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Old 02-04-2019, 07:47 PM
Drum God Drum God is offline
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During a traffic stop, the officer asks permission to search my vehicle. I decline. Now what?

That's pretty much the question. If I am stopped for some legitimate reason (speeding, busted tail light, whatever) and the officer asks for permission to search my vehicle, my first instinct is to decline. However, is my day now ruined while I sit by the side of the road with a pissed off cop?

Assume that there is no observable reason to conduct a search. I do not have a gun or other weapon sitting in plain view. I do not behave in a way to cause the officer to be concerned for his safety. I am polite and respectful in every way and do not argue about the cause for the stop. When asked for the consent, I politely say "Officer, I do not give consent for you or anyone else to search my vehicle at this time."

True story: Last week, I was stopped for speeding. I pulled over very soon after the lights went on. I was alone in my own car. The car is properly licensed and registered. I also have a valid driver's license and proof of financial responsibility. I was wearing my seatbelt and had no contraband in the vehicle. I stopped the car in an empty parking lot adjacent to the road. I placed the transmission in park, set the parking brake, and turned on the interior cabin light (it was night). I placed my hands in my lap and waited for the officer to approach. When he arrived, I lowered the driver's window so that we could speak. He shined his light at me and asked me to lower the rear window. The window is tinted, but complies with the law. I lowered the window as requested and he shined his light in the back seat. The rest of the encounter went as expected and the officer gave me a printed warning (no fine) to better control my speed.
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:15 PM
SamuelA SamuelA is offline
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I suspect lowering your rear window isn't enough to count as a "search". After all, there could be someone hiding back there.

As for serious searches, especially of hidden areas like the trunk and glove compartment and under the seats, here's how it works out :

If you consent,
a. You might get let go sooner after the search
OR
b. The police might damage your vehicle in the process of searching it. They might plant contraband you didn't actually have. A guest in your car, previous owner, valet, manufacturing worker, etc might have had contraband on them and unbeknownst to you, lost that contraband while in your car. "so THAT's where that extra bud went or my other crack rock..."

If you decline,
a. They might let you go sooner - searching takes time and they have no reason to hold you
b. They might search your car anyways, and they might plant contraband or find contraband, but in this case, they have to be able to justify the search with probable cause.

Now, one nasty loophole are the drug dogs. These animals can apparently signal on command, essentially giving the police the ability to manufacture probable cause whenever they want. This is unfortunate but nevertheless you do not gain by helping the police investigate you.

I would be apologetic but clearly state you don't consent to searches. If they persist with the search, make sure to state loudly and clearly for the dash cam - shake your head as well - that you do not consent, but don't interfere with the officer - in fact, sit at the curb with your hands on your head or something so they won't be justified in shooting you.

Last edited by SamuelA; 02-04-2019 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 02-04-2019, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Drum God View Post
That's pretty much the question. If I am stopped for some legitimate reason (speeding, busted tail light, whatever) and the officer asks for permission to search my vehicle, my first instinct is to decline. However, is my day now ruined while I sit by the side of the road with a pissed off cop?
Next time, either have your cell phone video rolling or buy a dash cam. Have you ever watched those youtube videos of police/traffic stops? Some of those detained cite their rights fairly well, but many have no idea what the law really is and make things difficult for the police by acting like they think they know the law.

The de minimus intrusion of asking to search is permitted, but if you refuse, that should end it if the cop is on the square.

Any additional time detained that is not relevant to the original purpose of the stop may very well be unconstitutional.
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:55 PM
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If I've got a lot of free time on my hands I tell them they do not have permission to search my vehicle and we can sit there all day if he wants. Sometimes they'll threaten that you'll have to wait for a K-9 unit but there isn't one always available and if one is not wasn't there a court case about how long they can detain you to wait for a dog or whatever, technically I don't think they can detain you there forever, but I realize reality on the streets doesn't always mesh with the laws on the books.
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Old 02-04-2019, 11:21 PM
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It sounds like asking you to roll down your rear window was a cursory form of an inventory search. Such a search doesn't require a warrant because cops can't use it to find evidence of a crime. (If they found evidence, I imagine it would would probably constitute probable cause and allow them go get a search warrant, but I'm not sure.) The purpose is to ensure there's no threat to their safety, like a passenger in the back seat aiming a gun the officer can't see through a tinted window. I think how thoroughly they can search probably varies by location.
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Old 02-04-2019, 11:39 PM
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Oh, I didn't mean to imply that I thought the request to lower the rear window as a search. I assumed it to be the officer's wanting to check his safety. He could not see into the back seat and wanted to determine that no one was there. I was just amused because I believe the reason he couldn't see through the window is because he was shining his light on the glass. It was dark outside and I had the cabin light on, so if he didn't shine his flashlight on the glass, he would have seen inside easily. But, if he feels safe, then I figure my safety is enhanced as well.

