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If it walks, talks, and quacks like a duck during duck season, it's gonna get shot

The British police are now saying that the shooting of a man on a London subway last week was a "mistake." They have identified the man as Jean Charles de Menezes, 28, a legal immigrant from Brazil. Brazil is demanding an investigation into the shooting, and would like to see criminal charges filed against the police.

Now, while the late Mr. de Menezes has been exonerated as a terrorist, I have yet to hear the original facts of the shooting disputed. And let's look at those facts:

1) It was the day after the second bombing.

2) The man was wearing a heavy jacket on a hot summer day.

3) The man jumped the turnstiles, violating the law.

4) The man ran from police.

5) The man ran towards a crowded subway car.

I would like to see the London police express their regret for Mr. de Menezes' death, but NOT apologize. His death was his responsibility entirely. He did everything that a bomber would do, and deliberately chose not to do the things that would have allowed the police to determine he was not a threat before they were forced to shoot and kill him.

My sympathies go out to Mr. de Menezes' family, but more sympathy for the officer who shot him. He did exactly the right thing, and has to live with the knowledge that he killed a (relatively) innocent man.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference If it walks, talks, and quacks like a duck during duck season, it's gonna get shot:

» Macmind - Conservative Commentary and Common Sense linked with Friendly Fire

» Down deep in Texas: The View from Waco linked with The Shooting in London

» Sister Toldjah linked with Man shot in UK was case of mistaken identity

» Say Anything linked with The London Police Shooting

» Searchlight Crusade linked with Iraq and the War on Terror Roundup

» Danny Carlton: codenamed "Jack Lewis" linked with British police criticized for shooting of suspect

» CaptainNormal.org linked with Kill Anyone Who Looks Suspicious

Comments (52)

Reportedly this man was an ... (Below threshold)

Reportedly this man was an electrician.

What do bombs need? Wires and electronics on that list. This man was seen leaving a house under survaillence for the bombings. He wore a heavy coat. (perhaps his delivery was already complete).

Add to that, he fled from police and I wouldn't assume he wasn't connected to the terrorist just yet. I'm sure (hope) he's being investigated further.

I agree with you completely... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

I agree with you completely, it is a tragic situation. People in London have to be aware of the extremely tense situation there. Any person exhibiting aberant behavior in London may draw themselves into a situation with dire consequences. Running into a tube station and entering a car with the police ordering you to halt can not be tolerated.
Regrets, yes. Apology, no.

Does this remind anyone of ... (Below threshold)

Does this remind anyone of a carload of Italians running a roadblock? This was far from a case of shoot first and ask questions later, he denied the police the option to ever ask questions and it not only cost him his own life it endangered the lives of many others.

Jay Tea... I agree with you... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

Jay Tea... I agree with you totally! I feel really sorry for the family...BUT... that poor policeman who shot him is probably feeling terrible now that they are saying he was not a terrorist. What is strange is how suspicious he was acting? ...AND... Why was he wearing such a big coat?...AND...What was he doing at that house? Hmmmm? You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to get a clue that something isn't right!...

I read several blogs every ... (Below threshold)
Doug R:

I read several blogs every day and yours is one of the blogs I never miss. Your take on this reminds me of why. You offered the best and most consise analysis of anything I read. It is simple easy to understand and 100% accurate.

There is one question that I have not seen asked that I think is a possible answer to this. Could this be a suicide? I mean after all this guy was just asking to be shot.


Gotta admit though... The b... (Below threshold)

Gotta admit though... The brits found a better way to secure the subways than the 20% spotchecks we are running.

Can't get much sympathy goi... (Below threshold)
Mrs. Davis:

Can't get much sympathy going for the family. Fruit doesn't fall far from the tree, and they raised him, in any case. He may have been innocent of Thursday's bombing, but I doubt he's an innocent. What was he doing? Acting as a decoy to protect someone else in the house under surveillance?

A sneaky way to gin up anti... (Below threshold)

A sneaky way to gin up anti-war, appeasement feelings would be to act like a terrorist, attract the sniper bullets and be found unarmed . A suicide bomber without the goods, but a suicide bomber all the same and on purpose.

