When Officers dont get it right - it matters

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I started a new topic here because i think it deserves one.

I often wonder how many times this happens across our country.  How many sensitive and explosive situations could have been prevented if the Officers on the street who didnt know the law would not try to guess the law or state the law as they see it.

Im not bashing officers at all, i think they do a very dangerious and needed task.  But such as in my case ill explain what i mean. 

My door has a sign on it that says "please ring doorbell"  yes i installed a doorbell on my RV.  The reason being is that ever since the accident loud banging noises seem to be a trigger for my anxiety attacks. 

In my case not only was i awakened by the loud banging on the door but in no time i was also standing in my living room being barked at and trying to understand what was happening.  This process caused me to get defensive with the officer as i tried to grasp the details and check my emotions.  Especially when i said let me explain and the officers said "no i dont want to hear it, here is what we are going to do"  and i was taken back by his overly aggressive nature as if he was talking to a known criminal which i am not.  (and no i  am not a unknown criminal either lol)

Then on top of that he states that i am not to go on the building property at all and that even though i was banned from one part of the building it was all inclusive and i could not enter any part of the building.  This made me very anxious as i needed to use the RV office to pay my bills but when i ask about that the officer stated "no im sorry youll have to figure out  another way"  i said what other way, there is no other way.  He said "well sorry but thats how it is".  This specific moment could have been a pivital point in the experience, my insides were exploding but i remained calm. 

Well at first i felt like my life was about to fall down around me and i started getting very mad but then i remember that just because an officer says something does not always mean that its true, and that truth will have to be decided in court or with his supervisor.  So i just let the officer blah blah blah all he wanted and signed what i had to sign and let him go on his merry way.

So today i spoke with the chief of police here, he was very nice and took the time to explain to me, i didnt even feel i was talking to a police officer at all, it just felt like talking to my neighbor which felt so good.  Totally different than the officer that showed up here earlier this week.  Anyway the chief said the officer (a SGT by the way) was unfortunately incorrect and the chief apologized.  This is not a quote of the law and i am not an attorney but this is what i am told the law is.

In Texas for business landlord tenant trespass, if the trespass order business shares a building with other businensses then as long as there is a dividing wall (any size wall) between the two businesses then they are considered two separate entities and are not inclusive.  Meaning that if you are trespassed from one does not mean you are trespassed from the other.  Now if they only have one shared doorway then yes they would be inclusive and you would be trespassed from both busineeses.

So with that, everything is fine now, i will use the office when i need to and stay away from the restaurant which is no problem for me as the food sucks anyway lol....

He also told me that as soon as she is out of business (which from what he is hearing wont be long) he will vacate the order which was good to hear because the paper says "no termination date" which also got me stressed out.


Now imagine folks that i was someone with alittle less drive and control over their emotions, someone who didnt believe that this moment will not define me,  or someone that was not on their meds or just someone that had anger issues.  Imagine that pivital point whent the officer said "well sorry thats just how it is".  And think about how many times that happens in a day across the country and how many times a good situation turns bad just like that by the words they use.  Especially since the officer was wrong about the law.

Now think about how the same situation would have gone much better and alot less stress in my case if the officer would have gotten the law correct and just said "all you have to do is just stay out of the restaurant"  you can still use the office just bypass the restaurant sir.  Way less stress and also i had to wait all weekend to find out the truth so the correct response would have saved me two days of stress on top of that wondering how i was going to make this work with paying my bills. 

So again think about how many times such a thing happens in a day and how many times a situation could be defused with just some different tone, different stance, talking too people not down to people, and of course getting the law correct. 

I will bet that there are thousands of cases that turned south that could have been prevented all together.  If it was not for my strong character and skills i would most definately been one of those negative stats and would probably be sitting in jail right now because of my fight or flight emotions kicking in. 

I think this is something that needs to be address nationwide especially in the inner cities.  What was it that someone said, the difference between a wanted criminal and a good citizen could be nothing more than chance and a different outcome in a bad situation.

Thanks for listening.  :)
 

John From Detroit

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I worked with police for 25 years as a dispatcher.

