If a Cop Is Illegally Searching You, You Have to Take It


…and if they say you did something to deserve a beating, they will be believed by the courts. 

Our old comrade Radley Balko does what he does best at The Agitator, chronicling how all-too-often citizens have no rights a policeman need respect when it comes to altercations: 

here's a ruling from the D.C. Court of Appeals demonstrating just how powerless citizens are when accosted by a police officers—even when the cops themselves are clearly in the wrong….

The appellant is Terrance Crossland, who is asking the court to overturn his conviction on two counts of assaulting a police officer. Last April, Crossland and his cousin were approached by two D.C. Metro officers on patrol "to gather information about a rash of recent shootings and drug sales in the area." Crossland was mowing his grass while smoking a cigarette. The police acknowledge that neither Crossland nor is cousin were doing anything unlawful.  The two men were told to turn around, put their hands against a fence, and submit to a search. By both accounts, Crossland initially complied, then said, "Fuck this shit. I'm tired of this."

Police say Crossland then elbowed one officer in the head, at which point he was punched, taken to the ground, kicked several times, and pepper sprayed. Both the trial court, the appeals court, and even the prosecution acknowledge that because Crossland was doing nothing wrong before the incident, it was illegal for the police to stop, detain, and search him. Nevertheless . . .

 . . . as the trial court recognized, the APO statute "prohibits forceful resistance even if the officer's conduct is unlawful." Dolson v. United States, 948 A.2d 1193, 1202 (D.C. 2008) (explaining that the rationale for this rule is to "deescalate the potential for violence which exists whenever a police officer encounters an individual in the line of duty") . . .

So even if the police illegally stop you, detain you, and beat you, you aren't permitted to resist. Just roll over and take it. Submit.

Balko goes on to explain how Crossland and other witnesses claimed that the elbowing-in-the-head provocation never happened; the courts decided that naturally the police officers' testimony had to be more valid. 

The takeaway:

The dreary lesson from this case….Police need only the flimsiest of suspicions to stop you on the street, detain you, and search you. But even if they don't even have that, they aren't likely to suffer any serious sanction for an illegal search. Nor is a court likely to believe you should you try to complain. If you resist—physically or verbally, whether the search was legal or illegal—they can bring the hammer down, with damn-near impunity. And after the violence, you'll be the one going to jail.

The Reason Balko files on police.

NEXT: Gingrich's Court-Sacking Plan: When Two Out of Three Is Bad

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  1. As I said on Balko’s site, I don’t think the judge believed the officer’s testimony, he simply pretended to in order to protect the system and the police officers.

    1. Its worse than that. Trial level judges try to avoid making any kind of ruling at all, hoping the defendant will either plead out or go to trial, thus pushing the hard decisions to higher courts.

      1. It’s worse than that. Fear of Wilderness leads to acceptance of the city-State, while the domesticated poodles mewl about how city-Statism has always worked for the last 8,000 years.

        1. mowing his grass while smoking a cigarette

          In other words, gamboling.

          1. I see “smoking grass” in that sentence somewhere. Probable cause, bitches!

        2. It’s worse than that. Fear of Wilderness leads to acceptance of the city-State

          The city state is responsible for the development of the computer you use to make an asshole out of yourself here every day.

          Maybe *we should* abandon organized civilization. At least then wed be free to murder ur dumb ass.

          1. Hear, hear. God, that guy is such a predictable tard….

        3. Yawn.

    2. Its always been like that after all its the “JUST US” system 90% of all conviction especially in lower courts are falsely convicted. IMO a government that doesn’t follow the law (1st amendment, 2 amendment etc.) can’t convict anyone.

    3. This helps explain why there has been a significant increase in deadly assaults on police officers in the last couple years.

  2. Dunphy in…5….4….3…2……..!

    1. Dunphy is too chicken shit to own up to this.

      1. own up to what?

        it’s simply a falsehood that cops need only the “flimsiest” of suspicions to stop somebody… that’s 100% false

        i have seen plenty of terry stops be suppressed, where judges found (rightly or wrongly) that the proper threshold had not been met.

        so, that’s simply false on its face.

        own up to what exactly?

        1. Apparently, to avoid a suppression order a cop should beat the crap out of the suspect whilst the suspect lays on the ground and then charge them with assaulting a police officer (as seen above). Thus making any subsequent search legitimate.

          1. when you have a point to make, get back to me.


  3. Play dead…its the only way to escape without injury.

  4. Also, don’t be a minority…that helps too.

    1. thoroughly debunked

      i have already posted NCVS stats that show that cops make stops of minorities in almost the exact same %age as the time they are identified as the perpetrator by crime VICTIMS

      males , certain racial demographics, and certain ages, are all identified by crime VICTIMS as far more likely to commit crime

      cops stop disproportioantely in similar %ages

      there is no evidence that cops stop any minority DISPROPORTIOANTELY to their propensity to commit crimes, AS DISTINGUISHED by crime victims

      1. Well here in the bay area minorities are above the law especially if they are illegal immigrants.

  5. But judges are the sacred, noble last defenders of our liberty according to some people on the other thread.

    1. Well, you are less likely to be beaten by a judge than a cop.
      Just sayin’

      no hugs for thugs,
      Shirley Knott

      1. They just order their “court security officers” to do it for them.

      2. Not if you’re the judge’s 16-year-old daughter.…..d=14873563

      3. I love how Shirley signs all her posts. As if we might suspect that she hadn’t locker her keyboard or someone may be posting falsely under her name, the way to verify to us that it is REALLY her is to just type in her signature. I love it. Like the “Shirley Knott” above her comment doesn’t keep us from stroking our chins and murmuring obliquely ” I wonder who posted that?!?”…

        Luv ya Shirley!

