If I&I don’t verbally ask if I can leave – your Babylon System will presume that I consented to whatever comes next, and that I-Man wanted to be there Cock Fighting with Officer 641 on the side of the road.
Police are authorized by pieces of paper – and by their guns – to ask questions, look inside windows they happen to pass, and walk or drive around in public.
However – without a warrant or any suspicion of illegal activity – your Officers have a limited amount of authority to demand compliance, search, or to detain people or their things.
Anything that a Policeman asks I and I to do before an arrest is “voluntary compliance” – so I and I kept repeating, “No, I don’t think I’d like to do that” when your Officer kept insisting that I-Man stay and answer his questions.
My Granny back home in Kingston used to beat it into my head – “Winston, Never Voluntarily Talk to the Police! Even if you know you are not are guilty of anything, it still isn’t a good idea because you never know how or where the conversation will end”.
Many “police harassment” cases begin with Police stopping people because they “look wrong” – then cops try to do what you Police call “fishing” – looking for a reason to arrest people when you didn’t have a reason to stop or search them in the 1st place.
Unfortunately, for the citizen – but not surprisingly – the System’s courts have not clearly established what Police can or cannot require from a person not suspected of criminal activity during a peaceful interaction or situation.
Everybody knows that some Cops are among the most dangerous people on the streets – so I and I pay full attention when talking with one of you.
My Granny always told me when I-Man was growing up – “Winston, don’t ever give them a chance to find anything out – Just Say No to Police.“
Sarge, as you already know – one of a Policeman’s main powers is the ability to intimidate citizens into consensually waiving their rights.
I&I was trying to avoid a long and unpleasant interaction with your Patrol Officer on my one night off from work – but still – I-Man was very courteous and responsive in declining to participate in Officer 641’s ‘fishing expeditions’ into I&I’s travel itinerary and personal affairs.
Many Police honestly believe that they are making the world safer – by enforcing the will of a few people claiming to be in charge from a room far away – by policing the paper policies issued by “the Few” on the rest of the flesh-and-blood public.
In addition, Police are trained to use strength and force to get what those few people want everyone else to do, with fear and intimidation.
Police don’t have to read me my rights if I&I am not under arrest – so I-Man better know what my rights are. Police can briefly detain me for various purposes, but can’t hold me unless I-Man is under arrest.
At least you are not supposed to. Right Sarge?
Most people simply give in to Police ‘requests‘ because they don’t know they have the right to Just Say No.
Plus, a lot of you cops like to play word games and mind tricks too.
I-Man asked Officer 641 “Am I Free to Go?” – His reply “Not yet“.
I-Man asked Officer 641 “Am I under Arrest?” – His reply “Would I like to be?“
I-Man would ask Officer 641 “Am I Free to Go or Am I under Arrest?” He claimed he didn’t hear that question because his radio was squawking…
Officer 641 asked if I-Man had any weapons or illegal drugs in the car but when I&I said “No“, he asked to check for himself – “Then you wouldn’t mind if I took a look in your trunk and glovebox.“
I-Man asked him in return – “Is that a request or an order?” and “Am I a Suspect in a Crime?“
He ignored my questions and kept asking to search my vehicle, with more and more authority in his voice.
He did not have reasonable suspicion of intoxication or other facts that could be used to formulate reasonable “articulable suspicion” or “probable cause” that I-Man had contraband or was is involved in a crime and I did not give him any reason to suspect me of criminal activity.
Refusal to allow a search is not probable cause, in fact, it is I-Man’s right under the 4th Amendment.
Police are famous for asking confusing questions and then claiming that they misunderstand your answer to mean whatever they want it to mean.
Isn’t that Not Right Sarge?
Instead of just giving him a simple Yes or No answer, I-Man told Officer 641 peacefully and clearly – “I do not consent to a warrantless search of my vehicle”.
For all the Public knows there is probably an unwritten quota system that rewards officers based on the number of Searches and Arrests.
