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"activists" setting themselves up

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  • "activists" setting themselves up

    So, in the vein of having an awareness of those you interact with, I ventured over to copblock and poked around. Reading some of their literature, it sure seems that they are dangerously close to setting their followers up for arrest, or at the very least detention. Stuff like:
    Camera A – point person closest to scene that uses livestreaming technology if available (free smartphone app). Each situation is different but generally it’s a good idea to approach a scene in the line of sight of the cop, both for your safety and so they can’t claim they were caught off-guard. If the scene is a traffic stop and the cop is running information in their cruiser it could be a good opportunity to communicate with the person stopped
    To me, this is very ambiguous. If anybody not involved walks up to a traffic stop I am on, they are going to get a very large dose of my attention quickly, and others as well.

    Granted, I am sure this is the point, but it makes me wonder how many of us have ever actually encountered these people?

  • #2
    I've never come across people that are this interested in our interactions with the public. At protests 'legal observers' will sometimes film and try to interact with arrested people but I've never had a third party try and intervene with a car stop.

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    • #3
      This should fit the situation (Texas)

      Sec. 38.15. INTERFERENCE WITH PUBLIC DUTIES. (a) A person commits an offense if the person with criminal negligence interrupts, disrupts, impedes, or otherwise interferes with: (1) a peace officer while the peace officer is performing a duty or exercising authority imposed or granted by law; (2) a person who is employed to provide emergency medical services including the transportation of ill or injured persons while the person is performing that duty; (3) a fire fighter, while the fire fighter is fighting a fire or investigating the cause of a fire; (4) an animal under the supervision of a peace officer, corrections officer, or jailer, if the person knows the animal is being used for law enforcement, corrections, prison or jail security, or investigative purposes; or (5) the transmission of a communication over a citizen's band radio channel, the purpose of which communication is to inform or inquire about an emergency. (b) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.
      In God We Trust
      Everyone else we run local and NCIC

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      • #4
        Criminal negligence seems like a pretty high threshold to prove. I reckon you might struggle to show criminal negligence in impeding your duties just because someone talks to a driver when you are back in your car writing up the scud or doing checks on the computer.

        We have an offence for obstructing, hindering or delaying police in the execution of their duties or even inciting or encouraging another to do so too but I wouldn't be arresting just because someone is filming or talking to the crook during a break in your interaction with them.

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        • #5
          Filming I wouldnt have a problem with, assuming they stay out of the scene. Depending on the conversation, I might not have a problem with that. If they walk into my active traffic stop, they are getting detained and investigated, and possibly arrested.

          That being said, I was curious as to how often this is really a problem from these guys around the country.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mulgrave600 View Post
            Criminal negligence seems like a pretty high threshold to prove. I reckon you might struggle to show criminal negligence in impeding your duties just because someone talks to a driver when you are back in your car writing up the scud or doing checks on the computer.

            We have an offence for obstructing, hindering or delaying police in the execution of their duties or even inciting or encouraging another to do so too but I wouldn't be arresting just because someone is filming or talking to the crook during a break in your interaction with them.
            For this charge I need to establish two elements. First is the actor behaving in a manner beyond what a resonable person would do, and then did the actor's actions increase the risk to my safety while not adding to the benefit of society as a whole.

            Not that our DA would pursue this charge but it would allow him to have something to negotiate down from.
            In God We Trust
            Everyone else we run local and NCIC

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            • #7
              The ones I've dealt with were non confrontational. After seeing that they were going to be ignored, they move on. I dont give them the time of day. "It's my constitutional right to record xxxxx." I just tell them whatever, just stand over there. They usually just leave.
              John 3:16

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              • #8
                I was at a large protest once. We were in the process of arresting a protester that was throwing rocks. Another protester stuck an iPhone in my face. That protester got to ride with the first protester we were arresting. The iPhone guy sued for "excessive use of force" claiming that his iPhone was broken while he was simply exercising his 1A rights. The judge disagreed with the fine citizen and not only did he wind up getting some jail time, but he also lost his civil case and had a pretty hefty attorney bill.

                Be careful when dealing with these clowns. They do all kinds of stuff to illicit a response that they can post on the internet.
                Getting shot hurts! Don't under estimate the power of live ammo. A .22LR can kill you! I personally feel that it's best to avoid being shot by any caliber. Your vest may stop the bullet, but you'll still get a nice bruise or other injury to remember the experience.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by HI629 View Post
                  I was at a large protest once. We were in the process of arresting a protester that was throwing rocks. Another protester stuck an iPhone in my face. That protester got to ride with the first protester we were arresting. The iPhone guy sued for "excessive use of force" claiming that his iPhone was broken while he was simply exercising his 1A rights. The judge disagreed with the fine citizen and not only did he wind up getting some jail time, but he also lost his civil case and had a pretty hefty attorney bill.

