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  1. #1

    Default Illegal/Unconstitutional Stop

    State: Washington

    Hello,

    Firstly--thank you for all who provide me with assistance and advise. Before I speak to my attorney, I wanted to see if anybody could provide me with some suggestions or previous cases that are relevant with my situation.

    Long story short: I am a minor, I was sober, however I was with minors who were not sober and in possession of alcohol (open container in public). I, and one of my other sober peers, were completely oblivious of their open container actions. We were stopped by the police. The officer did absolutely no investigation, only took our names, and referred our information to my University's campus security.

    Since then I have been undergoing and will likely be found innocent by my University's judicial system. However, the incidence will remain on my record and I am unsure whether or not a police report was filed and whether or not this will affect my public record.

    I have two problems:
    1) What can slash should I do regarding the police officer reporting erroneous, fallacious and defaming information to my University that has subsequently tarnished my academic record (regardless of being found innocent).

    2) The unconstitutional aspect is derived from me being told in a government class and by a police officer regarding search and seizure laws that it is illegal for a police officer to stop somebody in the street unless they are 1) a suspect that meets a description and the police officer has a reasonable doubt that they are the suspect 2) the police officer as a reasonable doubt that the person is committing a crime.

    My concern is that the police officer exited his vehicle approximately 100 feet away. I know that I have pretty good eyes, and most police officers are adults who often do not have the best vision, and there is no way that I would have been able to tell that somebody walking down the street in the dark was holding a beer can and not a soda can. Is this a legal defense for those who are being charged? If so, can you provide court cases that state police officers need a reasonable doubt or beyond a reasonable doubt in order to stop individuals on the street?

    Thanks, I appreciate your help.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Illegal/Unconstitutional Stop

    Quote Quoting JoeW
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    Long story short: I am a minor, I was sober, however I was with minors who were not sober and in possession of alcohol (open container in public).
    Okay, so you were part of a group that would certainly be a legitimate law enforcement contact. This consumption and open containers of alcohol in the possession o fmino9rs would be more than sufficient to justify a detention and more.

    I, and one of my other sober peers, were completely oblivious of their open container actions.
    Huh? You mean to say that you had NO IDEA that your buddies were drinking? That you were not anywhere near the people who were drinking and were oblivious? So ... you're going to plead, "clueless?"

    We were stopped by the police. The officer did absolutely no investigation, only took our names, and referred our information to my University's campus security.
    What "investigation" did you want him to do? he contacted a bunch of kids with alcohol, took a few names, and went on.

    Since then I have been undergoing and will likely be found innocent by my University's judicial system. However, the incidence will remain on my record and I am unsure whether or not a police report was filed and whether or not this will affect my public record.
    If you are not criminally charged, there would only be a record of the police contact on what they probably refer to as a "field interview" card. However, the officer probably could have cited the lot of you.

    I have two problems:
    1) What can slash should I do regarding the police officer reporting erroneous, fallacious and defaming information to my University that has subsequently tarnished my academic record (regardless of being found innocent).
    What did he say that was "fallacious and defaming", and how have you been injured? Can you document the dollar amount?

    If he said little more than, "I came across a group of underage young adults drinking at this location and here are the names of the kids," that is not "fallacious and defaming." Now, if he stated that you were having sexual congress with a goat while dressed as Little Orphan Annie, you might have a point.

    2) The unconstitutional aspect is derived from me being told in a government class and by a police officer regarding search and seizure laws that it is illegal for a police officer to stop somebody in the street unless they are 1) a suspect that meets a description and the police officer has a reasonable doubt that they are the suspect 2) the police officer as a reasonable doubt that the person is committing a crime.
    We have young adults who likely appeared to be under the age of 21 (the age to be drinking) with open containers of alcohol, in public, and likely exhibiting some early sign of alcohol inebriation (loud, noisy, staggering, etc.). That is called, "articulable" or "reasonable" suspicion - this is the legal threshold for a detention. (And if the jurisdiction has a prohibition against ANY open containers, that would just strengthen the suspicion.) Once he had all of you detained, he could then conduct a further investigation to determine if he had probable cause to make an arrest. This could be as simple as, "Anyone here 21 or over?" At that point, he COULD have cited anyone he saw that was within arm's reach of the alcohol.

    Note, the standard is NOT htat they officer has "reasonable doubt" that a person is committing a crime, it is that the officer have reason to believe that "criminal activity may be afoot."

