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Using traffic stops in high violent crime areas to reduce it

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  • Using traffic stops in high violent crime areas to reduce it

    Check out this article from Courier Journal:

    LMPD handcuffed a black teen for a wide turn, then told him to 'quit with the attitude'

    https://www.courier-journal.com/stor...rn/3210229002/

    What are the pros and cons of this method?

  • #2
    Yes I believe there is national movement afoot to discontinue the use of this “tactic.” Feel free to conduct an internet search for such words as Police Reform and Implicit Bias and “Stop and Frisk”.
    semper destravit

    Comment


    • #3
      So...you want us to tell you something you’ll use to bash cops? Or what..?
      Now go home and get your shine box!

      Comment


      • jumpkutz
        jumpkutz commented
        Editing a comment
        No sir (I assume you're a sir due to the "Shadowman" handle). I'm asking you to read the article, watch the videos and tell me what you think. I'd like the perspective of LEO's from outside jurisdictions not cited in the article.

    • #4
      Let's start at the beginning and establish some truths:

      1. he was not cuffed because he made a wide turn, he was cuffed after probable cause was established for a search and arrest (a positive K9 alert is PC for arrest) I'm sure the movement to cuffing after the positive alert was due to the suspects attitude. Your statement is inflamatory and accusatory.

      2. he was told to lose the attitude in the beginning, not when he was cuffed. specifically when he began dropping profanity at the police

      Now, onto your question: traffic enforcement, specifically traffic enforcement in high crime/high drug

      What is the purpose of traffic enforcement? Overall, it is to impact driving behavior or address community concerns. We routinely get requests for directed traffic due to people running school buses, speeding in neighborhoods, etc. Absent this, traffic on the main roadways is a good way to reduce speeding, find impaired drivers, interdict drugs, etc. I prefer running traffic in neighborhoods as the 5-10 over on a residential street is potentially very dangerous, moreso the running of stop signs.

      Now, high crime and high drug areas. To be proactive, you have to find the crime. This means talking to people. It wasn't uncommon when I worked a post to get out and walk and talk. No one was detained at first, it was a simple hello and whatnot. If they chose to talk, so be it, we went from there. If I developed RAS or PC, it went from there. For example, I stopped to talk to a potential witness and immediately smelled very strong marijuana. I also observed a bulge in the subjects hoodie and she wouldn't remove her hand from the pocket. I had PC (marijuana) and I had RAS (the bulge/hands/body language) to move to detainment and arrest. I did, she fought, she got slammed on the ground. She had a huge knife and was headed to stab a girl she had a beef with. She got slammed because of the above, no because she was "suspicious."

      So, back to my point. Running traffic in those areas (high crime/high drug) is a good way to find guns, drugs, warrants, etc. While we might not prevent the eventual shooting, it does show a presence. The majority of the time I made stops in those neighborhoods it was a resident and we simply had a conversations, I explained why I was there and based on the interaction cut them a warning or repair order or, seldom but sometimes, a citation. There were other times we prevents robberies, such as the time we stopped a car for a minor infraction and found out there were responding to a craigs list add to buy a high dollar item at a well known high crime area. We were able to assist them in choosing a safer location, to which the "seller" refused to meet at, giving us the very strong vibe these kid were going to get ripped. That's not news worthy though.

      The other thing this type of traffic did was establish valuable intelligence and "norms" of the neighborhood. We learned who routinely came and went from the neighborhood, were we suddenly seeing an uptick in cars from the local cities indicating a power play by the gangs? Were we seeing more blue in a typically red neighborhood (gang colors) meaning a turf issue was forming? Simply being in the neighborhood was liked by most law abiding residence.

