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DrGlock said:
I can't say if that is more tragic or funny!
I vote for funny.

Too bad they didn't let him ride the lightning or give him a nice wood shampoo.
 

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If I remember correctly this has been on Spike TV several years ago from the FLA Miami area. Something about profiling. The undercover was a Major and there was a lot more to this than all that was on utube. Goes to show that sometimes not all LEO get over and that some do always expect it :cry:

Off duty, grabbing your license back and calling a LEO a Bitch,,, I would expect to go to jail :!: bruised, bleeding and I am only a civilian. They would also charge with open container since I had my empties from the last weekend in the truck going to recycle, refusal since they knock me out with the ground and so on and so on.... :handcuffs:
 

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Both Wrong

Wow. That's an amazing video. It's a good thing the detective / undercover officer didn't ever reach for his gun, or even mention it except when asked, as that was CLEARLY a big issue to the state patrol guys who pulled him over.

I think they're both in the wrong. The state trooper was wrong for not showing the slightest bit of professional courtesy and being anal-retentive about how the other officer's license plate frame obscured part of the registration sticker (this was AFTER he knew he was dealing with a police officer).

The plain-clothes City cop was wrong for going ballistic and refusing to cooperate when it became clear the Trooper intended to ticket him. Sure, he was provoked, but two wrongs don't make a right. Now the honorable thing to do is to plead guilty to what in Georgia would probably be misdemeanor obstruction of LEO (he didn't offer violence, other than struggling AFTER they peppersprayed him and then tackled him), take his speeding ticket (or whatever the pull-over was for, and I hope it wasn't Driving While Black), and ask to keep his job (maybe after some anger management classes -- to teach him how not to escalate a conflict just because you've been shown disrespect).

What do you guys think? And should the Major (the city cop) lose his job? Assume that he's at the peak of his career and has several productive years left, not that he's already put in 20+ years and is ready for retirement.
 

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Re: Both Wrong

gunsmoker said:
The state trooper was wrong for not showing the slightest bit of professional courtesy
I disagree 100%. What someone does for a living should have ZERO bearing on how you're treated. If a police officer breaks a law they should be treated the exact same as I would be. If anything, police officers should be held to higher standards than we mere citizens.
 

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I followed this on the internet when it happened.

I agree with gunsmoker in that they were both wrong but not why they were wrong.

If I remember the court case that this resulted in correctly, the part of the license plate that was covered was the county and not the registration sticker itself. The uniformed officer had been told by the same judge that heard this case that it is not illegal to have the county covered up and so that is not a valid reason to pull someone over. The officer keeps using that as an excuse to pull people over anyway, which the judge warned that the next time he did that the officer would be found in contempt of court.

The plain clothed Major argued in court that the charge of resisting arrest and assaulting an officer should not proceed because the stop itself was invalid. I believe he also argued that he was not resisting arrest because he was only waiting for a supervisor to arrive.

The judge disagreed and stated that while the stop was invalid, that does not give a person the right to resist arrest or assualt an officer. The judge also said that he did not have the right to request a supervisor show up. The correct thing to do would have been to accept the citation then challenge it in court.

The clip above does not show the part where, while the Major was sitting on the guard rail, he made a move like was going to hit the officer. The jury ruled that at that point was where the Major went wrong and was found guilty.
 

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Re: Both Wrong

wwomack said:
gunsmoker said:
The state trooper was wrong for not showing the slightest bit of professional courtesy
I disagree 100%. What someone does for a living should have ZERO bearing on how you're treated. If a police officer breaks a law they should be treated the exact same as I would be. If anything, police officers should be held to higher standards than we mere citizens.
Higher standards? Like they should be Tasered twice? :lol:
 

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Gunstar1 said:
The judge disagreed and stated that while the stop was invalid, that does not give a person the right to resist arrest or assualt an officer.
Was this in Georgia?
 

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No, it is not the case in Georgia. A false arrest (and I mean a real false arrest, not you think you are not guilty - you can turn out to be not guilty and the arrest could still not be a false arrest, a real false arrest, such as an arrest for a misdeameanor that was not witnessed and without a warrant and no domestic violence involved) is just a battery (or an assault, if the officer does not actually touch you) in Georgia, and the same rules of self defense apply as to any other battery (or assault, as the case may be).
 

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Holeman is Athens PD, and Smith is the "perp."

Holeman contends he is immune to the claims for assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, but we decline to so hold. If the arrest was lawful based on probable cause, he had the right to use that force reasonably necessary. If the arrest was unlawful, Smith had the right to resist the unlawful arrest with all force necessary. A police officer assaults a person by attempting an unlawful arrest with force. Even in a lawful arrest, an officer may not use more force than is reasonably necessary in the circumstances. These claims cannot be determined until the lawfulness of the arrest is determined.
Smith v. Holeman, 212 Ga.App. 158, 441 S.E.2d 487 (1994).
 

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Wagner refused to give his name. The court noted that the fact that the police were called is not probable cause to arrest.

