Would you show ID to an LEO?

This is a discussion on Would you show ID to an LEO? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by Ram Rod subtle ram...real subtle......

View Poll Results: Would you show ID to an LEO if asked?

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  • Yes

    169 68.98%
  • No

    2 0.82%
  • Depends on the circumstances

    74 30.20%
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Thread: Would you show ID to an LEO?

  1. #61
    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    subtle ram...real subtle...
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the **** out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

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  3. #62
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    Yeah...an honest lawyer would tell the truth and tell the client that he had little chance of winning. Some laywers though...just see it as an easy check and give their clients false hope.
    How's this for honest...

    I don't evaluate anything for criminal clients till I'm paid a consultation fee.

    I find most criminal clients want to "sit and talk, but not hire a lawyer or anything like that...just see if the lawyer can tell them what to do..."

    They want to take 2 hours of my time to talk about how the police violated their civil rights, how they are going to sue the police...oh, and what should they say to the prosecutor to get this charge dropped...

    But, its not like they want to, you know...hire a lawyer...they just want to talk to one...for free...

    Sorry. It doesn't work that way.

    If its a criminal matter, you pay the consultation fee.

    Then, once we sit down and talk about the situation, I can tell them if they are SOL.

    No money, no evaluation of your criminal case, no exceptions.

    You want free legal services? Public defender's office and legal aid are available.

    Does that seem heartless or cold? Well...sure.

    But don't deal drugs, slap your wife/husband/kids around, drive drunk, assault someone else, car-jack people or any of the other myriad of things that will get you a criminal case, and you won't ever have to worry about it.

    Especially, don't do stupid stuff like get into a...."urination for distance" contest with police officers when they ask for your ID.

  4. #63
    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    I've stayed out of this thread and the others, except to point out the supreme court ruling specifics. This is the only thing I'll say on the subject.

    Before I start, I want to say that I respect LEOs greatly. I don't think I've ever shown one disrespect, even here in our discussions. My kids played with the LEOs kids that lived in our neighborhood. We did all the birthday parties and stuff and got along really well together. Heck, one of my MySpace friends is an Ulster County deputy sheriff. I just want to lay the groundwork so that I'm not accused of anti-LEO sentiment by some people in here.

    I will provide my ID probably 99% of the time if asked. There is that 1% that I'm saying I wouldn't, and here's why:

    If I was doing something innocuous, say eating at a restaurant, and all of a sudden a LEO demands my ID, without explanation I might push back a little.

    Same scenario, a LEO walks up to me and asks my name and address, I provide it. If he doesn't believe me, he needs to let me know why he needs to see my ID. If there's a question, he can use that radio on his shoulder to call my name in to see if it's a real person and address. If he tells me that it came back as fake, then I'd show my ID. If he tells me he's looking for someone, I'd show my ID there too. But if he just belligerently demands my ID without explanation, I would refuse. And it is not illegal to do so.

    Sure, I don't know whether the LEO is looking for some bank robber or what not. So tell me and I will be more than accomodating.

    First, while most LEOs are worthy of their badge and the respect that comes with it, there are bad apples, which nobody can dispute. There are real incidents of harrassment and abuse, both physical and of power, perpetrated by LEOs.

    Second, I should be assumed innocent. Sure some people lie to the police when asked their name, but most don't.

    Those two go hand in hand. If I am expected to assume the LEO is one of the good guys, he is supposed to assume the same about me. You don't know me from Adam, well I don't know you from Adam either. If I am showing courtesy and respect to the officer, he needs to show me the same. Don't treat me like a criminal unless my actions prove me to be one. I will always be more than accomodating with a LEO, unless they try to harrass or intimidate me.

    One of the reasons for this thread is the other one about the PA group OCing. Now before this degrades into all of that discussion, which I stayed out of, several of the members here believe that the families eating at that restaurant were harassed. They did provide their name, which is what PA law requires. It does not require providing ID in that situation. The idea that some people would follow the letter of the law, rather than refuse to concede a request that had no legal standing, really stuck in the craw of the officer, and he escalated the situation. I just had this comical image in my head of Cartman shouting "You will respect my autoritie!"

    The rest of the 1% would be if it's getting to be a "papers please" society. It has nothing to do with disrespect of LEOs. It has everything to do with the government disrespecting our freedoms.

    I'm sure some of the LEOs on this forum may think less of me for what I've just said, and that's one of the reasons I've stayed out of these discussions, but that's the way I feel.

  5. #64
    Senior Member Array dcb188's Avatar
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    I hear you. As I said, I was looking at it in a narrow focused way, not seeing the big picture folks were talking about, so I did not understand where they were coming from.
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  6. #65
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    Especially, don't do stupid stuff like get into a...."urination for distance" contest with police officers when they ask for your ID.

    The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it...- George Orwell

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  7. #66
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    The rest of the 1% would be if it's getting to be a "papers please" society. It has nothing to do with disrespect of LEOs. It has everything to do with the government disrespecting our freedoms.