Nuh true? Huh???
In dangerous or volatile situations, Police are understandably allowed to protect themselves from potentially dangerous people or situations, but that gives you wide latitude to do whatever you want, whenever you want – while telling us citizens to comply.
Next your Officer tried to trick I-Man into consenting – May he search my car?
I-Man reasonably told him – “I&I have been advised by an attorney never to consent to a search and would rather not let him search” – trying to give him the opportunity to back down gracefully.
It didn’t work.
Officer 641’s clever response was “Why, got something to hide”?
Several times I-Man told Officer 641 – I-Man did not have a weapon and that he would need a warrant if he wanted to search my car.
If he were obeying the law, he should have left I-Man alone.
Just because I&I refused to be searched does not make me more “suspicious” or give him an excuse to search my property and belongings. Right Sarge?
Such an extended stop and roadside interrogation was not justified as I-Man did not match the description of a “Wanted” flyer – and especially as I-Man was not acting strange, or fearful, or making furtive movements.
By themselves – time of day and geographical surroundings are not sufficient to justify a search.
“No” was my consistent reply – “I-Man will not consent to a search of my car without a warrant” – while keeping I&I’s movements slow, physically relaxed and plainly visible.
Then he tried to ask more forcefully first and then threatened to arrest me and take I-Man to the station.
When he said yes he was ordering me – I&I gently asked to avoid enraging him – “What law says that you can order me to do that?“
“You Do Not have My Permission to search Me or My Car or My Belongings“.
Of course, I-Man was very careful to move slowly – to defuse any tensions and seem peaceful.
Finally Officer 641 said that yes he was detaining me – he wanted to search my car.
I-Man said – “No, I have to go” – and he was supposed to let me go because he didn’t have specific and articulable facts that I-Man was involved in any criminal activity. Right?
He said if I didn’t open my trunk and let him search my car he could arrest me and search the car down here at the station – implying that if I&I cooperated he would go easier on me.
I-Man knew better than to think that more than a fractional minority of Police Officers would overlook anything illegal they found…
I-Man told Officer 641 that unless he is ordering me to allow a search of my vehicle – I&I refuse absolutely.
I asked him if he had observed something about my behavior or character that linked me with criminal activity – or – if he had specific and articulable facts supporting a suspicion that I-Man was involved in any such criminal activity, or if he was just detaining me on a hunch.
I have to admit that I-Man was surprised that my use of big words like “detention” and “specific and articulable facts” did not get Officer 641 to back off, because as you and I&I both know, most of his power – like yours – is based on Force, Intimidation and the Ignorance of the average citizen.
He should have known early out that I-Man was not one to be bullied out of my rights.
Instead, he then proceeded to harass me for a good part of the evening to accept a search – even ignoring I-Man when my final answer was still “No“.
I was at ease – trying to talk to the person behind the badge – but I-Man was not surprised when he started becoming irritated, angry, and belligerent when I very clearly said “No, Officer #641, I-Man would like to leave – I do not consent to any warrantless searches of my Person, Papers or Portage!“
Officer 641 did not respond but instead tried to force me out of car, so I-Man did not offer physical resistance, or cuss, or mouth off – fighting words are not protected free speech – I-Man did not want to be charged with verbal assault on an Officer either…
The moment Officer 641 pulled his gun – I-Man did what he said.
Even if he was making me do something through force, I-Man’s Constitutional Rights are less important than avoiding getting shot down in the street.
I&I remained calm – I can refuse to consent to a search, but, I-Man cannot physically stop him.
I-Man did not resist Officer 641 in any way –I did not argue or touch him or try to run away or complain or threaten him – every Citizen knows better than to do such things.
I-Man got out slowly in a calm, deliberate and reasonable manner – then politely and peacefully said – “I’m not doing this voluntarily, but under Protest and Duress, so if you search my car, without I-Man’s consent or without a warrant, I will file Federal criminal charges”.