On our way back from Bonnaroo, I drove in a white truck with my friend and our other two friends were driving a red Acura. The red Acura was leading and in Fayetteville, TN a police officer turned around and followed the two of us for about three minutes. After three minutes, the cop passes me in the white truck, flashes his lights, and pulls over the red Acura. From what my two friends told me after they were pulled over, the police officer clocked them at going 71 in a 65. He asked where they were coming from and they said Manchester. He asked if they were at Bonnaroo, and they said yes. So the cop goes back to his car and then comes back and says, "Well, I'm not going to give you a ticket but I was told that I have to search you for drugs if you're coming back from Bonnaroo." Now, we were smart enough to put everything in the white truck because we had anticipated this happening. Who is more likely to get a ticket: Red sports car or white truck? So thankfully the cop pulled over the red car. Now, my question is should I persue this blatant case of profiling and lodge many complaints against the Fayetteville police department or should I just let it go and consider myself lucky (even though I don't think the officer would have found any thing in the white truck because for a few moments we became the McGyvers of hiding contraband)?
Post by JayFromRochester on Jun 16, 2004 10:20:01 GMT -5
It's a matter of principle. It pretty clearly was a case of profiling--which our country has determined is wrong. If no one ever pushes back the police department has no incentive to behave more appropriately. And that impacts everyone's rights in the long run--it makes police abuses the norm.
And besides, it's not a lot of time to spend. It's one well-written letter mailed to the appropriate parties. You've probably spent more time playing around on this list than it would take to lodge this complaint and maybe the one or two follow-up phone calls you might recieve from a newspaper or the police ombudsman.
I'm not saying you have to scream all the way to the Supreme Court, but if you're abused at the hands of The State you don't just have to lie down and take it either...
Post by Capttrips25 on Jun 16, 2004 10:30:13 GMT -5
You could have a privet air stip and 2 personal air craft. You could paint a large school bus in a way that it could be seen from the air very easy. You could arange for you stash to be "air dropped" on the bus whe you get to where you are going.
of course this wouldn't make sense if you are just bringing a few grams to party with.
Last year 24 cases were thrown out for illigal search, witch is what that was. Send a letter, go to the media, go to the ACLU, tell someone. You cannot let the figures in charge roll over people. Our style of Gov has checks and balances for a reason. If I'd of been pulled over I'd of told them not without a warrent. I told my buddy I was driving with if we get pulled over we'll be waiting a while. I had nothing they could of done anything about but I'd of waited till I saw that warrent before I'd of left my car get searched.
i definitely would have never let any type of search occur... i would have let the cop know that i would be more than willing to wait for him to come back with a search warrant (because i know he never would)... and i would definitely write some letters, emails, make some phone calls, etc. It is absolutely worth the time, thats one of the reasons this country is so messed up because noone "has the time" or the just dont feel like doing anything about it... i used to be that way but i have since changed... i feel that if you think something is not happening the way it should then you should speak up regardless to who it is...
Save the outrage, letters, etc. for the REAL INJUSTICES that happen every day in the world.
There was no outrage. What the officer did was illegal, someone should be told. Were not trying to get him fired, or take this to the supreme court. Just make sure that people know what happened and will continure to happen. What would be a real world injustice? Our war with Iraq? I can't fix that, but I can write a few letters and make sure people know what happened. This is an injustice on a small scale, but it's still wrong.
Nothing against you but I hate it when someone says "Just accept the way things are." If something is broke try to fix it, otherwise it will get worse.
Post by DetroitSteve on Jun 17, 2004 2:59:36 GMT -5
What would be a real world injustice?
Robert Woodward Malice Green Officer Vernon Gentry Freddie Vela Bobby Fortune LAPD 44 Officer John Baird Rodney King Abner Louima
The list goes on forever.
One other thing... in a small podunk town/county, the police departments are generally VERY tightly knit. There is no IAD, etc. The complaint will go to the chief who is probably the same person who told the officer to search roovians.
I didn't say to accept "it", I said "it" is nothing.
Anyway... Good luck with whatever path you choose to pursue.
My mother-in-law got some cards to give her friends. I think they came from a lawyer's office. One side has the lawyer's info, phone number, that sort of thing, the other side says your rights when you're pulled over. Basically they can't search (or even ask you to get out of the car) without a damn good reason, and if they don't have one, I'll just be moving on my way, thanks. I'll get one of these and post it on here. I'm in Indiana, and I don't know if it would vary state-to-state, but if it helps some of you on down the line, I'm all for it.
When we desensitize ourselves to the "little" betrayals of our constitutional rights, we become less and less free. I knew that homeland security would eventually desensitize America, but I guess I just wasn't ready for how I would feel when it actually started happening.
