Police

No, Chris Lollie Wasn't Required to Show Cops Identification

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Justice for Chris Lollie/Facebook

In January, Minnesota dad Chris Lollie was waiting to pick his children up from school when a police officer approached him. Though Lollie was in a public building, he was allegedly sitting in a restricted area. And despite him quickly moving on when asked, the officer also wanted Lollie to identify himself—which Lollie politely refused to do.

The officer pressed on, joined by a colleague. Ultimately, refusing to show identification earned Lollie a round of Tasing and an arrest for disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process. Luckily Lollie caught the whole incident on video (watch it below) and the charges against him were dropped. 

Since the video went viral last week, a lot of people have cited it as evidence of the "arbitrary harassment or brutality" certain Americans, especially people of color, routinely face from police officers. This has prompted the law-and-order loving crowd to counter that if only Americans would blindly obey every law enforcement whim, we wouldn't have anything to worry about. I just came across a particularly infuriating example of this from CBS Minnesota, which answers the question, "Do you have to comply when a police officer asks to see your identification?" as so: 

"You have to produce your ID, especially under those circumstances. They were called to investigate a suspicious person call," retired police officer Joe Dutton said.

Retired Golden Valley police officer Joe Dutton is a use of force expert.

He says when officers are called out to investigate a suspicious person it is their duty to find out who that person is and why they are there.

Back it up a minute. Dutton seems to be referring to what are known as "stop and identify" statutes. These laws, active in 24 states, authorize police to detain people and demand identification under threat of arrest—but only when officers have "reasonable suspicion" of criminal activity. Unless "being a black man in public" qualifies as reasonably-suspicious behavior, I'm not sure how Lollie's case meets this legal requirement. 

According to our "use of force expert," however, this doesn't matter: By initially refusing any random request for identification, you thereby become suspicious. 

"When you start debating the police, and when you start becoming non-compliant, you're telling the police that you've got something to hide and they want to find out what you're hiding," Dutton said.

Dutton says officers have contact with hundreds of thousands of people daily and most interactions end without the use of force.

(…) In Chris Lollie's case, Dutton believes if he had shown his ID there would have been no use of force by police.

He does not believe Lollie's race is an issue in this case. "It would have happened no matter what the race of the individual was," Dutton said.

Let's, for the sake of argument, say Dutton is right about the race business. That does not make this any better. Community cops should not have a right to stop anyone they want for any (or no) reason and then use force against them if they refuse to show an ID. That is not constitutional policing, that is the mark of a police state. 

And for the record: Minnesota doesn't even have a stop and identify law. The 24 states that do, in some form, are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri (Kansas City only), Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin. 

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  1. I hope he can sue those fuckers.

    1. There’s almost always a modest settlement on these cop cases here.

      1. That’ll teach those vile taxpayers a thing or two!

  2. obstructing the legal process.

    The lowliest grunt in the Army has the right (DUTY) to refuse to carry out an unlawful order. That cop issued an illegal order. In P Brooks -topia, a cop shown to have issued an illegal order would be jailed and permanently excluded from the job.

    Haha. I crack myself up.

    1. Where is the like button? How do I like this?

      /millennial questions

    2. Issuing illegal orders should be something on the order of assault (for the order itself, a clear threat) and kidnapping if it continues to an arrest. After all, that’s what a civilian would get for the same action.

      And that felony record would bar him from service or collecting any pension or disability.

  3. “When you start debating the police, and when you start becoming non-compliant, you’re telling the police that you’ve got something to hide and they want to find out what you’re hiding,” Dutton said.

    Shorter version: “If we didn’t have reasonable suspicion before we started talking to you, we’ll have it afterward.”

    COMPLY. OBEY. THE INNOCENT HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR.

    1. As an “expert” I wonder if this guy makes his living testifying in court? If so, couldn’t these public statements be used to show that he doesn’t actually understand the laws governing the use of force by police officers?

    2. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS INNOCENCE, ONLY DEGREES OF GUILT.

      1. With current U.S. law, that’s more or less true.

  4. Retired Golden Valley police officer Joe Dutton is a use of force expert.

    Let me guess; Rule Number One is, “Don’t hold back.”

  5. Retired Golden Valley police officer Joe Dutton is a use of force expert.

    Um, no, actually, he’s not.

    1. He thinks he is. It says so on his business card.

    2. I’m sure he’s good at hurting people.

    3. How would you like him to come over there, and kick your ass.. Citizen?

  6. Cops need reasonable suspicion to believe you have committed a crime or have warrants for your arrest to legally demand identification.

    Failure to comply with an illegal demand for identification is reasonable suspicion to believe you have committed a crime or have warrants for your arrest.

