MTA police detain activist for refusing to show ID at anti-bailout demonstration
The 4th Amendment States:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The Court Case that is THE CORNERSTONE for any dealings with the police is Terry vs Ohio
I think everyone knows what a SEARCH is but what is a SEIZURE, well the court said,
“whenever a police officer accosts an individual and restrains his freedom to walk away, he has ‘seized’ that person.”
Popular Police Reasons They Will Use for Detaining You : CONDUCTING AN INVESTIGATION, OFFICER SAFETY, ID CHECK, SUSPECTED TERRORIST
For their own protection, police may perform a quick surface search of the person’s outer clothing for weapons if they have reasonable suspicion that the person stopped is armed. This reasonable suspicion must be based on “specific and articulable facts” and not merely upon an officer’s hunch. So the officer must state the reason to a judge and if he can’t, he has violated your constitutional rights and is subject to a lawsuit. The same proof necessary to obtain a warrant from a judge is the same proof necessary to detain you!
And simple “ ‘good faith on the part of the arresting officer is not enough.’ … If subjective good faith alone were the test, the protections of the Fourth Amendment would evaporate, and the people would be ‘secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,’ only in the discretion of the police.” — quoting Beck v. Ohio, 379 U.S. 89 (1964)
Therefore Officer Discretion is Out The Window
ID Checks are not a lawful detainment excuse, remember you are being SEIZED!! The officer has to state “specific and articulable facts” as to what crime he reasonably believes you are engaging in at that moment. The answer to an ID request or any other detainment is that you are committing no crime and unless under Terry vs Ohio he can articulate specific facts to a judge that you are engaging in a crime at that moment, the officer needs to stop seizing you under the 4th amendment. Failure to produce ID on Demand, is no crime.
And by the way, filming in a public place or “Public Domain” is allowed unless otherwise posted. Filming an officer is not unlawful unless it interferes with his work. For police to use that excuse of course requires them to defend their actions in court with the very footage you are shooting. Don’t stop filming and ask if you are no longer in the way or interfering. If an officer doesn’t want to be filmed by you, fine, tell him he has the option to walk away.
This article was posted: Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 3:40 pm