    2. And it’s the always-correct legislature which passed the laws saying no one can resist the police, even if they are doing something illegal! Surely THEY would save us from this judge…you know, the fucksticks who passed that law in the first place! Man, you are a towering intellect, Mike M.

      1. Right, because nothing says “I’m a towering intellect” quite like spoofing John’s user name with a phony e-mail address attached to it.

      2. WTF is wrong with you?

  6. Lexington, KY the longest running Occupy encampment in the US. And they want taxpayers to pay to tell the world!

    Mayer and his creative class friends decided to act on their principals. So they went straight ahead and set up a Facebook page calling on Mayor Jim Gray to hang a banner proclaiming Lexington a Top 10 City for Wall Street Occupations.

    “It was difficult,” says Martin Mudd, a creative class high school teacher who holds a Masters degree in Physics. “We debated quite a bit. Should the banner read, Lexington: Top 10 Occupied City? Or what about, Lexington: Top 10 City for Occupations. The former seemed to imply that Lexington was a top city that just happened to have an occupation in it. The other suggested that Lexington was merely a good city to hold forth an occupation?a place where one could assemble without getting your head bashed in by cops or evicted by an overzealous mayor.”

    “We also tried Solidarity for longest-running Occupation,” said fellow Creative Patrick Bigger, a doctoral student in UK’s nationally ranked Department of Human Geography. “But the slogan came off as too wordy and, syntactically speaking, not in harmonious scale with the environment of banners that would surround it.”

    The group ultimately decided on a banner that read “#1: Best Cities to hold a prolonged Wall Street Occupation.”

    If you believe our city should demonstrate their support for the coveted demographic of urban, educated, cultured, creative and/or civically active people, please sign on. We are asking that our city Mayor request Commerce Lexington to include the unique Lexington distinction of having the longest running North American Occupy encampment. We are likewise asking that he demonstrate his own support of the initiative by offering to pay the costs to purchase and hang the banner. We want our city leader to support what is undoubtedly a rare opportunity to promote this city. We want Jim to smile and say, “Come to Lexington, all you Creative Occupiers!”

    1. Mayer and his creative class friends decided to act on their principals

      Which apparently don’t include basic English literacy.

      1. Its a kreative speeling, moran!

      2. Which apparently don’t include basic English literacy.
        an ineffectual public school system is imperative to the expansion of the state.


        1. THATS NOT PHUNY!

      4. I think the primary irony of this is that they are arguing – in all their creative sincerity – that the best place to “Occupy Wall St.…is in fact 700 miles away in a largely rural state with no significant financial insitution of note.

        I can’t believe there are actually people who take “OWS” *seriously*

    2. #1: Best Cities to hold a prolonged Wall Street Occupation

      The only thing out on Wall Street is the Sleep Disorders Center. Morons.

    3. “Occupied territories of Kentucky” should be the slogan.

    4. “Occupied territories of Kentucky” should be the slogan.

      1. Editor’s Note: The designation of “longest running occupation” does not included the ongoing 500 year general occupation of North America by European gringos, nor to our specific 225 year occupation of the Fayette Crescent, formerly a vast commonland punctuated by the Kentucky River that was shared by Indian tribes traveling in from the north, south, west and east; otherwise known as the fabled canelands.

        I’m pretty sure this guy would try to hug you really, really hard.

        1. Oh, it gets more depressing. I know some of the people running that thing. Ugh.

          1. The tools American leaders wield today to keep society in line are not so sharp as the bite of an attack dog in Birmingham, AL during the Civil Rights Era, nor are they as deadly as the smoking barrel of a rifle raised at a student attending Kent State, but they are equally as harmful.

            If I mail you some toilet paper, will you TP this hysterical illiterate’s house?

            1. “Northrupp Center” Either it’s a pseudonym or he has managed to be born with a name that is Dickensian in its appropriateness for his chosen “profession.”

              (North of Rupp (Arena) is the hipster neighborhood and the blog’s first stories are about a land development corruption deal involving the never-built Centrepoint complex.)

          2. Then you can answer this: if I go look up ‘Human Geography’, am I gonna be amused, disgusted, or both?

            1. Both. It’s basically urban sociology, practical anthropology, and macro-ergonomics smooshed together. The perfect storm of non-subjects to produce an unemployable whiner.

              1. I have met a fair number of UK Geography grad students.

                They are the worst of the liberal arts lot. Fucking. Terrible.

                Take your average militant feminist, literary marxist, and X Studies student, combine them and you have geography students.

          3. I looked it up. I wish i had not. Contempt and nausea.

            Within each of the subfields, various philosophical approaches can be used in research; therefore, an urban geographer could be a Feminist or Marxist geographer, etc.

            Such approaches are:

            Behavioral geography
            Critical geography
            Feminist geography
            Marxist geography
            Non-representational theory
            Poststructuralist geography
            Psychoanalytic geography
            Spatial analysis

            I think I can say with confidence, though, if you dropped a Marxist Geographer in the middle of the forest, they would be unable to tell you North from South / East From West, and would gladly quickly become a set of bones fit for a far more practical anthropologist to study

          4. As do I. In fact, I know most of the principal players. Generally good people, for certain, even if completely deluded on many accounts.

            One thing I have known since entering graduate school: being educated != intelligence.

            1. Why would anyone get a degree that made you functionally a piss poor cousin to Google maps?

              1. The name of a Geography degree is misleading. It is not just about maps or even land, but about understanding the people and ways of life in these lands and how they compare to one another.

                I have been studying the same sort of things in my downtime and on my own for my personal enrichment, though with some significant differences from traditional programs … like basing my findings on facts and empirical observations.

