Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Cell phone use on traffic stop/lawful order

Collapse

300x250 Mobile

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Cell phone use on traffic stop/lawful order

    Are any of you officers aware of any recent case law where the judge has written an opinion on officers ordering drivers to hang up their cell phones, or even using force to gain compliance?

    One of our academy instructors briefly mentioned that we can order people to hang up the phone on a traffic stop but I didn't get a chance to ask, and I won't see him for at least a week or so. Just curious if ya'll were aware of anything on it.

  • #2
    I'm not aware of any cases involving that. There are too many variables to give an accurate answer. It can depend on a multitude of things. If all I'm doing is stopping and writing a ticket, then I could care less. If I think the cell-phone use contributed to whatever moving violation I stopped them for, then I will add the appropriate/additional charges. If there's a safety concern involved, then I will do what's necessary to secure the person, to include yanking the cell phone.
    Last edited by SgtScott31; 05-01-2011, 11:37 PM.
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, this question is more angled towards officer safety such as the driver possibly giving his location to others etc.

      He didn't elaborate and say if you needed articulable facts to describe why you felt like it was a threat or if it was a bright line rule that you can order a driver to hang up the phone, no matter what.

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't know that the availability of things like this are enough to make blanket statement that you consider any cell phone to be a possible gun. This particular one has four .22 cartridges

        Comment


        • #5
          Off hand, I'm not aware of any recent case law regarding this.

          I will caution that grabbing a motorist's cell phone or using force to make them comply in hanging up is only going to go badly for any officer that tries it. That officer would be hung out to dry by their agency and the media. I'm serious about officer safety, but good luck convincing anyone that you were right to use force on a motorist because of a 1:1,000,000 chance that they were actually carrying a "cell phone gun."

          If a motorist wants to talk on their cell phone during my traffic stop, I ask them politely to please hang up. If they don't, there's not a lot to do about it, as long as they hand their license/etc. over. They will probably get a ticket for being rude, but I'm not grabbing anyone's phone or arresting them over it.

          However, in an arrest or Terry stop situation, it's more reasonable that you could be justified in ordering/forcing someone to hang up. Just not your average Joe who's talking on his phone during an average traffic stop.
          Last edited by LPSS; 05-02-2011, 01:13 AM.
          "Screw that. We can make bullets faster than they can make terrorists. Kill them all. Every last one." -Interceptor

          Comment


          • #6
            While the case does not specifically address the use of cell phones during a traffic stops, it does deal with officer safety issues regarding controlling drivers and passengers during a traffic stop. Maryland v Wilson (1997) deals with an officer's ability to control passengers during a traffic stop. Chief Justice Rehnquist stated, " Thus, from an officer-safety standpoint, it makes sense that an officer should be entitled to maneuver a passenger to his own protective advantage, just as he can a driver." Now, an officer or the courts can interpret this to mean that an officer can control the driver and passenger's movements, thus controlling (preventing) them from using a cell phone during the traffic stop.

            Hope this helps. I also remember hearing back in the academy that we can order occupants of a stopped vehicle to hang up their phone. I politely ask them to hang up the phone and most of the time they comply.
            Last edited by usmcrob; 05-02-2011, 01:26 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              This is an issue that has been discussed quite a bit on here. In short order you'll see the officers coming in claiming that nobody should be allowed on a cell phone at any time because they could be calling their homies over to shoot them. Then you'll have the officers who say that sometimes they allow it, other times they don't. Then you'll have the officers who don't really have an opinion on it.

              This topic, like most others that we deal with, will probably wind up being ruled upon by a court somewhere, creating a binding doctrine, or at least a guidance on how much legal right we have to tell people to get off their phones. Unfortunatley, it's one of those that will be ruled upon when some officer (probably stupidly) uses force to stop a crying college girl, or business woman, from talking on the phone, rather than some gang banging booger eating moron.

              I think, as with anything, articulable suspicion justifying why you did what you did is most important. If it's a crying 17 year old telling her dad that she's getting pulled over and is going to miss curfew, that's one thing. If it's one of the aforementioend gang bangers and you over hear him saying "grab your gat and come light this pig up we're at....." then that's another thing altogether.

