says no, they'll often get the "why, do you have something to hide?" treatment. That was an easy hurdle to get over.

I think that if a cop "asks" you to do something that you don't have to do, like asking to search your vehicle without the correct prerequisites (probable cause, warrant, whatever), or asking to see the ID of every passenger in a car, they should be required to preface it with some kind of explanation of your rights. Something like, "You are not legally required to consent to a search of this vehicle, and you have the right to say 'no' and not allow me to search the vehicle...but since I'm asking you nicely, may I please search the vehicle? C'mon, pretty please?"

All joking aside, the "asking" thing is too easy of a loophole for police to get the search/info/whatever that they want, but can't legally demand. Since they word it the same way as things that they CAN demand, ("Can I see your license and registration, sir?" doesn't sound much different than "Do you mind if I take a look around the inside of your vehicle, sir?"), it leads people to believe that they ARE required to comply with things. That, coupled with the fact that people think that they'll end up looking suspicious if they don't allow the cop to do whatever he asks to do (and rightfully so, although in fact all they are doing is defending their rights), leads me to think that the "asking" loophole shouldn't be such an easy one to slip through.

(Note: Informing a person of their rights before asking them to consent to a search, etc. or other similar practices might already be implemented in some places, I have no idea.)
 

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downest said:
I thought you didn't need a front plate in MA?
oh you most certainly do...i got a ticket for no front license plate, WHEN I WAS TEST DRIVING A DAM CAR!!!

now that cop was the biggest asshole ive seen in my life...

the ticket was like $85 bucks...then it went up to $285 when it went to a collections agency...

i still didnt pay the ticket, their dmv said my license was suspended...to bad MA DMV doesnt co-work with NYS...hahaha, stupid MA55HOLES!

also it isnt on my credit report...
 

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MarkWilliamson said:
ryan_long_01 said:
I personally have a problem with cops asking passengers in a car for ID as part of a routine traffic stop...
Why do you have a problem with this?

I've arrested several passengers in cars on felony warrants simply by asking for ID. I'm pleased to know they were stupid enough to give them to me.

Why would you have a problem with that? One of those was a L&L warrant. (Read: child molestation) Would you rather I not asked?

Now, I have had people refuse consent searches of their vehicles. What so you suppose I did? Searched anyway? That's foolish. I'm not going to violate someone's rights for a stupid pot arrest. Besides the fact that it's wrong, I have too much to lose.

Let's see, I can search illegally and make a misdemeanor pot arrest....and very possibly lose my job, get sued and go to prison....or I can say "Have a nice day" and let them go.

:rolleyes1:

I'll bet you're the person who, after seeing a cop running radar on the side of the highway, flashes his headlights to alert oncoming drivers that he is there.

One guy, after he was caught speeding and arrested on an outstanding warrant for murder, told the arresting officer (well, state trooper) that he'd been caught much earlier for speeding except for other drivers doing that.

Do you actually study search and seizure case law (That's the fourth amendment, by the way) or do you just form these opinions out of the blue?
I have a problem with it for the same reason the judges who ruled against the police power to demand ID have a problem with it, I suppose.

Now, you could make tons of arrests for warrants by stopping people on the street, asking for ID, and making sure that their "papers were in order"...heck, maybe even plenty of child molesters (I like how child molsters are used as examples so if I argue for certain rights, I sound pro-child molestor, haha)! But, I *don't* think the end justifies the means in that case OR in the case of IDing everyone in the car on a traffic stop.

I don't believe that simply riding in a car that is stopped for speeding or a burned-out taillight bulb or whatever means that passengers should have to present identification or consent to any sort of search. That starts to open up the doors to just about everyone being fair game, despite the fact that they haven't done a single thing to lead police to believe that they've broken the law in any way.

Now, I should have reworded things. I don't have a problem with cops asking for ID. I have a problem with the fact that, despite a ruling that they can't demand ID, they can still ask for it -- which, in practice, results in the same thing in the end, in many cases. You say that they're "stupid enough" to hand over ID, I say that because of the way police are allowed to "ask" for something that has been ruled unconstitutional for them to demand, and the way that they ask in the same way that they ask for things like driver ID and vehicle registration (which people can't really refuse), people aren't aware of the fact that they can refuse to hand it over.

I didn't say that you would search a vehicle anyway after someone refused a search, nor would I ever assume that you would.

Nice of you to assume that I'm the kind of guy who would try to alert other drivers of a cop using radar to clock other drivers just because I'm the kind of guy who believes that people's constitutional rights and civil liberties are of the utmost importance. Actually, I don't...guess you lost that bet.