Oh, and I live in Texas.
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Old 02-04-2019, 11:54 PM
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In my experience, they come back after a few minutes in their car and say they radioed in your plate and were told the vehicle had been used in a burglary. That justifies their search, and of course you have no way to challenge what they "heard" the dispatcher report.
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Old 02-04-2019, 11:54 PM
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I'm always amazed at the people on the TV show 'LivePD' who argue and make themselves look guilty to the LEO. I am further amazed how many peeps are driving around smoking crack and drinking. What? You don't have a house to get stoned in? They never have insurance or a valid DL, either. I spend way too much time on a very rural road where wildlife is trying to kill me, I don't need these jokers driving down the road. If the cop stops you it behooves you to comply to his requests, if at all possible. IMHO

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 02-04-2019 at 11:57 PM.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
I am further amazed how many peeps are driving around smoking crack and drinking. What? You don't have a house to get stoned in?
Driving without smoking crack, man that's like going fishing without a six pack of beer!!!

I imagine there is a not insignificant number of people that once they are hooked on crack, probably smoke at least a little bit as soon as they purchase it, it's a very addictive substance and all.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:41 AM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is online now
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The answer to the question posed by the OP is:

After declining, you get to find out if the officer believes he has a valid reason to search anyway. If he does, he will. If he doesn't, he may try to any way, or he may not.

If you consent to the search, you never get this question answered. The search occurs. The results will be dependent upon the individual situation.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Drum God View Post
Oh, I didn't mean to imply that I thought the request to lower the rear window as a search. I assumed it to be the officer's wanting to check his safety. He could not see into the back seat and wanted to determine that no one was there. I was just amused because I believe the reason he couldn't see through the window is because he was shining his light on the glass. It was dark outside and I had the cabin light on, so if he didn't shine his flashlight on the glass, he would have seen inside easily. But, if he feels safe, then I figure my safety is enhanced as well.

Oh, and I live in Texas.
Excellent response. Thank you.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
I'm always amazed at the people on the TV show 'LivePD' who argue and make themselves look guilty to the LEO. I am further amazed how many peeps are driving around smoking crack and drinking. What? You don't have a house to get stoned in? They never have insurance or a valid DL, either. I spend way too much time on a very rural road where wildlife is trying to kill me, I don't need these jokers driving down the road. If the cop stops you it behooves you to comply to his requests, if at all possible. IMHO
Haven't we done this before?

No doubt the LEOs on the board will be here soon (with sirens and flashers on!). In the meantime, I will observe that being amazed by the number of drunk and high drivers on a cop show is like being amazed at the number of flying people in a superhero movie.
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:28 AM
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I suspect lowering your rear window isn't enough to count as a "search". After all, there could be someone hiding back there.

As for serious searches, especially of hidden areas like the trunk and glove compartment and under the seats, here's how it works out :

If you consent,
a. You might get let go sooner after the search
OR
b. The police might damage your vehicle in the process of searching it. They might plant contraband you didn't actually have. A guest in your car, previous owner, valet, manufacturing worker, etc might have had contraband on them and unbeknownst to you, lost that contraband while in your car. "so THAT's where that extra bud went or my other crack rock..."

If you decline,
a. They might let you go sooner - searching takes time and they have no reason to hold you
b. They might search your car anyways, and they might plant contraband or find contraband, but in this case, they have to be able to justify the search with probable cause.

Now, one nasty loophole are the drug dogs. These animals can apparently signal on command, essentially giving the police the ability to manufacture probable cause whenever they want. This is unfortunate but nevertheless you do not gain by helping the police investigate you.

I would be apologetic but clearly state you don't consent to searches. If they persist with the search, make sure to state loudly and clearly for the dash cam - shake your head as well - that you do not consent, but don't interfere with the officer - in fact, sit at the curb with your hands on your head or something so they won't be justified in shooting you.
Is this really how cops behave in America? It sounds more like a third-world country.
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:32 AM
SamuelA SamuelA is offline
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Is this really how cops behave in America? It sounds more like a third-world country.
Well, yeah but with more violence. Also you have the highest probability of going to prison in the USA versus any other developed country.