    My concern is that the police officer exited his vehicle approximately 100 feet away. I know that I have pretty good eyes, and most police officers are adults who often do not have the best vision, and there is no way that I would have been able to tell that somebody walking down the street in the dark was holding a beer can and not a soda can. Is this a legal defense for those who are being charged?
    That will be a good question to ask if this goes to court. However, I presume that as he got closer, he saw what the containers were. Or, his eyes are a darn sight better than you think. Did they dump the containers before he got closer.

    Oh ... yeah ... you wouldn't know because you were unaware that they were drinking.

    In any event, that may well have been sufficient for him to make contact. Did he order everyone to get on the ground? Did he tell everyone to hold it where they were? Or, did he just walk up and start asking questions? A detention would require he commanded you to stay in some manner. But, I suspect that under the circumstances he could probably articulate reasonable suspicion for the detention.

    If so, can you provide court cases that state police officers need a reasonable doubt or beyond a reasonable doubt in order to stop individuals on the street?
    Okay ... here are just some of the relevant US cases:

    (Wardlow (2000) 528 U.S. 119; Ornelas (1996) 517 U.S. 690, 695-696; Sokolow (1989) 490 U.S. 1, 7-8; Arvizu (2002) 534 U.S. 266, 274; Sullivan (2001) 532 U.S. 769, 772; Whren (1996) 517 U.S. 806, 813; Robinette (1996) 519 U.S. 33, 38; Scott (1978) 436 U.S. 128, 138)

    Washington state law may be more, or less, strict on the standard for reasonable suspicion.

    At this point, you have to ask yourself what you want to do about the contact? If you have the money, you can always pay an attorney to look into the matter for you and see if there is anything that CAN be done. Keep in mind that it will likely cost you a good deal of money for a very uncertain result. Unless the officer is a moron and admits to stopping you guys without lawful cause, or you can prove that he knowingly and maliciously lied about the contact to the university, you really have no case. But, you can pay the attorney to look into it for you. Perhaps there is some detail you missed here.

    Unless this becomes a criminal matter, there will not be an avenue to challenge the suspicion for any detention (if, indeed it WAS a detention and not a consensual contact). So, you will have to pay for that privilege.

    Next time, pay more attention to what it is your friends are drinking. And if they are doing something that is going to attract negative attention upon you, go the other way ... quick! Oh, and tell them to keep their alcohol inside ... it should keep them out of this kind of trouble.

    - Carl
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  3. #3

    Default Re: Illegal/Unconstitutional Stop

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    Okay, so you were part of a group that would certainly be a legitimate law enforcement contact. This consumption and open containers of alcohol in the possession o fmino9rs would be more than sufficient to justify a detention and more.
    The question is whether or not he had reasonable doubt that we were consuming alcohol. I argue he did not, because there is no way he could reasonable differentiate between a can of beer and a can of soda in a hand in the dark a hundred or more feet away. Terry vs. Ohio, I believe, is on my side. My question is whether or not others agree.


    Huh? You mean to say that you had NO IDEA that your buddies were drinking? That you were not anywhere near the people who were drinking and were oblivious? So ... you're going to plead, "clueless?"
    I wasn't criminally charged, which I think you caught onto later. The question is whether or not his defamatory report is worthy of defamation claims and likewise whether or not the original stop, causing the report, was unconstitutional. If so, then the original report would have to be rescinded.

    What "investigation" did you want him to do? he contacted a bunch of kids with alcohol, took a few names, and went on.
    The report included myself and other sober individuals, not in possession of alcohol, stating we were intoxicated and in possession of alcohol. He didn't do any sort of investigation to prove that any of us were intoxicated. He made a lot of assumptions which I feel have subsequently defamed myself.

    What did he say that was "fallacious and defaming", and how have you been injured? Can you document the dollar amount?
    I, along with my sober peers, are forced to take alcohol abuse classes and such through the university causing monetary damages. The damages are substantial, and really won't warrant a defamation suit most likely... but its more of the precedent... I don't think that officer should just "get away" with what I believe was an unconstitutional stop and subsequent defamation.