I will admit some officers do tend to be a bit...er.. aggressive. this can lead to law suits. In fact there is one to whom I have given my last warning. And I think a judge likely warned him as well. if we "interact" again I will not loose my temper. but I'll be he does when he's served.  I am not a nice person when you tick me off and I do know both the law and my rights at least in the state he practices in.

For the most part (Oh he's a township cop. I worked for State) the Police I know are really nice people.    Most of the time.
 

SargeW

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Being a law enforcement officer (LEO) is a tough job no matter where you are. Whenever a LEO responds to a call, there is always at least one party that is not going to be glad to see them. It's the nature of the beast. But over reacting is always a recipe for disaster. Often times the reaction of the officer is predicated by what information is available at the time. So if the complaining party gets to tell their side first, party 2 is at a disadvantage.

The very best response it to listen, not over react, and then follow up with whatever avenues are available. Often the reporting party will embellish the facts to try to sway the result in their favor. And likewise the responding officer doesn't have the luxury of investigating all the facts, which often occur outside of business hours. Their main concern is keeping the peace, and preventing a situation from escalating. 

After sifting through all of the stories, the real facts come to light. Congratulations on making a measured rational response. 
 

Bill N

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I see your point but take the time to watch LIVE PD on A&E, Friday and Saturday nights and see what the law officer has to put up with.  Yes, the guy may have been gruff but did you request a supervisor or call the police department when the activity was taking place.

I may be the only one but your post left me wondering what you did to get trespassed from the restaurant.  Evidently it got you a reputation that may or may not be deserved.  But if you don't care to share that I can understand but it does seem to leave a gaping hole in your story.

Sounds like you handled the situation right without blowing up (and winding up in cuffs).  JMHO

Bill
 

Oldgator73

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I have never had any problems with LEO?s. I have been visited, at home, a few times but they turned out to be mistakes. Everybody was calm and LEO?s were very respectful as was I. I have been stopped for traffic violations and again no problems. However, our son, an Iraq War Vet, has PTSD. I worry about him being stopped or visited by the police. He is super respectful but if backed into a corner he can blowup in a millisecond. Things could get nasty real fast.
 

QZ

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Have you ever heard this before..."Can't fight city hall". We understand what you are saying but to me you are messing with stuff that isn't going to end well. You may go in the office now but you'll probably also end up with one of his buddies pulling you over and ticketing you. Yes, that's how it works.
 
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Bill N said:
I see your point but take the time to watch LIVE PD on A&E, Friday and Saturday nights and see what the law officer has to put up with.  Yes, the guy may have been gruff but did you request a supervisor or call the police department when the activity was taking place.

I may be the only one but your post left me wondering what you did to get trespassed from the restaurant.  Evidently it got you a reputation that may or may not be deserved.  But if you don't care to share that I can understand but it does seem to leave a gaping hole in your story.

Sounds like you handled the situation right without blowing up (and winding up in cuffs).  JMHO

Bill

I watch live PD all the time, however here i dont believe it to be that stressfull to be LE.  Only three full time and one auxillery.  I would not be surprised if they spend most of their time watching grass grow.  The sheriffs dept handles most of the outlying calls.  I would not even be surprised if the officers stay and home and just leave when there is a call, its just a sleepy tiny town.  So there really is no reason for him to have been so stressed and agressive. 

I do get the point about them reacting to what they have been told but unless they were told that i had a gun or that i was violent or commited a crime then again there is no reason to have an attitude upon arriving. He should have been calm and just ask what was happening, just exactly what the police chief did when he was here.  The chief was very professional and reliazed it was about nothing, he said nothing about staying away and even agreed with me that "well no crime here" we shook hands and he left, which im sure ticked them off so they called another one in a few days and im sure it was personal.

Now about the issue, no i have no problem explaining as i have done nothing wrong.  However i will keep this short and sweet because i want to stay on topic here.  It was nothing more than i raised my voice to a younger waitress because i felt she was very rude and she lied to me. She then began avoiding me every time i walked in there. I didnt care because i was there for food and not for anything else.  The restaurant in onsite and i live about 1000 feet from where the building is and where they park. When i sit on my patio i am looking right at them taking their break out back. 

