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Old 12-29-2012, 10:04 AM   #121
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Regardless, nobody's records for minor offenses where you're not a threat to the public should be on line. In my city, the local paper and local channels publishe the name and picture of people arrested. Imagine what harm this does if you're falsely accused or otherwise innocent. It's hard to imagine the social, psychological and mental damage this can do unless you are that individual or you know someone it happened to (I did). In many other places, the accused is shielded unless convicted.
I would claim that we are not better off for having a "scarlet letter" society. If someone offends once, especially something relatively minor, what good does it do any of us to have those records so easily accessible that *anything* that requires a background check can stop you -- no matter how old the offense.

If we pride ourselves on being a nation of second chances, of learning from your mistakes and improving yourself, how can you do that when you can't get a job because of some stupid thing you did when you were 20? And if they can't get a job, aren't we more likely to turn them toward reoffending?
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:24 AM   #122
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I would claim that we are not better off for having a "scarlet letter" society. If someone offends once, especially something relatively minor, what good does it do any of us to have those records so easily accessible that *anything* that requires a background check can stop you -- no matter how old the offense.

If we pride ourselves on being a nation of second chances, of learning from your mistakes and improving yourself, how can you do that when you can't get a job because of some stupid thing you did when you were 20? And if they can't get a job, aren't we more likely to turn them toward reoffending?
Couldn't agree with you more.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:56 AM   #123
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Getting back to the "dont talk to cops" theme : a lot of these poor guys with their shameful records on the internet are there because they trusted a cop just a little too much, and blabbed, since the cop told them it was just between the two of them, get it off your chest, and all will be ok, etc. Plus, there was no internet then, and no one dreamed their neighbors would be seeing their records at the click of a mouse someday. OK, OK, only non-juveniles got a public record. 18 and older, I suppose.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:01 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by ziggy29
I would claim that we are not better off for having a "scarlet letter" society. If someone offends once, especially something relatively minor, what good does it do any of us to have those records so easily accessible that *anything* that requires a background check can stop you -- no matter how old the offense.

If we pride ourselves on being a nation of second chances, of learning from your mistakes and improving yourself, how can you do that when you can't get a job because of some stupid thing you did when you were 20? And if they can't get a job, aren't we more likely to turn them toward reoffending?
I have always thought that, too. You could have done all sorts of stupid stuff back in the 60s and 70s, matured and leave it in the past as no one would go looking deep enough to find it. I always thought a good "caning" would suffice with no record left behind for minor offenses, so they could learn from their mistake, but not have it haunt them the rest of their life. But then again, for me, the threat of pain, has always kept my behaviors in check.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:56 AM   #125
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Imagine that, being arrested and handcuffed and stuffed in the back, and on the way back sitting in the front of his car two hours later, getting a personal ride home.
Some 40 years ago, when I returned to school, I worked nights/weekends, etc, as a 'hotel detective' in a large Toronto establishment.......had occasion to have the cops (with whom we had regular contact for numerous 'offences'/reasons) evict a couple out-of-town young guys because their dope smoking was stinking up the hallways....(their money was refunded).

Some time later one of the officers called, said they had decided not to press charges against the young guys, and asked if we'd consider re-renting the room to them.

When I said that I didn't think that'd be a great idea, the cop said "Yeah, your place is too expensive anyway.....we'll find them somewhere cheaper".
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:17 PM   #126
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I agree that people with minor offenses shouldn't have their pictures posted online. It's not the cops doing it though, at least not that I'm aware of. Arrests are public records and if someone wants to set up a website and post pictures, the police can't stop them. The only government sponsored program that I know of where pictures are posted are sex offenders and that is due to laws that have passed recently. Those laws were passed because people wanted to know if sex offenders were living near their kids. I'm not sure if this discussion is related to blaming the cops for posting arrest photos or not, but if it is, the blame is misplaced.

Edit: There may be some jurisdictions who post photos of people caught picking up prostitutes, trying to shame them into not doing it since nothing really happens to them legally, but its not done where I work.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:59 PM   #127
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Letj - is an arrest a public record or not. If it is, it is disclosable. I would argue an arrest MUST be a public record - otherwise any society runs the risk of ending up where KGB or Gestapo or similar agencies simply take people and they disapper.

