That's just unacceptable.
This is a discussion on Illegal seizure of a helmet cam? Police brutality? For you bikers out there,.... within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; This should clear up the dash cam issue. News 8 asked to see Westbrook's dash cam video. We were told no video exists and therefore ...
This should clear up the dash cam issue.
News 8 asked to see Westbrook's dash cam video. We were told no video exists and therefore cannot be used in the internal affairs investigation that is now open.
DALLAS - The Dallas Sheriff’s Office has launched an internal affairs investigation into the conduct of a deputy who made a questionable arrest of a sport biker, following reports from News 8.
The arrest happened on Memorial Day weekend, as law enforcement was on heightened alert to crack down on reckless bikers.
But was that reason enough for Deputy James Westbrook to pull over biker Chris Moore in an effort to seize a camera mounted on his helmet?
Not according to Toby Shook, a former Dallas County Prosecutor.
"Well, I think in this particular case, you did need a warrant to get that piece of evidence,” Shook said.
And now, with an internal affairs investigation underway, Westbrook will have to explain his actions.
In response to this case, the sheriff’s office also released a dash cam video showing how stunt bikers taunted and antagonized officers by slamming on their brakes and blocking the squad car’s path.
Then, when a truck traveling with the pack of bikes gets pulled over by officers, a female passenger is seen handing something off to a rider. Moments later, that same woman hops on the back of a different bike and rides away, all while other bikers drive the wrong way on Stemmons Freeway.
How frustrating is that? Not enough to violate the constitution, Shook said.
"The Constitution wins out over frustration every time,” he said.
Though none of that happened to Deputy Westbrook, Shook said the deputy likely felt that afternoon's frustration when he pulled over Moore in order to seize Moore's helmet camera.
Here’s what Westbrook says as Moore helmet camera is rolling:
MOORE: "Was I doing something wrong? What am I being pulled over for?"
WESTBROOK: "The whole group of you guys."
MOORE: "No. I was not, individually. How can you pull me over?"
WESTBROOK: "The reason you're being pulled over is because I'm going to take your camera, and we're going to use it as evidence of in the crimes that have been committed by other bikers."
Westbrook later arrested Moore for a concealed license plate, a charge Moore alleges was trumped up to get his camera.
That's just unacceptable.
I am a cop and I ride motorcycles.
A few observations:
1. Stupid groups like that give all Motorcycle riders a bad reputation - and they usually end up on the news as "Biker killed" reports.
2. All of them that did not stop/blocked could be arrested for Felony Evading - Motor vehicle under Texas Law. That said, if they purposefully have obscured their license plates or removed them to keep them from being easily identified, that is a violation also. And note I said, "purposefully." From what I saw, it was correctly mounted, though that sounds like the deputy was on a fishing expedition for an arrest to get the camera rather than wait for a warrant or approval to seize it as evidence. (just my take from that video)
3. If the officer believed the helmet cam held evidence of the felony (or another crime but less so for just a Class C citation) he is within the Law as I understand it to seize it as evidence of a felony crime (because it is mobile and can go away unlike a fixed camera on a building), and then get the warrant to search/seize it or return it, though it is always best to try to hold the person there and get a warrant for that seizure first if possible. The side of a freeway is a bad place to be waiting for that warrant.
4. If you are not 18 years old, you cannot ride in the back of a pickup truck in Texas. The girl was most likely handing off the drugs, and then she felony evaded also. You can see why all police units should have two officers. One cannot control the scene in any way safely and lots of evidence just rode off while waiting for backup. But if he got out and a fight ensued, fighting alongside a freeway against multiple suspects is a bad idea too.
5. Lawyers and District Attorneys are notoriously known to crawfish on camera and in news interviews, because they do not want to let a slip of the tongue make them look ignorant. The cop has no choice but to interpret the laws of search and seizure as trained and as they see them at that moment and go with it. Some err too much on the side of control and arrest, some the other way. Had people died in a major collision because of the biker's stupidity, and he let that evidence fly, people would be screaming for his head for letting that camera get away. If he was with the group, and his sport bike and riding along with them indicate that most likely he was, it will have faces and license plates helping identify the other bikes and riders.
6. As to the actual arrest and the seizure issues, that will all come down to law, court interpretation and policy for arrest and use of force. That is why departments have Internal Affairs Units. Let them do the deciding.