      Now, where does this go wrong? Well, take your statement in your post. You claimed the black teen (had to put race in there) was cuffed for making a wide turn. No one gets cuffed for that. You get cuffed for what happens after the fact but the narrative is a continual one. A cop responds for a shoplifting and the suspect pulls a knife and is shot by the police and the headline reads "shoplifter shot by police," a speeder refuses to stop and rams a police car and is subsequently tased and arrested and the headline reads "women tased for speeding." The narratives usually leave out such things and Reasonable suspicion and probable cause. All of this can be explained, but it's usually not eye catching headline worthy and doesn't fit a narrative.

      So lets put all of this into a scenario to see how this works out......

      I'm driving down a major roadway and observe a vehicle with no taillights as it passes me (around 0300). I conduct a lawful traffic stop for the equipment violation. Upon stopping the vehicle, I speak with the driver. His immediate story makes no sense, I smell air freshener, he hands me a ticket from a previous stop in a known high crime/high drug area, he lives in a nice area of the county a long way from the drug area and he has clothing items in plain view associated with a known local gang. What do I have? I have SUSPICION but nothing else. I do my business, he gives me consent. He is not detained at that point, he is not cuffed (see where I'm going) and it's all because he is cooperative and we have built a rapport.

      I open the trunk, smell marijuana (this was before civil citations.) I now have PC and detained and cuff him because I now have a chargable offense and he isn't free to leave. He wasnt cuffed because he didnt have functioning tailights, he was cuffed because a crime was afoot. I finish the search, find drugs and paraphernalia indicative of distribution and he goes to jail. His race and initial infraction had nothing to do with why he was cuffed, which I will venture to say was the same thing in this video. Attitude, perception of fight/flight, totality of the circumstance, etc all add up to how we detain someone.

      Comment


      • NW121
        NW121 commented
        Editing a comment
        Well stated.

      • jumpkutz
        jumpkutz commented
        Editing a comment
        A point of clarification, if you will allow me. The statement before the link to the article is not mine. It is from the newspaper's website version of the story. Probably not even written by the author of the actual article. So it isn't my statement that's inflamatory and accusatory, it's theirs. My interest is in what LEO's from other jurisdictions besides the one's cited in the article think about the article and the videos. The kid's attitude seemed OK until the officer opened his door and removed him from the vehicle. As a lay person, I'm wondering about the procedural and/or legal reason for that. Can you enlighten me? Thanks.

      • Iowa #1603
        Iowa #1603 commented
        Editing a comment
        jumpkutz
        Carrerchange#2 enlightened you as would any officer in any jurisdiction.
        He went into great detail in doing so
        If you can't understand what he related....well...you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink

      • careerchange#2
        careerchange#2 commented
        Editing a comment
        jumpkutz,

        In regards to ordering someone out of the vehicle....the supreme court has held that occupants of a traffic stop are in effect "seized" for the duration of the stop as long as it meets the reasonableness test. Additionally, case law at the state and federal level (I believe PA Vs Mimms would be the case law from 2007) has ruled we can order the occupants out of a vehicle during the course of the stop for any lawful reason.

        Some reasons? Well, maybe it's noisy and I want to make sure the driver understands what documents I'm giving him. Maybe I'm picking up body language of something more and want to talk with the driver while I run the info. Maybe the driver has been carjacked or is the victim of domestic violence and is obviously scared and I want to talk with them away from their passengers to verify their wellbeing. Maybe I don't like standing in the roadway and it's safer on the curb.
        Regardless of the reason, a 30 second Google search reveals a treasure trove of case law that we live by.

        My livelihood and my brothers and sisters livelihood are staked on it everyday. We love the constitution as much as the next person and as such while the contact/video may LOOK bad, it may be 100% lawful and constitutional.