Mark, I'm not anti-cop at all...I'm just pro-civil liberties. I don't blame you one bit for using all the tools at your disposal to try and bring in the bad guys. I just don't always think that the end justifies the means when it encroaches on the rights and liberties of the people. Police power obviously needs to be kept in check to defend people's constitutional rights...it doesn't mean that I don't have a problem with murderers or child molestors or even murdering child molestors.

Thanks for letting me know which amendment search and seizure falls under... :rolleyes1: I don't spend my evenings with my nose in thick books studying legal precedent, but I don't form my opinions "out of the blue", either. As you might have guessed, I'm a card-carrying ACLU member, and try to stay current on some of the subjects and cases that interest me...which is probably how most people form opinions on things like this.
 

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Personally, I've been asked only once (so far) if they could look in my car. I asked if I was obligated to allow them to search my vehical at this moment - they said "No". So I said "No". What, I'm going to waste my evening standing on the side of the road so these officers can go on a fishing trip inside my car? Na. I got better things to do.

Besides, it would really suck if one of these guys happened to forget about a joint in their front shirt pocket they confiscated from an earlier perpetrator. They they go looking for something under the front seat - it falls out - "Hey, look what I found!" SNICK go the cuffs while I shout "BUT IT WASN'T MIiiine" as I get stuffed into a squadcar.

Is the risk of that small? Sure.
 

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MarkWilliamson said:
And the Supreme Court agrees with you on this. And I agree with you on this. However, a traffic stop, is in fact a "public place." The vehicle itse'f is private property, but the Supreme Court has ruled time and again that citizens have a lesser expectation of privacy when they are "in public" than in their own homes.

Ah, now we're getting somewhere, but I'm still confused about why this bothers you? Is it simply because your fellow citizens aren't as informed about their rights as you and I are and know that they do have a right to refuse this specific (and ther) requests? And I (and other cops) take advantage of their ignorance to arrest some bad guys?

However, suppose I ask for your ID and you give it to me, all while the driver of a car you're riding in is being ticketed for speeding. I check you for warrants and get nothing and return your license. You've been legally detained (by dint of the traffic stop) but you are never placed under arrest and my detention of you only lasts long enough for the driver to get his ticket. I am still unsure how I have eroded your civil liberties?

I simply don't understand why you would want to make it more difficult for me to arrest wanted subjects when the inconvenience to you is minimal.

As for the bet, I'm glad that you don't flash your lights to warn other drivers of an officer doing his duty. I'm often wrong about how things seem. But, apropos, had I not asked, I would never have known for sure, would I?

I was once a member of the ACLU. I believe in all those wonderful rights laid out in our Constitution and more accurately defined by our Supreme Court. So much so that I swore an oath to protect them. That doesn't mean that I think I shouldn't be able to ask for someone's ID.

You know, the 4th amendment has never really protected an innocent person. And I often spend my evenings with my nose in thick books studying legal precedent. It's of paramount importance to my job.
Mark, we both know that the longer these discussions go on, the more likely we are to admit that we agree...but I never expected you to say that you were an ACLU member ;) I'm sure you understand where I'm coming from, then. It's the fact that I don't believe people should be forced to show ID in a situation like that that is the main point...because people are nervous/scared of looking guilty/ignorant of their rights, they confuse the cop "asking" with something that they have to do. I'm just saying maybe if they are allowed to ask in such a way that it might lead people to believe that they have to present ID, that's just as "bad" (to me) as saying that it's ok for cops to demand it...

In my mind, the 4th amendment HAS protected the innocent. It protects them from police harrassment, and from being searched for no good reason. It protects them from the unchecked power of the government. If it didn't protect the innocent, it wouldn't serve nearly the purpose that it does. Oh, and we're all innocent, until proven guilty...so even when it protects the "bad guys", it's still protecting the innocent ;)

I think we fundamentally agree on this...it's just a matter of perspective -- I tend to want to error fully on the side of protecting civil liberties, even at the expense of letting a bad guy skate once in awhile...even at the expense of a cop's safety -- hell, even at the expense of my own personal safety. I truly believe that when civil liberties are lost, they are never regained -- and we've lost a part of what makes our country worth living in. My arguments aren't always popular for the same reason that the ACLU's lawsuits and positions aren't always popular -- because I defend the principle first and foremost...and when you do that, you sometimes end up defending things that you otherwise wouldn't -- because the bigger idea is more important than the individual situation. That's what this is about...not checking an ID, finding nothing, and letting me go on my way -- but the right to not be forced to identify myself when I'm not involved in any wrongdoing. It seems trivial, but even a total police-state is just a lot of tiny steps away...

I used to flash my lights to alert other motorists of a cop when I was younger and things seemed more us vs them. Then I realized that I hate almost everyone else on the road, they don't know how to drive, and they almost kill me nearly every day. I don't owe them anything. I'm lookin' out for number one. :)
 
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