    We have young adults who likely appeared to be under the age of 21 (the age to be drinking) with open containers of alcohol, in public, and likely exhibiting some early sign of alcohol inebriation (loud, noisy, staggering, etc.). That is called, "articulable" or "reasonable" suspicion - this is the legal threshold for a detention. (And if the jurisdiction has a prohibition against ANY open containers, that would just strengthen the suspicion.) Once he had all of you detained, he could then conduct a further investigation to determine if he had probable cause to make an arrest. This could be as simple as, "Anyone here 21 or over?" At that point, he COULD have cited anyone he saw that was within arm's reach of the alcohol.
    We were not stumbling, or being loud. Regardless, he was in his vehicle, hundreds of feet away. It appears he would have stopped any group walking towards campus with any sort of container and initiated an investigation. That is illegal, am I right?

    The question isn't whether or not the investigation was warranted or legal, its the question of whether or not the stop and fisk was constitutional. I am no civil rights attorney, but I am pretty sure the Terry vs. Ohio ruling, although ruling against Terry, would protect me in this instance.

    Note, the standard is NOT htat they officer has "reasonable doubt" that a person is committing a crime, it is that the officer have reason to believe that "criminal activity may be afoot."
    I think the threshold in this case is where do hunches/assumptions come into play. I mean in reality, I think we all could assume that a group of individuals walking towards a college campus with a can in their hand on a Saturday night around midnight are likely carrying a can of alcohol. However, does the officer have the right to make that assumption? Does an assumption, regardless of whether or not it is empirical or logical, make reasonable doubt? Is there any case law on this sort of thing, even outside of Washington?

    That will be a good question to ask if this goes to court. However, I presume that as he got closer, he saw what the containers were. Or, his eyes are a darn sight better than you think. Did they dump the containers before he got closer.
    No. But that is actually a really good point. An officer can't just stop anybody for whatever reason... but they can probably approach the individuals. Do you need reasonable doubt to approach the suspects? What if the argument is made that an officer wouldn't initiate approach if they didn't have the agenda of investigating?

    I think the actions of the suspects would delineate the agenda of the officer however. They were a good 5-10 paces behind myself, and the police officer was getting out of his car and walking towards the sidewalk to intercept us a good 75-100 feet from myself, thus 85-110 feet from the actual suspects. They claim that they weren't walking whaling the beer around but it was pretty discrete, down to the side of their leg. Nonetheless, their hand would have clearly covered any sort of logo that would have allowed the officer to delineate the can from a soda can from the local pizza place.

    In any event, that may well have been sufficient for him to make contact. Did he order everyone to get on the ground? Did he tell everyone to hold it where they were? Or, did he just walk up and start asking questions? A detention would require he commanded you to stay in some manner. But, I suspect that under the circumstances he could probably articulate reasonable suspicion for the detention.
    He didn't throw us to the ground at gun-point, because if he did, I would have skipped this entire process. He did assert his presence, telling us to "come over" and as one person kept walking (which actually may have been constitutional under Terry vs. Ohio) he was ordered to come back over, very assertively. There was a clear detention. There was also no questions really asked, just "let me see some ID" and then confirmation of our identities and then where are you going. But, there was seizure of our bodies and a stop and frisk (without the frisk however). I just believe it wasn't justified by reasonable doubt.

    The money regarding an attorney isn't that big of a deal... I have interned for numerous criminal and civil rights attorneys that sort of "owe me favors" or have opened that venue before I don't foresee this entering a court room, but I want to at least file a complaint against the officer in effort to get the statement rescinded, or something to that fact.

    Thanks for your help, Carl.
    If you don't mind me asking--are you an attorney or just an educated citizen? [Ignore this, I read your signature]

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Illegal/Unconstitutional Stop

    Quote Quoting JoeW
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    The question is whether or not he had reasonable doubt that we were consuming alcohol. I argue he did not, because there is no way he could reasonable differentiate between a can of beer and a can of soda in a hand in the dark a hundred or more feet away. Terry vs. Ohio, I believe, is on my side. My question is whether or not others agree.
    He can make contact with whomever he wishes. hat the law determines is whether or not he has a reasonable, articulable reason to detain someone against their will. Were you DETAINED, or did he approach and engage in conversation?

    Terry is more concerned with justification for a pat-down search for weapons than dealing primarily with reasonable suspicion for a detention. Please review some of the USSC cases I provided for more information on detentions.

    I wasn't criminally charged, which I think you caught onto later. The question is whether or not his defamatory report is worthy of defamation claims and likewise whether or not the original stop, causing the report, was unconstitutional. If so, then the original report would have to be rescinded.
    I do not think it is. But, I do not know what the officer reported to the school. Unless he provided entirely untrue, malicious and knowingly false information, I don't see you have any cause of action. But, if you have the money for an attorney, I am sure an attorney will be willing to write all manner of demands to whomever you wish.