So when she got tired of seeing me around here and so close she started rampid hysterics and making up lies to try to get me booted from the park.  Petty stuff like moving her vehicle up front and silly stuff like that. So then others started acting like that when i was around but some knew better as i knew them from the past.  It just grew and grew like a wildfire and i had no control over it.  So the bottom line is rather than just ask me not to go there anymore, and when the chief decided it was a bunch of hogwash, they decided to ban me and rather than just tell me they went right for the throat and had me trespassed.  Thats about it.. its all a bunch of BS lies and made up accusations.  Example:  they told the officer that showed up here that i left a sex doll for that girl on the counter with its legs open, making it sound like i was a real creep.  I have attached an image here of what i actually left, its a stick on smiley face that you hang stuff off its feet.  Its not sexual at all and also i didnt leave it for that girl i left it for the old owners daughters baby.  So i do have a clear cut case of defamation if i decide to file it. 

I also just spoke to the owner of this place and explained fully, he was upset at first because he heard what they were saying but when i explained he calmed down and said, well dave i guess you made someone mad huh (a woman scorned), just stay away from the restaurant and that girl and it should all blow over.


Now back on topic..... 

So my whole point is that police need to understand that anyone can accuse anyone of anything and they need to remember that such information is not always true.  And in that spirit they need to approach it accordingly and not with any bias or unwarranted attitude.

They also need to know the law and not guess at it, because in this case that little difference between not being able to use the RV office or not would cause a huge hardship on me and he should have known.  But maybe he did and just told me i could not just because he was there friend, who knows.

I do agree that i expect to be pulled over for no reason, i dont speed, dont drink, and always wear my seat belt, and check my truck lights out on a reg basis.  Im sure the chief wont do it but this other cop im sure he might have it out for me.

 

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scottydl

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SargeW said:
Being a law enforcement officer (LEO) is a tough job no matter where you are. Whenever a LEO responds to a call, there is always at least one party that is not going to be glad to see them. It's the nature of the beast.

Amen to that. They have an impossible job, expected to handle any particular problem that anyone feels like complaining about... and most calls are usually civil in nature (in the legal sense). Meaning that there's often no real reason for police to be involved at all, but parts of our society have degraded to the point that many people refuse to be able/willing to handle problems on their own with one another, like polite and professional human beings. Enter: the police. Not to mention that the average patrol officer only has a few minutes of preparation when sent to a call, and extremely limited background information before walking into one of these problem-solving experiments.

And if this situation happened late, or in the middle of the night, trust me... that officer didn't want to be there dealing with that complaint, any more than you wanted to be suddenly woken up. ;) At least that's how me and my night-shift colleagues always felt!

I'm glad you were able to get some clarification from the Chief the next day. I always used to recommend "next day and daylight hours" to handle problems whenever possible, which always seemed to work better than "sudden middle of the night" which some/all parties under the influence of fatigue or other stuff.

It sounds like your situation will work itself out, in the near future.
 
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Thanks, it was just after lunch.

I sleep all times of the day.  I suffer from sleep issues, and severe bordum and depression and a ton of other stuff, i have awhole box full of pill bottles.  But i am up at night alot so early morning is usually time to go to bed.  But i only sleep a few hours mostly and back up again.

Yeah sounds like it will be in the past very soon. Her business is not doing very good at all and i know she pays about $1700 a month in lease, thats alot of meals and its just not happeing.  She ticked off the early morning fishers because she does not open till 7 at first, then she changed it to 6, but that is still way too late for the people that fish in the morning.  First light is the best time to fish.

So as soon as she leaves, thats it... back to normal. 


 

Bill N

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Thanks for that explanation Dave.  I can see where, in this day and age (#metoo) that an allegation is just as good as a conviction.  Glad that it worked out.

Let me rob your thread for a short one on PDs.  From what I see on that Live PD show, one has to wonder if anybody has a drivers license that is not suspended, carries insurance and is driving their own car with no marijuana....lol

Bill
 
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Bill N said:
Thanks for that explanation Dave.  I can see where, in this day and age (#metoo) that an allegation is just as good as a conviction.  Glad that it worked out.

