Can the police retaliate against a citizen for refusing to answer police questions?

Can the police retaliate against a citizen for refusing to answer police questions?

This is a discussion on Can the police retaliate against a citizen for refusing to answer police questions? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; https://www.washingtonpost.com/ampht...ice-questions/...

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Thread: Can the police retaliate against a citizen for refusing to answer police questions?

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    Can the police retaliate against a citizen for refusing to answer police questions?

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    Member Array OldChap's Avatar
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    My only comment is simple. Anytime you find the word retaliate associated with the words police officers, you have a real problem. Police officers are expected to be professionals, not jack-booted thugs. Thugs retaliate. Officers enforce the law - and uphold the Constitution. Anyone who claims there is a gray area is, IMHO, just avoiding the issue. Our police are not the SS (and I don't mean Secret Service). Like it or not, they are examples of law and order.

    I could go on and on. But I promised simple.

    Obviously there are times when police need to use appropriate levels of force. Aside from the requirement of law to present a valid driver's license, in this case, the Constitution allows silence.
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    Senior Member Array Dave909's Avatar
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    I'm careful about anything the Washington Post presents, but, legally, I don't think they can (yet). Of course they have retaliated, and I've watched it happen more than one time in my life.
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    So, dealing with someone who is refusing to cooperate with a LEO is "retaliation"? Hmmm.
    I wonder if people think that the LEO should just allow the person to leave and continue their day if they refuse to cooperate.

    Imagine a guy snatches a purse and takes off running and a LEO sees it happen. The LEO yells at the guy to "stop", but he keeps running. Is it retaliation if the LEO goes after the guy? Or should he just say "Well, he didn't want to cooperate. Maybe we'll get him next time"?

    IMHO, if the LEO needs someone to speak as part of any interaction, refusing to speak to the officer should be considered "Interfering With A Police Officer". When you do that, you open yourself to arrest. Arrest includes being extricated, cuffed, etc., etc.
    You want to remain silent? Then don't get involved with the Police!
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    Senior Member Array Dave909's Avatar
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    You're making it way too simple. In this case, instead of just asking him to get out of the car and detaining him, they basically jumped the guy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robbnj View Post
    So, dealing with someone who is refusing to cooperate with a LEO is "retaliation"? Hmmm.
    I wonder if people think that the LEO should just allow the person to leave and continue their day if they refuse to cooperate.

    Imagine a guy snatches a purse and takes off running and a LEO sees it happen. The LEO yells at the guy to "stop", but he keeps running. Is it retaliation if the LEO goes after the guy? Or should he just say "Well, he didn't want to cooperate. Maybe we'll get him next time"?

    IMHO, if the LEO needs someone to speak as part of any interaction, refusing to speak to the officer should be considered "Interfering With A Police Officer". When you do that, you open yourself to arrest. Arrest includes being extricated, cuffed, etc., etc.
    You want to remain silent? Then don't get involved with the Police!
    That theory is all well and good right up to the point where the police involve themselves with you. DUI checkpoints and Terry stops immediately come to mind.
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    The short answer is yes, they can. When their actions become too egregious, it gets left for the courts to sort out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbnj View Post
    So, dealing with someone who is refusing to cooperate with a LEO is "retaliation"? Hmmm.
    I wonder if people think that the LEO should just allow the person to leave and continue their day if they refuse to cooperate.
    Where do you draw the line on "dealing"? Rubber hose? Baton? Waterboarding? I think you're confusing leaving with speaking.

    Imagine a guy snatches a purse and takes off running and a LEO sees it happen. The LEO yells at the guy to "stop", but he keeps running. Is it retaliation if the LEO goes after the guy? Or should he just say "Well, he didn't want to cooperate. Maybe we'll get him next time"?
    That has nothing to do with speaking, or am I missing something?