  7. I think its important to note that Stop and Identify does not mean produce some form of government issued ID.

    It means you have to give your name, dob, and address.
    Some of the state laws also state that you must give an ‘explanation of your actions’ though I would think that is in conflict with the 5th amendment.

    1. Yeah, the laws vary greatly from state to state. Some just give cops authority to ask for ID but (theoretically) not to punish you for refusing. Others allow them to demand your name, address, DOB, and where you’re going and explicitly make it a criminal offense not to comply.

      Regarding “identify yourself” vs “produce ID,” you’re totally correct, but I think in practice a lot of cops see it as a requirement to show them identification

      1. There are youtube videos of the New Hampshire Free Staters telling cops that under NH law they are not required to produce an ID on demand. They identify themselves, but no ID. It’s funny because the FS’s know the law, the cops don’t, and don’t quite know how to react when the Free Stater politely declines to produce ID.

        1. Cops don’t know the law because that’s not their job. Their job is to make people comply obey. The law is the least of their concern.

          1. When disobeying a lawful order is an actual crime, then as far as the cop is concerned, his word IS the law.

            1. Everything the cop says is a lawful command. Even if it isn’t.

  8. if only Americans would blindly obey every law enforcement whim

    Not doing so in the USA, while alone with police officers, can get you killed regardless of your color. And, there will be no one to say or prove otherwise. Us people of color have know this for years.

    And we need real answers on the following:

    1. Does one have the right to resist arrest? If one is being unfairly targeted by police or even being illegally arrested, is a citizen expected to maintain composure and just come quietly?

    2. Where are the damn cameras on every cop? It seems that the only police misconduct cases that are ever addressed are ones that are caught on camera. All others are just presumed to be the fault of the citizen and not the cop. The cameras are showing otherwise.

    3. Do we need a citizen’s code of conduct when dealing with a legal contact with law enforcement. Does this have to be part of the
    school program like Health and Driver’s Ed?

    1. 1. No. Fuck you, that’s why.

      2. On the shelf collecting dust. Because fuck you, that’s why.

      3. There is a citizens code of conduct: Obey. Because fuck you, that’s why.

      1. Half the time when they do have cameras the video is lost or some convenient shit.

      2. That “Fuck You” attitude by authority has to change. It is unacceptable and is Key in Keeping America AMERICA.

        I’m hoping cameras will change this. But look, this was was recording everything and still he’s tassed and arrested.

        I want to take away disorderly conduct and resisting arrest from the police. These tools are too loose and they have clearly shown that they can’t have loose laws.

        1. Keeping America AMERICA is one of the primary reasons we are fast becoming a third world hellhole.

        2. The only thing that will change it is them facing consequences for their actions.

          In this case a guy was assaulted, kidnapped and falsely imprisoned.

          What happened? The charges were dropped.

          Did the officers face any charges for their illegal behavior? Nope. Since then I’m sure they’ve illegally arrested every single person who didn’t comply with their illegal demands for identification.

          And nothing else happens.

  9. This shit wouldn’t piss me off so much if the cops faced consequences for their illegal behavior. But they don’t. Which just goes to show that their job is not law enforcement. It’s compliance. As in you obey. Doesn’t matter if their demands are legal or not, because they will face no consequences for their actions. It’s up to you to obey. Or else.

    Rule of man, not rule of law.

  10. The first speeding ticket I ever got I leaned backwards out the window to see the officer and he crouched down and made to draw his gun. I realized a few things:
    1. This guy is a moron.
    2. He’s scared out of his mind.
    3. I’m a moron for making eye contact and I’d better stop before I get hurt.

    This was in Rockport, Massachusetts in 1988 as far as I know nobody has ever had a shoot out there.

    1. “I’m a moron for making eye contact…”

      So what you’re saying is that cops are retarded and they want cake?

  11. Maybe someone knows can a person claim the 5th and not answer any questions cops have?
    I realize the problem with any answer is with as many laws as we have no one including the police know the correct answers and there in lies the true problem.

    1. Read your state’s law in the linked wiki.

      In Colorado you are not arrested but you are not free to go…scope is to be limited and duration short. But you are NOT under arrest so they have dozens of cases supporting no right to claim 5th protection. AT LEAST AS FAR AS what the statute says you need to provide. Name address and business there.

      1. They did have one case where they threw out confessions other than the above for a defendant cause he wasn’t under arrest and not mirandized.

  12. On a happier note, Happy Birthday to Hans Herman Hoppe.

  13. What kills me is that the reporter didn’t call the “expert” out on this. Why not ask him to cite the relevant statutes?

    Or at least go get another opinion for the story. Maybe from a good civil rights lawyer. I’m sure their take might be a tad different.

    The only positive I see in this story is that it is in St. Paul so I won’t be getting taxed to pay the victim off in this case.