As the only evidence of antisocial conduct by appellant prior to arrest is his refusal to give his name, the jury had to conclude this was why he was arrested. But a mere refusal to identify oneself to a police officer is not a crime. We have held a refusal to identify oneself was obstruction where the officer personally observed defendant driving in a reckless manner, and where defendant was sought for arrest under a warrant. A person might commit obstruction where he knowingly and wilfully hinders an officer in investigating an offense committed by another. But there is no evidence appellant had committed an offense in this case or was hindering an investigation of an offense; therefore, his refusal to give his name could not have amounted to obstruction in the facts of this case. We note that appellant was not charged with obstruction by refusing to give his name to the police officer.

Whether a defendant impeded an officer in carrying out his lawful duties is usually a jury question, except where there is no conflict in the evidence and all reasonable deductions and inferences therefrom demand a verdict of acquittal. The mere fact that someone calls the police is not probable cause. There was no evidence that appellant was unruly or threatened to breach the peace or even that the officer thought he was drunk. His sole offense was to refuse to give his name. This was not probable cause for arrest; therefore, the arrest was not lawful and appellant's physical resistance to arrest, which was the alleged obstruction, did not hinder the officer in the lawful discharge of his official duties. A verdict of acquittal was demanded under the evidence made out by the State.
Wagner v. State, 206 Ga.App. 180, 424 S.E.2d 861 (1992).
 

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The federal courts are very critical of this rule. In a federal court case citing to Wagner, they called this rule "disturbing."

This case illustrates a very disturbing feature of Georgia law with regard to a suspect's right to resist arrest. If the defendant's initial seizure for refusing to provide identification were illegal, one would assume that his ability to file a civil suit or to have suppressed the contraband discovered as a result of that arrest would constitute the appropriate remedies for the illegal action of the police. One would not assume, however, that the defendant would have the right to engage in fisticuffs with the officer merely because he disagreed with the basis of the arrest. Yet, Georgia legal authority says just that.
Gainor v. Douglas County, Georgia, 59 F.Supp.2d 1259 (N.D.Ga. 1998).

In fairness to Georgia law, however, it does not "say just that." As I pointed out above, one's "disagreement with the basis of the arrest" has nothing to do with the right to resist an unlawful arrest. One may disagree with the basis of the arrest and still be lawfully arrested. Therefore, this criticism is unfounded.

Moreover, in Gainor, the deputy quite obviously had a reasonable suspicion to stop the suspect for burglary. Therefore, his failure to identify himself was obstruction.

As an interesting aside, the Deputy in the Gainor case is now the sponsor of HB 89! :D
 

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Thank you MP for posting all that.

Interesting stuff, but it raised another question.

"But a mere refusal to identify oneself to a police officer is not a crime."

As I have been told, Georgia has a "stop and identify" law. Title 16, Section 16-11-36. Source.

The pertinent part of the code follows:
(B) Among the circumstances which may be considered in determining whether alarm is warranted is the fact that the person takes flight upon the appearance of a law enforcement officer, refuses to identify himself...
In further reading on the subject I came across a SCOTUS case (Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada) that gives the outline for the state (or locality) demanding identification. The justices decided that it is within the bounds of the USC, and does not violate the Forth and Fifth Amendments, so long as the officer has reasonable suspicion that a crime was/is/or about to take place.

So basically, by law, a person is compelled to provide ID (either picture or just name/DOB) only when they are detained(seized) and not when they are casually contacted or under arrest.

That strikes me as odd, since you are compelled by law to speak when not under arrest, but once you are under arrest you are under not obligated to do so because of the 5th Amendment.

Back to my second question, how does Wagner v. State reconcile with the stop and identify law. Does it not come in to play because his arrest was unlawful or is the court simply choosing to disregard the law?

And if the court is disregarding the law, could one point to that as a defense that one not need to identify themselves during a Terry stop?
 

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Hiibel is different, as Nevada had a specific law on the books that I do not think is similar to the loitering and prowling statute in Georgia. I read the loitering and prowling statute as simply restating Terry v. Ohio. You really cannot read any one piece of (b) by itself. You cannot even read (b) without reading (a).

(a) A person commits the offense of loitering or prowling when he is in a place at a time or in a manner not usual for law-abiding individuals under circumstances that warrant a justifiable and reasonable alarm or immediate concern for the safety of persons or property in the vicinity.

(b) Among the circumstances which may be considered . . .

And, of course, failure to identify yourself is one of those circumstances. This is really only useful when the police find you hanging out at the back door to a business at 3:00 a.m. or in other suspicious circumstances. I do not see any permission for officers to go on a fishing expedition and demand your i.d. and then arrest you for loitering and prowling at lunchtime while you are ordering a cheeseburger.
 

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Rammstein said:
Back to my second question, how does Wagner v. State reconcile with the stop and identify law. Does it not come in to play because his arrest was unlawful or is the court simply choosing to disregard the law?
Wagner was not "in a place at a time or in a manner not usual for law-abiding individuals under circumstances that warrant a justifiable and reasonable alarm or immediate concern for the safety of persons or property in the vicinity."

. . . could one point to that as a defense that one not need to identify themselves during a Terry stop?
This statute codifies Terry, I think. :wink:
 
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