    5. this is killing my argument about a physics degree…well hey they arent all smart.

    6. this is killing my argument about a physics degree…well hey they arent all smart.

    7. “But the slogan came off as too wordy and, syntactically speaking, not in harmonious scale with the environment of banners that would surround it.”

      And they thought THIS was better??

      “#1: Best Cities to hold a prolonged Wall Street Occupation.”

  7. One thing I like about Texas is that the law authorizes the use of force to defend yourself against the unlawful acts of police officers.

    That said, it’s not obvious that the situation as described warranted an elbow to the face. He could have first tried saying, “no.”

    1. Isn’t the point here that the police lied about the elbow to the head?

      1. They may have, but it may have been the truth. The point is that if he did elbow them, he should have been in the right, when the court found him to be in the wrong.

    2. You didnt read the article

      1. If he didn’t actually strike the officers, then his problem isn’t with the law against resisting arrest, it’s with the jury. It’s highly unlikely that it will ever be legal to strike an officer who is illegally speaking to you.

    3. That’s the law, but I challenge you to find a single case where it has been sucessfully applied.

    4. That’s the law, but I challenge you to find a single case where it has been sucessfully applied.

    5. Not really true in Texas. See Texas Penal Code ?38.03. Resistance to an unlawful search in Texas would yield similar results.

  8. Are both unconstitutional.

    Who cares what an idiot judge at the appellate level thinks.

    1. care because, idiot or not, he’s still a judge and his opinion stands until it’s overturned.

      1. Exactly we want from bad law, a dumb judge mking a bad decision

        And its precedent, which is nonbinding, so that point fails too

        1. You know that box that says “Name”? That is not for the first few words of a post, but for a name by which you can be identified. Non-trolls and non-assholes use one name consistently.

          1. but not all people with consistent names are non-trolls or non-assholes

            1. ^^ THIS

          2. Want a juicebox, dear?

            1. Zeb is right. You can’t talk on here if everyone spoofs each other. It is the kind of dickish stuff the losers do on the internet because if they ever were such a dick in person they would get a pool stick shoved up their ass.

              God knows there are few rules of comity on this board. People call each other names and get very nasty. All well and good. But the spoofing is just retarded done by retarded people too stupid to win an argument and angry about being so.

          3. I’m with Zeb, dickbags. Stopping acting like WI….

          4. Non-trolls and non-assholes use one name consistently.

            Well, except when there is a good joke to be made…

            1. Are you serious?
              Are you serious?

            2. Unless you’re connected, like me.

            3. It’s important to put your real name on your fraudulent tax form. Otherwise how are they going to know who to make Secretary of the Treasury?

  9. the rationale for this rule is to “deescalate the potential for violence which exists whenever a police officer encounters an individual in the line of duty”)

    Because nothing deescalates like giving one party to a dispute a blank check for using force.

    He could have first tried saying, “no.”

    Isn’t that pretty much what happened?

    By both accounts, Crossland initially complied, then said, “Fuck this shit. I’m tired of this.”

    Police say Crossland then elbowed one officer in the head . . .

    1. Because nothing deescalates like giving one party to a dispute a blank check for using force.


      It’s not about deescalation: it’s about establishing who’s boss.

  10. (explaining that the rationale for this rule is to “deescalate the potential for violence which exists whenever a police officer encounters an individual in the line of duty”) . . .


    If I were driving down Main Street and saw a uniformed police officer getting the shit stomped out of him in the middle of the road in broad daylight, I’d assume he deserved it, and keep right on going.

    1. Same here.

      1. Being a good samaritan just isn’t worth the risk, so who could blame you?

      2. I’d presume that if I helped, I’d either A) get shot too and/or B) get arrested as one of the attackers.

    2. your just a butthurt outlier trollometer 0.001 but fwiw ime polls show time after time that the public loves and values cops more than any dirty regular citizens

      Oh christ, even I can’t keep typing that crap.

  11. But even if they don’t even have that, they aren’t likely to suffer any serious sanction for an illegal search.

    Yes, BUT…

    1) The court’s action was dictated by statute. The substantive due process grounds for overturning the statute seem rather flimsy.

    2) The statute is bollocks.

    The fault here lies with the legislature, not with the courts or the police.

    Note also that this is regional and should not be extrapolated. I’m curious how many other areas have such a broad allowance for letting the Cops be protected from citizens even when they act on them illegally.

    1. Isn’t this a due process issue? The statute says that the cops can detain you and beat you up and you have no right to resist or can’t use said abuse as a defense. How is that giving someone due process?

      1. There is a process for holding a cop accountable for an illegal act. That process does not include forceful resistance at the time of the illegal act’s execution.

        Note that I do not agree with the process. But it’s there. It’s not absent. That’s why I think a Due Process claim is flimsy.

        1. That process does not include forceful resistance at the time of the illegal act’s execution.

          Resisting an illegal act is always part of the process.

        2. Except that qualified immunity means that the process for holding the cop accountable will almost certainly not hold him accountable.

    2. jury handles this via nullification easily assuming the judge does his constitutional DUTY* and informs the jury of their responsbilities properly.

      *maybe only in GA, but that is a constitution

  12. Everyone on the other thread said judges are the ultimate authority on the Constitution. In my opinion the Senate would be absolutely right to impeach every member of the DC circuit that voted for this abomination. But you guys are convinced judges should never be held accountable for their decisions no matter how bad. So I guess this is what the Constitution means, right?

    1. Appeals courts? Impeachment? Elections in many states? How is it that judges are never held accountable for their decisions?

    2. Um, hey guy, this judge was applying a the very plain meaning of the law, which was passed by your beloved legislature.

      What you want here is for the judge to be impeached by the legislature for upholding the law as it was written…by the fucking legislature.
      GOD you are dumb.