But, on a day to day basis, if your vehicle is in good condition and your papers are in order you won't be treated badly.

Kinda wonder if the police in the Soviet Union were all that bad on a day to day basis...
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:00 AM
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Sometimes they'll threaten that you'll have to wait for a K-9 unit but there isn't one always available and if one is not wasn't there a court case about how long they can detain you to wait for a dog or whatever, technically I don't think they can detain you there forever, but I realize reality on the streets doesn't always mesh with the laws on the books.
That'd be this Supreme Court case:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hill
The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 on Tuesday that the Constitution forbids police from holding a suspect without probable cause, even for fewer than 10 extra minutes.

Writing on behalf of the court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg declared that the constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure prevent police from extending an otherwise completed traffic stop to allow for a drug-sniffing dog to arrive.
Basically if you happen to be stopped by a K-9 unit, the officer can have his dog sniff around your car. But if the K-9 unit is gonna take ten minutes to get to your traffic stop, then it's not allowed. The officer who stopped you can issue a threat, i.e. "if you don't consent to a search I can call for a K-9, and if he finds something, I won't be merciful," but it should be understood as a bluff. If you still don't consent, and the officer follows through and keeps you there for 20 minutes, and they happen to find something during their subsequent K-9 search, that Supreme Court decision should be enough to disallow anything they find, and potentially be grounds for you to file suit for violation of your civil rights.
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:18 AM
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Basically if you happen to be stopped by a K-9 unit, the officer can have his dog sniff around your car. But if the K-9 unit is gonna take ten minutes to get to your traffic stop, then it's not allowed.
It's not allowed if it means it will take ten extra minutes to get there. It's fine if you would have been stopped for ten more minutes either way.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 02-05-2019 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:00 AM
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It's not allowed if it means it will take ten extra minutes to get there. It's fine if you would have been stopped for ten more minutes either way.
An important clarification there, thanks.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:27 AM
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A cop at a DUI checkpoint smelled my coat, which absolutely stunk of cannabis and asked for permission to search. My car was clean, as was I. My coat had been in a room where people were smoking while I helped a friend install a water heater in the basement (I was halfway through a 3 week tolerance break). I declined the search.

The cop had me pull my car over and wait for a canine unit. The canine cop arrived and we talked, with the dog remaining in his car. He flashed his light in my eyes while engaging in casual discussion. He told me I had no evidence of drug use, other than odor and I explained about my coat. He sniffed my jacket sleeve and chuckled.

He then explained to the first cop that he was finished, and he left. The first cop told me I could leave, although he glared hard at me.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:32 AM
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IIRC in a recent court decision (Appeal? SCOTUS?) it was determined that extending a traffic stop beyond what was necessary (in this case, actually to get the dogs to arrive) was considered arrest, and therefore needed probable cause. Broken taillight was not probable cause beyond the time it would normally take to right the appropriate ticket. For a detention beyond that, they needed the proper PC to keep the person around afterwards.

Unfortunately, to make this point, you need to be illegally searched, have incriminating evidence found, and then petition the court - probably through a layer or two of appeals - to have the evidence thrown out due to improper search. This assumes you have the incriminating evidence, the finances to fund that level of legal fight, and judges who take their job seriously rather than bend over backward to allow improper police conduct. Plus, if they are going to plant evidence, they will. It's sad that we consider this a possibility.

Simplest thing is to be polite and respectfully decline a search. I don't see a problem with opening a window - they don't see anything much more than they would anyway. (Plain view).
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:48 AM
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Haven't we done this before?

