Concerning Cops Demanding Identification

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 3 weeks ago

This gets tiresome.  First of all, I simply cannot fathom the stupidity of telling someone they are under “suspicion” of a crime because of an anonymous call.  Cops shouldn’t be dispatched in the case of anonymity.

Second, no one is obligated to assist the police in an investigation.  “We need to identify you because [such and such, open investigation, caller said so and so, you fill in the blank] isn’t reason to force identification.  That’s a violation of the fourth amendment, regardless of how some particular state law is interpreted by police procedures.


Comments

  1. On September 26, 2023 at 12:08 am, xtphreak said:

    “Suspicion” of a crime, isn’t a crime.
    “Suspicion” isn’t proof.
    An anonymous 911 call, actually ANY 911 call is hearsay.
    The cop has to observe whatever the accused is accused of for him/herself.

    Of course, the cops will invent something to accuse you of to create a situation where they will ID you.

  2. On September 26, 2023 at 12:12 am, Dan said:

    Kids a bit of a smart ass…but he’s correct. An anonymous complaint is essentially NOTHING.
    It’s not probable cause. The subject of requiring an ID is still complicated. There are rulings going both ways regarding whether or not it can be required. Cops were not too bright but eventually figured out they were on thin ice facing a fairly bright kid studying law.

  3. On September 26, 2023 at 12:15 am, george 1 said:

    I remember the USSC decision to allow police to act on anonymous reports. Not sure of the case site but I recall Scalia and Thomas were bitterly opposed.

    Scalia said something along the lines of: “This decision allows too much room for shenanigans and is being ill considered.”

  4. On September 26, 2023 at 1:42 am, Rick said:

    Jo-el was more than a tad a smarty. His antics towards the end were more than disrespectful, they were bellegerent and may well become the basis of probable cause.
    Mr. ‘I’m a law student’ dropped his guard when thinking the contact was over; the cop inquired, ‘why are you doing this?’. More filth and expletives flowed out of his dirty mouth as he did answer questions.The kid thought he ‘won’ and being a jerk, let hubris take control.

    Talking trash is not a crime however it does no good for the suspect. Continued conversation ‘resets the clock’ and opens the door to further investigtaion. The budding lawyer should understand that one rarely if ever talks themselves out of arrest although plenty talk themselves into arrest.

    (An aside; the kid’s demeanor is likely a product of how he was raised, or who he associates with. That plus his pseudo confidence that he’s smarter than the cops is troublesome for him. I predict he’ll soon wind up on the wrong side of the law.)

  5. On September 26, 2023 at 4:39 am, Jean Clement said:

    So, can anyone identify the victim of the suspected crime?

  6. On September 26, 2023 at 7:54 am, Nosmo said:

    I’ll agree that the kid was – quite unnecessarily – a wise ass.

    He had everything right except when talking to the cops one should use the absolutely fewest words necessary. Other than total silence – we learned from SCOTUS in Texas vs Salinas that not saying anything at all – total silence – can be interpreted as guilt, so it is necessary to state, clearly and simply, that one is exercising their fifth amendment right to remain silent and make sure that is on the record. Other than that, what one says can lead to legal charges, and potential conviction on those charges, but what one does not say cannot.

    And, with badge cams being ubiquitous one’s demeanor and body language now becomes evidence.

    Joelle may, someday, become a good lawyer, but between here and there he needs to recognize the difference between “law student” and “practicing licensed attorney.” That said, he did avoid stepping into all the traps that any random liberal arts, or even engineering, student would have jumped into with both feet.

    I’m waiting for some enterprising NMU student to visit a bar and collect empty 12-pack beer containers and hand them out. When a hundred students are seen, or anonymously accused of, “carrying alcohol into their dorm rooms” which turn out to be empty cardboard containers it should give the university cops plenty to do.

    Not to mention that if one carefully and gently prys open the flaps on one end of a 12-pack of soft drinks one might discover beer cans fit into the 12-pack just like the soft drink cans, and last I heard, most university police do not consider possession of a 12-pack of Coke, Pepsi or Mountain Dew a potential crime worthy of investigation.

  7. On September 26, 2023 at 10:25 am, george 1 said:

    Some here point out that the kid was a “smart ass” and “disrespectful.” OK. However he is under no legal obligation to be respectful. Let’s review some facts.

    1. To detain someone for suspicion of a crime, especially a misdemeanor, you need specific articulable facts that would cause a reasonable officer to believe a crime was committed or being committed. What the police had was a “she said.” The legal system here in America is as bad as it gets today but in the not too distant past that “she said” would not be enough to cut it for a non voluntary detention for very long. Not for a misdemeanor or infraction.

    The cops IMHO had the right to ask questions in this case but when it became clear that they were not going to be able to legally get probable cause for an arrest they were required to walk away. It is not legal to detain someone merely for the purpose of applying pressure to get them to consent to their demands.

    2. The cops are authorized to detain for investigation for “a reasonable amount of time” to
    establish probable cause or they must release the detainee. It looked to me like they detained the kid for way too long.

    3. Since the police were not able to come up with PC for a crime the cops had no right to demand that he identify himself or show an ID to them.

    In the current America we live in it is just accepted that the cops are under no legal mandate to observe the law. Truth be told I am not at all confident that a majority of them even know the law very well anymore.

    The kid should probably be grateful that the cops did not resort to violence. That would have been his fate in many places of the country today.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Police and was published September 25th, 2023 by Herschel Smith.

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