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"That's not fair! You tricked me!"

In Panama City, the cops have developed a novel approach for busting illegal aliens They would rush up to a construction site, lights blazing and sirens going, and then grab anyone who ran away.

This, naturally, had the usual suspects in a tizzy.

Personally, I love it when the police get creative in getting criminals. I have absolutely no problem in them arranging situations where the guilty automatically incriminate themselves.

I've heard dozens of stories where the police decide to round up a bunch of people with outstanding warrants by sending them letters telling them they've won a prize, then arrest them when they show up to claim it -- usually after making them prove they're just who the police are looking for.

And one of my favorite examples was when Florida police put up a sign on the highway saying that there was a illegal drug checkpoint ahead on the highway. The sign was right after an offramp, and there was no checkpoint. Instead, the police simply pulled over everyone who made an illegal U-turn -- and remarkably enough, most of them were carrying drugs.

Most criminals are caught because they do dumb things. And I have few problems with encouraging them to do dumb things, such as incriminate themselves by these sort of ploys.

Waiting for the ACLU to file lawsuits in 5... 4... 3...


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Comments (25)

I'm sick, too, JayTea</b... (Below threshold)

I'm sick, too, JayTea! I think I would enjoy watching one of these busts go down more than the latest "Die Hard" flick.

/ Popcorn, no butter, and a Diet COke, please!

The Panama City thing is fi... (Below threshold)

The Panama City thing is fine with me. I have no problems with lawbreakers being caught for stupidity.

But the Florida thing you mention, of posting a sign telling people there's a checkpoint and they have to pull over, bothers me.

The police then pull over drivers who make an illegal u-turn, because they think they're complying with a random checkpoint?

That's police lying to the general public. I think we can all agree that's wrong.

Well I always love hearing ... (Below threshold)

Well I always love hearing a lib rationalize Police actions...imagine a sign lying about a drug test. Ohhhhhh, how eviiiiil?

How about the county/state sign "Men at Work", now that one's funny. Call the aclu now...

jim, I understood the check... (Below threshold)

jim, I understood the checkpoint story to mean that people were making the illegal u-turn in order to AVOID the presumed checkpoint. Making the illegal U-turn gave the police a reason to pull them over.

Those carrying on straight didn't encounter a checkpoint.

They're not thinking they'r... (Below threshold)

They're not thinking they're COMPLYING, Jim - they're thinking they're EVADING the checkpoint by doing an illegal U-turn. The police are announcing a checkpoint up ahead - and then watching for those doing the U-ie.

We did the check point thin... (Below threshold)

We did the check point thing a few years ago.
Signs on I-35 would annouce a check point ahead (typically posted at the bottom of a hill) and there would be an off-ramp conveniently between the sign and the crest of the hill(s). The off-ramp is a blind exit (ie you cannot see the whole exit, because it goes under an overpass before turning). The police would then check every car that exited. And the ACLU couldn't even complain, because the sign didn't say the checkpoint was on I-35, it just stated "Checkpoint Ahead".

One of my favorites was fea... (Below threshold)

One of my favorites was featured on COPS (I think it was in one of the first seasons).

Cops call a person with warrants at his last-known number and identify themselves as being with "Dewercs," and that he's won a brand new TV, but it has to be signed for by the wanted person. The person would usually agree to be a given address at a specific time to receive the TV--the officer explaining it on camera said they even had people on cordless phones out on the corner giving them directions and watching for the van.

So, van pulls up, two guys get out of the back and unload a large box, the driver also gets out, and all three approach the door. When the person answers, one of them asks him, "Are you John Doe?" When he answers in the affirmative, they drop the (empty) box and proceed to arrest him for the warrant.

No muss, no fuss, and it gets wanted people off the streets. Gotta love it.

Oh, almost forgot part of t... (Below threshold)

Oh, almost forgot part of the story above... as they're walking back to the van, the cops explain to the now-handcuffed person that "Dewercs" is "screwed" spelled backwards!

I wish I could remember whe... (Below threshold)

I wish I could remember where I read this story. As I remember it, there was group of people who were exasperated at the paper cups, hamburger bags and all manner of garbage, flying around their neighborhood that emanated from a nearby construction site. They organized to go out one morning and do a big clean up when one of the neighbors had a brilliant idea. Since it was common knowledge that most of the workers at the site were obviously illegal he ordered a bunch of hats for them to wear during their clean up with the letters "INS" in big bold letters.

When the workers caught sight of the clean up crew the majority of them scattered in every direction. Too bad the cops weren't there for that one.

In my former life as a lett... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

In my former life as a letter carrier, I heard some great stories about drug busts from postal inspectors. A carrier or clerk would pull aside an ExpressMail package that seemd suspicious, then the inspectors would come and open it, which they are legally allowed to do. If they found drugs (usually pot), they would dress up as a carrier and attempt to deliver the package. If the person there signed for it, they would be arrested on the spot. Then they would wait inside for all the dealers contacts to stop by for their stuff and arrest them. Oh, and our office would get doughnuts if they got any arrests out of it.