Along the lines of the titl... (Below threshold)

Along the lines of the title, some guy went into the woods to practice his turkey calls and got plugged by a turkey hunter. Of course, that's a TAD different; the hunter should LOOK, not just LISTEN, before firing........

Just wondering if Britain h... (Below threshold)

Just wondering if Britain has the equivilant of Maxine Waters.

The police had no choice in... (Below threshold)

The police had no choice in the matter; the guy actually seemed a threat and was treated as one.


A man under surveillance, ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

A man under surveillance, for a several days (but never questioned), is chased into a subway station by plane-clothes police, with their guns drawn. Subsequently a police officer sat on the same innocent man, and then summarily shot him 5 times in the head. This doesn't even happen in Sao Paulo. Any person with any sense knows that Brazilians have are the most Catholic and Evangelical Christian country in the world,,and have nothing nothing to do with fanatical Islam or even international or national terrorism. They are in London for one reason alone, to work hard as this man was wiith to jobs to earn money to have a better life in the future back in Brazil. I have spent years with Brazilians in London, and the interior of Brazil where I now live, and I have never met one Brazilian who remotely fits a Islam terrorist suspect profile. Next time, I hope the Met asks some questions, to identify a person, before they start chasing ..and then killing him or her in cold blood..

The police did the reasonab... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

The police did the reasonable thing here, and it really bothers me, when we second guess reasonable police work.

I can't help but wonder how the police would be treated had the man actually been a terrorist, but the police let him get away, when they could have stopped him.

Sorry, but reasonable people stop when the police ask them to stop, and they do not jump turnstiles, and continue to run-especially the day after a second bombing in the subway system.

Bad choices often end in bad consequences but the person who should be held acountable is the person who made the bad choice, and that person would be Menenze not the police. I feel for his family, I feel for the police who mistakenly shot a man, but I don't think the police are morally or criminally to blame here.

From what I read, it was pl... (Below threshold)

From what I read, it was plainclothes officers. Did they identify themselves as such? If they didn't then from his POV, it might have seemed a large group of guys just drew guns on him.


its clear to me...he wasn't... (Below threshold)

its clear to me...he wasn't white skinned and he spoke with an accent, he wasnt one of us...he deserved to get his brains blown out even if he wasnt involved with the musl;im murderers...he wasnt innocent and even if he was he didnt have any rights...we should have this attitude in this country...including shooting those wetbacks as they come across the borders

Neil, you're dead right. Th... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Neil, you're dead right. That's why, in a country of about 1.6 million Muslims, there have been scores -- nay, hundreds -- of random innocent people shot to dead without warning on the streets of London by trigger-happy police in the 2.5 weeks since the first bombings.

Whoops, my mistake. There's been exactly one. One guy who apparently did EVERYTHING HE COULD to appear to be a suicide bomber except actually have a bomb on him.

Try not to be more of an ignorant asshole than absolutely necessary, Neil.


Darleen ask:Jus... (Below threshold)

Darleen ask:

Just wondering if Britain has the equivilant of Maxine Waters.

That would be the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, otherwise known as "Red Ken." Also MP George Galloway.

We still don't know the tim... (Below threshold)

We still don't know the timing of when this guy started to run, etc. for all we know he was runnng to catch a atrain.

It was also not a "hot summer day" it was 68 degrees that morning and actually if you look at the photos quite a few people were wearing jackets.

Now before anyone goes off on my I am not condmening or even criticizing the cops. I think there is a high probability that given the general threat, and the waythey percieved this guys that the shooting ws a terrible accicdent.

but I am surpised at just a couple fo comments here:

1) "Sorry, but reasonable people stop when the police ask them to stop, and they do not jump turnstiles, and continue to run-especially the day after a second bombing in the subway system."

a) we don't know the guy heard the commands to stop. We do not know if ANY uniformed authorites were chasing him or attempting to givie him commands.
b) the guy was found with a train pass. in the UK this means if you are in a hurry you can (and many people do) jump the turnstyles. the ticket control is at the end of the line at your destination. if you have a weekly pass manypeopel jump the entry..

2)"A sneaky way to gin up anti-war, appeasement feelings would be to act like a terrorist, attract the sniper bullets and be found unarmed . A suicide bomber without the goods, but a suicide bomber all the same and on purpose."

OK this commentor is accusing this dead guy of doing this on purpose. nice.

3)"What is strange is how suspicious he was acting? ...AND... Why was he wearing such a big coat?...AND...What was he doing at that house?"

Again, suspicious in what way? running to catch a subway? How "big" was his "coat" whichwas actually a jacket? The "house" was an apartement block of over 30 units.

4)Lastly on the other extreme we have:
"Any person with any sense knows that Brazilians have are the most Catholic and Evangelical Christian country in the world,,and have nothing nothing to do with fanatical Islam or even international or national terrorism. "

Whoa "Steve." In fact Brazil is a HOTBED of international terrorism, sepcifically ISLAMIC terrorism. The border area with Paraguay and Argentina is the MECCA for Islamic terrorists on that half of the globe. Google "terrorism triangle" to find out more, and even how top leadership Al Qaeda summits have been held in Brazil!

Again I don;t want to condmen the London Police or even the special atuthoriteis invovled in this. In what is most likly a terrible ACCIDENT I don't seen an injustice or even poor police tactics. On the other hand, the two or three people here blaming this guy for doing what huge numbers of people in london do everyday Since 7/7 -- run for trains and wear jackets on 68d degree mornings -- does not mean this guy deserved it in way.

Er... make that "shot dead"... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Er... make that "shot dead" or "shot to death." I shoulda made up my mind which I wanted to say before I hit "post."


"Stupidity cannot be cured ... (Below threshold)

"Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can't help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity." --Robert A. Heinlein

I wonder how many more "acc... (Below threshold)

I wonder how many more "accidents" are going to happen before the british people just say "fuck riding the subway!". As far as all you "experts" spewing the "facts" about this guy and his behavior before his execution all i gotta say is the dictionary doesn't define fact as speculation and for fuck sake don't the london police have any TASER'S????????? when hit with a taser you can't move a muscle let alone push the button on your backpack bomb!

Hey "Jesus", what happens w... (Below threshold)

Hey "Jesus", what happens when the taser wires hit the bomb?

In the United States police... (Below threshold)

In the United States police officers would have to have a reasonable articulable suspicion that the victim had committed a crime in order to arrest. If he did jump the turnstiles he could have been arrested, but excessive force precedent clearly holds that the use of deadly force is only constitutional where there is a reasonable belief that the individual is a threat to the community. The only thing the officers could have known based on these facts is that the individual jumped the turnstile--which may justify arrest, but not deadly force; that he ran--which is not sufficient to justify deadly force; and that he was wearing a jacket--really pretty insignificant. The use of deadly force to seize someone where there is no reasonable articulable evidence suggesting they are armed, who have only violated transportation laws, and who have fled without force from law enforcement is entirely unconstitutional. If this took place in the US, the officers, and possibly the municipalities who employed them, would be subject to monetary damages for the violation of the individual's constitutional rights under section 1983 of US federal statutory law. This was a wrongful death. Policemen are not vigilantes.

Anonymous:Thank yo... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:


Thank you. I was wondering if I should reconsider my position that a huge percentage of what's wrong with this country is too many lawyers. I appreciate you reminding me that I have that opinion for a lot of damn good reasons.


It's part of the Constituti... (Below threshold)

It's part of the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment guarantees the right to be free from unreasonable seizures. If you think the Constitution is what's wrong with the country have the balls as a man to say so instead of putting it off onto an unpopular group.

Anonymous, thank you again.... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Anonymous, thank you again. I went back and re-read the 4th Amendment:

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. (emphasis added)

Let's see... the day after the second round of bombings (the first round performed by suicide bombers), police see a man in a bulky jacket jump a subway turnstile and refuse to stop when ordered. Yeah, I guess it is pretty unreasonable of the police to presume he's of ill intent and stop him before he has the chance to set off a bomb in a crowd.

Further, Anonymous, would you mind explaining why a British officer in London would be required to obey the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution?


My original post, which you... (Below threshold)

My original post, which you responded to, made the point that this particular search is unreasonable within Fourth Amendment precedent and would have subjected the officers to liability if it had taken place in the United States. Regarding your post, a generalized suspicion cannot support the use of deadly force, nor can the mere fact of flight. The Supreme Court held in Tennessee v. Garner that flight, of itself, cannot make the use of deadly force reasonable within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. All uses of force to effect a seizure must balance an indivudals interest in liberty against the interest of law enforcement in detention and prevention of further violence. That an individual is attempting to flee from a lawful seizure is not enough to support the use of deadly force. This case seems to be on all fours factually and principally with Garner. Of course police officers are going to be jumpy the day after a second round of bombings, but the rights provided under the Constitution do not retreat into an underground bunker at each and every terroristic threat. We do not live in a police state. We ought not submit to martial law. The only way to ensure that these liberties are not taken from us full force is to enforce them with a heavy hand at the first sign of infringement.

I don't know enough of the ... (Below threshold)

I don't know enough of the facts to condemn the police officers involved, particularly in light of the heightened tensions in London. But I submit that none of the yahoos on this board have enough evidence to condemn the victim, either. The feverish speculation based on just about zero knowledge of the situation would be laughable if a person wasn't dead. And the fact that the police have already apologized and declared that the victim had nothing to do with terrorism should carry some weight. The guy had the misfortune to leave a block of flats that were under surveillance (a block of flats, not a single dwelling.) The flats were under surveillance for sevral days, not the victim. He jumped the turnstile and ran, which understandably drew suspicion. And the just because the heavy coat made the police understandably suspicious, it does not follow that the victim is somehow at fault for wearing it. Have you really never seen someone wearing a coat and wondered why they were wearing it in such warm weather? It's only suspicious after the fact.

But what's most disturbing are the reports from at least one witness that a policeman stood over the victim and pumped five bullets into him. We'll see if that turns out to be true, but a lot of reports say that the SAS(I believe that's the correct name) have a shoot first policy, so it seems that it's certainly possible. Again, I'm not blaming the police, but I'm mystified how so many people on this thread have come up with the fact that not only were the police not at fault, but that the guy was probably a terrorist, maybe even a deliberate suicide! Jeez, take a breat.

Just to respond to Tom71, I... (Below threshold)

Just to respond to Tom71, I said it would be a sneaky way to further heat up the *anti* response, not necessarily what this man did. I think it reasonable to believe that suicide bombers could sacrifice themselves without a bomb in order to get a society to turn on itself. Yeah, I think this mindset could plan this on purpose. I don't know if that's what happened here or if we've heard the whole and last of this incident.

The problem with suicide bo... (Below threshold)

The problem with suicide bombers is if they don't comply 100% when initially confronted, it is assumed they will detonate in any struggle. This is taken from multiple police forces around the world that have experience with this.

Anonymous police in the US ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Anonymous police in the US are permitted to use deadly force, when they reasonably believe the suspect they are chasing may use deadly force.

In this case the man was wearing a heavy overcoat, fled the police when asked to stop, ran into the subway, and jumped the turnstiles.

Given the circumstances-multiple bombings in subways over two different dates, and massive casualties. Also the fact that suicide bombers intend to die, but they also intend to take as many civilians with them-essentially the suicide bomber is wearing his deadly weapon, the cops appear to have reasonable suspicion to believe he was going to use deadly force.

Dealing with a suspected suicide bomber running into a subway and jumping a turnstile isn't quite the same as chasing a shoplifter into the subway.

As stated before, but very ... (Below threshold)

As stated before, but very important to this whole thing - these were plain clothes officers chasing this man. Most of us would run in such a circumstance, especially if guns were drawn.

And it's never acceptable for a police officer to fire on an unarmed man, especially on the ground. Especially 5 times.

He had dark skin, ergo, he ... (Below threshold)

He had dark skin, ergo, he was suspect.

Amadou Dialou... (Below threshold)

Amadou Dialou

Would you fundies be saying... (Below threshold)

Would you fundies be saying the same thing if he had blonde hair and blue eues?

Yet more exampls of how you... (Below threshold)

Yet more exampls of how you fundies are just dumber than a bag of hammers.

Really, you should stick to more entertaining stuff like how Clinton?lewinski rerally hurt the US or that Rove's outing of a CIA agent wasno big deal or 14 year olds getting sodomized in Abu Ghraib isn't torture.

What a bunch of nut bags ...

I don't think anyone else o... (Below threshold)

I don't think anyone else on this thread has mentioned this:
According to NBC News, he was an illegal immigrant who did not speak English...
This may explain his failure to stop

Billy/Jamal/Ila/Jackson/Ala... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Billy/Jamal/Ila/Jackson/Alan/Jonmc/Patriot/Kris/George/ Charlie/JimB/Tom/BillH/RobertG/SteveG/Jonny/Whatever: kindly pick one name and stick with it. If you're trying to make it look like there's a lot of support for your position, you need to do a better job of masking your IP address. I don't like banning people, but that particular stunt is one way to get me to do it.

But as far as your "ideas" go, I guess that's why all those other dark-skinned people also got themselves shot over the last two weeks. Why, it's been open season on non-whites around London, hasn't it?

And you call me a "fundie?" I presume that's a derogatory term for a "fundamentalist." As a proud born-again Agnostic, I find the term laughably stupid and wrong-headed. But entirely in character with the rest of your so-called "thinking."


Marcus, it seems he had bee... (Below threshold)

Marcus, it seems he had been in the country for 3 years, and worked as an electrician. He knew the language but was not fluent.

For all those thinking this is race related, look again. He's not exactly non-white.

Regarding the fact that he came from a block of flats as opposed to a single house, I would say (and I dont' know for sure since there's no info) that they would be more precise than that. They didn't have 20 officers following every person leaving the apartment block, they targetted this guy, and from the picture, not because he looked middle eastern.

I wouldn't say he deserved it, but I do think the police are correct in their actions. While I would say it is an unfortunate accident, I wouldn't go so far as to say tragedy. Tragedies are usually things you wished hadn't happened, and under the circumstances, I would still want the police to shoot again next time when confronted with this same situation. We don't yet know the circumstances surrounding the house he came from which may play an important part.

I just can't believe in all... (Below threshold)

I just can't believe in all u guys.
I really would like to see your opinion if that victim were a relative of yours.
The fact is that in Western societies, collective guilt for brown people is second-nature. We hardly notice it. There are always plenty of people ready to justify, to understand the "difficult" position of the police. But I just can't believe that all things being equal, de Menezes would be dead if he had blond hair and blue eyes. Perhaps if he had emerged from his house looking like David Beckham, one of the officers would have said, "hang on, are we sure we are watching the right house?"
In the United States we have many examples of the police making "split-second decisions" to protect the public. There was Amadou Diallo, shot 41 times by four New York City police officers in 1999, while standing at the door of his house. The officers, who were acquitted of any wrongdoing in Diallo's killing, claimed they thought he had pulled out a gun. Amadou had in fact pulled out a wallet. LaTanya Haggerty, a 26-year old Chicago woman, was shot dead during a routine traffic stop the same year because the officer who killed her said she saw her grabbing a gun. What the officer -- who was also black -- thought was a gun, was a cell phone. Chicago has a long, sad history of such "split-second decisions" and what they all seem to have in common is that the victim was not white. Somehow a wallet, a cell phone or a bunch of keys looks more like a gun in the hands of a black person, and a thick jacket looks more like a suicide belt on a brown man.