        Now, folks love to argue constitutional law on the side of the road all the time, such as:

        -Saying things such as unless they've committed a crime we can't ask for ID or detain them. Wrong.
        -Saying we couldn't shine a light in their car because they were pregnant and they were going "to study ya'lls protocols." Wrong

        The big issue is folks not knowing what they don't know, such as the difference between RAS and PC and what it allows us to do. I don't need PC to stop your vehicle, I need RAS OR a good faith reason, such as a call for service to check your wellbeing, etc. It's not uncommon to get a call for a vehicle going the wrong way on the hightway. Multiple calls, but the time I catch up it's crossed back into the proper lane of travel. Do I just say "oh well?" No, I can legally stop the vehicle based on witnesses and check on the drivers well being. 9/10 its a confused person who simply missed a lane shift or something. We get them headed the right way and all is well.

        The video you saw literally happens thousands of times a day across the US with usually no negative outcome because of the attitudes of people. Often times police will try and power things down and speak at the drivers level, saying things like "dude" or "bro" or whatever to put the suspect at ease, even saying things like "I'm not going to chase you because..." as tongue in cheek. It's not my thing but for some folks it works in the areas they work. Why do these thousands of other contacts never make it to the news? Because it doesn't fit the current anti-police/police are facist/boot licker narrative that has been rampant since the previous administration (another topic.) I've been filmed a ton of times and I usually (if possible) make it a point to speak with the folks filming after the fact to explain what they just saw.

        I gave an example of this early with the lady who had the knife I slammed. Two older ladies saw it happen and were vocally displeased of what I had done. Once things settles I showed them the knife and explained my actions and you'd have thought they were both my grandmothers with the "oh baby thank goodness you're ok" and "wow she deserved that!" You don't think they told the neighborhood? Of course they did. I even had a supervisor who sat down with the family of person I arrested who fought me and filmed the whole thing. He explained play by play why things went the way they did and in the end they agreed to immediately email me all the footage (after we politely told them of the rule of seizing evidence) so that it could be used in the event of prosecution.

        A lot of this is how you word things. Not every cop is built and developed to run interdiction. It's a balance. Just like not every cop can work outreach, SWAT, etc. All it takes is one seemingly bad interaction (even if lawful and within policy) for a weak kneed manager to throw you and the department under the bus.

    • #5
      Bazinga!!!
      Now go home and get your shine box!

      Comment


      • #6
        I'm not going to watch that entire video because I don't have to agree with everything single thing they did or exactly how they did it. That is merely ONE example of a traffic stop. I'd rather address the topic of pretext traffic stops in high crime areas.

        Pretext traffic stops are an essential part of proactive policing. It's often much more than just pulling over the first car you see commit a minor traffic infraction. Every beat has it's known dope houses, gang houses, and prostitution areas. All types of crime emanate from these. I can't just walk up to the dope house and knock on the front door. But when a car leaves that house or that street, I can stop it for a minor violation and see where that gets me. I've arrested far more violent felons and seized far more guns from pretext traffic stops or subject stops than I have from just waiting around for someone to get shot or stabbed.

        I would say the pros are that it gets guns and bad guys off the street. The cons (and I'm trying to be diplomatic here) are that it can foster resentment if the officers aren't respectful and don't use good discretion as to who are the bad guys and who are the good people who just live in a bad neighborhood.

        One thing to keep in mind, is that the Courier Journal is showing you the one traffic stop that they want you to see that supports their agenda. For all we know, those officers may have 5 times as many stops that resulted in arrests of violent criminals or weapons seizures.

        Comment


        • #7
          Originally posted by allen_gamble View Post
          I'm not going to watch that entire video because I don't have to agree with everything single thing they did or exactly how they did it. That is merely ONE example of a traffic stop. I'd rather address the topic of pretext traffic stops in high crime areas.

          Pretext traffic stops are an essential part of proactive policing. It's often much more than just pulling over the first car you see commit a minor traffic infraction. Every beat has it's known dope houses, gang houses, and prostitution areas. All types of crime emanate from these. I can't just walk up to the dope house and knock on the front door. But when a car leaves that house or that street, I can stop it for a minor violation and see where that gets me. I've arrested far more violent felons and seized far more guns from pretext traffic stops or subject stops than I have from just waiting around for someone to get shot or stabbed.