  14. I found the following comment out there. Evidently, it looks like when a Cop comes and start asking you questions, you are a detainee . He probably should had just shown the ID.


    The question whether it is constitutionally permissible for the police to demand that a detainee provide his or her name was considered by the U.S. Supreme Court in Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, 542 U.S. 177 (2004), which held that the name disclosure did not violate the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. The Hiibel Court also held that, because Hiibel had no reasonable belief that his name would be used to incriminate him, the name disclosure did not violate the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination; however, the Court left open the possibility that Fifth Amendment right might apply in situations where therewas a reasonable belief that giving a name could be incriminating.

    So he didn’t “know his rights” after all. The cop’s original question was to ask his name and he refused.

    1. This is a de facto abolition of the Constitution.

    2. No, no, and no. He was not a detainee. Detainment is tantamount to arrest, and it has very a very specific meaning (hence, “am I being detained?”). The police cannot go up to people and start asking questions and thereby make such person a detainee.

      1. Oh I agree.

        However, this feature is not available to black people who are alone with police and no cameras.

      2. Actually, the analysis for whether you are “detained” or “seized” (and therefore the Fourth Amendment applies) can be kind of subjective. Clearly if physical force is applied you are seized. But you can also be considered to be seized if, under the totality of the circumstances, a reasonable person would feel as if they could not leave. I think there need to be some element of coercion by the police and that can be as subjective as the type and tone of questioning if it would lead a reasonable person to believe that, if they don’t comply with requests or provide answers, they will be arrested. It can get pretty murky.

    3. A curious thing about the Hiibel incident is that the cop never made a demand: he merely said, over and over, something like “I need to see some ID” ? a statement of opinion with which Hiibel reasonably disagreed.

  15. Well, just read Colorado’s Stop and ID law. The highlights:
    First off almost all the cases listed in the CRS as supporting are pro cop.

    I am required to provide Name, Address, and what I am doing.

    It is unclear if I MUST provide ID if I have it on me…easier to not have it on me.

    I imagine my response will now be tailored thusly – “My name is XXXX. I live in CITY. I am here being XXXX from CITY.”

    So, do i get a tasing or just a beat down?

    1. It’s kinda like when the 4th grade teacher asked me to use the word “Pencil” in a sentence and I replied:

      The word Pencil can be used in a sentence.

      They didn’t have tasers…but those nuns sure had BIG HANDS.

      1. I read that a BITCH HANDS.

        Still right.

  16. That is not constitutional policing, that is the mark of a police state.

    Yes. This is a police state and the Bill of Rights is a dead letter with the possible exception of Amendment 3.

  17. Some facts are overlooked. First, police were called by the security guard for Mr. Lollie refusing to leave a restricted area. This is reasonable cause to ask his name. He was not “picking up” his kids from daycare. It was 9:30 in the morning and he came off the night shift for some obscure reason. (The kids were not even at the daycare yet when the incident occurred). I think the police were excessive. But this was not a random “take down.” If Mr. Lollie hadn’t been belligerent to staff and police in the first place, this would not be a story. He played the race card–not the police. Money grab. Three cops with impeccable service records must be wrong. Money grab.

    1. *Some facts are overlooked.*

      Facts are irrelevant to REASON when the Cops are involved. For REASON, cops=wrong, every single time.

      And libertarians wonder why they never get any electoral traction.

      1. Kinda like to know where these “facts” are coming from.

    2. What does it matter why he was there? The seats were in a public through way, and weren’t marked as private. He obviously left the seats after being asked to leave. He was a citizen going about his business.

      Does a person have to provide ID and explanation for their presence to police officers upon demand. That’s the question.

      What about the mall cop. Does he get to stop citizens and demand ID and address?

      What if he just stops pretty young girls to get their address?

  18. What does Lord Kitchener have anything to do with this?

  19. Years ago my criminal procedure professor brought in a local cop he was friends with to answer questions regarding probable cause, warrantless search & seizure, Terry stops, the whole bit. I asked about how he and his colleagues deal with the “reasonable suspicion” requirement to conduct a Terry stop in an open-carry state (like Kentucky). He immediately became confused and blubbered something about “well, if you’re walking down the street with a shotgun we’re going to stop you.” I pressed on and inquired as to how, in an open-carry state, a visible, holstered sidearm could amount to “reasonable suspicion” of a crime occurring, about to occur or having recently occurred that would permit him to detain and question me. He became more confused and just said something about “show us your license and your gun registration and we’ll let you go.” Setting aside the fact Kentucky doesn’t require gun registration, it was obvious the concept of “you don’t have the right to so much as stop me without clear evidence of a crime” was utterly lost on him and most cops you Terry, or in this case “stop-and-identify” laws, as carte blanche to violate the Fourth Amendment.

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