This is how I look at it;</... (Below threshold)
Tim in PA:

This is how I look at it;

Putting up a checkpoint sign and stopping and searching anyone who chooses to go back, or go another way:

Not Cool. This is in effect making the act of delcining a non-mandatory search into ... cause for a search. Think long and hard about that.

If I recall correctly, there was a court ruling on this a while back, but I don't remember which way it went. I think a state court ruled that the LEO's were OK searching people simply for choosing not go another way when confronted with a sign that indicated a checkpoint that, while non-existent, would have been illegal.


Putting up a checkpoint sign, and stopping anyone who makes an illegal U-turn, etc, and then incidentally doing an officer safety search on the within-drivers-reach sections of the car, or obtaining verbal permission to search the vehicles, I don't see a problem with that. Nor do I see a problem with someone who drives off like a total nut - it's just like running off on foot.

.. typo, should read "choos... (Below threshold)
Tim in PA:

.. typo, should read "choosing to go another way", of course.

I'm sick, too, JayTea! I... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

I'm sick, too, JayTea! I think I would enjoy watching one of these busts go down more than the latest "Die Hard" flick.

So would I. I saw a video on YouTube awhile ago that someone posted. He had a pickup truck, and he drove to his local Home Depot to pick up a day crew, claiming he needed some workers for a deck project, then drove them to the INS. It was funny watching them scatter.

Had a good buddy many years... (Below threshold)
John in CA:

Had a good buddy many years ago, was a third generation American of Mexican descent. Grew up in Santa Monica and Santa Maria.

Told me one of the favorite things he and some of his school buddies would do was run into a place where they knew a lot of illegal aliens worked or hung out, yelling "La migra, la migra!" and watch the illegals scatter.

He had no use or sympathy for illegals.

For many years I drove a Su... (Below threshold)

For many years I drove a Suzuki Samurai. It's a relatively "high" vehicle, which led to me learning to play a little game.

If I spotted a cop car, and it was going in my direction, I'd slip in behind them until it was time for me to turn off, or they did.

Because of the height of my vehicle, though, people behind me usually couldn't see the cop in front of me. I got a number of good belly laughs when some hot-rod would come zooming by and then spot the lights on the car in front.

C-G-C, that's just wrong... (Below threshold)

C-G-C, that's just wrong. (heh heh)

In the 70s, the Alabama Sta... (Below threshold)

In the 70s, the Alabama State Troopers had some AMC Javelins for Interstate patrol. These cars retained their factory paint jobs. One thing they didn't have was a State Trooper emblem on the drivers door, but there was an emblem on the passenger's door. The troopers would drive at the speed limit in the right lane and unsuspecting people would pass them. Then the trooper would pull along side of the "speeder" with the State Trooper emblem in full view: ticket book in hand.

Bill in california the CHP ... (Below threshold)

Bill in california the CHP tried to use factory colored Mustangs on I-5 and other major freeways. Someone threw a fit that the vehicle used to track/arrest him for speeding wasn't painted black and white and the CA Supreme Court agreed with that opinion. Sadly, the option of having non-standard colored cars for traffic stops is no longer allowed in CA. Its considered "entrapment"

The drug checkpoint trap wo... (Below threshold)

The drug checkpoint trap works as cstmbuild describes.

Typically the chosen exit is one in a rural area with no gas station or other destination point nearby, and the check point merely asks for license and registration, counting on the guilty to act nervous and invite further inspections.

I have never had drugs in a... (Below threshold)

I have never had drugs in a car, ever.

I have avoided going through unconstitutional* police checkpoints as a matter of principle.

Guess that makes me a criminal. Who knew!

* Just because the Supremes said it was constitutional at some point doesn't make it so, which is an increasingly sad thing about said court, though they seem to have done relatively okay this past week.

The unmarked car is a real ... (Below threshold)

The unmarked car is a real problem here in Phoenix. We have had several robberies, rapes and abuses of people who have been "pulled over" by an unmarked car.

If you get followed by an unmarked car, then go to the nearest police station or don't pull over until you get into a crowded parking lot.

Running from an unmarked car is OK, but running from a clearly marked car is not.

The cops I have spoken to s... (Below threshold)

The cops I have spoken to say that if you're being pulled over by an unmarked car and are not sure if it's a cop or not, call 911. They'll either confirm that it is a cop or send a marked car to your location... or both.

Or you can run, and you'll ... (Below threshold)

Or you can run, and you'll find out soon enough if it is a real cop.

The southern trooper walked up to the cab of the F100 he'd just pulled over and asked the good ole boy seated inside if he had any ID. The driver paused for a moment then said: "About what?"

Or you can run, an... (Below threshold)
Or you can run, and you'll find out soon enough if it is a real cop.

True, they will usually call in marked units to help in a pursuit.

However, the problem with that is that you could be adding a charge of fleeing and eluding to your ticket.

Probably safer to just call 911.

Safe? Better to be sure th... (Below threshold)

Safe? Better to be sure than safe.






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