View Full Version : Police Entrapment
09-16-1999, 02:13 AM
So what are the guidelines for this? There are tons of routine activities that I believe to be quite questionable. I've seen all these things on COPS and the like.
1) Having a police woman dress up like a hooker, and have her actively solicit men in cars. "So baby, do you want a date?" As soon as he asks for sex, and quotes a price she gets in the car and he's cornered a block away.
Why is this legal? Seems shady to me, the crime isn't severe enough to trample the constitution. And is the cop show theme that if the johns asks "Are you a cop?" she must answer afirmatively true?
2) A cop lining up on the side of the road behind a billboard shooting radar in an unmarked van. Then him radioing to cops up the road to pull over drivers and hand out 100 tickets apeice in a shift.
This doesn't seem like they are trying to slow down traffic, just make a huge revenue stream. If they wanted to keep traffic down they'd patrol in the open and drive the speed limit pulling over anyone who passes them.
3) Cops patrolling in unmarked sports cars on tollways pulling over motorists.
Again, the incognito approach doesn't slow down the bulk of traffic, just the few who will be driving with points on their record.
4) Cops masquerading online as horny little 14 year olds, and trying to talk men into meeting them.
This is blatant, but the crime is so detestable they seem to look the other way on the entrapment.
These are just a few instances I can think of off hand, but all of them seem to be beyond any good reason. Do they serve any good? I am kinda on the fence about cops using speeding tickets as a revenue stream, unless I am getting them, but is there any legal reason they should be allowed to do this? I cant imagine an deterant effect. Sounds like emptying the ocean with a teaspoon. It seems way out of line to do these things to me.
Anyone have any insight into that grey area of the law. I'm not against enforcing these laws, but there must be a less underhanded way. I don't mind the cops advertising child porn and arresting takers, but activly persuing men trying to bait them in isn't right.
Where do the TM stand on this issue? Sorry about some of the errors, my keyboarding seems to be retarded tonite.
Can't answer any of the other questions, but the answer to this one:
And is the cop show theme that if the johns asks "Are you a cop?" she must answer afirmatively true?
is definitely NO. I actually asked a local officer this very question once. He replied, (paraphrased)"I don't have to tell him s#*t. That could put my life in danger." He also added that by asking if he was a cop, the suspect almost ensured his arrest.
09-16-1999, 02:48 AM
As convincing as "I don't have to tell him shit" is, I'd like to see something to support that. And I expect that context is relavent, and that vice cops my have different rules. As for the officer you spoke with, I think he's just spouting off because under all circumstances the officer must identify himself as such in order to act. Unless the man is undercover, the officer must display his badge to make an arrest, and identify himself or provide a badge number when asked. These are very specific rules, that prevent corruption.
09-16-1999, 09:17 AM
Think about it logically. If all a potential John had to do was ask the hooker: "Are you a cop?" the cops would never be able to arrest anybody! The first line of every conversation with a hooker would be, "Are you a cop?" Same for buying/selling drugs.
09-16-1999, 10:18 AM
Re points #2 and #3, I believe that (besides the revenue aspect) there definitely is a deterrent aspect to this. I believe that the typical citizen, even if he goes over the speed limit, will do so to only a limited extent, for fear that there may be a hidden speed trap somewhere.
09-16-1999, 10:26 AM
Entrapment does not mean "tricky". The key to entrapment is whether or not the person was predisposed to commit the crime, which must be determined from the circumstances and the context. A businessman cruising in the red light district at midnight who stops to talk to a heavily made-up woman in a halter top and hot pants can resonably said to be "predisposed" toward prostiution, as opposed to a situation where a similarly dressed woman approaches a man sitting in the bleachers watching his son play in a little league game.
09-16-1999, 02:03 PM
A cop lining up on the side of the road behind a billboard shooting radar in an unmarked van. Then him radioing to cops up the road to pull over drivers and hand out 100 tickets apeice in a shift.
In Georgia, this is illegal. Police cannot use any speed detection device from a hidden location. IIRC, the officer must be visible from 500 feet before radar/laser use is allowed.
I have, however, seen them set up on a freeway overpass and run the same type operation on the motorists below. Pretty clever!