I just got off the phone with the Tennessee ACLU and they seemed to think that it would be a good idea to at least bring it to the attention of the Fayetteville police department. I think their advice is pretty good. I'm not looking to wage a war against the Establishment or anything but I do feel an apology of some kind is not asking too much. The Tennessee ACLU says they put everything on file and so this too will go on file and if they see an influx in problems with a specific police force they will eventually take some sort of action. Thanks for all your responses. DetroitSteve, I only want to accomplish bringing it to their attention that profiling shouldn't be tolerated. However, you are wrong if you think nothing happened as a result of this. Because of this, the police department still thinks it is okay to profile individuals with no sort of consequence. And you're right, they may become bigger hippie haters but this way they know there will be opposition to their hatred. I will make it perfectly clear that the officer couldn't have been nicer. And Capttrips25, as soon as I have the money for a personal air craft I will take your advice.
phishdrum, you gotta fight the power. If they did this, this year, what's to stop them from doing it every year after. You just gotta make some noise. It may not stop profiling, it most likely won't. But if you stay silent, they'll definately do it next year. Silence leads to the slow erosion of our rights.
Post by DetroitSteve on Jun 18, 2004 8:41:38 GMT -5
Your enthusasium is impressive. Please understand that I speak from experience. I have filed complaints against small police departmemts before. I will give an example.
One night my girlfriend got pulled in Northville, MI because her licenseplate light was burned out. (give me a break). So he goes with the old, "I smell alcohol..." which was funny because we hadn't been drinking. So I told him "That's funny because we haven't been drinking". at which point we are ORDERED out of the vehicle. So three other cops pull up in two more cars and seperate us. Two search me and two her. The said they had probable cause becasue of the alcohol smell. I knew that wasn't true so I told them. At which poit I was cuffed. They continued their search and found nothing. So they gave us PBTs, again nothing. At this point I am pissed. So I get a little mouthy and am like "Write the ticket or let us go, there is nothing to find."
At this point I was told that I was being "disorderly" and arrested. Mind you, I never physically resisted, just told them what my rights were. AND KEPT TELLING THEM.
So they take me to jail. They put me in a cell with the "connected cuffs" the ones with no chain (very not comfortable) for 6-7 Hrs. After that time I just started banging the cuffs on the cell door chanting things like "lawyer" and "phone call". So, 4 "cops" (reserves working desk) come back and tell me I am being too loud and they are moving me to "low class housing". So as they are walking me back, all four of them mind you, I get shoved face first into the tile floor. So my head is bleeding, the cops are like "why did you do that to yourself" and laughing and I am like WTF is going on.
Anyway, to make a really long story short. I fall asleep in the cuffs and they wake me up 12 hours later and tell me I can go home. No charge, nothing, just a snicker.
What they did that was illegal: 1. No grounds for a search 2. No grounds for arrest 3. Leaving me restrained while in the cell (this is illegal) 4. causing scar/cut on my head 3/4" long. 5. took my smokes and money.
So... after they let me out, I type out everything how it happened so there is a record of this happening. I go up to the station and file a FOIA filing to get copies of the reports, pictures and videos from inside the jail.
They proceede to hand me a single page with one line that said "At ??:??PM we questioned Stephen X. Xxxxxx in connection with a disorderly conduct complaint." THAT'S IT.
So I demand to see the chief to give him my typed complaint and ask about the reports lack of detail. He takes my complaint and answers as follows.
1. The video recorders were not working last night. (I could see the monitors working from my cell) 2. The officers write the reports as they see fit, no particular level of detail is required. 3. We can arrest and hold anyone for anything up 23Hrs. or until they are charged or arraigned. 4. I will llok into the "abuse" (he even did the finger quotes) and your missing property.
So like four months later I get a letter in the mail explaining that he had performed an investigation and that he found his department followed all procedures.. blah blah blah.
All of this material was sent to the City Council (never even responded) and the ACLU (same generic response you got).
Bottom lie is simple:
Unless you hire a lawyer and sue them NOTHING and I repeat NOTHING will happen.
They will cover for eachother, lie for eachother, lie about you, plant evidence, tell you what you want to hear and then laugh at you and ignore it until you spend big $$$ on a lawyer.
even then most lawyers will not even sue them becasue they know what I have stated above is true. It is too hard,. Cops and judges ar in the same business, making money for their cities/municipality. they are all friends or minimally have seen eachother on hundreds of occasions.
If you think there is "justice" in American courts or that they play by the rules, check out this Nove special that aired last night on PBS: