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Search and Seizure at the Supreme Court 1636

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the gideon's-trumpet dept.
Pemdas writes "On March 22nd, the U.S. Supreme Court is slated to hear a case involving an arrest for lack of producing ID on the demand of a police officer. Dudley Hiibel was parked off the road, and was asked 11 times to show ID to the police officer, who gave the justification of 'investigating an investigation.' Finally, he was arrested, and eventually convicted of delaying a police officer,' and fined $250. The incident occurred in Humboldt County, Nevada; Mr. Hiibel's side of the story includes a good section on Terry stops, and has a video of the incident for download. The parallels to the previously covered Gilmore v. Ashcroft case are striking, and the ruling will be an interesting precedent on the issue of requiring ID's. The ACLU, EPIC, and EFF, among others, have filed Amicus briefs in the case."
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Search and Seizure at the Supreme Court

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  • by ObviousGuy (578567) <ObviousGuy@hotmail.com> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:01PM (#8334623) Homepage Journal
    Slowly, slowly, we slide down this long road. Don't close your eyes, you'll miss the whole thing.
    • by AyeFly (242460) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:13PM (#8334767)
      How the heck did the yellow star post get marked as offtopic? do you have no knowledge of 20th century history? nazis made Jews wear yellow stars to publicly identify them... and you also had to show ID whenever an SS or Stormtrooper or police officer or judge or MP or any anonymous person asked for it. The above post is saying that the US can become like the nazi state if we allow this kind of raw authority into our civilization. At least, thats my take on it... and if you dont think so all i can say is, "Sieg Heil"
      • by torpor (458) <ibisum@gmail. c o m> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:49PM (#8335142) Homepage Journal
        no no, its not sig heil, its ... "whatever ..."
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 19, 2004 @09:10PM (#8335343)
        You know, the Nazis had pieces of Flair that they made the Jews wear.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 19, 2004 @09:19PM (#8335424)
        The fact that you had to point out the mis-moderation tells you how bad it already is. The dumbing-down of the youth has been going on now over 25 years. The new youth is being brought up by relatively un-educated older-youth. With the fucked-up ruling in California [google.com] involving Diebold, it's, well, time ...

        for people to pay the fuck attention!

        V

    • by Tiro (19535) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @10:52PM (#8336135) Journal
      Yes standing up for freedom deserves getting modded up, but so does real perspective.

      As a student of the Politics of Local Justice, let me tell you that this kind of event is a lot more common in Humbolt Co., NV or Anytownship, USA than it is in Chicago or San Antonio. The reason is that police in rural jurisdictions are expected by the townsfolk to keep tabs on everything going on in town. If there is a stranger who isn't just passing through, it'd be good to know who he is.

      This happens for two reasons: Constitutional rulings keep getting handed down at a VERY rapid rate from the Supremes, and rural cops don't have the time or the training to keep up with them. Also remember they're less well paid and less educated in general than city cops. Second, rural cops have to deal with a lot of weird shit because of how intimately they're tied to the community. If Johnny and Tony get in a fight, cop takes them home to Mother--an extralegal response, but a lot more efficient/practical than prison.

      What you guys need to remember is that there's a big difference between policies enacted at the National level in Nazi Germany and power exercised on the "capillary" level, to use Foucault's term, power and authority exercised beyond what is precisely legally ordaned. This second type of overstepping can be called more harmful, because it happens below the radar--blacks in the South got kept down by the man way after the post Civil War constitutional amendments.

      But the way our government is set up, it doesn't lead to Naziism. Local police are subject to local constraints on their behavior, what the townsfold consider right, and that restricts them a lot more than state/fed constitution. Basically the slippery slope argument is null here, because when cops pull stunts like these [not this specific case but other similar abuses] in the Big City, judges don't buy it. Federal judges especially will tell prosecutors to fuck off, and don't come back, if they try the "drugs fell out of his pocket" routine in open court.

      But the way things work on the ground in rural America is a bit different--but it generally works out okay. If it makes you queasy, move to the city, and you'll be fine. Nevermind the Nazi FUD trolls.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:03PM (#8334634) Homepage
    'investigating an investigation.'

    ...it was Internal Affairs that "investigated investigations". Oh well...

    Kjella
  • by madMingusMax (693022) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:04PM (#8334647)
    Produce your papers, comrade.
    Always carry your papers, comrade.
    Do not question us, comrade; that, of course, is our job.

    Did I just wake up in 1950s Communist Russia?

    I quote Michael Moore: "Dude, where the hell did my country go?!?!"
    • by fermion (181285) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @10:17PM (#8335896) Homepage Journal
      This really reminds more of feudalism and the kind of society that exists in some third world country, especially in the Americas. We have been sliding down this slope for a while. Fortified castles in the form of gated and guarded communities. People driving around in military and pseudo-military vehicles. People fear being in certain neighborhoods because, even though the roads are theoretically public, the police are owned by those with money.

      This has always been true to some extent in the US. It has always been the case that some people were considered better. It has always been the case that if you did not have the proper skin color or proper style or proper accessories, you were subject to police harassment. The scary thing now is that we are reaching a point in which a very few people, those with money and power, are exempted from government abuse. The rest of us are not. The police can no longer look at you and decide if you are protected. The officer must now know your name.

      Which is to say, these laws are no ones fault but our own. We are really a democracy. All of us who live in the US are responsible for our country's actions and decisions. We all must willing make the sacrifices necessary to bear or change the policies. We are in fact not a dictorship in which we can be forced to comply, no matter how much our president has stacked the appellate courts in that direction.

  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... minus physicist> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:05PM (#8334654) Journal
    I was coming home from a party in LA thrown by CRAPTV (the folks who brought us 'Orgasmo') and I made the mistake of getting a ride from a fellow party goer who was slightly tipsy. The cops stopped her after she made a right turn from the left lane. At the time, all I had was a Hawaii state ID. The cops couldn't find me in the computer system, so they said, "Well, legally, we can hold you for up to three days while we try to find out who you are." I was in a cell for eight hours. Finally they came in and said, "We found you. You're free to go." No apology, of course. Welcome to Kalifornia, may we see your papers?
    • by segment (695309) <{gro.xirtilop} {ta} {lis}> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:18PM (#8334822) Homepage Journal
      Don't feel bad there's not much you as an individual can do unless you have a boatload of money to throw around...

      In 1952, the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act mandated 3 million non-citizens to carry ID cards and threatened 11 million naturalized citizens with deportation if they were charged with being communists. A bus drivers' union official was grabbed from the bargaining table where he was successfully negotiating a wage increase and shorter hours and held at Ellis Island, New York for deportation to Canada. Harry Bridges, for decades the leader of the San Francisco Longshoremen, was harassed with repeated deportation efforts. source [lrna.org]

      Don't worry though the USA PATRIOT ACT's will take care of all your problems.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:27PM (#8334915)
      Let me get this straight. You read slashdot but you go to parties and drive around with girls?
      dude we know your lying.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:45PM (#8335102)
      Similar story about being detained illegally....

      one evening, i was riding with a few friends to go pick up some computer parts from someone. we get to our destination and the driver - who knew the guy, ran in to grab the stuff, just a couple of drives and some ram. while he was in there, a police officer pulled up, asked me and my friend (sitting in the back seat) what we were doing there. We told him - he demanded ID. Following the guise of "Well, I have nothing to hide - here." He procedes to check our ID's. He comes back after seeing that I had minor history, says he wants to check the car. Not knowing that the driver had a 'bud' of marijuana under his seat (note: under the driver's seat) He sees that, puts me in cuffs. Takes me down to the station, and doesnt even bother with the driver. After about an hour of asking for a phone call to call a lawyer, as well as trying determine just why I -was- there, he proceeded to tell me to shut up or he would make me. I said "I'm just trying to excercise my rights." Well, I guess he took that as "being smart" so he came, open the cell, back handed me across the face twice and said that I'd better just shut up. I decided to get "smart" at that time, telling him: "I hope you feel more like a man for hitting someone you know isn't going to hit you back." He turned red and walked away....waited about 15 minutes (for the redness of my face to go away, I assume) and took a 'mug shot' (with no numbers, mind you) and told me to leave. Shame of it is, the best I could get out of the department was a written apology. Even more shamefull is that this isn't the first time I've been harassed by an officer of the law. On another occasion, I was targetted for having a 'Phish' sticker on the rear glass of my car. I was broke down, waiting for a tow truck. They searched me, searched the car. They never offered any assitance, asked if I need to call for a tow, nothing, it was straight to the point: "Where's the weed?" they asked. They felt there was something missing since they didn't find anything.
      Walking back to their car to leave, the one officer jeered with a snicker, "You might want to take that sticker out of youer window..." and then he proceeded to peel out onto the road from behind me.

      From those nights, I've lost most of my regard that I once had for police officers. Luckily, I have not lost my regard for my fellow man.

      I may not have a completely clean record, but I'm no criminal by any stretch - I'm merely trying to get past my follies and live life. I'm an Eagle Scout, Assistant Scoutmast, and a deacon at my church - go figure.

      Sorry for being off topic, but I just felt like sharing.
      • by flacco (324089) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @09:39PM (#8335600)
        From those nights, I've lost most of my regard that I once had for police officers. Luckily, I have not lost my regard for my fellow man.

        just give it awhile, you'll get there.

        note to moderators: not funny.

    • by rindeee (530084) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @09:09PM (#8335337)
      In California they do this in order to determine whether or not you're an illegal, in which case that will give you a drivers license, food stamps, free tuition at the local community college and more. In this case you only received 8 hours of free room and board until such time as they realized that you're a US tax payer. God bless those happy liberals.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:05PM (#8334659)
    No doubt there will be posters who are want to argue the facts in the case, to argue the internet does'nt tell boths sides of the story. But to pre-empt them: it doesn't matter! The case is going before the Supreme court because the courts based their rulings on a state law that requires ID to be shown when requested by an officer. None of that other stuff matters a wit; it was after all only a $250 fine anyway.

    Thus this case really is about whether or not it is legal to require people to show ID.

    I think this is ridiculous, since this would imply that you must carry ID at all times just in case.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:06PM (#8334666)
    Apparently it's been arrested.
  • Probable Cause? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Supp0rtLinux (594509) <Supp0rtLinux@yahoo.com> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:06PM (#8334672)
    I wasn't aware that "parking off the road" was probable cause to "investigate an investigation". Surely this is a free country and so long as he wasn't trespassing, parking on the side of the road isn't a crime? I see truck drivers do it all the time. Are they required to show ID? Not to mention, its not just the $250 fine or the invasion of privacy that's at issue. There's also the impound fees, the potential bail/bond fees and lost interest on funds that could be sitting in a bank account, not to mention possible lost time at work, etc. This is what is known as a cop having nothing better to do with his time.
    I had a similar issue arise recently in which I was stopped while driving to a shooting range and suspected of possibly having a stolen vehicle. I was searched and the gun I was taking to the range was found and confiscated (I live in California where just owning a gun is typically considered a crime). Thankfully, I showed proof of legal ownership of my truck *before* the search which removed the probably cause (not that transporting a gun was a crime anyway). The judge realized this and dismissed the case. But again, its an example of cop on a power trip. Once you refuse to cooperate, they act like the judges themselves instead of just the peace officers they're supposed to be.

    The only thing necessary for Micro$oft to triumph is for a few good programmers to do nothing". North County Computers [nccomp.com]
  • Just don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

    by Docrates (148350) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:07PM (#8334676) Homepage
    I live in Panama (in Central America, not FL) and here, like in most other places in Latin America, you have a Cedula, basically a national ID. When a law enforcement agent asks you for your ID, you show it to them. If you don't it means that A) you don't have one because you're an illegal immigrant or B) you're a convicted felon and have escaped from prison...or something to that extent.

    I fail to see what's so horrible about this system. I'm not trolling, I really don't see it. Comments are most welcome.
    • by Gothmolly (148874) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:14PM (#8334773)
      And when masses of people were herded onto trains for 'relocation', or into ghettos, because the State told them to do so, they were just obeying too. You don't see whats so horrible about it because you've been brought up in a State where this level of massification is accepted. I'm not trolling either, its just something thats very important to a people who (until recently) did not expect this sort of behavior from their police.
    • by at_kernel_99 (659988) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:23PM (#8334868) Homepage

      I live in Panama (in Central America, not FL) and here, like in most other places in Latin America, you have a Cedula, basically a national ID. When a law enforcement agent asks you for your ID, you show it to them. If you don't it means that A) you don't have one because you're an illegal immigrant or B) you're a convicted felon and have escaped from prison...or something to that extent.

      One point of difference is probably the political system you've been raised in vs. the one in which US citizens have been raised. I don't know what the panamanian constitution looks like, but I imagine that its very different from the freedoms provided in the US constitution, particularly in the area of the Bill of Rights.

      The concern that some US citizens have is that the US government is devaluing personal privacy, which some view as an infringement of the rights provided in the constitution. The US legal system, for instance, is based on presumed innocence. i.e. law enforcement is expected - no, mandated - to presume citizens are innocent, not guilty of commiting crimes. There is not, to my knowledge, any federal law mandating that US citizens carry identification. It appears (I do not know for certain, as I cannot get to the article) that the individual in question was not in the act of committing a crime - or even suspected of committing a crime, but the law enforcement officer demanded that the individual identify himself as the officer was 'investigating an investigation.' This would appear to be insufficient reason to detain and fine the individual in question.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:28PM (#8334929)
      For better or worse. We don't HAVE a national ID. There is no card that identifies you as a US citizen. Closest thing is a passport, and that is an optional travel document.

      The reason is that we feel it is a privacy and freedom issue. Why should the police have a right to demand we show proof of identity? That means if I ever want to leave my house, I'd better have my ID with me or I can get in trouble. That seems to many Americans to be very Big Brother-ish (as in fomr 1984 by Orwell) or Soviet Russia-ish.

      There is also the simple fact that since we don't have one national ID, they have less of a claim.
  • by bentini (161979) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:07PM (#8334678)
    The problem is that he didn't give his *name*, not his papers.

    According to courts, you don't have a reasonable expectation to not have to give your name, because you use it all the time. You probably do, however, have a reasonable expectation of not having to rattle off any ID number that's private.

    What's so wrong about giving a cop your name if you give it to everyone else?

    • by John Gilmore (35813) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @09:46PM (#8335655) Homepage
      From the transcript on the video page [papersplease.org], you can see that Deputy Dove was demanding papers: "I need to see some identification", then "I just need to see some identification", then "Show me your identification".

      Not "Who are you?". But "Show me your papers!".

      The standard advice from ANY lawyer is to not say anything when accosted by cops. Not even your name. And the mass of court decisions, e.g. Kolender v. Lawson, concurring opinion of Brennan [usff.com] state that nobody has to answer ANY of the questions a cop asks of them -- even IF the cop suspects them of a crime:

      "... States may not authorize the arrest and criminal prosecution of an individual for failing to produce identification or further information on demand by a police officer."

      Here's another one, Terry v. Ohio [findlaw.com], concurring opinion by White: "[T]he person may be briefly detained against his will while pertinent questions are directed to him. Of course, the person stopped is not obliged to answer, answers may not be compelled, and refusal to answer furnishes no basis for an arrest, although it may alert the officer to the need for continued observation." 88 S.Ct., at 1886 (White, J., concurring).
  • Happened to me (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gothmolly (148874) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:08PM (#8334694)
    Several years ago, I ended up working late on some Microsoft catastrophe at work. By the time I got home at 1am, I was too keyed up to sleep, so I went for a walk. This is in a suburban-rural area, typical small town neighborhood. While walking around, a police cruiser pulls up, the window rolled down, and the spotlight went in my face. The conversation went something like:

    Cop: Hey pal, whats going on?
    Me: Nothing, just out for a walk.
    Cop: Kind of late for that.
    Me: Well I just got home from work and I'm still really awake.
    Cop: Got any ID?
    Me: Um sure..whats going on? (fumbled for wallet, gave license)
    Cop: (mutters into radio with my info)
    Me: Is there some problem, has there been a crime reported?
    Cop: Um yes, we've had reports of someone walking around.
    At this point, a truck LOADED with lawn furniture, to the point where it's mounded up in the back, with ropes holding it in, drives by. Driver and passenger of said truck watch carefully. Eventually, I was released, after being asked if I was wanted for anything. Had I been old (was 24 at the time), or walking a dog, or female, I'm sure none of that would have happened.
  • This was on Kuro5hin (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ryancerium (665165) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:11PM (#8334740)
    Some of the comments [kuro5hin.org] on K5 were very good, especially the ones by people who RTFA and watched the friendly video. Despite my own right-sided tendencies, I don't side with this guy. He'd been drinking, he'd been arguing, he was rude to the cop (which shouldn't be illegal, but is certainly stupid), and generally isn't a good guy. There are insinuations that the subtitles in the video don't actually agree with what people are actually saying, which makes his position appear weaker.

    I hope not carrying ID, or not giving it out w/out good reason, stays legal, but I also hope that drunk, obnoxious jerks get regulated on.
    • by 1029 (571223) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @09:03PM (#8335278) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, what a jerk. Fine him! Attitude police everywhere unite!

      Seriously now, is saying "I have right sided tendencies" (whatever the hell that is supposed to mean) supposed to pacify us and make us think "Well gee, if this guy is generally a Republicrat and he approves of the cops doing this, it must be ok?"

      I'd post a link to the video, but I can't find it anywhere on the net and I forget what newsgroup post I originally found it in. The file is called no_id_arrest_SMALL.mov for anyone who cares to search around on their own. And from what I could understand being said on the tape the subtitles were pretty damned accurate. In fact, many times they only printed "(garbled)", when I could in fact plainly make out what was being said. I think they just wanted to air very much on the side of caution about captioning what was being said.

      Anyhow, this guy seemed out of it, but beyond that did nothing at all to get arrested. In fact the cop started giving him trouble and the guy just told him not to touch him, and asked pretty plainly why it was that he was being harrassed. When the cop said something along of the lines of "I'm investigating... stuff" the guy then asked why that made him have to give ID. In the end this guy just gave up and told the cop he wasn't going to give id, but if the cop wanted he could go right ahead and arrest him. Which the cop then did.

      Then comes the best part... 2 more cops show up, run up to this guys truck and start harassing the passenger. They held the door shut for awhile, and when they finally let it open they literally grabbed the girl inside and slammed her to the ground. Fairly small girl, not nearly a match for these 2 cops, and as far as I could tell she did nothing more than perhaps yell at them. She certainly wasn't resisting anything.

      These guys are just a bunch of backwater fucktards on a power trip. I hope they get their asses in a sling for this. Cops should spend their time arresting criminals, not harassing semi-argumentative old guys.
  • by jpnews (647965) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:13PM (#8334763)
    Long story short: Last year a newbie Sheriff's deputy arrested me for "failure to I.D." I was walking back from the store early in the morning, and a cop who I'd already had an incident with demanded my I.D. I'm fairly well-versed in Texas law on the matter, and I knew I was right.

    Anyway, I plead not guilty and the deputy didn't show up at trial. I'm currently in the process of having the arrest record expunged.

    The bottom line on this is: Constitutionally, every search or siezure must be reasonable, which the courts have decided means that reasonable suspicion must exist. If you're just walking down the street (like I was), and you don't match the description of a person wanted for a crime, and you're not committing a crime, there's no reason you should be compelled to identify yourself. Period.
  • by prisoner (133137) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:15PM (#8334782)
    and I talk about this subject with some frequency. Judging from the feedback I get, most people just don't get it or don't care. Most believe that if you have nothing to hide, it shouldn't be a problem. I've been searching for a more elegant way to rebut this other than saying its just dead wrong but have yet to come up with it.

    People equate the "papers please" line to movies about Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia but I think we are closer than most of us would admit.

    btw, if you've got a good way to rebut this that doesn't include fuck or asshole, I'm all ears biatches...:)
    • by LoveMuscle (42428) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:29PM (#8334938)
      If you have nothing to hide, then you won't mind this body cavity search either right?

      -or to take a step back-

      If you have nathing to hide, you won't mind if we put cameras in the bathrooms right?

      With the state of legislation these days EVERYONE has SOMETHING to hide. Most laws are written by folks who think "their way is best", and through force of law feel the need to cram it down the throats of the rest of us.

      There are many laws that I think MOST of us can agree on: murder, rape, etc...

      There are far more laws that MOST of us don't agree on: prohibition of drugs, abortion, j-walking, etc...

      The first defence we have against the "stupid" laws is some level of privacy, protected by NOT having to submit to this kind of intrusion..
    • by circusnews (618726) <steven@steven s a n t o s .com> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @09:15PM (#8335386) Homepage
      Sometimes its a matter of asking the right question. Try asking you readers this:

      Assume you live in the typical suburban neighborhood. Now assume your 10 year old son and 2 of his 10 year old friends went on a ride to the local park to play on the swings on Sunday afternoon.

      Would be OK for a cop to arrest these 12 year old for not producing an ID?

      Why not?

      Now, why it is OK for a cop to do this to an adult?
      • by Riktov (632) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @10:08PM (#8335830) Journal

        Assume you live in the typical suburban neighborhood. Now assume your 10 year old son and 2 of his 10 year old friends went on a ride to the local park to play on the swings on Sunday afternoon.

        Would be OK for a cop to arrest these 12 year old for not producing an ID?

        It's certainly not a crime, but I think that any child that ages from 10 to 12 years old within the span of one Sunday afternoon would arouse some suspicion!

    • by MourningBlade (182180) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @10:47PM (#8336103) Homepage

      I think I have a moderately good defense of privacy: the foundation of our criminal code is based on external acts, that is acts against another person or entity. The proof for an external act would then be public material, or material provided ("made public") by the harmed party. Therefore, privacy is a restriction on the encroachment of law: if you can't be shown to be doing it, you can't be convicted of it. Thus privacy is a good thing can be derived from the idea that "if you didn't harm another, it's not a crime"

      Another way to say all this is: If you didn't hurt anyone, you didn't commit a crime. If you did commit a crime, the person hurt (or a person witnessing or affected) would come forward with evidence: you don't have to prove you didn't do it. Privacy is your right to an accuser.

      Many of the problems we've had in recent years with the law have been 1) "victimless crimes" or "societying-wronging" (drugs are the classic example), and 2) where the state is the accuser.

      Both of these are in part because there is no concrete person wronged, so it's difficult to defend yourself. Even worse is when the state is the accuser, because the state is An Authority: what they say is true. Very hard to prove otherwise, and the individual clerks process so much information each day that things are just assumed to be true because they're written: no one remembers writing them.

      These fears are often dismissed as being kafka-esque, but anyone who has ever delt with a large corporation that has a "it's written so it must be true" problem can understand what the problem is. Now imagine where the result is not paying an extra $100, but having 5 years of your life taken away. High stakes. And beaurocracies don't get any better when they're played at those stakes.

      That's a basic defense of privacy. I'm still struggling with the "ihre papieren, bitte" (sic?).

  • by strech (167037) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:18PM (#8334819)
    The site goes on about the cop saying he was "investigating an investigation" and implies the cop gave no reason for it or anything.

    Which is overstating.

    The cop never said he was "investigating an investigation" from watching the video. He did, however, say to the man as soon as he got there something along the lines "I'm investigating reports of a fight between you two" indicating the man and the woman in the car.

    And the person asked for ID was fairly belligerent. He kept on asking the officer to arrest him.

    The charge isn't specifically a law that makes it illegal to present ID, I think (though I'm not sure), it's a charge of obstructing a peace officer. Which may be from aforesaid law, but I didn't see that when I looked before.
  • Duh! (Score:5, Informative)

    by El (94934) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:19PM (#8334828)
    Mimi Hiibel was hauled-off to juvenile detention and charged with resisting arrest. In court, her father asked the judge a simple question: what charge was Mimi arrested for resisting? The case was dismissed. This is true; at least in California, you cannot be arrested for the sole charge of "resisting arrest". The amazing thing is that they actually had to have a court case to set a precedent to establish this as part of California state law! By the way, you are also legally allowed to resist arrest if you beleive the officer intends to harm you in an unlawful manner -- but just try arguing THAT one in court!
    • Re:Duh! (Score:5, Informative)

      by kramer (19951) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @09:16PM (#8335398) Homepage
      By the way, you are also legally allowed to resist arrest if you beleive the officer intends to harm you in an unlawful manner -- but just try arguing THAT one in court!

      DISCLAIMER: Not a lawyer, just a law student

      No.

      Follow that rule, and you may well end your ass up in jail. The rule in most jurisdictions is that you do not have a right to resist arrest unless one "reasonably believes that such force is immediately necessary to protect against an arresting officer's use of unlawful and deadly force"

      Essentially, you cannot resist arrest unless you're in fear of your life or grevious bodily injury -- EVEN if the arrest or use of force is unlawful. The way to deal with unlawful use of force is a civil action later. It is not up to the man on the street to decide whether an arrest is legal or illegal -- that is a matter for a judge and jury.

      Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v Biagini (655 A.2d 492) is a good example (and coincidentally where I stole the above quote from). Man is arrested without sufficient cause. During the arrest he assaults an officer. Man is found not guilty of original crime, but does time on the resisting arrest charge.

      I don't think I can state it clearly enough -- you do not have a right to resist arrest except when in immediate fear of death / near death.
  • by stubear (130454) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:22PM (#8334858)
    The officer clearly stated right away that he was investigating a call about a fight between Mr. Hiibel and the woman in the video. He asked to see his ID to get his name and to make sure this was the guy. How else was the officer supposed to gather information on the suspect? Last I checked, mind-reading was not a core class at the Police Academy.
    • by Dirtside (91468) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:49PM (#8335145) Journal
      How else was the officer supposed to gather information on the suspect?
      He could have asked. I watched the video. The officer did not ask Hiibel's name. He started out by asking for his ID. Hiibel didn't have any ID on him. If the person who made the call in the first place knew Hiibel's name, and told the police his name, then the first thing the sheriff should have done was asked "Are you Dudley Hiibel?" He could have asked Hiibel's daughter if Hiibel had hit her, if she was okay, etc. But he started out by assuming that a crime had occurred, based only on an anonymous tip. Rather then trying to determine if a crime had occurred (which would have given him cause to ask for ID), he jumped to the asking for ID part.
  • by Beautyon (214567) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:32PM (#8334978) Homepage
    The American government is using the 911 pretext to bring in a national ID card with your fingerprint and eyecan embedded in it. They are trying to make this happen by forcing all passport holders who come to America to either have fingerprints and eyescans in their passports or face being fingerprinted and eyescanned at an American Airport.

    Since all of the the people in the world are having to have fingerprints and eyescans to enter the USA, other countries will use the same biometric technology to control who comes into their countries. If you do not have a biometric passport, you will eventually be scanned say, when you enter Canada or the United Kingdom or any other country.

    This means that Americans will either have to have biometric passports issued by their own government (meaning that the government routinely fingerprints and eyescans innocent citizens) or, Americans will be fingerprinted and eyescanned when they travel to other peoples countries.

    Paper based passports are going to become a thing of the past; all passports will be reduced to a machine readable card. Once this happens, your drivers licence can be your passport AND your drivers licence at the same time. This means that your fingerprints, taken by the governemt so that you can travel, will be available to the police when they ask you for your drivers licence.

    This case is crucially important to the rights of American citizens. If Mr. Hiibel loses this case in the Supreme Court, it means that any policeman can ask for your ID, which will eventually mean that he can demand that you put your thumb into a portable fingerprint reader - on a whim. If he wins the case, the police will not be able to ask to see your ID, and the deployment of the national biometric ID system will be at the very least, delayed at best it will be destroyed completely before it starts.

    If you want to read the reasons why ID cards are a non starter, try this [privacyinternational.org].

    And read this [bbc.co.uk] about the man who single handedly brought down the British ID Card system.

    I hope he wins, because this will be a win for the entire Amercan public, and it will also be a clear sign to all other countries in the world that claim they are free democracies; ID cards violate your rights. They are bad for democracy, and should be shunned.
  • by A Binary Rebel (720477) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:44PM (#8335095)
    First off to everyone here asking "why didn't he just show is ID?" I have lived in Urban areas and I have lived in small country towns. Being a caucasian male in his mid-twenties I have never had a problem with law enforcement in the urban areas that I have lived. However in the small towns with the small police departments where there is little more to do than harass the local teen and early twenties population I have had nothing but problems. I have never been officially arrested. Nor do I have or deserve any criminal record. But I have been pulled over, searched, taken in and otherwise annoyed by these small town constables more than I can remember. One day in my late teens early twenties I finally had enough. I had been routinely pulled over and had both my vehicle and person searched at least once a week for several months. I decided I wasn't going to do it anymore as none of the stops ever resulted in more than a ticket for a burnt out taillight. I decided to start refusing the search request. I began to tell the officers that since they have no probable cause to enter my vehicle that the most they could do was a plain sight search. And if they wanted anymore than that to get a dog or a warrant (keep in mind that if they do opt for the dog, which they have in my case a few times, that you should ask them to declare how the dog alerts prior to them letting the dog loose on the car.) This will piss a cop off so be ready for the backlash. I had to do this a few times and sit and wait for them to get a k-9 unit to respond but eventually they began to leave me alone as it took to much time for them. Having gave that background I can complete understand why this man refused the police officers request. The officer had little of no resonable and probable cause to make this request.
    • by bluGill (862) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @09:17PM (#8335409)

      Fight back is a good idea. You missed one important point: get their id. By law they must give you their badge ID. When they stop you for no reason all you need is a lawyer to file charges against them.

      BTW, while technically they are not required to help you in getting that id, if you don't have a pen handy and they refuse to lend you their's, write a formal letter of complaint to the police chief. Might or might not result in anything, but it will go on his record. (In most areas you can and should check that record to make sure it is there)

  • Try being black! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Juise (565567) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @09:03PM (#8335282) Homepage
    I'm amused by how shocked you all are. I'm black, and to make matters worst I've lived in Wisconsin most of my live. Milwaukee is a nice city with very few racial issues, but as soon as you step foot out of the city limits, it's a whole new world. These types of things have happened to me countless times. If there is a cop behind me and I am outside the city limits there is a 90% chance I will be pulled over. They will simply follow behind me until I make a little mistake, or I have left their jurisdiction.

    I've been pulled over for going 3 mph over the speed limit, pulled over for "looking suspicious" (AKA being black in a white neighborhood), pulled over for "matching the description" (black male about 5' 10", isn't that like 70 of black men?), pulled over for "running a red light" (that was clearly still yellow after i cleared the intersection), the list goes on and on. Each time my car is searched, I'm searched, they find nothing and I go away without as much a warning because they know they had no reason to stop me in the first place.

    Here's a good story...
    My cousin and I were cementing the base of my aunts garage. I went in the house to get more cement. When I came back out I find two officers, with weapons drawn pointed at my cousin. Now to draw the proper mental picture my cousin is of course black, the officers are white, one is holding a shotgun, the other is holding his sidearm. My cousins hands are covered in cement, he has a bucket of cement at his side, and a spatchel (or whatever its called) in his hands. I say "what the heck is going on here?". Cop1 "we got a report of break ins in this area". Me "Are you blind? We live here, we have for 10 years! We're fixing the garage." cop2 "Sir put your hands up!" I put my hands up, this exchange goes on for 5 minutes. They get a radio call, and proceed to their car. I request the officers badge number to file a complaint. He slams the car door in my face and they drive away.

    The sad thing is I have many more stories like this, and so does pretty much every black person I know. Maybe from now on I will start video taping myself everywhere I go.
  • by sdedeo (683762) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @09:16PM (#8335393) Homepage Journal
    As someone with a contrarian (read: Yankee) spirit, I often leave my wallet at home when I go out for a walk. And, being a dork, I'm often up late working or thinking, and so I end up walking late at night.

    I have never had a problem in the big cities. This is most probably because I am white. The police there have focused their efforts on hispanic and Af-Am people. If you want to hear about civil rights violations, how about the kid who was just shot and killed for walking on the roof of a housing project in NYC?

    But when I go down to the beach in small town Long Island, I often run into cops. Either rent-a-cops who will watch me as I walk down a long, empty avenue, or the real police.

    Here are your rights (as understood by the court up until now):

    1. The police have a recognized right to try to stop and talk to you. (i.e., don't get all like "hey, you have no right to bother me. I ain't doing nuffing wrong.") Argue with it if you like, agitate to change the system, but don't bother to try to change it right there.
    2. The police have a (generally) recognized right to ask you where you're going and where you're coming from. This is a bit fuzzier.
    3. You do not have to show them identification if you don't want to. This does not apply if you are in your car and driving, and are pulled over: then you must produce Driver's ID. If you are a cyclist, like me, you have to have some kind of ID if you a cycling on the road, but it does not have to be a Driver's license.

    Watching this video, this guy is making a lot of mistakes. Look, I don't like dealing with the police, but if your real intent is to be left alone to exercise your freedoms (and not to just cause trouble), you are well advised to:

    1. NOT make any sudden movements, jump around, act agitated, or get nervous. Look, I know you want to exercise your rights, and if you're (like me) a white male who's never been in trouble with the law you are probably the most likely to succeed, but calm the hell down. If you can't calm down, you have lost. Bzzt. Sorry, Constitutional Crusader.
    2. Do not elaborate. Repeat what you have said. Refuse to show your id. Expect the officer to play mind games.
    3. Once you have repeated your refusal not to show your id, ask, very calmly, "am I free to go?" If the officer says, "no," ask "am I under arrest?" Repeat this question until you get a firm answer. If he says "no," then say "as I am not under arrest, I wish to go. Am I free to go?"
    4. If questions of searching, "helping out" or otherwise obliging come up, repeat "I do not consent." This is robot time, people, don't get involved in a debate.

    This is the ACLU 'Bust Card.' [aclu.org]

    It's the way it works. If you really care, give $100 to the ACLU. They work on these things, and they really have been effective in a huge number of national, state and local cases. They don't just cover the big ones.

  • Where it all leads (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phr1 (211689) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @09:31PM (#8335518)
    "It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the President and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics at the time... That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on...

    Things continued in that state of suspended animation for weeks, although some things did happen. Newspapers were censored and some were closed down, for security reasons they said. The roadblocks began to appear, and Identipasses. Everyone approved of that, since it was obvious you couldn't be too careful."

    --Margaret Atwood
    The Handmaid's Tale [barnesandnoble.com]

  • by John Gilmore (35813) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @10:06PM (#8335815) Homepage
    Cato Institute's amicus brief to the Supreme Court in Hiibel v. Nevada [epic.org]. They point out that even if the cops have a warrant, they not only can't make you answer questions, but they are required to warn you that you have a right to remain silent. You are free to be silent at every other stage of an investigation or prosecution, from casual conversation with cops all the way through sentencing.

    Cato also discovered that more than 20 states have laws like this on the books (it's in the appendix of their brief).

    You can read any or all of the briefs in the case (including my own [epic.org], which goes into airport ID issues) at the EPIC web page on Hiibel [epic.org].
  • by Tiny Rhino (754747) on Friday February 20, 2004 @03:22AM (#8337597)
    This is probably a bad place to post my opinions after looking at the feeling of the majority here. But everyone is entitled to their opinions, and everyone bases their opinions about police officers on their personal experiences. Unfortunately many things that officers routinely do is often misunderstood by those interacting with them. But I don't really have the time to get into that.

    Concerning this case: I believe that the deputy is probably a good officer with good intentions, as most officers are based on my experience. Unfortunately I believe that he could have handled this call in a better way. This is an example of how I like to think I would handle a call of this nature. (If I was ALONE WITHOUT backup on the scene)

    D: Sir, step back here and talk to me. H: Ok D: Listen, I'm here because we got a call about some fighting out here, what's going on? H: Nothing I'm not parked illegally. D: Ok sir can I see your driver's license please? H: Nope, no way, no how. D: Do you have any ID on you? H: None that I'm going to show you. D: Ok listen, I want to know who you are and I want to go check on that person in the truck. I want to make sure your not going to run off so please give me your ID. H: Why? D: I'm not going to leave you back here without knowing who you are or having some other way of making sure your not going to attack me or run off. You know who I am, but I don't know you from a mass murderer. I'm not saying you did anything wrong, but for my safety I like to know who I'm dealing with. H: Not showing you nothing! D: Ok sir if you don't cooperate with me I'm going to place you in investigative detention, which means for my safety while I figure out what is going on, I'm going to put some cuffs on you and sit you down while I conduct my investigation. H: What are you investigating? D: A call for an assault or domestic violence. H: Why don't you just take me to jail now? Here. (Holds out hands) D: Ok sir put your hands behind your back, understand that your not under arrest but being detained. (cuffs and sits him on the ground) D: (approaches truck and talks to daughter)

    At that point I figure out that their has PROBABLY not been an assault because both stories (obtained seperately from the two parties) seems to match up. However, as a good law enforcement officer, it does not end there. There could be something going on here that is not readily apparent. Daughter could be not talking because she thinks dad is going to beat her (it does happen!) Daughter could not be daughter at all, but kidnapped or a runaway being harbored by this guy. Somebody called the police for a reason! I will not end my investigation until I check both names for local warrants and the national computer for warrants, missing, etc, etc. Once I am satisfied that everything is on the up-and-up, I release pops from the cuffs and everyone goes on their way. With a proper warning to pops not to drive since he is intoxicated.

    Again, it's easy for me to say what I would have done having ALREADY SEEN what happened. This officer was trying to do the right thing although perhaps got a little too caught up on the whole ID thing.

    The moral is: Fine, if you don't want to tell me anything about anything, you will sit there in cuffs till I figure out what is going on. If nothing, your free to go. If something, THEN your under arrest. People tend to assume as soon as cuffs go on that you are under arrest. This is not always the case, and as an officer I always tell people: you're not under arrest yet, but you're also not free to go. You are in what's called investigative detention. At this point it's basically for an officer's safety, and the officer has a reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred. An officer can hold a suspect there on the scene for a "reasonable" amount of time to figure out what's happening.

    In this case, I believe that the deputy has reasonable suspicion to detain the father. 1st- the call for domestic battery. 2nd- intoxicated, somewhat belligerent man s

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