No doubt the LEOs on the board will be here soon (with sirens and flashers on!). In the meantime, I will observe that being amazed by the number of drunk and high drivers on a cop show is like being amazed at the number of flying people in a superhero movie.
Sorry. I don't get out much. I have hardly any experience with police. I get my info the only way I can.
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:01 AM
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Isn't there something where for 'officer safety' they can pull you out of your call and search not just you, but your car for weapons? Then if they find something illegal, they can arrest you for that.
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:23 AM
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Isn't there something where for 'officer safety' they can pull you out of your call and search not just you, but your car for weapons? Then if they find something illegal, they can arrest you for that.
They can order you out of the car and perform a Terry search aka a frisk. The car can't be searched at that point without further probable cause, though.
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:44 AM
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IIRC in a recent court decision (Appeal? SCOTUS?) it was determined that extending a traffic stop beyond what was necessary (in this case, actually to get the dogs to arrive) was considered arrest, and therefore needed probable cause. Broken taillight was not probable cause beyond the time it would normally take to right the appropriate ticket. For a detention beyond that, they needed the proper PC to keep the person around afterwards.
See post #15.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:08 AM
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A couple of months ago I was drving home at about 2 am from a poker game that ended really late. About once a year we have a cigar poler night, and I must have reeked. I was drving a bit over the spped limit. The Officer asked if he could seach my car, and before I really thought about it, I said "sure." I don't smoke pot, didn't have a weapon or booze in the car.

I climbed out, he poped in and was in my car for no more than 30 seconds. He got out, said "thanks for the time sir" wished me well and let me go without a ticket or any other issue. Didn't take more than 2 minutes.

Sometimes just cooperating with the police, not treating them like the enemy and showing them a bit of respect is the way to go.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:36 AM
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It sounds like asking you to roll down your rear window was a cursory form of an inventory search. Such a search doesn't require a warrant because cops can't use it to find evidence of a crime. (If they found evidence, I imagine it would would probably constitute probable cause and allow them go get a search warrant, but I'm not sure.) The purpose is to ensure there's no threat to their safety, like a passenger in the back seat aiming a gun the officer can't see through a tinted window. I think how thoroughly they can search probably varies by location.
I feel the need to clarify this:

An "inventory search" is the search that they perform before your car is impounded. They look through it and note anything that is in it in case it's missing later. Well, that's one purpose, the other is so that you can't come back after your get your car from the tow yard and say, "Hey, I had my collection of Faberge eggs in the back seat, and now they're gone!"

Any contraband they find in the course of an inventory search can absolutely be charged against you. Stolen property, guns, drugs, 14-year-olds with "FOR ROY MOORE" tags on them, whatever, they can charge you with it.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:43 AM
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Sometimes just cooperating with the police, not treating them like the enemy and showing them a bit of respect is the way to go.
Depending on who you are, they may be treating you like the enemy and precautions are advisable. As it is, asserting your rights isn't really about disrespecting the police.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:43 AM
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Sometimes just cooperating with the police, not treating them like the enemy and showing them a bit of respect is the way to go.
I totally get your POV here, but would remind everyone that there have been situations like yours where the driver's son's buddy left contraband in the car and suddenly the driver's life is a mess.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:55 AM
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Sometimes just cooperating with the police, not treating them like the enemy and showing them a bit of respect is the way to go.
There is nothing disrespectful about declining a request to have your property searched.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:59 AM
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I totally get your POV here, but would remind everyone that there have been situations like yours where the driver's son's buddy left contraband in the car and suddenly the driver's life is a mess.
There doesn't even have to be real contraband. Road side drug tests are notoriously unreliable, so it's possible any random substance in your car may get you thrown in jail. Are you being pulled over by an agency that uses those tests?

If the police really want to search your car, perhaps because they do have probable cause, they are going to search it whether you agree or not. You may as well decline the search, because even if you have nothing to hide, and the officer is acting completely in good faith, you might still find yourself in jail.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:02 PM
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Depending on who you are, they may be treating you like the enemy and precautions are advisable.
"Who you are" refers to ethnicity, sadly.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:03 PM
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I see no benefit to me to allow a search, only additional chances for negative outcomes.
Making the LEO "feel better" is not a benefit. That is his/her job.
But do remain calm and respectful, emphasis on the calm.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:17 PM
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Sorry. I don't get out much. I have hardly any experience with police. I get my info the only way I can.
Sorry, I was too snarky. I just meant that of course on a cop show you're going to get all the messed up drivers, not the ones who are let off with a warning after not signaling a lane change. It's self selected.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:20 PM
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Not a search, but the last time I was pulled over (and yes the light was pink when I made that turn...) the officer looked in my car, saw my big old puppy in the backseat, and let me off with a warning. So, carry a cute puppy.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:21 PM
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"Who you are" refers to ethnicity, sadly.
Certainly there are racist cops but I've seen plenty of horrifying videos where they blow white people away for no reason as well like that video where the SWAT team guy shoots the terrified young white guy on the floor, in a hotel hallway for failure to follow impossible to obey commands, I think the bigger issue is the whole militarization of the police in general, race is certainly part of it but it's the smaller symptom of the overall problem.
There is too much difference in policies between departments, lack of training like when they taze or shoot people that have special needs, mental illness or are deaf or having a diabetic episode and lack of prosecution of bad cops, and the fact that it needs to be emphasized that they are indeed servants of the public not the other way around.