Let me rob your thread for a short one on PDs.  From what I see on that Live PD show, one has to wonder if anybody has a drivers license that is not suspended, carries insurance and is driving their own car with no marijuana....lol

Bill

Thanks,  i wonder sometimes too, all my life getting arrested was like the worst thing that could happen to a person, but i see those that its like a daily occurance to get arrested.  I made it to 53 with no record and i want to continue that. 

Sometimes i fully admit that no matter what the officer does or says some of those people just want a fight, its premeditated.  It almost seems fashionable now days to get arrested.

My whole point here is that sometimes their approach can make a huge difference.  But sometimes "people are crazy" and "stupid".

I dont know if you all have ever seen this one or not...  The officer handled it right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30InBgGhiSo

 

scottydl

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Bill N said:
Let me rob your thread for a short one on PDs.  From what I see on that Live PD show, one has to wonder if anybody has a drivers license that is not suspended, carries insurance and is driving their own car with no marijuana....lol

Yeah in some areas, a law abiding citizen is rare. Which is why you can understand officers can easily become suspicious and presumptive that something is "wrong" when they deal with people or situations... because that's almost always the case! It's the lion's share of what they deal with in enforcement situations. I worked night shift for about half of my LE career (nearly everyone I dealt with was drunk, high, mentally ill, or a combination), and the other half was spent working narcotics. You can imagine that I came to view the world differently as a result. Not always in a bad way, just a "parallel dimension" of sorts that most LAC's and IMP's (Law Abiding Citizens and Innocent Motoring Public) never even think about.
 

John From Detroit

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QZ said:
Have you ever heard this before..."Can't fight city hall".

I have had several tickets dismissed because they were groundless. ALL Of them never should have been written. IN all cases there was NO VIOLATION..

For example. One was for disregarding a traffic control device (SIgn) That DID NOT EXIST.

One was for failure to signal a turn.. only I  did not turn

One was for a "Disabled vehicle on premisis"
Law required it be a motor vehicle (it was a trailer) AND
incapable of being started and operated safely (Ok got me there)  AND
No valid Registration.. Proper and valad registration properly displayed.

So.. It was dismissed.

I also know a lawyer or two who have made a career of fighting City hall. AND WINNING.
 

John From Detroit

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Bill N said:
From what I see on that Live PD show, one has to wonder if anybody has a drivers license that is not suspended, carries insurance and is driving their own car with no marijuana....lol

Bill

Bill from where I sat for 25 years (Police dispatch desk) ... Yes it seems like that sometimes.
Actually the Troopers I worked with were rather good at observation and a driver who is suspended. no insurance, or "Counterband" will often demonstrate the fact he has "issues" by his driving habits/body language.. of course some days it's super easy.

Two stories actually 2.5
Early on in my career "my" troopers stopped a driver for busted tail light.. He was unable to produce his licene and running name and other identifers did not produce. requested a manual lookup.. .but wait, there is more. While Troopers were on the road with him another vehicle pulls up and the driver asks the troopers "Why you hasselling my little brother"  So they ask him for HIS id.. Again unable to provide.. This was in 1977.. Both were REVOKED well into this century.. The half.. One of the last traffic stops of my career.. One of the same brothers.

Story 2: Stopped a guy and after he did the"I left my wallet in my other trousers" bit.  I found he was suspended. so he produced the wallet.. next day. Same time, Same place, Same Driver

"Good evening officer I Seem to have left my.... OH HI THERE" as he recoginized the same troopers.
 
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlb7goXKxFQ

He actually says i dont care what the supreme court says OMG WOW...

I hope he got some constitutional training or he gave up on LE all together, Because if he is going to make a habbit of ignoring the law he is suppose to enforce and to protect and serve the public he needs to go back to school.


So with me standing on my property, the chief asked me for ID and i said do i have to provide that, he said no but i would appreciate it, so i had no problem and was glad to give it to him.  But when his SGT showed up a few days later he told me he wanted my id, he didnt ask for it, he demanded it, which is soooo wrong and i did not have to provide it.  However i could see he was agitated and i was not going to mess with him so i gave it up.  Then i went inside to get it and he said can i come in, before i even answered he was already inside.  I saw he had his camera on his chest, thats why he bullied his way in here because he wanted to record the inside of my trailer.