    I'm sure some of the LEOs on this forum may think less of me for what I've just said, and that's one of the reasons I've stayed out of these discussions, but that's the way I feel.
    Nah...
    Well spoken I think. FWIW, I happen to agree with you.
    The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it...- George Orwell

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  8. #67
    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by packinnova View Post
    Check bolded and ask yourself: How often does usurpation ever originate from some sinister conspiracy? ...but it happens eventually. And it's never just between the two of you. It's a job(granted usually a thankless one). He has orders. He follows them. Any and all actions on duty are official duty and nothing is just between the two of you.
    I'm glad you retracted your 10 foot pole. I completely disagree with your premise. There is no reason to believe an innocuous request for identification necessarily results n usurpation of power from a sinister conspiracy. And t is exactly between the two, as DCM suggested. There are no 'orders' to harrass arbitrary citizens. Law enforcement officers follow the law. Those are orders from the people. All actions are, indeed, between individuals, which is why there is sometimes leniency if someone is cooperative and a slap down if someone is and obstinate troublemaker.

    The other interesting thing I find is the argument between driving being a "privilege" and firearms ownership a "right" and how quickly everyone is ready to agree that driving is a "privilege". Sure uncle sam might say so and makes darn well sure that we know their stance on it(DL's required), but what is a car? Private property, right? Would you be so inclined to say you have a "privilege" to live in your home? It's private property too, right?
    Here is where the libertarian idealism falls flat (as well as objectivism.) Libertarians are oblivious to the concept of society, as if they are not part of and do not interact with the rest of civilization. Driving is a privilege when you drive on public roads. That is why society requires you to pass examinations and prove you are fit. And yes, it is a privilege to live in your home if you use public electricity, plumbing, roads, and the other amenities made less expensive by cooperating wth neighbors. There is a cost to living in a community. That is why you pay property taxes.

    It's bad enough I even have to have an ID (IE I have no choice in the matter). I probably would still have one anyway if I had the choice, but I don't.
    Why is it 'bad enough?' What to you have to hide? Why is it 'bad' to cooperate with those charged to a job that is ultimately to help you?

    But you better be DARN SURE you have a good reason for me to give you an ID at some random stop and it better be more than just the state leg code that says you have that power for whatever you "feel" like. I don't want my hard earned money stolen to pay "Yes" men. If I have to pay for it, I want folks that know the difference between right and wrong wearing that uniform.
    As had been pointed out before, police will only ask for ID if it is necessary. Such as at a border patrol stopor if police are investigating a potential crime.

  9. #68
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    I said depends on the circumstances. 99.9% of the time I would. If I were in a jurisdiction where it was not required by law, and say I was just sitting having a quiet a dinner with friends, and an officer walked up and demanded it with no explanation, no.
    I am not anti cop. I worked fifteen years for my old department and still have many friends that are officers. I am anti incompetent cop. If they are going to come in and interrupt my good time with my friends, they had better be polite and courteous and professional, all of those things he/she is getting paid to be, or I am going to do the absolute minimum required by law. That respect thing is a two way street. Give some you get some. We can play nice and everything is over and done with in two minutes or they can tweak that nerve and I'll have to remind them that no one is paying me to make their job easy.
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  10. #69
    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morintp View Post
    If I was doing something innocuous, say eating at a restaurant, and all of a sudden a LEO demands my ID, without explanation I might push back a little
    Why do you think a LEO would discuss his reasons with you?

    Same scenario, a LEO walks up to me and asks my name and address, I provide it. If he doesn't believe me, he needs to let me know why he needs to see my ID.
    This whole explanation argument puzzles me. LEOs do not want to have a discussion, they want to accomplish their immediate task. Why would you want to obstruct that?

    If there's a question, he can use that radio on his shoulder to call my name in to see if it's a real person and address. If he tells me that it came back as fake, then I'd show my ID. If he tells me he's looking for someone, I'd show my ID there too. But if he just belligerently demands my ID without explanation, I would refuse. And it is not illegal to do so.
    I notice you threw in the word 'belligerent' for emotional effect. What if he chooses to not explain it to you. Then you feel justified in causing trouble?

    Sure, I don't know whether the LEO is looking for some bank robber or what not. So tell me and I will be more than accomodating.
    Perhaps it is not his in interest to divulge the facts of an ongoing investigation. Do you have a 'right' to know?

    First, while most LEOs are worthy of their badge and the respect that comes with it, there are bad apples, which nobody can dispute. There are real incidents of harrassment and abuse, both physical and of power, perpetrated by LEOs.
    Now this is a separate argument. In one instance it is against the Big Bad LEO, Big Bad government, stomping on individual rights and harrassing innocent people minding their business. Then, it is one of a few bad apples abusing their authority.

    Second, I should be assumed innocent. Sure some people lie to the police when asked their name, but most don't.
    No one is accusing you of anything or presuming guilt if you are asked for identification.

    Those two go hand in hand. If I am expected to assume the LEO is one of the good guys, he is supposed to assume the same about me. You don't know me from Adam, well I don't know you from Adam either. If I am showing courtesy and respect to the officer, he needs to show me the same. Don't treat me like a criminal unless my actions prove me to be one. I will always be more than accomodating with a LEO, unless they try to harrass or intimidate me.
    The fact is, whether you like it or not, the LEO is an authority figure. You are not on equal terms, working together. He is performing his state mandated job of law enforcement and you are a citizen WHO HAS EMPOWERED HIM TO DO HIS JOB.