The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. -- E. Grebenik
09-16-1999, 02:17 PM
I think the justification for hiding in the shadows with a radar gun, is that it keeps speeds down everywhere. Cruising around in the open would only keep speeds down around the actual cop car. Hidden cops could be anywhere, thus you have to keep your speed down even if you can't see any cops at all. Speed kills, paranoia saves lives! I don't know if it works, though. It seems like everybody just ignores the speed signs and pays the tickets.
09-16-1999, 09:07 PM
4) Cops masquerading online as horny little 14 year olds, and trying to talk men into meeting them.
I've always wondered, what do you arrest them for once you've sprung the trap? An adult arranging a meeting with and then meeting a 14-year-old isn't illegal unless they boink. The adult could always say he wanted to meet the kid to play softball with him/her or discuss their favorite rock group in person.
I'm not flying fast, just orbiting low.
09-16-1999, 11:50 PM
An undercover policewoman who dresses provocatively or acts seductively around a man, trying to get him to proposition her so that she can slap the cuffs on him, is engaging in classic entrapment. Where you stand on this issue probably has a lot to do with how moral/immoral you think prostitution itself is. Regardless, this technique IS troublesome. An undercover policewoman COULD be trying to entice an innocent bystander, just minding his own business, into committing a crime.
Omniscient's OTHER examples, however, are neither troublesome nor really in the same ballpark. A hidden cop with a radar gun is not encouraging drivers to speed- he's merely catching people who are ALREADY speeding without any encouragement!
A person who elects to break the law has no right to cry foul if it turns out a cop saw him.
09-17-1999, 12:08 AM
In Canada we have 'photo radar', in which an automated camera/radar gun takes photos of the license plates of speeding vehicles. A ticket is fired off by mail, probably without a human being involved in the process in any way. Even if I loan someone my vehicle, I get to pay the speeding ticket. This has been challenged in court, and the challenge failed. It's not much of a deterrant, because there are no demerits or insurance increases associated with the ticket, which carries no record on your license, but it generates a whack of cash for the city.
09-17-1999, 01:51 PM
Even if I loan someone my vehicle, I get to pay the speeding ticket. This has been challenged in court, and the challenge failed.I don't think this would fly in the U.S. Here, they have to charge a given person with a crime, not just accuse the car. (Ok, yes, there are laws that let them take property and the like, which can be interpreted as being similar, but that's not what we're talking about here.)
09-17-1999, 04:21 PM
If what you say is true, then I don't know the definition of entrapment is. I thought a sexy policewoman, hanging around waiting to arrest someone who propositions her, was perfectly kosher. After all, I know plenty of women who give off seductive vibes and dress really sexily, and they aren't cops and they don't take money for sex. If anti-prostitution laws protect anybody, they protect women from being propositioned by johns, which is a pretty insulting form of sexual harassment.
The irony is, I think prostitution should be decriminalized and zoned. Sure it's bad for some business, but it's good for other business, and if it were recognized as accepted practice in a certain area all my goofy sexy friends could stay away.
On the whole, I think prostitution really is a victimless crime, but as long as the laws exist, I can think of anyway to enforce them, other than with the use of aforementioned seductive policewoman.
If she propositions him, brings up the subject of pricing, asks to see his cash, etc., then forget it. She, and the state, are way out of line trying to create a crime. As long as she's just "looking the part", I'm just fine locking the guy up.
09-17-1999, 04:23 PM
Erratum, second to last paragraph: ... I can't think of a way to enforce the law ...
09-17-1999, 05:08 PM
Further to David B.'s comments, I would be interested to know from any U.S. lawyers out there if the owner of a vehicle is responsible for offences committed by a driver to whom he has loaned his vehicle.
In most (if not all) Canadian provinces, the registered owner of a vehicle is responsible for damage done or injury caused by a driver who has possession of the vehicle with the owner's express or implied consent. Since it is vehicles which are insured and not the drivers, I think this policy has evolved to ensure that individuals who are injured through the carelessness of another driver will be compensated by insurance companies, and will not need to seek redress from the driver who may be impecunious. I would be somewhat surprised if similar laws did not exist in the States.
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