    The report included myself and other sober individuals, not in possession of alcohol, stating we were intoxicated and in possession of alcohol. He didn't do any sort of investigation to prove that any of us were intoxicated. He made a lot of assumptions which I feel have subsequently defamed myself.
    You say you were not impaired, he says you appeared to be. Again, not generally actionable. If it were, then every time a defendant were acquitted, or a case was not filed, a lawsuit would ensue. The standard is much higher than that.

    But, as you are not going to court the issue will be one for a civil attorney to address if you feel it is worth the expense.

    I don't think that officer should just "get away" with what I believe was an unconstitutional stop and subsequent defamation.
    Then sue him and the university, and challenge the laws regarding detentions.

    We were not stumbling, or being loud. Regardless, he was in his vehicle, hundreds of feet away. It appears he would have stopped any group walking towards campus with any sort of container and initiated an investigation. That is illegal, am I right?
    He could have, yes.

    Keep in mind that the articulable suspicion required for a detention is VERY low. Whiule the legal standard may be different in WA as your state is certainly free to establish a higher standard, here is the federal standard:

    For an investigative stop or detention to be valid, you must have "reasonable suspicion" that: (1) criminal activity may be afoot and (2) the person you are about to detain is connected with that possible criminal activity. (Wardlow (2000) 528 U.S. 119; Ornelas (1996) 517 U.S. 690, 695-696; Sokolow (1989) 490 U.S. 1, 7-8)

    To establish "reasonable suspicion," both the quality and quantity of the information you need is considerably less than the "probable cause" you need to arrest or search. (White (1990) 496 U.S. 325, 330; Bennett (1998) 17 Cal.4th 373, 387; Johnson (1991) 231 Cal.App.3d 1, 11.) "'[R]easonable suspicion' is a less demanding standard than probable cause and requires a showing considerably less than preponderance of the evidence. . . ." (Wardlow (2000) 528 U.S. 119, 123; Arvizu (2002) 534 U.S. 266, 274.)

    "Reasonable suspicion" is evaluated based on objective facts. Your subjective thinking, i.e., the purpose behind your search or seizure (detention or arrest), should have no bearing on a court's determination of the legality of your action. Your "subjective intentions" are irrelevant in determining whether a detention or an arrest was justified. (See Sullivan (2001) 532 U.S. 769, 772; Whren (1996) 517 U.S. 806, 813; see also Robinette (1996) 519 U.S. 33, 38; Scott (1978) 436 U.S. 128, 138)


    The question isn't whether or not the investigation was warranted or legal, its the question of whether or not the stop and fisk was constitutional.
    You did not say anything about a "frisk". To conduct a pat-down for weapons he would have to articulate some reason to believe you might be in possession of weapons. To search further - and beyond the scope of Terry - he would have to articulabe probable cause ... not all that difficult when contacting a number of underage students with at least some of them smelling of alcohol, provided the search is for containers of alcohol.

    However, does the officer have the right to make that assumption? Does an assumption, regardless of whether or not it is empirical or logical, make reasonable doubt? Is there any case law on this sort of thing, even outside of Washington?
    See the above cases for further. Note that the articulable suspicion can be based upon the officer's experiences as well as his observations. It does NOT have to be empirical nor always logical, just reasonable.

    Do you need reasonable doubt to approach the suspects?
    An officer does not need reasonable suspicion to approach anyone. No law prevents an officer from contacting anyone that John Q. Citizen could also contact.

    What if the argument is made that an officer wouldn't initiate approach if they didn't have the agenda of investigating?
    Subjective intent is legally irrelevant.

    So, you are saying that the officer approached your group and did not summon you over to him or command you stop until after the contact?

    They claim that they weren't walking whaling the beer around but it was pretty discrete, down to the side of their leg.
    In police vernacular, we call that "a clue". By hiding it at their leg, that pretty much sent up a red flag that said "BOOZE!" And THAT action gave the officer reasonable suspicion to detain right there. Even a first year rookie will quickly learn that this is a common act of someone trying to conceal alcohol, not concealing a can of Sprite.

    And, recall that the officer needs only suspicion that some criminal activity MAY be afoot, not that it is more or less likely or even certain. We have never held law enforcement to such a standard ... if we did, they might as well sit in the office and wait for people to walk in and confess.

    There was a clear detention.
    And from everything you have written, it seems reasonable under the law.

