This was one of the best posts I ever read on this forum. Well stated sir! I was especially pleased to see this coming from a LEO. :Winner2:
1) The "us against them" mentality is strong in this thread.
2) The OP should never have forfeited his rights.
The background check I went through when I got my permit may only shows I have no record. It is not a total assurance that I am a good person.Quote:
Originally Posted by mcp1810
From Terry v Ohio
If I tell an officer I have a CHL and I have "it" on me (as the OP did) I would say they are justified in believing me to be armed. Not knowing the officer's personal experience or anything about that area I can not say if it would be reasonable or not for them to believe me to be dangerous. There is not enough information to say either way.
In the same way the badge you might be wearing offers me no assurance that you are a good person who will respect my rights. My permit does not mean that I might not try to kill you. Just as your badge offers me no assurance that you will not plant evidence on me during a search.
This leaves us to looking out for our own best interest. Don't trust others to do it for you.
While i am a new CWP holder, i have plenty of friends in law enforcement and some experience myself, as well as over 10 years in Fire/EMS. I noticed in the original post that the author thanked the LEO's for not making it difficult for CWP holders. In the following posts I see where people feel the need to "exercise their rights". No wonder there are officers that make it difficult for CWP holders. Let me tell you, you don't have to inform them that you are a CWP or that you are carrying, but the fact that you have a CWP will show when they run your drivers license, and it is in the interest of officer safety that they will question you about it further. They are not out to trample on anyone's rights, they are out to make sure that our streets are safe. If you have nothing to hide, then why do you feel the need to make them suspicious by refusing to let them search? Believe me, if you make them suspicious enough, they will get their search. Are you aware that anything you can be ticketed for you can also be arrested for? By all means exercise your rights, but you better make sure you obey every law while you are on the road, because the one time you forget to use your turn signal can give them the permission they need. Search incident to a lawful arrest?? My law enforcement buddies could care less if you have a weapon, here in Mississippi they expect it, as we are able to carry an accessible, loaded weapon in our vehicle without a permit. Their job is hard enough without some anti-government yahoo making it more so.
1) " Let me tell you, you don't have to inform them that you are a CWP"
This is highly variable and is entirely state specific. In Texas for example you must inform. I don't recall where the OP lives, but he may or may not have had a duty to inform.
2) " but the fact that you have a CWP will show when they run your drivers license,"
Again, mostly state specific and far from universal.
3) "If you have nothing to hide, then why do you feel the need to make them suspicious by refusing to let them search?"
This has been covered here extensively and several examples of how bad things can happen to good people who allow searches to be done with a consent.
4) " because the one time you forget to use your turn signal can give them the permission they need."
No, not really. Again this has been covered here extensively.
5) " Are you aware that anything you can be ticketed for you can also be arrested for?"
Again, highly state specific and also offense specific. There are plenty of things for which a ticket may be issued but no arrest may be made.
6) "Their job is hard enough without some anti-government yahoo making it more so."
Would you count exercising Miranda rights as being anti-government? How does exercising a right to withhold consent equate to being anti-government?
Do you think the LEO who posted here advising that folks should never consent to a search is anti-government?
What does "being anti-government (whatever that is) really mean with respect to ordinary law enforcement? After all, few except the incorrigible are opposed to enforcement of laws. Even convicts are likely to be law abiding in areas of their lives beyond what they actually did-- again, excepting the totally anti-social psychopath.
Typically I would not respond to a post in this manner, but when there are that many false assertions made in such a tiny space, comment is at least required so others aren't misled.
Clarifying from what I've read here, and the original poster's facts, and my own observations (and I could be grossly mistaken):
- OP did not have his rights violated, he consented to the search. If he chose to FEEL "coerced" by the fact that the responding LEO's carry a gun and a badge, that's his problem (and I'm not saying the OP did feel coerced, just that some seem to feel coersion by the mere presence of the tools of Law Enforcement). I, personally, would not feel so coerced.
- It is my opinion only (and again, I*A*N*L*), that had the officers detained him and started to search his car prior to "running the numbers" on him and his weapon, they might have had reasonable, articulable, suspicion (RAS) leading to probable cause (PC)to search the vehicle... simply because of the location of the vehicle, the "idleness" of the OP, whatever.
- But, since they started running the particulars of the OP prior to the request for the search, it started to be apparent that this was an honest citizen, in a bad place, and RAS started to evaporate at that point.
- And with out RAS, PC cannot occur, unless other circumstances enter into it... witnesses, etc.
- I can see the Terry pat down for weapons at the time since the OP notified as required, AND was in a "bad place."
Some LEOs know their limitations, and will work right up to those limits, without stepping over any lines, and that is perfectly legal and correct. It will make many folks, even those of us who are honest citizens, a bit (or really, really) uncomfortable... But this is the job we pay them to do, and they risk their lives doing it... As long as they do not cross the line, we should have no problem with it...
Other LEOs will not press so close to the boundaries, and this makes us more comfortable, and makes it easier for us to deal with them. But it does not make them better or worse cops, it only makes them different.
Both methods are professional, it's just that the perception of the public might favor the more "easy going" officer.
It is a FACT, as outlined in case law, that even if an illegal substance/item that does not belong to you is found during a search of your home, vehicle, or person, you can and will probably be arrested. While the burden of proof that it is yours lays on the prosecution, we've all heard the term "posession is 9/10 of the law..." and it can work against you, too.
It is based on that FACT that I will not consent to a search.
It is also a fact, that every one of us right NOW, could be violating some obscure law... or even a law that has not been removed from the books, but is no longer enforced ( a point made early in the "never say anything to cops" videos). The FACT is that we are violating that law. And, could be subject to arrest for it.... In most cases, we would not be prosecuted for that particular violation... but, having been arrested, is there anything else that you have done that might be discovered?
This has been a very interesting discussion...
As you so eloquently stated, it is state specific, and here in MS anything that you can be ticketed for you can be arrested for, so that assertion is not false. When I said that you did not have to tell them, I wasn't speaking legally, as i had seen already where many places require that you tell. I was saying that whether you tell them or not, the CWP will show up when they run your license (at least a Mississippi issued CWP will show, regardless of what state and jurisdiction runs the DL). By the anti-government statement i was referring to the many times people say their rights are being trampled. While the feds may slowly be eating away at our rights, local police are more concerned for their safety and that of the community. Oh, they might plant evidence. Yea, and you might get struck by lightening if you go outside, are you never going to walk outside again? The police have a job to do, and there are far more good cops than bad. Think about what they have to deal with daily, there is a reason they are arse's. But using a little politeness and respect will get you a lot farther than having the attitude that I have seen some on here display. The police are well aware of what your rights are, whether you think it or not, but their safety comes first. If people are so insecure to think that some trace evidence could possibly have found it's way into their vehicle, then they have bigger worries. If they are worried about what their friends may have left, perhaps they should reconsider who they let in their vehicles. And anti-government has nothing to do with ordinary LE, which was my point. You may not be happy with the laws that are enacted by the government, but LE is tasked with enforcing those laws, whether they agree with them or not. This day in age, sad as it is to say, crime is running amok. I have watched drug deals go down in plain sight in the locker room in my gym. LE has reason to be suspicious of anyone anywhere, because chances are they do not know you personally (or maybe they do and that's why they are suspicious).
This thread has far outlived its usefulness.