Sorry off topic, but my opinion anyway.
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Last edited by pool; 02-05-2019 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:42 PM
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Is this really how cops behave in America? It sounds more like a third-world country.
It is. Because too many people forget you only keep rights by preventing their being violated by government officials, even if it means being inconvenienced. The irony is, too often it is the flag-waving jingoists who like to say smug shit like "Innocent people have nothing to hide/fear". Which is the exact opposite of "innocent until proven guilty." I guess we've just had too many rights for too long, and now a large number of us don't know why we have those rights in the first place. We need a reminder.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:59 PM
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Sometimes just cooperating with the police, not treating them like the enemy and showing them a bit of respect is the way to go.
I understand not wanting trouble and all, but isn't not being enemies a two-way thing? If he's not treating you like the enemy, why is he searching your car?
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Old 02-05-2019, 02:34 PM
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I understand not wanting trouble and all, but isn't not being enemies a two-way thing? If he's not treating you like the enemy, why is he searching your car?
I think the answer is a little nuanced. Searching your car is treating everyone else like a friend and protecting them. Searching other folk's cars is treating you like a friend and protecting you.

I realize that this is the ideal philosophy implemented in an imperfect world with imperfect people, but enforcing laws overall beats the alternative for society to function. Yes I know, I excluded the middle there but wanted to treat the enemy/friend dichotomy issue with a similar viewpoint.
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:24 PM
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Is this really how cops behave in America? It sounds more like a third-world country.
"Cops" and "in America" are huge categories. I suspect that the majority of traffic stops are straightforward, civil, and uneventful, but many are not, in all sorts of different ways.
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:27 PM
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I would answer using my training and experience but too many police state/they are just going to plant evidence answers for me to bother.
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Reindeer Flotilla View Post
Searching your car is treating everyone else like a friend and protecting them. Searching other folk's cars is treating you like a friend and protecting you.
No, it's not. Without reasonable cause, searching my car is a violation of my rights. Would you feel the same if the police wanted to search your car? Your phone? Your laptop?

An unjustified search is not protection, it's an invasion of privacy and violation of your civil rights. The police have a difficult and dangerous job to do, and we want them to do it. But that doesn't give them free reign to ride roughshod over an individual's rights. The police have the powers they need to do the job at hand.
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:45 PM
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Sorry, I was too snarky. I just meant that of course on a cop show you're going to get all the messed up drivers, not the ones who are let off with a warning after not signaling a lane change. It's self selected.
No worries.
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
No, it's not. Without reasonable cause, searching my car is a violation of my rights. Would you feel the same if the police wanted to search your car? Your phone? Your laptop?

An unjustified search is not protection, it's an invasion of privacy and violation of your civil rights. The police have a difficult and dangerous job to do, and we want them to do it. But that doesn't give them free reign to ride roughshod over an individual's rights. The police have the powers they need to do the job at hand.
To each his own I guess.

Yes I have rights and I want to protect them. As I was driving down the street, and had absolutely nothing to hide, I saw no harm, and I donít see harm now. Part of this is the belief that everything that happens that we donít like in our society must be met with lawsuits, someone getting fired, a free plane ticket hopefully all three at once. An Officer wanting to search my car is not in the same category as a strip search or being imprisoned without trial for a decade. Iíd like to move on as quickly as possible, and Iíd like him to move on to other work, that is important to our society.

I donít equate looking though my car as running roughshod over my rights. Or as we said as kids, donít make a ďfederal caseĒ out of everything.
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:15 PM
DrCube DrCube is offline
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If the cop stops you it behooves you to comply to his requests, if at all possible. IMHO
It absolutely does not behoove you in any way to allow your property to be searched when the officer has no warrant and no probable cause. There is no upside at that point, it's all downsides.
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:29 PM
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Iíd like to move on as quickly as possible, and Iíd like him to move on to other work, that is important to our society.

I donít equate looking though my car as running roughshod over my rights. Or as we said as kids, donít make a ďfederal caseĒ out of everything.
To each his own, I agree. And this is EXACTLY what a federal case is. The quickest way to move on to work that is important to our society is if he doesn't search your car. Just cause he or she has a badge and a gun doesn't make them right.