Overall, I would call this ... (Below threshold)

Overall, I would call this a tragedy. The guy who was shot was (probably) not a terrorist, and the police who thought he was a threat completely failed to stop him from boarding a crowded train despite following him from his doorstop.

At this point, the police's actions appear justified, and I bet they will hold up as the facts come up. But it still shows that a terrorist could have strapped on a bomb, waved hi to a police tail on the way out the door and, with a short sprint, succeed in taking out a train car. At best the police have an impossible job (keep suspected bombers off the subway), at worst they need to review their procedures and detain/shoot earlier. I lean towards the former.

No one could have protected... (Below threshold)

No one could have protected him as well as he could have. When tensions are high, and law enforcement people have good reason to expect another suicide bomb terrorist to strike, there wasn't time for the police to examine all of the possible motives for his actions. If he had stopped, nothing would have happened. Accusations that he was shot because he was "brown," (which he didn't appear to be, from the pictures) reflect the racism of the accuser more than they do the London Police. Yes, it was sad that he was shot, but he could have stopped the event unfolding at any point.

Does anyone care that the p... (Below threshold)

Does anyone care that the police did not just shoot this man, but that he was on the ground pinned when they unloaded bullets into him? The argument that he brought this upon himself is a bit much to begin with, but conceding that he brought suspicion on himself, the police, who would normally immobilize and arrest someone who is already on the ground, would have cleared his name had they taken him into custody instead of pinning him down and shooting him. When has it been acceptable for cops to shoot people on the ground in the back! I can't understand how this doesn't seem like obsessive force. And just because it is only one incident rather than many like it, doesn't make it less worthy of condemnation.

Something to think about:</... (Below threshold)

Something to think about:

The needs of law enforcement stand in constant tension with the Constitution's protections of the individual against certain exercises of official power. It is precesiely the predictability of these pressures that counsels a resolute loyalty to constitutional safeguards. It is well the recall the words of Mr. Justice Jackson, soon after his return from the Nuremberg trials:

"These [Fourth Amendment rights], I protest, are not mere second-class rights but belong in the catalog of indispensable freedoms. Among deprivations of rights, none is so effective at cowing a population, crushing the spirit of an individual and putting terror in every heart. Uncontrolled search and seizure is one of the first and most effective weapons in the arsenal of every arbitrary government."

Hey Anonymous you may be co... (Below threshold)

Hey Anonymous you may be correct in this assertion:

In the United States police officers would have to have a reasonable articulable suspicion that the victim had committed a crime in order to arrest.

But the key word there is arrest. The police need no reason to stop you for questioning and to peruse your ID. If during that stop they form an articulable suspicion, you can be arrested.

So, in this particular case, if it had happened here, if may have gone like this;

1. Recent terrorists act in train station and a heightened security presence.

2. Suspicious person is noticed by patrolman at train station, and is requested to stop and present ID.

3. Suspect runs (now have grounds for arrest) and attempts to get to area in train station were terrorists acts had occurred in other train stations. (suspicion of potential life threatening terrorists act)

4. Patrolman catches suspect who struggles under jacket. (suspicion of potential life threatening act on police officer)

5. Due to #4 and #5 above, officer pulls service revolver and shots suspect in head, body shot or use of tazer could set off bomb.

This was a tragic event, but your absolute declaration of liability would have to be decided in a court.

DavidB, that is absolutely ... (Below threshold)

DavidB, that is absolutely an incorrect statement of the law. First of all, any individual who is not free to walk away from an interaction with a police officer has been arrested, or seized within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Generally, seizures may only be made on a finding of probable cause by someone other than the arresting officer. There are certain limited exceptions to the probable cause requirement, one of which is what's known as a Terry stop. They are known as Terry stops because they were held to be constitutionally permissible under certain circumstances in Terry v. Ohio. That case holds that police officers have the authority to stop an individual to ask questions, get ID, and generally investigate an individual. But they can only do this when there is a reasonable articulable suspicion that the individual has or is going to commit a crime. That is what I was referring to in my post. Police officers have absolutely no right to stop random individuals on the street and require them to answer questions, provide identification, etc.