      1. So if the legislature wrote a law that said “no more freedom of the press” and a judge upheld it the judge would be right?

        Take your fucking meds rather. Or go gambol or something.

        1. “”So if the legislature wrote a law that said “no more freedom of the press” and a judge upheld it the judge would be right?””

          Opposed to a judge upholding your right and Congress critters not liking it, impeaches.

          Who gets the last say is tough. But I do respect judges a hair more than politicians.

          What shreds of the Constitution is left isn’t due to the restraint of Congress. There wouldn’t be one right friggin standing if it was up to them.

          1. You maybe be right Vic. But that is not what the Constitution says. The Congress via its power of impeachment gets the final say.

    3. Real John (assuming this is you):

      The judge should inform the jury of their responsibility to judge both the facts and the law. And let them know if they find the law to be unjust, they can choose not to convict regardless of the facts.

      1. How can the jury do that? The law is what the judge says it is? right? If it was something else, then the judge might be doing something wrong by enforcing it. And wow that might make their conduct, wait for it, impeachable. And we know that can never happen.

        1. Strawman John.

          Dont put other people’s word in my mouth.

          I never said the law is what a judge says it is. Im the one that says the Supremes are usually wrong, because there is a platonic ideal of what is constitutional and the Supremes cant change that.

          And we know that can never happen.

          Also – 7 times. Stop saying never, it makes you look like a dumbass. 🙂

          Knowing you, you would want John Jay impeached for supporting nullification.

          1. If impeachment can happen and should happen in cases of egregious judiciary incompetence, admit that and stop arguing with me because that is all I have been saying all along.

            1. The constitution doesnt say “egregious judiciary incompetence”, it says “shall hold their offices during good behaviour”.

              What good behaviour means is left up to the senate.

        2. Strawman John.

          Dont put other people’s word in my mouth.

          I never said the law is what a judge says it is. Im the one that says the Supremes are usually wrong, because there is a platonic ideal of what is constitutional and the Supremes cant change that.

          And we know that can never happen.

          Also – 7 times. Stop saying never, it makes you look like a dumbass. 🙂

          Knowing you, you would want John Jay impeached for supporting nullification.

  13. Seems to me that if people could use physical force defend themselves from unlawful physical actions of the police, the police would be deterred from committing unlawful acts.

    The is the same concept in using force to defend one’s self from rapists, murderers, robbers, home invaders, etc.

    We rarely hear people say that all of us should refrain from using force to repel rapists, murderers, etc. and we would never hear people telling us that we shall not use force to defend ourselves from murder,rape,etc.

    What justification is there to tell us that we shall not use force against someone attempting to take us against our will without cause merely because they’re a police officer?

    If a random stranger NOT driving a police car and/or wearing a police uniform pulls up to your house, walks up to you, grabs you and says come with me, you don’t even need to request an explanation before you are justified in using force to prevent this kidnapping.
    But, if the person is a police officer, you ‘re forbidden to use force even if they refuse to provide any justification, warrant, or cause.

    The nice thing about this sort of “thou shalt not resist police for any reason” doctrine is that it also empowers police impostors. People facing police impostors attempting to commit crimes against them will hesitate to resist, which can be the difference between living to see another day or ending up raped and murderded on the side of the road.

    It’s worth asking police and non-police who support these sorts of policies if there is ever cause to resist a police officer and/or what orders can he not give that would justify disobeying. Are there any circumstances where a person would b right and/or justified in resisting or disobeying a police officer?

    Start by establishing the limits:
    Literally, a cop comes up to your house, takes your kid by the hand and pulls them towards his cruiser; no explanation, no warrant presented. Would you be justified in using force to stop what would be a kidnapping if done by someone not a police officer?

    1. Not in DC, apparently.

    2. Would you be justified in using force to stop what would be a kidnapping if done by someone not a police officer?

      Only if you want your child to watch you bleed to death after the cop empties his Glock into your center of mass.

      1. You’re assuming a single police officer would be able to hit center mass. They’re like the Imperial Guard or Orks. They need numbers to be able to hit.

        1. If Mork and Gork had wanted Orks to shoot, he’d have given them a higher BS.

      2. Please, cops can’t shoot for crap. Just shoot back and they panic and miss. At best he would hit you with one or two rounds out of the clip.

        1. lol.


          obviously,. YOU are not a “firearms expert”

          1. I, on the other hand, am. I mozambique a pig every day before breakfast. Pop pop! Not really. But in all seriousness dumbphy, just because most people don’t know the difference between a clip and a mag doesn’t mean cops aren’t awful, panicky shooters.

            1. +10 me!

              and i already said cops are , on average, mediocre shots at best

              the average firearms enthusiast is a better shot

              however, most cop shootings are instant “shoot/don’t shoot ” scenarios, which are less likely in noncop shootings, where they USUALLY have their gun out, etc. they very rarely have the type of shootings where they are in close contact with somebody and that person pulls a weapon on them. those type of shootigns are the most time constrained and result in the poorest hit ratio

              they are also much more common with cops, due to the nature of police work

        2. although you are correct, taht cops are on average pretty lousy shots, compared to the average “firearms enthusiast”

          i’m an instructor. i am paid to see some shitty shooting

          1. Which is just plain sad, considering they get professional training.

            When my local PD switched to glocks, they had 4 accidental firings (2 shot themselves, fortunately the other two missed altogether, one hit the gutter over the heads of the witnesses) within the first few months.

            How the fuck does that happen?

            1. BTW, “accidental” should be in quotes because it is impossible to shoot a glock by accident if you have had 2 minutes of training.