    There was also no questions really asked, just "let me see some ID" and then confirmation of our identities and then where are you going. But, there was seizure of our bodies and a stop and frisk (without the frisk however). I just believe it wasn't justified by reasonable doubt.
    You keep using "reasonable doubt" ... that is not the standard. Reasonable doubt is the standard to which the court is held in order to convict. The state must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt ... the police can detain using reasonable suspicion that some criminal activity MAY be afoot.

    The money regarding an attorney isn't that big of a deal... I have interned for numerous criminal and civil rights attorneys that sort of "owe me favors" or have opened that venue before I don't foresee this entering a court room, but I want to at least file a complaint against the officer in effort to get the statement rescinded, or something to that fact.
    I do not see that you have any cause of action against the officer for the detention unless it is in violation of some unusual WA state law that I have never heard of. If he made a knowing and intentional lie to the university authorities, you might have a claim or a complaint there. But, I suspect he merely reported contact with a number of students who had been drinking or in possession of alcohol.

    If you don't mind me asking--are you an attorney or just an educated citizen? [Ignore this, I read your signature]
    I am the latter as well as a law enforcement supervisor (which you found in my signature).

    - Carl
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Illegal/Unconstitutional Stop

    Quote Quoting JoeW
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    2) The unconstitutional aspect is derived from me being told in a government class and by a police officer regarding search and seizure laws that it is illegal for a police officer to stop somebody in the street unless they are 1) a suspect that meets a description and the police officer has a reasonable doubt that they are the suspect 2) the police officer as a reasonable doubt that the person is committing a crime.

    I am NOT a police officer like Carl, and do not particularly know as much about the 4th as him, but I do study it, and I agree with him.

    There is nothing in the federal Constitution which forbids a police officer from simply approaching an individual and ask if they will answer some questions, this is NOT a seizure.

    FLORIDA v. BOSTICK, 501 U.S. 429 (1991)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Illegal/Unconstitutional Stop

    Carl:

    So, you are saying that the officer approached your group and did not summon you over to him or command you stop until after the contact?
    He made the initial approach silently (the movement from inside the vehicle to the middle of the road), whereas by the time he made it to the middle of the road we were about to "pass" him and thus he called us over. One individual continued to walk, he instructed him to stop and return, forcefully (verbally, not physically).

    In police vernacular, we call that "a clue". By hiding it at their leg, that pretty much sent up a red flag that said "BOOZE!" And THAT action gave the officer reasonable suspicion to detain right there. Even a first year rookie will quickly learn that this is a common act of someone trying to conceal alcohol, not concealing a can of Sprite.
    It wasn't "concealed", like holding it behind their back, for instance. It was just hand down, not extended in front of you. Imagine a can in one of these gentlemens non-erect hands: http://z.hubpages.com/u/1652460_f520.jpg

    You keep using "reasonable doubt" ... that is not the standard. Reasonable doubt is the standard to which the court is held in order to convict. The state must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt ... the police can detain using reasonable suspicion that some criminal activity MAY be afoot.
    But is this suspicion justified under these circumstances? I almost feel as if this opens a door that anybody can be stopped that is even remotely suspicious--anybody could make a claim for suspiciousness--meaning anybody can be stopped and detained.

    Also, Carl, I realize you are a police officer and accordingly have a little bit of bias (I am sure you would have potentially conducted the same action, as its not like this officer was grossly in violation of any law)--my question to you is his conduct even slightly unjustifiable, or do you stand by him 100%?

    Bor --

    There is nothing in the federal Constitution which forbids a police officer from simply approaching an individual and ask if they will answer some questions, this is NOT a seizure.
    Incorrect. The Terry majority opinion outlines that stopping an individual on the street in order to conduct a brief investigation is seizure of their body as they are prohibited from leaving/walking away from the police officer.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Illegal/Unconstitutional Stop

    Quote Quoting JoeW
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    He made the initial approach silently (the movement from inside the vehicle to the middle of the road), whereas by the time he made it to the middle of the road we were about to "pass" him and thus he called us over. One individual continued to walk, he instructed him to stop and return, forcefully (verbally, not physically).
    Still not outside the scope of a detention based upon reasonable and articulable suspicion. Unless he says he called the other guy over for grins and giggles, it's going to be good. I suspect his claim will be, "They appeared to be walking together upon first observation, so I called him back to me."