A search without probable cause isn't work that is important to our society.
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:25 PM
Eyebrows 0f Doom Eyebrows 0f Doom is offline
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Originally Posted by TSBG View Post
Sorry, I was too snarky. I just meant that of course on a cop show you're going to get all the messed up drivers, not the ones who are let off with a warning after not signaling a lane change. It's self selected.
Many many times on Live PD they show cops stopping people for a traffic violation and letting them off with a warning.

Nothing in this thread has changed my mind that if you don't have something to hide, you don't have anything to worry about. If you act like a dick of course the cops will think you have something you shouldn't.
  #46  
Old 02-05-2019, 07:12 PM
enipla enipla is online now
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A different search situation that I encountered.

I live quite remotely in a passive solar house full of windows. Perfect for growing MJ (If I chose to.) One day, I was home alone and waiting for my wife to come home. She was a good half hour late (before cell phones and legal MJ.)

Two cop cars pull up. My legs went to jelly as I immediately thought that they had some bad news about my Wife. No, no, as far as they know my Wife is fine, but someone that had skipped bail had used my home as an address. "Is that person here?" Was the cops question. No of course not, never heard of them. Then they started going on about, "well, it may be an alias". Um, what? You don't know what the hell is the persons name is you're looking for?

Then the question came. "May we look in your house" (with the reason that they where looking for this person[note that my house is perfect for growing MJ). I was so relieved that my wife was OK, I said sure.

One cop went in. And then I noticed that the other cop/car was a drug enforcement SUV with a dog inside. It took me a minute after a calmed down realizing that my wife was OK, but felt it was VERY suspicious. This person had jumped bail in a different county 100 miles away. How did this person get my address? I don't even get mail delivery.

I guess if I was growing, they couldn't do anything about it? Because they entered the house for a different reason? But if they find a 'crime' in commission of looking for something else, I think you're on the hook.

Sorry Loach, but that was really, really fucking weird.
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  #47  
Old 02-05-2019, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
It absolutely does not behoove you in any way to allow your property to be searched when the officer has no warrant and no probable cause. There is no upside at that point, it's all downsides.
I said "IMHO", Your opinion is different.
  #48  
Old 02-05-2019, 07:30 PM
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Nothing in this thread has changed my mind that if you don't have something to hide, you don't have anything to worry about. If you act like a dick of course the cops will think you have something you shouldn't.
It sounds like you trust the cops. And for the most part I do as well, but lots of people have had experiences that would make them distrust the cops. Especially a lot of people of color, some of whom paid with their lives.

And I'm not worried, but I also have no desire to allow a search that isn't warranted. I'm not willing to sacrifice my rights for the short term benefit of going on my way. The solution is not to give in to unreasonable searches, it is to stop the searches from happening. Cops can ask, no problem with that. But they have to abide by the law and respect when a driver says no.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:23 PM
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We've had similar threads like this in the past, and the consensus is always the same: you should never give permission for an LEO to search your vehicle. Even if you have "nothing to hide," there's a chance there's illegal drugs or contraband in your vehicle that have been there for years and you're completely unaware of it. And then there's the risk of a rogue cop planting evidence.

There's nothing to gain, and everything to lose, by granting permission for a search. It's simply not worth it.
  #50  
Old 02-05-2019, 09:53 PM
Ispolkom Ispolkom is offline
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Kinda wonder if the police in the Soviet Union were all that bad on a day to day basis...
At the end, well, no.

I spent 10 months in the Soviet Union in 1990-1991. Mostly police were useless -- Moscow police were all provincial hicks so they couldn't even give you directions.

When I spent 6 weeks in Tambov (sort of the Fort Wayne, Indiana of Russia), I did notice that I was occasionally followed (I guess by the local KGB), and my hotel room was obviously searched once, but I attributed that to provincial boredom.

In my limited experience, the most in-your-face cops were Turkish. I remember a Istanbul-Ashgabat flight in 1996 where I received the most personal search I can recall from a Turkish gendarme.

As far as US traffic stops go, one election day I (as head precinct judge) was taking the paper ballets down to the county election office, when I was pulled over by a cop for a broken headlight. I have never felt white privilege as much as when I told him I had ballots for the county and he just gave up and walked away.

I should have asked him for an escort to the office, but instead shouted after Officer Pretext Stop that I'd get the headlight fixed.
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