It's also clear that indivi... (Below threshold)

It's also clear that individuals have the authority to resist unlawful seizures. If it goes like this: 1) plainclothes officers see a non-white male in the subway station; 2) officers ask him to stop without a reasonable articulable suspicion; 3) non-white male flees unlawful seizure--the non-white male has, in fact, not even committed the crime of fleeing from the lawful authority of an officer. This is all hypothetically considering that this all took place in the US.

I suggest you bone up a li... (Below threshold)

I suggest you bone up a little more on recent Supreme Court Decisions, this one in particular.

Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial Dist. Court of Nev., Humbolt Cty.

You may notice if you do a quick look at the information, that the person standing on the side of the road, next to his truck, was asked for ID. When he refused, he was arrested. The officer did not have to answer his question as to why he was asking for his ID, or what he was investigating. In fact, the officer responded that he was investigating and when further queried, he responded that he was investigating an investigation. A smart ass comment that did not inform the arrestee of anything. You will notice that he lost his final appeal.

Kinda blows your little theory there.

Oh, and in your second scenario, the officer has reasonable suspicion once the person asked to stop has fleed. You see, an officer does not ask someone to stop while informing them of the cause for the stop. They don't say, "Stop, I have a suspicion you may be carrying a weapon/drugs/bomb/fill in whatever you want." They ask you to stop, and then you do. If you flee, you have conveniently provided more then enough reasonable articulable suspicion.

DavidB, again your interpre... (Below threshold)

DavidB, again your interpretation of the case law is way off on the critical details. Hiibel involved an individual who the officers determined was suspicious, their basis for this decision was supported by the objective reasonable articulable suspicion standard set in Terry v. Ohio, and only then was the subject asked to identify himself. In fact, the Court makes perfectly clear, as it has in many, many previous decisions that police officers do not have the right to indiscriminately stop individuals. The opinion notes: "To ensure that the resulting seizure is constitutionally reasonable, a Terry stop must be limited. The officer's action must be "'justified at its inception, and . . . reasonably related in scope to the circumstances which justified the interference in the first place.'" The justification the Court is referring to here is the reasonable articulable suspicion mentioned above. You may want to do a bit more than take a "quick look" at Fourth Amendment precedent. Casual readings will only result in a superficial understanding of the law, and often will lead you to make assumptions which are fundamentally at odds with the holdings of the Court.

As to your second point, if the officers did not have a reasonable articulable suspicion when they asked this young man to stop, his failure to stop is not a crime. Engaging in lawful behavior, in response to unlawful behavior, is not cause for a lawful arrest. In fact, the entire idea is absurd. This is exactly what the Court means when they stress that the stop must be 'justified at its inception...." Although officers are not under an obligation to inform individuals of the reasons for their detention, those reasons must stand up to the standard originally set in Terry, otherwise the detention is unconstitutional. Police officers have an affirmative obligation to understand the limits of their authority, and an officer who abuses that authority in order to subject innocents to baseless interrogation and investigation is subject to civil liability.

It may disappoint Neil and ... (Below threshold)
Rich Rostrom:

It may disappoint Neil and Jamal, but de Menezes was not 'dark-skinned'. A bit on the swarthy and dark-curly-haired side, but no more so than most Italians or Spaniards. Anywhere except maybe Scandinavia, he'd be considered 'white'; certainly in Brazil.

The name of this thread sho... (Below threshold)

The name of this thread should officially be changed to "If it walks its gonna get shot." Check this article out, the young man who was shot was wearing a denim coat in 64 degree weather, and did not jump the turnstiles. I hope all of the fascists posting on the thread feel sick to their stomachs.


Given the latest I.P.P.C. l... (Below threshold)

Given the latest I.P.P.C. leaked documents (and so far unchallenged by the authorities as to their authenticity), I think you ought to remove all the comments which heap the blame on the victim, and next time don't be so quick to believe the skokescreen when the Police shoot someone in the streets. The truth rarely mirrors the crap the police put out and the media dutifully laps up to fill space.






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