    IMHO, if the LEO needs someone to speak as part of any interaction, refusing to speak to the officer should be considered "Interfering With A Police Officer". When you do that, you open yourself to arrest. Arrest includes being extricated, cuffed, etc., etc.
    So, with all due respect. Arrest must be followed by Miranda. You really need to read it.

    You want to remain silent? Then don't get involved with the Police!
    Wow. You just tossed out the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in one fell swoop. Seriously, it might be instructive to look up the definition of retaliation and especially synonyms. Synonyms that are used most frequently are: punishment, revenge, eye-for-an-eye, reprisal, retribution. You really think police should be in the revenge business?

    BTW I'm hardly the anti-police type. Taking him out of the car and cuffing him? While I think that part might have been handled better, I wasn't there, so the officers get the benefit of the doubt. In this case I believe the point that needs to be discussed is the officer asking the citizen "Are you ready to speak to me now?" That is a sticky point - for me anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldChap View Post
    Where do you draw the line on "dealing"? Rubber hose? Baton? Waterboarding? I think you're confusing leaving with speaking.

    That has nothing to do with speaking, or am I missing something?

    So, with all due respect. Arrest must be followed by Miranda. You really need to read it.

    Wow. You just tossed out the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in one fell swoop. Seriously, it might be instructive to look up the definition of retaliation and especially synonyms. Synonyms that are used most frequently are: punishment, revenge, eye-for-an-eye, reprisal, retribution. You really think police should be in the revenge business?
    By "dealing with" I mean taking the legally appropriate action that a LEO should take on the situation in which a person is "Interfering with a Police Officer". The rubber hose and waterboarding would not be legal, and I never advocated anything of the sort. Nice try though.

    Running away when an officer commands you to stop is "Interfering with a Police Officer". Refusing to speak to a LEO when they ask you questions that they needs answers to is "Interfering with a Police Officer". In NEITHER instance should the person be allowed to just exit the situation merely because they do not want to cooperate. If a cop is asking you a question, they are doing it for a reason. Refusing to cooperate because you "feel like it" ain't gonna' cut it in court.

    You don't need to offer respect until I earn it. And I said nothing about arrest or Miranda, but I agree that Miranda is usually part of the process of an arrest. Miranda is not necessary if the LEO is simply asking you questions that regard suspicion of involvement in criminal activity (even breaking traffic law), and is not even totally necessary during an arrest.

    How I tossed out the Constitution and the Bill of Rights by saying that you if you wish to remain silent you should avoid police interaction is confusing to me. Perhaps I should say "Don't break the law if you don't want to interact with The Law?". If you're talking about "pleading the fifth", then you have to wait until a criminal case exists. Being questioned by a LEO is not a "criminal case" and the LEO is neither judge nor jury.


    As for terry Stops: "A Terry stop is a brief detention of a person by police on reasonable suspicion of involvement in criminal activity". A DUI checkpoint is a road-safety examination. As driving is a privilege, you can be stopped at any time for any reason, and it can be called a "safety check". Refuse to talk to the LEO, and you've just created a reasonable suspicion that you've done something wrong.
    Kind of like the person who pulls over for the flashing lights of PD cruiser, then takes off when the LEO walks up alongside their car.

    Interacting with the Police is not really a complicated or confusing process. Yet people manage to **** it up with regularity. I don't get it.
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    LEOs can do anything they want; whether they get away with it or not is an entirely different matter.
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    If "retaliation" in this case meant restraint and arrest, the question seems simply to be whether the restraint and arrest were lawful. If it was done solely to convince the guy to speak when he had a right not to, that's one thing. If they had a lawful cause to restrain and arrest him, I don't see why they shouldn't.
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    It sounds like they stopped the guy, who then said that he will not answer any questions.

    Yes, then he should be taken into custody, without getting roughed up. Now if he then resists, he gets what he is asking for.