              1. the term is “unintentional” not “accidental”

                i would not qualify the training we get as “professional”

                in most jurisdictions, it’s 40 hrs or so of academy training, etc.
                some do more

                our agency gives DECENT training, but definiltey not enough

                as an INSTRUCTOR, i get pretty good training. imo, every officer should get the level of training i got

                that would be expensive. the usual limiting factor in training

                1. the term is “unintentional” not “accidental”

                  Considering you cant fire a glock without putting your finger inside the guard then pulling the trigger, none of them are “unintentional” either.

                  I guess it is possible if you slip and fall for your finger to end up inside the guard. [rolls eyes]

                  1. i am explaining to you what the term is.

                    not whether you agree with it.

                    it’s unintentional because there was no choice “i am going to pull the trigger”

                    it is not “accidental”, because it was due to some sort of negligence.

                    just like NHTSA doesn’t refer to “vehicle accidents” it refers to “collisions”

                    the vast majority of unintentional shootings are due to NEGLIGENCE

                    a tiny tiny percentage could be a “pure” accident.

                    1. Im saying once you put the finger inside the guard you have the intent to pull the trigger. Otherwise, it should still be outside.

                    2. Therefore they should be referred to as negligent discharges.

                    3. the VAST majority of unintentional discharges are negligent

                      but not all

                      unintentional discharges thus includes the entire set of unintentional discharges, MOST of which are negligent and a very few of which are not

                  2. It’s possible for your holster to depress the trigger when holstering the weapon if you use an inappropriate or deformed leather holster for a glock. Seen this happen. I’ll take a SIG any day of the week over a glock, extra weight and all.

                2. i would not qualify the training we get as “professional”

                  The trainer is a professional trainer, right? Then the training is professional, even if its lacking in depth.

                  1. the trainee does not receive training enough to make HIM a professional

                    yes, the train(er) is a professional.

                    if i go to college and get taught by a PhD it does not make ME a Phd or give me the same level of knowledge


                    1. Im the one who used the term “professional training”. I used it properly — training by a professional.

                      Unlike “arrest” it isnt jargon. It means exactly what I meant it to mean.

                    2. i think the term is misleading, but i get your point, and i apologize

                      they receive training BY professionals, yes

                      they do not receive a level of training sufficient to make THEM professionals

                      that’s what i mean

                      apologies if i did not grok your point

                      they DO receive “professional training” in the sense that the instructors (usually) are professionals

                      my bad

      3. the difference is basis of knowledge. you do not know AT THE TIME the officer stops you IF he has RS or PC.

        i was stopped at gunpoint (i have mentioned this several times) when i was in college.

        i had done nothing wrong

        i was not justified in shooting at the officers who held me at gunpoint

        i found out AFTERWARDS they were stopping me as a robbery suspect.

        i matched the description of a 7-11 robber – physical description AND vehicle description

        i was innocent.

        they figured that out shortly AFTER i was taken into custody at gunpoint

        when a non-cop pulls a gun on you, that situation does not apply

        cops can make stops based on RS or PC, whereas noncops can only stop when they in fact witness a crime. the vast majority of noncops i have hold people at gunpoint (and it happens not infrequently) prior to my arrival are where they witnessed the guy burglarize the house, etc.

        if we want to take away cops ability to stop based on RS and PC, fine. that would mean far far far more criminals make escapes, and get away etc. that’s legislature’s call

        but as long as we give cops authoritah to make stops, we must not give noncops authoritah to resist even if they think it unjustified

        the time to protest an allegedly unlawful stop is AFTER the arrest. you get to call a lawyer, and you get to file a civil, or in some cases criminal case

        but at the scene, the subject MUST submit

        it’s a logical rule

        1. What you are talking about is a cop making a justified stop on an innocent individual.

          But take a different case, where a cop makes an illegal stop (for whatever reason) on an individual. In that case, the act of making an illegal stop is totally resestible, in my opinion.

          If you take that option and choose to resist, you damn well better be right about the stop being illegal though.

          1. the reaosn the law is as it is , is the person does not ever have the basis of knowledge to know the difference (or exceptionally rarely)

            it’s a bright line rule, and it works best that way imnsho.

            fwiw, i have seen people who resisted and the stop WAS questionable where the prosecutor chose to nolle pros. iow,, not prosecute the resisting. happens all the time

            however, those were mere “resisting” not an active assault (such as a punch, etc.) which will almost always get prosecuted.

            it’s a bright line rule designed for everybody’s safety. submit to the stop/arrest. you can ask questions, you cannot resist.

            1. is the person does not ever have the basis of knowledge to know the difference

              That can be determined afterwards. If the resister is right, good for him. If he is wrong, throw the book at him.

              In my mind, the law should treat a cop who is invading my home without a legal warrant (or other legal reasons) exactly the same as any other home invader.

              If you have a warrant for my neighbors home and smash down my door instead and I shoot you dead, tough titties, I was right.

              1. That was the rule for hundreds of year in fact.

              2. again, you use a results analysis, not a process analysis

                it’s similar to how cops can’t justify a search expost facto because they found drugs “see i was right all along”

                PC is not vitiated by not finding drugs, just as it is not created expost facto by finding them

                you may not like this law, but i think there is good reason for it, and it’s the law

                as for the warrant scenario, imo (stated ad nauseum) police who do a dynamic entry should (according to law and policy) be clearly identified as police AND have identifiable police vehicles outside the residence.

                period. full stop

                1. Identifying youself and having the vehicles outside IS a very good thing, but doesnt make an illegal raid legal. If they identify themselves clearly and still wrongfully raid my home, I stand behind my right to shoot them dead.

                  In reality, of course, if they properly identify themselves I will help them learn their numbers and direct them to my neighbors house. But I reserve the right to kill them if they invade my home.