We may not LIKE it, but it is legal.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:59 PM   #128
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I agree that people with minor offenses shouldn't have their pictures posted online. It's not the cops doing it though, at least not that I'm aware of. Arrests are public records and if someone wants to set up a website and post pictures, the police can't stop them. The only government sponsored program that I know of where pictures are posted are sex offenders and that is due to laws that have passed recently. Those laws were passed because people wanted to know if sex offenders were living near their kids. I'm not sure if this discussion is related to blaming the cops for posting arrest photos or not, but if it is, the blame is misplaced.
Agree. It is not "cops" that are responsible for pics and info regarding arrested and/or convicted folks being published. It's our worthless legislators (at all gov't levels) who write the laws, rules and regs and the scum media folks who benefit financially from having access to public records.

Admittedly, it is a bit of a conundrum. Is it better to allow journalists/media access to public records so they can monitor the actions and doings of our "public servents?" Or is it better to allow public officials to work more or less anonymously? If we're going to allow access to some, but not all, public records, how do we pick which ones and by whom?

If a Chicago "cop" arrests the son of a Chicago Alderman for selling a small quantity of cocain to a child and the arrest is quickly erased and covered up (with appropriate Chicago-style payola exchanged), would we be better off if journalists could find out and expose it?

How and where do we draw the lines so we control the scum media but allow the "good-guy investigative reporters" to do their job?

Our legislators are seldom up to the task of figuring this kind of stuff out. Journalists and the media can be good or evil with numerous examples of both easy to find. But "cops" are not the folks responsible for writing the rules and/or the mis-use of those rules.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:03 PM   #129
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Interesting all the comments. I would normally have said if you have nothing to hide then why wouldn't you talk to the cops, let them look in the trunk, etc. I think these videos are geared to people that have committed a crime ie don't talk to the cops.

The funny thing is I was researching old threads at the BH site about firearms and in one of them was this link to the 1st video and then I saw the 2nd after watching the 1st. Now I'm not sure why the link would have been germane (no I'm not a lawyer but sometimes one of those $10 words is well germane!) but I was clicking on links and then reading them later. I thought these 2 videos were interesting so I started this thread.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:37 PM   #130
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And how many times has this occurred?

Ha
Probably every few months? I don't really keep track. We seem to have a drunk driver running off the road in front of our house (or some similar nonsense) 1-2 per year. Something about living up the road from a 24 hour restaurant where all the drunks congregate around 3 am after the bars are closed.

And then there are the occasional property crimes I witness and report. Maybe 1x per year that I actually talk to a cop after reporting these. Or some emergency situation I report and then coordinate with the cops once they show up. Maybe I stick my nose into things too often or I'm a little too vigilant?

Then there are times I talk to cops for work.

This isn't counting when I talk to my cop friend that lives up the street (he's the father of my kid's friends).

The only time I would be really concerned about talking with the cops is if they are questioning me about something in which I could feasibly be considered a suspect. And they detained me for questioning or arrested me. I would like to have a criminal attorney present in those situations, and have a couple guys I could call. So far that hasn't happened, not even for a traffic violation. I have a strange habit of generally following the law so don't worry too much about talking to the cops.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:54 AM   #131
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Looks like the Supreme Court is going to determine whether prearrest, pre-Miranda silence may be used against a non-testifying defendant.

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Constitutional Law: Whether, or under what conditions, prearrest, pre-Miranda silence is protected by the Fifth Amendment.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:05 PM   #132
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"An investigation led to the appellant, and he voluntarily accompanied officers to the police station for questioning. For approximately one hour, the appellant answered every question asked. "
Bad move.

The court's discussion/decision is confusing.

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'Thus, the Fifth Amendment right against compulsory self-incrimination is “simply irrelevant to a citizen’s decision to remain silent when he is under no official compulsion to speak.” 19'
So the 5th Amendment only applies if you're not compelled to speak but if you're not compelled to speak, and you don't speak (because you're not compelled), then that's admission of guilt? Wow.

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"Furthermore, the Supreme Court has held that pre-8arrest, pre-Miranda silence can be used to impeach a defendant who testifies.9'"
Reference "9" refers to Jenkins v. Anderson, which involves a man who killed a man "in self defense" but didn't tell the police about said self defense for 2 weeks. That's significantly different than this situation.
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:35 PM   #133
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Bad move.

The court's discussion/decision is confusing.



So the 5th Amendment only applies if you're not compelled to speak but if you're not compelled to speak, and you don't speak (because you're not compelled), then that's admission of guilt? Wow.



Reference "9" refers to Jenkins v. Anderson, which involves a man who killed a man "in self defense" but didn't tell the police about said self defense for 2 weeks. That's significantly different than this situation.
So just MAYBE in the future, silence will be held against you. NOW, anything you say can and WILL be used against you. Words to the wise, but YMMV.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:25 PM   #134
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Hope it's ok to jump into this relatively old thread, but hey, I was told about this thread by a cop (seriously). Just a few random comments ...