    The police asking you questions is not a violation of rights.
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    This reminds me of a discussion I had last week with a former LEO. We were discussing a case where someone was arrested for resisting arrest and there was no other charge. I didn't think you could be charged with nothing more than resisting arrest. There had to be some other reason for the original arrest. If the cops try to arrest me for no reason, I'm probably going to resist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhinoman View Post
    This reminds me of a discussion I had last week with a former LEO. We were discussing a case where someone was arrested for resisting arrest and there was no other charge. I didn't think you could be charged with nothing more than resisting arrest. There had to be some other reason for the original arrest. If the cops try to arrest me for no reason, I'm probably going to resist.
    That would be a mistake. The only reason I've not been shot by leo's in several instances on the streets was the fact I didn't resist an unlawful detention or their face planting me on the macadam. Had I resisted, the chances of being damaged more than I was were a lot higher. By not resisting, it all got worked out and everyone left with no holes in them or needing a hospital run.
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbnj View Post
    By "dealing with" I mean taking the legally appropriate action that a LEO should take on the situation in which a person is "Interfering with a Police Officer". The rubber hose and waterboarding would not be legal, and I never advocated anything of the sort. Nice try though.
    Not trying to do anything. Maybe stating what you mean rather than vague terms like "dealing" with someone offer a bit of context and might avoid misunderstandings.

    Running away when an officer commands you to stop is "Interfering with a Police Officer". Refusing to speak to a LEO when they ask you questions that they needs answers to is "Interfering with a Police Officer". In NEITHER instance should the person be allowed to just exit the situation merely because they do not want to cooperate. If a cop is asking you a question, they are doing it for a reason. Refusing to cooperate because you "feel like it" ain't gonna' cut it in court.
    Correct. But in court you will have to deal with the 5th Amendment and articulating your reasonable suspicion that the man was committing an arrestable offense. I believe you may find legal defense experts to be divided on the subject of speaking to police as a benefit to you if you are the subject of investigation. We're not talking about someone who was about to leave the scene. Did you see that in the original report?

    You don't need to offer respect until I earn it. And I said nothing about arrest or Miranda, but I agree that Miranda is usually part of the process of an arrest. Miranda is not necessary if the LEO is simply asking you questions that regard suspicion of involvement in criminal activity (even breaking traffic law), and is not even totally necessary during an arrest.
    I agree. However the crux of the issue is not what he did or did not do. It is not that he refused to speak. It is not that they pulled him out and restrained him. It is the officer asking the suspect, "Are you ready to speak NOW?" In other words, does that officer see what they did as punishment (retaliation) for what he did? I hope you see how dangerous that can be, for both police and citizens.

    How I tossed out the Constitution and the Bill of Rights by saying that you if you wish to remain silent you should avoid police interaction is confusing to me. Perhaps I should say "Don't break the law if you don't want to interact with The Law?". If you're talking about "pleading the fifth", then you have to wait until a criminal case exists. Being questioned by a LEO is not a "criminal case" and the LEO is neither judge nor jury.
    No argument from me. But that isn't the issue. The issue is: did that officer mean that the physical part was just a gentle reminder that the suspect did wrong and "deserved" what he got - and what he was about to get, if he didn't comply?

    As for terry Stops: "A Terry stop is a brief detention of a person by police on reasonable suspicion of involvement in criminal activity". A DUI checkpoint is a road-safety examination. As driving is a privilege, you can be stopped at any time for any reason, and it can be called a "safety check". Refuse to talk to the LEO, and you've just created a reasonable suspicion that you've done something wrong.
    Unless I missed that class, you must be able to take the stand and swear under oath that you had reasonable, articulable suspicion that a crime had been committed. Stopping a car because it is red (remember any reason?) is not really reasonable.

    Kind of like the person who pulls over for the flashing lights of PD cruiser, then takes off when the LEO walks up alongside their car.

    Interacting with the Police is not really a complicated or confusing process. Yet people manage to **** it up with regularity. I don't get it.
    I don't think anyone implied that it was complicated or confusing. But fleeing is not the situation in this discussion. I understand your point of view though.
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