By Deputy Gage Donnell
It seems like every day you turn on the news and all you see is someone, somewhere, getting their pants all bunched up over something. This article is to help shed some light on issues that have plagued us these past several months.
Now in order to understand what I’m about to outline (not challenging your intelligence) we must look at the progression of an incident. I recently spoke with a Dr. of political studies on the 5th Amendment and how it applies to John Q. citizen. I add that I am a cop….police man, the 5-0. I do not have an advanced degree in political underwater basket weaving. But I, unlike my counterpart, have applied this in several years worth of convictions through arrest and blah, blah, blah.
His interpretation of our rights within the 5th Amendment was that being a U. S. Citizen gives you the right to not, under any circumstance, give out your name, DOB or SSN to a requesting Law Enforcement Officer. I stated that this only applies when the encounter is consensual and you are not a suspect, witness or victim of a crime. He could not wrap his head around this so he threw out a scenario…..which by the way is the first sign of someone trying to justify something they can comprehend to themselves. Anyway, He opened with:
“So if you, the police, have a search warrant for a person….you’re telling me this means he/she has to identify themselves to you? Furthermore, if you stop me for a driving infraction, I have to identify myself even if I’m not pulled out of the car?”
The answer folks: YES.
First off, in any state there is no such thing as a search warrant for you….only arrest warrants. Search warrants are for your property, place or curtilage. That’s why, when writing one, you outline in great detail what you are looking for, where it is you are searching and why.
An arrest warrant is used to search your person, hence ” Search incident to arrest”. The only warrant out there which includes something within you is a search warrant for your blood, such as those used in a DUI. But even then, it’s for your blood and the same search guidelines apply.
Next if you are wanted for a crime, a suspect in a crime, etc. you must identify yourself to L.E. or you risk an arrest warrant for impeding an investigation.
If you are stopped, you don’t have to be in handcuffs to be detained. Case law supports that merely clipping your driver’s license to my person could make a reasonable person believe that he/she is detained. When the lights come on, you are detained….Now, once your ID is returned and your stop is concluded, any conversation with the officer/Deputy is now consensual.
So on to rights, At the end of the day if you are being questioned by police, it’s not because of race, religion or sexual orientation. It may be because a crime has occurred involving one of those categories but that is all. Police do not wish to be talking to you…really….we prefer intercepting crimes before or during the incident, not standing at your house at 4am asking questions we really don’t want to know the answer to. We like being proactive….don’t you? that’s what you pay for right?.
So with some of those things in mind, a look at the current generation is something to consider. Kids today think Law and Order is something to waste their time or jam them up on a personal level. I had a 13yo tell me that that he hates cops because all we do is arrest people and make life hard. I politely said, how about my partner that did CPR on an infant while going to the hospital? Or the Cop that pulls the man dying from smoke inhalation out of the burning car before the fire department arrives? He freaked out and apologized, but it shows that the only way to fix this is through education of these young minds about their rights and how they came to be instead of using them as a tool to sue a police agency.
This topic is an open forum based and I would love some feed back….lets keep this conversation going!