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And they can't put us ALL in prison.
They're certainly trying, as the USA has the world's highest per-capita incarceration rate. It surpasses the Soviet gulags and South African apartheid at their worst. And the majority are non-violent offenders. Certainly there are SOME non-violent offenders who deserve to be in prison; like the financial folks who crashed the world's economies a few years back - but guess what ? Not a one of them has been prosecuted.

I think this is a big reason that people don't like police. Surely they have a hard job to do, and it's gotta be done. I'n heartened to read, on the thread about legalizing marijuana, from cops who also believe it's ridiculous to prosecute it, and even that they (or colleagues) have been known to let marijuana "blow away".

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Nobody likes the cop until they need them, then it's a whole different story.
Actually, it makes me like them even less, because they've never done anything for me. Yes, I am pushing 60 years old, and I have NEVER been helped by a cop in my entire life. Fortunately I've never needed them for anything serious, and maybe I'd feel differently if I had. (A younger friend, student radical and communist, was mugged and so impressed by the help he got from the police that he decided to become one. He actually joined the USMC to try to get into police academy - as unbelievable as that may seem - and enjoyed saying "yes, I was a communist Marine"). But I have asked fro help on some less serious matters and gotten absolutely none.

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Unlike almost any country in the world, the US arrest youth for things that in other countries would get you turned over to your parents.
Yep. I heard some cop/school administrator/judge type on NPR who was piloting a program where they no longer harass school kids for minor things. As a consequence, the kids trust the school cops and administrators a lot more and actually help them with the serious stuff - because, you guessed it, they're no longer afraid to talk to cops. As a result, the school system has had a reduction both in arrests and in serious crimes. Perhaps there could be a lesson here for society at large ??

As far as lawyers versus police, I think there are two sides to this coin, as usual. I know police like to villify lawyers for "keeping them from getting criminals off the streets". But how about this story. Years ago, a good friend was raped. The perp was known and had committed crimes in two towns that are very very close together. I forget the details, but basically based on the crimes in one town alone, that town's police were unable to put a case together. And the two police departments didn't like to talk to each other. So she hired a lawyer, and he single-handedly forced to police to communicate and put the guy away. This is the kinda thing that makes people crazy, and one of the many things that fuels my contempt for the police.
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:03 PM   #135
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We all are big boys and girls here, so our opinions probably are pretty much set based on our own encounters and viewpoints. However, I must admit I am surprised by all the opinions that are distrustful of police. Yes, there are bad cops, like there are bad doctors, lawyers, teachers, CEO's, etc., but I as a rule have had nothing but positive experiences with them. One left a note in my car to call him after he noticed my windows had been smashed in while attending a MLB game, and immediately came when I called. One time I even smacked a policemen hard in his kneecap, when I was getting out of the car. Seems I went down a wrong way on a one way, and he assumed I had pulled over for him, when in fact I didn't know he was there as I had reached the destination I was trying to find. Smacked the poor man in the knee hard with my door, didn't get a gun drawn on me or even a ticket. Seemed like a nice guy to me. But I did say I was sorry, so maybe that helped!
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:08 PM   #136
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Another tangent, the book "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets" by David Simon (best known for "The Wire") has several pages on all the tricks cops use to try to get people to confess to murders, and how stupid the people are to go for it. Of course, we're all very happy that a lot of murderers get caught and for the cops that do it - which is of course why virtually every television program about cops is about "murder police" (as they're called in Baltimore at least).

Anyhow, it's the best book I've ever read about police, one of the very best non-fiction book I've ever read.
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:52 PM   #137
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............

Anyhow, it's the best book I've ever read about police, one of the very best non-fiction book I've ever read.
Years ago there was book on the subject: The Choir Boys. Can't remember the author.

Edit: The Choirboys (ISBN 0-440-11188-9) 1975

Ironically it is about the LAPD, could have been written yesterday
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:44 PM   #138
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Hope it's ok to jump into this relatively old thread, but hey, I was told about this thread by a cop (seriously). Just a few random comments ...


They're certainly trying, as the USA has the world's highest per-capita incarceration rate.

The incarceration rate has nothing to do with the police TRYING to put everyone in prison. We try to put people in prison who have committed serious crimes. If less people committed serious crimes less people would be in prison. I'll leave it to smarter people to determine why so many people commit serious crimes or to change the laws so less of them result in prison sentences if thats what society wants.

It surpasses the Soviet gulags and South African apartheid at their worst. And the majority are non-violent offenders. Certainly there are SOME non-violent offenders who deserve to be in prison; like the financial folks who crashed the world's economies a few years back - but guess what ? Not a one of them has been prosecuted.