    It wasn't "concealed", like holding it behind their back, for instance. It was just hand down, not extended in front of you.
    I know EXACTLY what you are talking about, and trust me, it is universally recognizable as a guilty act by people trying to conceal something ... usually found when people KNOW they are not supposed to have alcohol in public and they are trying to look casual ... but, they don't.

    I've been doing this for 18 years and everyone thinks they are being sneaky when they do it ... they're not. They would likely be LESS suspicious if they were just casually sipping from it like it were a coke can (provided they weren't laughing or otherwise acting like inebriated fools).

    But is this suspicion justified under these circumstances? I almost feel as if this opens a door that anybody can be stopped that is even remotely suspicious--anybody could make a claim for suspiciousness--meaning anybody can be stopped and detained.
    What you describe is almost certainly a valid detention. And, again, the articulation for the cause for a detention is really quite low. I encourage you again to look at the standard that indicates that the officer may detain people when it appears that criminal activity "MAY ... be afoot."

    Also, Carl, I realize you are a police officer and accordingly have a little bit of bias (I am sure you would have potentially conducted the same action, as its not like this officer was grossly in violation of any law)--my question to you is his conduct even slightly unjustifiable, or do you stand by him 100%?
    Can I hypothesize some detail or details that would make it unlawful or weak? Sure. I do not see it, yet, though. Could there be some detail not provided that might change my opinion? Sure. Could there be some element of WA state law that might more seriously restrict the officers actions either by law or by virtue of the location where this occurred? Sure.

    But given the status of the law, the situation as you have described it, and the actions of the officer you have provided I would have to conclude that his actions were lawful.

    I suspect your only possible grievance MIGHT be the passing on of information to the school. But, if WA has laws similar to CA this information is public record and no law was broken by passing on the contact or the characterization of the contact as involving underage youth drinking.

    Incorrect. The Terry majority opinion outlines that stopping an individual on the street in order to conduct a brief investigation is seizure of their body as they are prohibited from leaving/walking away from the police officer.
    I believe BOR was referring to the possibility that the officer approached and engaged in a consensual contact. If so, it is not a seizure. Of course a detention is, but a consensual contact - by itself - is not.

    - Carl
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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    Default Re: Illegal/Unconstitutional Stop

    We were not stumbling, or being loud. Regardless, he was in his vehicle, hundreds of feet away. It appears he would have stopped any group walking towards campus with any sort of container and initiated an investigation. That is illegal, am I right?
    No, you're not right.


    He made the initial approach silently (the movement from inside the vehicle to the middle of the road), whereas by the time he made it to the middle of the road we were about to "pass" him and thus he called us over. One individual continued to walk, he instructed him to stop and return, forcefully (verbally, not physically).

    Watch out Carl. Apparently it is illegal for your to be stealthy when you apporach folks. I guess you need to get a cow bell to wear so they can hear you coming.

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    Default Re: Illegal/Unconstitutional Stop

    Quote Quoting JoeW
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    Bor --

    Incorrect. The Terry majority opinion outlines that stopping an individual on the street in order to conduct a brief investigation is seizure of their body as they are prohibited from leaving/walking away from the police officer.

    I am quite familiar with Terry, even live in Ohio. It was one of the 1st cases we read in Intro to Criminal law in College.

    As Carl pointed out, I was speaking of a "consensual" encounter in Bostick.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Illegal/Unconstitutional Stop

    Okay--it seems to be the general consensus that the stop was likely not illegal and was justified.

    My question goes primarily to Carl--what should I do about the fallacious report. Although I haven't been given a copy of the report yet, I have been told by the schools administration that the report indicates all four of us were intoxicated and carrying open containers. However, two of us were completely sober and not carrying open containers. You indicated earlier that likely the report only states there was interaction between the police and four students--this is not true--I have been told the report clearly indicates we were all MIP.

    Although I am slowly getting out of the claims, the incident report still will remain in my file, which means any future interaction with the police or being written up for anything even remotely related to alcohol could jeopardize my status in the school. My primary concern is that my "warning" was wasted. My original plan was hopefully I could file some sort of report with the police department and hope to get the statement/report rescinded. My other hope was that the claim of the unconstitutional/illegal search would give the department reason to actually care and pursue the complaint--I think we all know that cops watch over cops, and a petty complaint like this really won't get really far. But, when it comes to my academic record (and this report could be the difference between me being able to remain in some of my honors programs), I really want to get this taken care of and removed from my record.

    Any advice is appreciated, especially from Carl, who I will assume has some sort of interaction with the police complaints in his department.

    Thanks
    Joe

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