                  1. i think you are wrong. it’s a process analysis. if the cops acted in good faith by getting a warrant, and the judge/prosecutor fuckied up by not recognizing the PC was lacking, the officers who the raid (note usually NOT the officers who did the investigation and applied for the warrant) should not take the bullet for it.

                    it’s a bright line rule. submit to force, even if you think it’s not justified. argue LATER

                2. Apples and oranges. Results analysis is okay for determining innocence or guilt. Was he killed in self defense? yes. Why was it self defense? The cop was illegally invading him home.

                  Almost all self defense arguments are results analysis.

                  Probably cause, is, by definition, process, not results. The probably MUST occur in advance.

                  1. robc,

                    Nailed it. We’re talking about self defense here; it has to be a “results” analysis. You could claim you should never defend yourself ever, because you have a court after the fact.

                    Unless you’re dead.

              3. ^This^

            2. I’d be more comfortable with the bright line rule if there were actual civil or criminal recourse against an officer for a unlawful stop. With qualified immunity, prosecutorial discretion, etc., there isn’t.

              1. there IS civil liability. in my state, there is greater liability than in most states, yet again – making our state “better” in some respects (greater privacy too).

                regardless, for their to be immunity for the individual cop (vs. merely the agency), there must be a high burden met, depending… usually some kind of gross negligence, or in many cases, willful misconduct vs. merely a mistake or negligence

                1. In theory there is a liability, but the doctrine of qualified immunity means that in fact there is not unless the circumstances are truly egregious. I’ve been involved with plenty of pro bono cases on these issues, so don’t try to tell me otherwise.

                  1. i am telling you exactly what you claim

                    depending on circs, it requires either GROSS negligence *or* willful misconduct not merely mistake, error, or going overboard.

                    as it should be imnsho but that’s another argument

          2. You must obey the police or violence will be done to you.
            If you believe you were wronged you may hire a lawyer and attempt to prove it. At best you might get a settlement paid for by the taxpayers while the cop gets a paid vacation.
            If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer then it doesn’t matter.

            Either way the cop wins.

            1. that’s not “at best” . cops can and are prosecuted, if the case facts warrant it. e.g. paul schene.

              furthermore, they can be personally sued if the case facts warrant it

              and any lawyer will gladly take the case ON CONTINGENCY *if* you have a good case

              so you are wrong.

              1. Yeah right. Cops commit perjury as a matter of routine because they know that unless (and sometimes even if) there is video that conflicts with their story, their lies will be taken as gospel.

                That is your cue to launch your personal attacks.

                Go suck a dick, pig.

                1. 10 me!
                  (sarcasmic as usual discusses intelligently for a while then devolves to personal attacks and childishness)


                1. ok, another example was the UC Berkely example where i alleged they appeared to be using excessive force, and to the point where it was criminal (assault specifically)

                  there are others, but i digress

                  1. Like I said, unless it is caught on video a citizen can rest assured that the cop will lie his ass off and be believed.

                    Over and over again.

                    1. again, simply not true.

                      do i really need to give examples where cops were suspended/and/or prosecuted and/or fired w.o video evidence?

                      heck, my dept. has fired two in the last year without ANY VIDEO EVIDENCE.

                      again, you are simply a child of what you read on reason.

                      if it doesn’t happen here, it must never have happened.

                      cops are fired, indicted, tried, suspended and/or convicted ALL THE TIME without video or audio evidence.

                    2. I also read the local paper from cover to cover on a daily basis.
                      At least around here, cops are vindicated 100% of the time.
                      In the fifteen years I’ve been living in this state there have been exactly zero stories that I have read in the paper about a successful prosecution of a cop and 100% of police shootings have been ruled as justified.

                    3. sarcasmic, thanks for illustrating my point

                      here’s a hint. the local paper does not print everything that happens

                      of COURSE if you only get your news from the local paper, you will get… what the local paper chooses to print.

                      any PD will have public disclosure personnel information, and every SUSTAINED complaint is public record, including those that result in firings

                      the last 3 officers my agency fired (all due to complaints of one sort of the other) nevre made the paper that i saw.


                      because either the papers didn’t think it newsworthy that officers got fired for not turning in reports, UOF complaints, etc. or there was no sexy video to go along with it.

                      don’t be a tool of the media and believe that – if i don’t see it in the papers, it doesn’t happen

                      that is ignorant

                    4. In my opinion policemen are given a pass, even when everyone knows that they were in the wrong, because to not do so could erode the public’s trust in them.

                      So it is considered better to allow a policeman to commit murder than to have a citizen (justifiably) fear him.

                    5. your opinion, as you give evidence of above, is not informed.

                      for example, if it doesn’t happen in the paper, it doesn’t happen

                      at least in my agency’s case, and all 3 agencies i have worked for, the VAST majority of officer firings and suspensions don’t make the paper

                      yet, you get your perception of how discipline and firings happen … from the paper

                      thus skewing your perception

                      understandable, but still ignorant

              3. dunphy, that’s bullshit.

                Cops are rarely prosecuted for crimes that would have landed anyone else in a cell without bail.

        2. SPOOF? +100 back at me

        3. The rule for a long time was that a person could resist being stopped, with strict liability for being wrong. I don’t know if that’s better or not, but the current situation is certainly not the only way to handle the issue.

          1. This is the position Im arguing for.

            1. that was, and may be the law in SOME jurisdictions. when i was a cop in MASS, it was the law… until it was changed

              this is a DC decision. it does not apply to the whole US. it applies to A Jurisdiction (DC)

              don’t assume it is the law nationwide w/o researching. i can only speak for my state and some others

              1. That is the natural law position. Any jurisdictions using some other standard are wrong.

                1. iyo. i disagree. and thus it goes

                  1. natural law is not based on my opinion.