              I stop some people from talking on the phone when I have reason to believe that their discussion could be detrimental to the stop, or an officer safety concern. If it's someone else, I'll ask them to hang up, and if they don't, i'll conduct my business as normal. Talking on the phone isn't illegal, and unless I can justify my reasons behind it, I've got no right to snatch a phone from somebody.
              Originally posted by K40
              To me, open carry is the equivalent of the couple making out and groping each other at the food court in the mall. Yeah, they are probably legal, as long as they don't start getting undressed. But they are still social retards.
              ‎"You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him." - Rooster Cogburn

              Comment


              • #8
                I was trained that during a stop, they are detained per reasonable suspicion, and thus we have full authority to restrict their cell phone use. I have made people hang up their phones before.
                Last edited by Cyber_Saint; 05-02-2011, 01:36 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cyber_Saint View Post
                  I was trained that during a stop, they are detained per reasonable suspicion, and thus we have full authority to restrict their cell phone use. I have made people hang up their phones before.
                  You've been trained that way, but "is it legal" is the question that has been posed. Could be. Could also not be. It's going to take a judge to decide for us, just like everything else in this job.
                  Originally posted by K40
                  To me, open carry is the equivalent of the couple making out and groping each other at the food court in the mall. Yeah, they are probably legal, as long as they don't start getting undressed. But they are still social retards.
                  ‎"You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him." - Rooster Cogburn

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PtlCop View Post
                    You've been trained that way, but "is it legal" is the question that has been posed. Could be. Could also not be. It's going to take a judge to decide for us, just like everything else in this job.
                    One of the legal handbooks that my agency handed out to me says that I am authorized to do that. So, somewhere a DHS lawyer deemed it to be legal in their opinion. I'm comfortable doing it. Agreed though, a judge will have the ultimate say so.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cyber_Saint View Post
                      One of the legal handbooks that my agency handed out to me says that I am authorized to do that. So, somewhere a DHS lawyer deemed it to be legal in their opinion. I'm comfortable doing it.
                      Well like I said in my original post, there are certainly instances where it is justified and would be found to be legal. I can also see the other side of the coin, where a judge is going to look at an incident before him and say that it's not legal for us to take them.

                      I think it falls into the gray area of the job. There's never going to be a 100% definitive answer.
                      Originally posted by K40
                      To me, open carry is the equivalent of the couple making out and groping each other at the food court in the mall. Yeah, they are probably legal, as long as they don't start getting undressed. But they are still social retards.
                      ‎"You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him." - Rooster Cogburn

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Talking on the phone during a stop is plain damn rude. When I get pulled over I will tell them "I'll call you back in a few minutes." People will put their phone on speaker and set it on their console. It ****ES me off to no end. Like I said, people have absolutely no respect and it's more rude than I can explain. I was raised different than most of these new age jokers. I have respect for others, especially someone in authority such as a police officer, and I always show people respect. This "me, me" generation has a different opinion on what respect means.

                        Also, if I ask you to get off of the phone, and you don't, I'll be getting off the phone for you (in a nice way of course).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you are fearful for your personal safety when on a traffic stop, remove everyone from the vehicle, handcuff all with their hands behind their backs and no-one can use a cellphone.

                          When you have completed your business, explain your personal fears, take the cuffs off and allow everyone to leave.

                          Personal safety is a priority; but, if you are that paranoid, either: 1/ don't make traffic stops of vehicle with more than one occupant; 2/ ignore traffic violations and make good business checks; 3/ find another job!
                          Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

                          [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You will be fine with ordering some people off the phone and ordering others off the phone will get your tit in a wringer. ARTICULATION of the TOTALITY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES will dictate your day.
                            Today's Quote:

                            "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
                            Albert Einstein

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              SgtCHP......you beat me to it.
                              To me, the complete lack of communication with an officer on a stop, up to and including having a completely different conversation with someone else on a phone while I'm trying to conduct business, seems like a safety issue. Just like SgtCHP said, In order to assure my safety with a non-compliant person during a legal "detention", they would be removed and cuffed until my safety concerns are alleviated.
                              I could articulate these facts all day long.
                              The place where you made your stand never mattered. Only that you were there... and still on your feet.

                              Comment

                              MR300x250 Tablet

                              Collapse

                              What's Going On

                              Collapse

                              There are currently 3201 users online. 176 members and 3025 guests.

                              Most users ever online was 26,947 at 07:36 PM on 12-29-2019.

                              Welcome Ad

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X