    The rest of the 1% would be if it's getting to be a "papers please" society. It has nothing to do with disrespect of LEOs. It has everything to do with the government disrespecting our freedoms.

    I'm sure some of the LEOs on this forum may think less of me for what I've just said, and that's one of the reasons I've stayed out of these discussions, but that's the way I feel.
    I can't speak for the LEOs here, but I certainly don't think less of you for expressing your opinion.

  11. #70
    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    I forgot to add in my previous post that my 99% includes, random checkpoints border patrol, basically anything in a car, or outside of said car, involving alcohol (which I don't drink) or firearms, or any sort of political demonstration, voting, etc. There are a million reasons for LEO or other officials to request ID. I was just describing the 1%.

    And thank you HotGuns. I was hoping you'd feel that way.

  12. #71
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post



    As had been pointed out before, police will only ask for ID if it is necessary. Such as at a border patrol stopor if police are investigating a potential crime.
    SelfDefense, not picking on you, just easier to quote this from yours than go back looking for it.

    I think what we need to differentiate here is that a good officer will only ask if it is necessary. Not all officers are good. My old department had an officer run a pretty girl's license plate and show up at her house with flowers. I don't think that was a "legitimate law enforcement purpose" for accessing the motor vehicle administration database. My old department had a field training officer leave his district and go to his ex girlfriends apartment and shoot her new boy friend with his duty weapon. He then went to a convenience store and cleaned his weapon and hit his rookie up for ammo so if he got checked he would have a full load. Just within the last couple of weeks one officer was off duty and bounced his cruiser off the jersey wall on the interstate. I think he blew a .14. I know an executive officer on my old department that as a young officer took a handcuffed prisoner and demonstrated for his ride along a "walk around". A "walk around" is where the officer walks the prisoner around the cruiser and bangs the prisoners face against each body panel of the vehicle leaving a blood smear.
    Mind you, this department has over one thousand sworn officers. These guys are not truly representative of the character of the department. But they wear (or wore) the same badge and uniform as the finest officers I have had the honor of working with. Just because they got the job, doesn't mean they should have.
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  13. #72
    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    SelfDefense, I'm not here to debate the issue, I'm under a deadline and too busy for another good one like we had last time. I just want to state my opinion, that's it. I wish I had more time, but I don't, that took more time to write than I had hoped. Feel free to question any part you would like.

    I just wanted to clarify a couple of things...

    My post was only to describe hypothetical situations, based on real events. There are documented cases of abuse of authority, physical abuse, harrassment, etc. Everyone keeps pointing out hypothetical bank robbery suspects and how all officers have a reason for asking.

    I'm just giving another hypothetical situation. In my hypothetical situation, the officer is belligerent and clearly harrassing. I have been on the receiving end of unwarranted harrassment and even belligerent behavior by a LEO once, I know that it does happen. I used that word, because if the officer was not belligerent, the entire exchange would be completely different.

    Respect is a two way street. I had a very inept manager once that was literally hired on the golf course, tell me that because he was a manager he automatically deserved everyone's respect. I told him that respect is something that you earn, and it can be lost.

    Anybody in a uniform, whether they be LEO, EMS, Firefighters, Military, etc. has already earned my respect, just by doing that job, and I will show it openly. There was only that one time that an officer made me lose respect for him.

    Anyways, gotta go, I've spent too much time here already.

  14. #73
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    ...My old department had a field training officer leave his district and go to his ex girlfriends apartment and shoot her new boy friend with his duty weapon. He then went to a convenience store and cleaned his weapon and hit his rookie up for ammo so if he got checked he would have a full load....

    Now that is just cheap.

    I mean, really.

    Hitting up someone to cover your ammo shortage? What the hell ever happened to OPSEC or financial responsibility, and bringing your own extra ammo to cover up for a shooting?

    The nerve!

  15. #74
    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morintp View Post
    SelfDefense, I'm not here to debate the issue, I'm under a deadline and too busy for another good one like we had last time. I just want to state my opinion, that's it. I wish I had more time, but I don't, that took more time to write than I had hoped. Feel free to question any part you would like.
    I really just wanted to read everyone else's views, but I couldn't resist jumping into the fray. I never realized this was so controversial.

  16. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    What people dont understand is that I am not going to ask for an ID unless I have a reason.
    OK, then you apparently would not change it to a Terry Stop if, as I posed the question, that person refused to show ID but only gave verbal ID.


    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    People assume too much and they never think that things could be different from their own little worlds. They think that just because a cop asks for an ID, they are up to no good. That is usually not the case. They usually have a good reason for doing so.
    I can agree with this. But again, just because it is usually not the case, should not mean that I have to give up my 4th/5th amendment rights. I have heard of the "please cooperate" request. I would want a reason before I do that. And since LEOs are permitted to lie during investigations (I don't know them either), I might still hesitate to show my ID (except for my "carry" permit (when carrying concealed)).

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