                  Be careful when dealing with these clowns. They do all kinds of stuff to illicit a response that they can post on the internet.
                  Yeah, the way their site reads, I believe that is the intent.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lady Blue View Post
                    This should fit the situation (Texas)

                    Sec. 38.15. INTERFERENCE WITH PUBLIC DUTIES. (a) A person commits an offense if the person with criminal negligence interrupts, disrupts, impedes, or otherwise interferes with: (1) a peace officer while the peace officer is performing a duty or exercising authority imposed or granted by law; (2) a person who is employed to provide emergency medical services including the transportation of ill or injured persons while the person is performing that duty; (3) a fire fighter, while the fire fighter is fighting a fire or investigating the cause of a fire; (4) an animal under the supervision of a peace officer, corrections officer, or jailer, if the person knows the animal is being used for law enforcement, corrections, prison or jail security, or investigative purposes; or (5) the transmission of a communication over a citizen's band radio channel, the purpose of which communication is to inform or inquire about an emergency. (b) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.
                    The trouble with this statute is subsection d:

                    (d) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the interruption, disruption, impediment, or interference alleged consisted of speech only.

                    So they'll stand 10 yards away SHOUTING obscenities at us in the middle of a DWI investigation. I would argue that actually goes beyond the point of "speech only" because the loud shouting makes it too hard to give instructions/conduct the interview. I would argue it infringes on the rights of the subject of the traffic stop.

                    But nonetheless my dept is still somewhat up in the air about when to arrest for Interference.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kermit315 View Post
                      That being said, I was curious as to how often this is really a problem from these guys around the country.
                      We deal with these guy CONSTANTLY. Go to youtube and look up "Peaceful Streets Austin." There's even a video of me in there (although I won't say which one).

                      The actual members of this organization have gotten a little bit of training I think about not encroaching too much on our space. But they still like to push the envelope by doing things like following directly behind a police car all over the sector.

                      We have additional problems with the wannabes who have seen this stuff on youtube or worldstarhiphop or whatever. Many of them think they know the law.

                      I had one of them walk right up to me (within 3 or 4 feet) and start recording while I interviewed a Domestic Violence suspect. He informed me that he was there to make sure the person's rights weren't violated. (First off, what a freakin' hero for standing up for the wife beater). Per dept policy, I directed him to a designated place (about 10 yards away) where he could stand and film and warned him that he would be arrested for Interfering if he didn't comply. After 2 warnings he complied.

                      Next time I encounter this there will be only 1 warning. People need to learn this is not a game. If I give a clear lawful order and they disobey it, they better be ready to go to jail.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by allen_gamble View Post
                        The trouble with this statute is subsection d:

                        (d) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the interruption, disruption, impediment, or interference alleged consisted of speech only.

                        So they'll stand 10 yards away SHOUTING obscenities at us in the middle of a DWI investigation. I would argue that actually goes beyond the point of "speech only" because the loud shouting makes it too hard to give instructions/conduct the interview. I would argue it infringes on the rights of the subject of the traffic stop.

                        But nonetheless my dept is still somewhat up in the air about when to arrest for Interference.
                        I would make the same argument. I really don't have an issue if they stand away from the scene and record. After all I am recording as well. Where I do have a problem is when they insert themselves into the immediate vicinity of my stop. If they become a threat to either myself or the subject of my investigation then things will change.
                        In God We Trust
                        Everyone else we run local and NCIC

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Film my T stop all you want. Approach the driver before they are released and you have a problem. i do not know if or what was passed to or from you to the person i stopped. After i am finished , if you want to interview the person you are free to do so.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In my job this type of thing is common. Unfortunately last year one of the supervisors at my station fell for their crap and got himself into a big spot. This stupidvisor almost/should have got demoted and the job will likely be settling out of court $$$ for his actions.

                            Don't let your emotions control your actions.

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                            • #15
                              One of these clowns is supposed to be coming to be coming to my city in the next couple of months. I tell everyone the same thing when they want to film me doing business you can film all you want stay 21+ feet away from me and don't get behind me once I'm done with my business you can talk to the person I am dealing with all you want.

                              Comment

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