                2. Ask most prosecutors and judges and they’ll tell you there’s no such thing as natural law.

                  There is only the law that was written by fellow lawyers, and even that is up to interpretation.

                  1. many atheists also say natural law is illogical. that’s arguable

                    regardless, you are claiming what the natural law position IS

                    i am saying groovy, but that’s yer opinion

                  2. Most prosecutors and judges are wrong.

                    I have no problem telling the Supremes when they decide a decision wrongly either. They are non the ultimate arbiters of the constitution, the constitution is.

                    1. or more correctly, your interpretation thereof 🙂

                      granted, that’s true of all of us

                    2. Most prosecutors and judges are wrong.

                      They seek out this type of work because they enjoy having power over other people.
                      What’s the fun in power if you defer to natural rights?

                    3. They are non the ultimate arbiters of the constitution, the constitution is.

                      Unfortunately, the constitution isn’t talking.

              2. I’m not arguing that it is the law, but that it WAS the law.

  14. Senate would be absolutely right to impeach every member of the DC circuit that voted for this abomination.


    Why would legislators impeach a judge who deferred to the law as written instead of throwing it out?

    1. Because the statue is unconstitutional. And if you want to tar and feather the legislators who voted for it, sign me up for that too.

      1. “And if you want to tar and feather the legislators who voted for it, sign me up for that too.”

        So now you’re down with the violence that you derided Fluffy for on the last thread.

        The stupidity knows no bounds.

        1. ^^res ipsa loquitur^^

      2. But if the law is unconstitutional, why has’t the legislature repealed it?

        Basically you’re saying that the legislature will now suddenly realize that the law is unconstitutional, even though they didn’t before. Before as in yesterday.

        1. That is why we have a federal Congress. One of Congress’ and the federal government’s duties is to ensure that the States respect their citizens’ federal rights.

          I guess here is the issue fluffy. Here we have these judges who have pissed all over the Constitution. If I came to you today and said, here is a way we can get these assholes off the bench and replace them with someone who wont’ do that. Would you really say “oh now we can’t do that they are federal judges and we have to respect the sanctity of the courts”? Really? Sorry I am not getting that.

          1. Here is the thing.

            Congress pissed all over the constitution. Then the courts pissed all over it by upholding the laws congress passed last week.

            And this week, you want that same congress to kick out the judges for upholding the laws they passed last week.

            Insanity, thy name is John.

            1. No Rob. I am saying, why can’t elect a new legislature and have the new one we put in do it? That is not insanity. It is called the political process.

              Why are people so damned dense on this? Do you really think that no judge should ever be removed from the bench no matter how horrible their decisions are?

              1. straw man

                1. IF it is a straw man sarcasmic, then what is your position? Explain it. I think if a decision is bad enough the Congress or a future Congress has every right to impeach the judge. Do you not agree with that? If you don’t agree, my explanation is not a straw man.

                  1. Judges can already be impeached.
                    Nobody is advocating that that power be taken away from Congress.
                    Thus you’re arguing against a straw man.

                    1. Then what are we arguing about sarcasmic? I am just saying use the power.

                    2. Then what are we arguing about sarcasmic? I am just saying use the power.

                      I would like to see judges removed from office (and shot) for giving a pass to legislation that violates federal and state constitutions.
                      Unfortunately the people who have that power are the same people who write and vote for said legislation.

              2. I am saying, why can’t elect a new legislature and have the new one we put in do it? That is not insanity. It is called the political process.

                Insanity. That assumes that we can elect the right people. There are no right people.

                1. Also, it seems too parliamentarian to me. I dont want all our judges being swapped out every time congress changes.

                  As much of a failure as it is, I prefer them to be somewhat separated from political acts.

                  Same the impeachments for the extreme cases, which is what has happened. I might prefer the number go up, maybe 1 federal judge per congress on average, but we dont need wholesale impeaching.

                  1. I don’t want them being swapped out after every election either. That is why the 2/3rds majority is a good rule. But if and when the time comes that 2/3rds decide the judge needs to go and that reason is a good reason, the judge should go.

                    1. We have that now.

                      Apparently 7 times is the number of times a good reason has come up.

          2. This was a District of Columbia case. All DC laws must undergo a congressional review period first where they can be blocked by a simple majority. Many DC statutes, maybe this one, were passed by Congress itself before the Home Rule Act. And Congress can repeal any DC law at any time by a simple majority. But they haven’t done it…wonder why…

        2. the legislature should NOT pass unconstitutional laws. heck, most fo them are lawyers and should know better and they have time to consult with same

          they do it all the time. my state’s cyberstalkign law is unconstitutional. blatantly

          however, … it is the JOB of the courts per (marbury v. madison iirc???) to judicially review a law when a plaintiff has standing to do so, on constitutionality

          setting aside whether THIS law is unconstitutional

          1. It was Marbury v. Madison, but a common complaint is that the court essentially “invented” judicial review with that case, and gave itself a power not found in the constitution.

            I personally think it’s necessary, because otherwise, all you have to fall back on is the ever-popular “people” (re: the 10% of old fucks and the unemployed who vote in local elections on weekdays) removing legislatures from office who pass shitty unconstitutional laws.

            1. i agree with marbury too. some argue it’s invented. i argue it’s implicit.

              1. I completely agree with you, but I do acknowledge the danger of beginning to read “implicit” powers in the constitution. The whole commerce clause debacle has started making me gun-shy.