Cops dont decide who gets prosecuted. Blame in the wrong place again.

I think this is a big reason that people don't like police. Surely they have a hard job to do, and it's gotta be done. I'n heartened to read, on the thread about legalizing marijuana, from cops who also believe it's ridiculous to prosecute it, and even that they (or colleagues) have been known to let marijuana "blow away".


Actually, it makes me like them even less, because they've never done anything for me. Yes, I am pushing 60 years old, and I have NEVER been helped by a cop in my entire life.

You have never helped me in my entire life either. That doesn't mean I don't like you. You only like people who help you?

Fortunately I've never needed them for anything serious, and maybe I'd feel differently if I had. (A younger friend, student radical and communist, was mugged and so impressed by the help he got from the police that he decided to become one. He actually joined the USMC to try to get into police academy - as unbelievable as that may seem - and enjoyed saying "yes, I was a communist Marine"). But I have asked fro help on some less serious matters and gotten absolutely none.

Knowing nothing about the situation in which you got no help, maybe it had something to do with your attitude towards cops and authority in general? In all seriousness, you come across as some sort of anarchist in your posts. You recently started a thread that got deleted by mods almost immediately because it was offensive and obviously meant to start a fight

Yep. I heard some cop/school administrator/judge type on NPR who was piloting a program where they no longer harass school kids for minor things. As a consequence, the kids trust the school cops and administrators a lot more and actually help them with the serious stuff - because, you guessed it, they're no longer afraid to talk to cops. As a result, the school system has had a reduction both in arrests and in serious crimes. Perhaps there could be a lesson here for society at large ??

As far as lawyers versus police, I think there are two sides to this coin, as usual. I know police like to villify lawyers for "keeping them from getting criminals off the streets". But how about this story. Years ago, a good friend was raped. The perp was known and had committed crimes in two towns that are very very close together. I forget the details, but basically based on the crimes in one town alone, that town's police were unable to put a case together. And the two police departments didn't like to talk to each other. So she hired a lawyer, and he single-handedly forced to police to communicate and put the guy away. This is the kinda thing that makes people crazy, and one of the many things that fuels my contempt for the police.

I once had a bus driver in Chicago refuse to tell me what bus I needed to get on to go where ever I was trying to go. He was a jack ass. AM I supposed to hate all bus drivers now? One story means nothing. For every stupid or incompetent thing you could tell me that a cop did, I could tell you 10 heroic things that a cop did. Why don't you tell everyone what you do (did) for a living? I'm sure whatever it is (was) we can come up with plenty of incompetence in that profession. I doubt that will cause anyone to dislike everyone in that profession.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:13 PM   #139
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there are bad cops, like there are bad doctors, lawyers, teachers, CEO's, etc.

Don't leave out the commies! Sure, lots and lots of commies are great folks, the kind of guys you'd like your teenage daughter to date. But then, you know, there are some bad, really bad, commies. Those ya just can't trust..........
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:40 PM   #140
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Utrecht, you make a VERY good point that a lot of the reasons, that me and a lot of other people do not like or trust cops, is more the fault of other people. I suspect a lot more of the misconduct in criminal prosecution is done by DAs, wanting to pad their won/loss percentage and/or being pressured to put SOMEBODY in jail for a heinous crime, than by cops. More to the point, as you know our staggering prison population is predominantly non-violent offenders, and that's surely not the cops' fault. I think it's mostly the fault of legislators: pandering ones that push harsh drug laws to show they're "tough on crime", cowardly ones who are afraid (justly so) that they'll be attacked as "soft on crime" if they talk about decriminalizing/legalizing, and most of all the simple fact that legislators don't do much unless campaign-contributing lobbyists tell them to. So I'm sorry to misplace some of that blame.

[mod edit]

Yes, I was a bit hot under the collar a few days ago. A friend of a friend was busted for pot, by cops who behaved dishonorably - assuming you consider lying to be dishonorable. I've heard that lying by a cop is generally considered legal, and I'm probably glad it happens if it solves a murder (though I'm also aware that lying and/or intimidation has been used to get innocent people to confess). But to do it to bust someone for something that a majority of Americans (and a large majority of our forum, including some cops) think should be legal - well, I reserve the right to dislike cops for that. Especially when then person now faces the choice between being likely murdered by a drug gang (for snitching) or going to prison (if not for long) along with the things that can happen there that very very few people deserve.

Anarchist no. Though I am aware that my physical safety, at least when I'm at home, is pretty much in my own hands. Granted, I live in a rural area.
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