7. No, I am not covering for anything the officer did. I do everything I can to err on the side of the innocent, protect the victims and do what is right. However, until you walk in their shoes and deal with this, you will never really know what it feels like as a cop to have cars whizzing by you at 70mph on a freeway while you have to deal with officer safety, possible weapons, possible drugs, law interpretation and all of the etc. that goes along with it.
Ok, feel free to gut me at any time now.....
So, I say let the system figure it out.
Fortune Favors the Bold!
If you can read this, thank a teacher. Because it's in English, thank a vet
I suppose it goes without saying what I think...
As others have said, bikers like this give me a bad name. I run into these punks every now and then, and it's everything I can do to contain myself. They rank with gang-bangers to me.
The reason I am not a LEO is because I would be one of the most right-violating, jack-booted, dirtbag-stomping, evidence-tampering, ruthless nightmares that these peach-faced-punks-who-coyly-try-to-hide-behind-the-letter-of-the-law ever conceived.
In other words, I'd be locked up for life in short order. Which is why I stay under the radar in the private sector and keep to mahsef.
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WARNING: This post may contain material offensive to those who lack wit, humor, common sense and/or supporting factual or anecdotal evidence. All statements and assertions contained herein may be subject to literary devices not limited to: irony, metaphor, allusion and dripping sarcasm.
These cops are seriously a disgrace to the badge.....It's a shame how this bikers rights were violated. Bet nothing ever comes of it. What a shame.
Lordofwyr, dont take this the wrong way, but its his job. There are people everyday that deal with issues of safety and stress. Either the officer acts like an ass, or does his job in a professional manner. This guy appears to be an ass...However, until you walk in their shoes and deal with this, you will never really know what it feels like as a cop to have cars whizzing by you at 70mph on a freeway while you have to deal with officer safety, possible weapons, possible drugs, law interpretation and all of the etc. that goes along with it.
Don"t let stupid be your skill set....
And Shepards we shall be, for Thee, my Lord, for Thee,
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand, So that our feet may swiftly carry out thy command,
And we shall flow a river forth to Thee, And teeming with souls shall it ever be,
read all 4 pages and some links
mostly--when a cop dresses for their shift either put your stress and personal problems in a box and lock it down or
put you badge in that box and go back to bed.
like the z-man who wishes he had stayed in the car, im betting this LEO wishes he had to.
was the biker a member of the group?
need to see the begining of his recordings--does it show them gathering together?
You plug 'em, I plant 'em
...kid can't read at 17 (Garcia/Hunter 1985)
Lack of preparation on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on mine
Also there is an investigation in progress so there will be an outcome to this. It isn't being swept under the rug.
I live for others and I answer to God and sometimes to my wife too.
Also... the video shows his licence plate is turned up so you can't see it. So getting pulled over was justified. Maybe if he wasn't such a wise guy and was a law abiding citizen things would turn out different for him.
One last point... when a group of bikers take over the hi-way doing wheelies and speeding and disregarding the law as they did, it creates an unsafe situation at the expense of others who are trying to be safe on the hi-way. Doesn't this take away the rights of the guy who's driving his mini van with his family?
"Confidence is food for the wise man but liquor for the fool"
This particular Cop is not a COP IMO, He is a loose cannon with a BADGE that if not stopped will escalate his actions to that of a full fledged Vigilante. No excuses from any internal investigation or other LEOs here incidentally also armchair quarterbacking will change what he did. He first had no real reason to pull the guy over he then decided he was above the law & would commit a Theft of Personal Property but not finding a cooperative victim decided to trump up a charge to get the Camera illegally IMO. Therefore IMO any credibility this LEO had is GONE because "The End doesn't Justify the Means"
Normally I have a little doubt even when I think I know what happened that we don't have all info but in this case we have GREAT video before,during & after the incident. I am ready to armchair or Jury trial convict since there is plenty of evidence against the LEO in this case. If this is considered appropriate it is SAD but it really is US vs LEOs now in 2012 & needs to be stopped.
This is by any definition a BAD COP that is a disgrace to the profession. Also I think the lady cop is somewhat guilty by association which is the same thing some say the biker is guilty of..
Everyone has an opinion & this is just mine sorry if it offends anyone.
ALSO I don't HATE LEOs I just Hold them to a Higher Standard of the LAW & nothing anyone says will change my opinion on this