                1. yea. people tend to support this stuff and see it as obvious when it suits their agenda (see: roe v. wade. i’m prochoice, but that was a RIDICULOUS decision…), and tend to see it as judicial activism when it goes against their agenda

                  i give props to the ACLU for taking the politically unpopular stance (among lefties) and supporting citizens united

              2. I agree with you that it is implicit. But I see a whole lot of implicit stuff in the 9th amendment too.

            2. Sign me up for the implicit power of judicial review, as well.

              Otherwise, you are arguing that the courts should be required to affirmatively enforce laws that they know to be unconstitutional. I don’t buy it. An unconstitutional law is no law at all, and thus the courts cannot enforce such a law. In order to refuse to enforce it, they have to rule that it is void for unconstitutionality. Any other result is absurd.

              1. that’s pretty much how i see it

    2. They wouldn’t…because people might ask embarassing questions about how an unconstitutional law got to be on the books in the first place.

  15. This is the standing army that the founders warned us about.

  16. It’s, like, totally worth it if it’ll protect me from the next turrist attack!

  17. You people need to STOP RESISTING

    it will only get you hurt

    1. yes. suspects and officers are more likely to get hurt (whether via justifiable force, unjustifiable force, or accident) when people resist vs. not resist.

      two officers on my squad are currently out over 6 months for serious injuries due to fights with resisting subjects.

      another just returned to work after a resistant person he was chasing (felony warrant) jumped over a fence, he followed, and landed on a piece of rebar, puncturing his leg

      shit happens. it is far more likely to happen when people resist

  18. For those defending the judge:

    A judge could have written:

    “While this law, passed by our legislative solons, is unjust, unnecessary, and contrary to the proud ethos and tradition of individual liberty, my sworn duty comples me to apply it…the Court recommends deliberative evaluation of this law’s utility at the earliest possible opportunity…”

    or words to that effect. We can give ’em a pass on the ruling, based on the rationale that a judge must apply stupid laws. But if we assume the court is aware of the problem, Can we give em a pass on failing to failing to speak?

    1. Now rather keeps saying under my name that judges cannot ever be question. So there is that.

  19. We need to follow the laws as written.

    1. realizing that, according to the DOJ “arrested” means charges were preferred. it does not ONLY refer to custodial arrests, iow handcuffing

      another common statistical fact many commenters fail to recognize.

      if i respond to a detail, and develop probable cause to cite somebody (send a charge recommendation to court via citation or case report), and do so… that counts as an ‘arrest’

      it does not mean charges WERE filed, nor does it mean handcuffs were placed on them.

      1. That doesn’t appear to be the definition being used in that survey.

        “The researchers said it seems that the criminal justice system has taken to arresting both the young and old more than it did in the past, when fines and citations might have been given to some people who are now arrested.”

        1. does it specifically say how it defined “arrest”

          again, they may not even realize it, but if you look at DOJ arrest stats, they include citation and custodial arrest.

          it wouldn’t be the first time researchers and journalists failed ot make that distinction

          i see it all the time.

          every time criminal charges are sent to the prosecutor for review, it’s an ARREST

          that’s how my agency does its stats are per the uniform crime reporting guidelines.

          and every other agency that reports to DOJ

    2. IOW we have too many stupid laws and too many assholes enforcing them.

  20. note also that when a cop acts unconstitutionally, he can (in some cases) be sued, and his agency can be sued (very often successfully)

    when a LAWMAKER(s) pass unconstitutional law, there is ZERO redress. they have NO liability, no matter how blatantly unconstitutional the law

    people whinge about cops QUALIFIED IMMUNITY, but judges and lawmakers have ABSOLUTE immunity, which is far greater.

    a lawmaker(s) can pass any law they want with NO fear of lawsuit , let alone jail

    a judge can make a ruling COMPLETELY contrary to law and the constitution and face NO civil or criminal penalty

    they both enjoy FAR greater protection than cops

    1. At one time they had to fear tar and feathers, but we have gone soft.

    2. Maybe the lawmakers need a union too.

  21. So even if the police illegally stop you, detain you, and beat you, you aren’t permitted to resist. Just roll over and take it. Submit.

    The resistance occurred before the beating, so Radley’s statement is not entirely true. It is good advice to forego resistance to an unlawful detention or search in favor of suing the shit out of the police, unless the unlawful acts are actually putting you in danger.

    It would be good if there were statutory remedies for that kind of situation but we all know how that works.

    1. The resistance occurred before the beating,

      Technically, laying hands on anyone unlawfully is an assault. And it is admitted that there was no legal justification for the cops to lay hands on Mr. Crossland.

      So the initial assault was perpetrated by the cops, which makes Mr. Crossland’s response self-defense against an assault.

      1. but not under the law.

        again, RC you are arguing how the law should be in your eyes.

        there is NO way for a person to know upon being stopped by police if they have RS or PC. no way

        that’s why it’s unreasonable to assume they are acting unlawfully. it’s a total crapshoot.

        you shouldn’t be justified ex-post facto if it so happened you were right

        again, that’s like justifying a warrant ex-post facto because they found contraband

        i was stopped at gunpoint for doing NOTHING

        but they most definitely had RS and maybe even (transient) PC

        i submitted to the arrest at gunpoint and it took all of 5-10 minutes before it was sorted out.

        i should not have resisted, and didn’t

        even though i was 100% innocent, i had NO WAY of knowing what their basis of knowledge was, nor does any person when a cop says “stop”

  22. The Ohio Supreme Court made the same ruling on mere resistance of an illegal arrest many years ago.

  23. There was an article in the WSJ last week detailing how many police forces there now are in this country. Almost every federal agency has its own force, and of course most states and local jurisdictions as well. Most are armed, and have full police powers. This train needs to be put in reverse. Too many cops with guns = not much freedoom for Americans.

  24. and and other witnesses claimed that the elbowing-in-the-head pr

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