So how many times do officers bully their way through the law. This is what makes people so mad because some officers stick to the law and some dont and just bully their way to get what they want illegally.    What would have happened if i would have told him, no sir you stay outside, who knows.

The sad thing at least with me is that when they bully their way then i start thinking of ways to bully right back and say what i want to say because its legal for me to express my opinion. There were some things i thought about saying well within my rights to do so just to spite him and push back alittle.  But i didnt because it just would have made it worse.  But some people do push back and its because they get pushed around and dont like it.

Now strangely i never had one bad feeling or agression or discomfort when the chief was here.  That is the difference between an good officer that knows and respects the law and a biased agressive officer who has a badge complex.

 

Bill N

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"The sad thing at least with me is that when they bully their way then i start thinking of ways to bully right back and say what i want to say because its legal for me to express my opinion. There were some things i thought about saying well within my rights to do so just to spite him and push back alittle.  But i didnt because it just would have made it worse.  But some people do push back and its because they get pushed around and dont like it"

You may call it being pushed around and may not like it but try acting out or refusing to identify yourself and you can wind up in cuffs and going to jail.  The old "I know my rights" argument may be correct - sometimes- but most often they don't know diddly squat, just something that a buddy told them.  If someone knows their rights the best time to demonstrate that is in front of a judge not a police officer.

Bill
 

Dragginourbedaround

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If you want to take a walk in the officers shoes go on a Ride Along. It's quite the eye opener to see what they have to go through shift after shift. I have been on five ride alongs in a high crime area in PG County, MD. Never felt unsafe (well maybe during a high speed chase of an armed robber) and learned a lot. Would go again.
 

Bill N

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Dragginourbedaround said:
If you want to take a walk in the officers shoes go on a Ride Along. It's quite the eye opener to see what they have to go through shift after shift. I have been on five ride alongs in a high crime area in PG County, MD. Never felt unsafe (well maybe during a high speed chase of an armed robber) and learned a lot. Would go again.

Having become a fan of PD Live and PD Cam, I feel like I am on ride alongs every Friday and Saturday night.  What a demonstration of what a LEO has to put up with.  Even the show fans tend to develop a knowledge of what is coming next and I am happy to know that most police departments tend to operate the same. Are there bad cops - sure - there are bad people in all professions but since the arrival of the body cam a lot of the lies about cops have been shown to be exactly that - lies.  And it is funny how people act when they know a TV camera is present - they either go silent or go hog wild - no inbetweens.  If that show was not live, folks would be saying they are all setups.  But you can't makeup stupidity and you can see a lot of that on that program.

Bill

Bill
 

RVMommaTo6

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I've done ride alongs, and recommend them to anyone. Great experience.
Most of my experiences with police have been good. However, i had to call 911 on an officer once. He was in my face saying hit me, come on hit me so I have a reason to arrest you. It was surreal. This was after he entered illegally. My ex showed up in 2014 saying he lived here, he didn't, and the officer told him he could break in. I went into a locked bedroom, he tried coming in and again, the officer said it's his house so if he wants to break down the door he can. I was yelling he doesn't live here. I pushed a dresser and another piece of furniture against the door and he still broke down the door and pushed the furniture over.
Btw, he never got in any trouble for that because I couldn't "prove he didn't live here" in court. How do you prove something doesn't exist?! How about he proves that he does? Still blows my mind.
(Unrelated to OP, but I am now armed and have a guard dog and WISH he would break in again!) lol
 

SargeW

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Truth of the matter is that all law enforcement agencies hire from the same place as McDonalds. The human race. And there is only so much testing you can do to try and screen out bad apples. There will always be a few that slip by, and that is why there is also a disciplinary system in place for just those occasions.

RVMommato6 said:
Btw, he never got in any trouble for that because I couldn't "prove he didn't live here" in court. How do you prove something doesn't exist?!

A Restraining order. I sincerely hope that you now have one. Simple to get and easy to enforce.
 
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