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Fisking a "Copblock" Video

I decided to fisk this "copblock" video.  The reason is that it is labeled "JSO SHERIFF ILLEGALLY DETAINS ME. I SET THEM STRAIGHT."

While this guy is probably quite proud of himself, he would have likely gone to jail if I was a the cop who had stopped him.

First here is the video:



Second, before you wish to argue - he is indeed the person that was stalking (he just allegedly has a license to do so - unbeknownst to the officer since the guy chose to act like a dickhead.)

 I guess neither the guy in the video nor the cops understand "reasonable suspicion."  Reasonable suspicion is a very low bar to clear.  This stop is exactly the classic example of what reasonable suspicion is.  The cops handled it poorly.

Let's look at reasonable suspicion.  Reasonable suspicion is commonly said to be based on "specific and articulable facts", "taken together with rational inferences from those facts", and the suspicion must be associated with the specific individual.

Let's look at the reasonable suspicion in this incident:

There was a dispatched report of a vehicle that matches the description of the stopped one possibly stalking someone in the area.  These are specific and articulable facts.  Apparently the stop was made because the officer made the rational inference from the facts that this could indeed be the same vehicle as reported.  The driver is the specific individual connected to all of these facts.

When the cop stopped him, all he had to say is "The reason I stopped you, is that your vehicle matches the description of a vehicle that is reportedly involved in a crime in this area."  If the driver did anything remotely like the guy in the video, he then should have had the driver exit the vehicle (because if I am the cop, at this point the driver is affirming to me he is likely the potential criminal involved and therefore could possibly be a threat if he is indeed the criminal).  The officer should have checked him for weapons and then began his investigation.  He should have begun with questions the officer has a right to know. Questions like:

Is this your vehicle?
Do you have any weapons in the vehicle?
Have you been driving around this neighborhood for a while?

OK, before I continue, let me point out that the police officer does not have to say what crime he is investigating.  It is not the driver's right to know at his point, as a part of the investigation, the officer is determining if the potential criminal is probably the criminal (if he is probably the criminal - then he may arrest the guy).  How he reacts to the investigation itself can help determine if he is probably the guy committing the crime.

If the driver decides to be uncooperative, and not answer any questions, the officer could determine at this point, that based upon all the facts, this guy probably is the guy that has committed the crime.  He can proceed in a way that is appropriate.  Also note, that while the dickhead in the video has the right to not answer questions, the officer is not obligated in any way to justify his actions to the dickhead.

Well, stay safe - and don't make the mistake this guy did - he got away with it - but he could have gotten arrested and lost his license - trying to "prove a point" and he was wrong.

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