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Police state

Police stop, handcuff and search everyone at an intersection looking for a bank robber:

“We didn’t have a description, didn’t know race or gender or anything, so a split-second decision was made to stop all the cars at that intersection, and search for the armed robber,” Aurora police Officer Frank Fania told ABC News.

Oh, so you have no idea what you’re looking for but you must do something.

25 Responses to “Police state”

  1. Weer'd Beard Says:

    4th Amendment and due-process be damned!

    Good for them.

  2. Jeff from DC Says:

    Yeah, you can’t do that under the color of law. I usually side with the cops until I hear the full story, but the Supreme Court is actually pretty specific on stopping and detaining people based on anonymous/witnessless crimes. Reasonable Suspicion covers a lot of ground, and when you can’t meet that, you should probably reconsider your actions. Unless it’s like Murder on the Orient Express and everyone is actually guilty…then job well done.

  3. John Farrier Says:

    “Most of the adults were handcuffed, then were told what was going on and were asked for permission to search the car,” Fania said. “They all granted permission, and once nothing was found in their cars, they were un-handcuffed.”

    Uh-huh. Sure.

  4. SayUncle Says:

    Yup. And I hope they all sue.

  5. Gerry Says:

    Piss Off Screw!

  6. Kristopher Says:

    The did not have an RAS .. a Reasonable Articulable Suspicion.

    Anyone there who did not give them positive permission to hold them can sue.

  7. Chris Says:

    Kristopher, if they were under the impression that they could not refuse, they can sue anyways.

  8. Robert Says:

    And since they actually caught the person during the process, this gives them all the morte reason to keep on doing stuff like this.

  9. JC Says:

    Robert – They arrested a guy with two “loaded guns” (no further details), but without a big bag of money. After all of that nonsense, they had to arrest – and charge – SOMEBODY.

  10. FatWhiteMan Says:

    I sure hope none of those people had a 32 ounce soda in their car.

  11. Robert Says:

    Quite some time back- because they are heroes and because their safety is paramount, and they are beyond the reach of any laws, rules and accountability, the police decided they can do anything they choose.

  12. jay Says:

    i was given to understand that reasonable detentions top out at 45ish minutes. 2.5 hours is pretty significant. particularly when they had enough cops present to close down an entire intersection. how long does it take a cop to check a car for a bag of money?

  13. Jake Says:

    Hm. Even if the guy they arrested is actually the robber, there’s a good chance he could get any evidence connected with that stop ruled inadmissible at his trial.

    Prosecutor: He was caught with these two guns that are the same as those used in the robbery.

    Judge: Nope. The jury doesn’t get to hear about that because the stop was illegal.

    Prosecutor: The police found this money in his car, that was freshly stained with the same dye used by the bank.

    Judge: Nope. The jury doesn’t get to hear about that either.

    Defense attorney: The prosecution doesn’t have any admissible evidence connecting my client to the robbery. I move to dismiss the charges.

    Judge: Motion granted.

    Good job catching that robber, officers. Better luck next time!

  14. RWC Says:

    OT – Emily Miller and DC guns

  15. John Says:

    I live just about dead between the two locations [ ] the bank is just SW of me, the intersection where everything else transpired is just NE of me. My son (18) was passing through there on the way to work when it occurred.

    Now, let’s say I’m in the intersection minding my own business (as I’m often through both of those anyway), minding my business, what am I to think when 16 police cars descend upon the area deploy with riot gear and weapons ready?

    Sun Zu’s writings say, “Chill the hell out and cooperate.”

    Beyond unnerving for me.

    Also, as an aside, from the news report, the Walther P22 is a “high powered handgun”.

  16. Dustydog Says:

    More to the point – 2 and a half-hours and they still couldn’t get a description, race or gender? I can understand stopping all the cars for 5 minutes, but 150 minutes is crazy.

  17. Lyle Says:

    “I can understand stopping all the cars for 5 minutes…” Uh, no. Not in this country.

    And “Probable Cause” is for one purpose only– getting a warrant. It’s right there in the constitution, see.

  18. Paul Says:

    Sue ‘em.

    In Houston years ago they arrested EVERYBODY in a shopping mall parking lot for vagrancy. Families, kids, adults going to the stores. And yes they had their pants sued off of ‘em.

    If they tried that stunt here I’d refuse the search for several reasons, a) you may have something illegal in the car you didn’t even know was illegal, b) things can be planted in there, c) IT’S YOUR CAR, NOT THEIRS!! d) anyone who has ridden your car could have left something illegal

    So no, it’s my policy to say ‘NO’ and if they want to wait hours for a drug sniffing dog, that’s fine with me.

    They can tell me I’m to blame if the bad guy gets away. They can tell me if anything is found illegal they will ignore it (police can LIE all the want according to the law in an investigation.)

    But no.. no search.

    And ‘the ends justify the means’???? Hell, HITLER said that kind of thing. Mao said that kind of thing. Pol Pot said that kind of thing. No, the ends do NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS.

  19. Patrick Says:

    They cannot make you wait hours while they find a drug dog who will paw your car in ways that gives them excuse for a search. They don’t get that free time. They cannot hold you that long. The dog better be close by. I think the general rule of thumb is, “almost the amount of time it takes for a normal traffic stop.”

    Maybe a bit more, but not hours.

    I don’t think there is a problem closing the intersection upon reasonable information that the bandit was there. That’s basically a roadblock after a crime and they do it in my county when they must (we only have three roads in and out of my county). The issue is the detention and restraint of everybody just because they were present at the same time.

    Going car to car and having “the talk” and checking for reasonable cause is one thing. Rounding up all the citizens, restraining them and then forcibly searching their cars is a step too far.

    I’m with others here. If this guy get a half-decent lawyer the evidence is probably out. It doesn’t matter if he allowed the search, because he allowed it after several hours of illegal detention (he was literally the last one searched, according to the article). That little fact alone is enough to blow the whole case out of the water.

  20. karrde Says:

    I’ve seen a guess that the “reasonable information” might have been a banker-provided GPS tracking device.

    If such a device was surreptitiously hidden in the money-bag, it would have provided similar information to Police. As in, “suspect is in car at this intersection”, but no other data.

    However, it would be a shame if the robbers detected the device, and passed it off to someone uninvolved with the robbery.

  21. karrde Says:

    …not defending the police here, just offering one explanation of how they got into that situation.

  22. SPQR Says:

    karrde, if that was the case, then they may, only may, have had probable cause for the stops. But that’s not what the police chief has said in his pathetic attempt to excuse it.

  23. Mike Says:

    Guys, do you honestly believe the cops care one whit if they get sued when they pull stunts like this?

    The chance of any one of them getting fired, once the union machinery is deployed, is virtually nil. After an incident like this, few (if any) will lose even a week’s pay — and most likely is that they will be “suspended with pay” (in other words, paid vacation). Not a one will lose a single cent from their pension fund. If the city/county gets sued, the taxpayers are the ones that end up forking over the dough.

    Fact is, police operate with absolute impunity: legal, moral, and financial. Why SHOULD they give a damn about your rights? What’s in it for them?

    It’s all about the incentives, folks.

  24. Rivrdog Says:

    The solution is to empanel a Grand Jury, and charge, at the very least, the idiot cop who was in charge, with kidnapping.

    The CO Criminal code applies to cops, too.

  25. SPQR Says:

    The only reason that the Aurora PD is not already infamous for its misconduct is that its neighbor, Denver, has a worse department.