          I would say the pros are that it gets guns and bad guys off the street. The cons (and I'm trying to be diplomatic here) are that it can foster resentment if the officers aren't respectful and don't use good discretion as to who are the bad guys and who are the good people who just live in a bad neighborhood.

          One thing to keep in mind, is that the Courier Journal is showing you the one traffic stop that they want you to see that supports their agenda. For all we know, those officers may have 5 times as many stops that resulted in arrests of violent criminals or weapons seizures.
          Back in the 1980's I was working as a deputy sheriff. One small town that we were responsible for was having trouble with younger people & vandalism, racing around, squealing tires etc The Sheriff wanted someone to work the town for a couple months to see if it could be quashed .

          I volunteered, and worked the town every night for 6 months..............the "problems' stopped after I implemented a "stop everything that moved" program where after 9 PM I stopped every car where I could find a reason to stop.

          Brake lights, license plate lights, headlights , rolling stops, etc. The car would be stopped and I would explain to the driver that I was in town for a while and I expected the vehicle to be up to code in two weeks or we would be talking again.


          I had no arrests to speak of and I wrote only "fix it " tickets......but the vandalism in town pretty much stopped. The mayor was happy, The Sheriff was happy , and so was my Sgt except that my ticket stats were so low for that 6 month stretch .

          I left and the town went back to rotating deputies . The kids learned and stopped playing games for quite some time. i went back to regrular patrol and my arrests/ticket stats went back up
          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

          Comment


          • #8
            This! That’s how it’s done.
            Now go home and get your shine box!

            Comment


            • #9
              OP,

              Why should we bother trying to explain things to “the media”, when ALL you do is misquote, lie, or make things up..?

              For someone who is supposed to only report The Facts, YOU people live in the realm of fantasy. I have nothing but contempt for 99.9% of you. Try telling The Truth.
              Now go home and get your shine box!

              Comment


              • jumpkutz
                jumpkutz commented
                Editing a comment
                I guess I’m hoping I’m in the 0.01% who are doing the job right. Or at least trying to.

            • #10
              It's hard to tell if the OP wants commentary/criticism on the particular traffic stop in the article or if he's really interested in pretext traffic stops as an overall approach. If it's the former, I'm not interested. As I said earlier it doesn't really matter. There's more than one way to do a traffic stop. You don't have to like the way they did it, and in the grand scheme of things that one traffic stop is not significant.
              If it's the latter, I'm curious to know what other patrol response we are comparing it to? The "sit and wait for something to happen" approach? When an officer such as myself is not responding to 911 calls, what would you have me doing and how would it contribute to the goal of reducing violent crime in that particular area?

              Comment


              • #11
                Fair points and questions Mr. Gamble. I’m hope I’m not naive enough to expect criticism of LEO’s in this forum. It’s an impossible job, and God knows I’d never even try to do it. I respect the hell out of those who do. Unfortunately, in the internet age, perception often times is reality in many minds.
                People will wonder if this one stop is like many of them. Defensiveness and indifference from LE reinforces the belief that they are. Appearances are deceiving. And videos don’t tell the whole story. Still, I think the average citizen would be curious to know what you think of what you read and saw.
                • As to the second part of your observation, there are a lot of circumstances about this detail that aren’t included in the story. But some are. This unit is the “Mobile 9th,” which is deployed in one of the eight patrol divisions at the direction and discretion of the chief and other command staff. It’s a different dynamic from regular patrol officers in uniform and marked cruisers working their beat. So their beat is the entire city...where their bosses tell them it is. So it isn’t really about the garden variety patrol response, if there is such thing. I think you hit the nail on the head with your previous observation. It does get some of the bad guys (and girls) and guns off the streets. And it can foster resentment if the officers aren’t respectful and don’t use good discretion as to who are the bad guys and who are the good people who just live in a bad neighborhood (VERY diplomatic, btw).
                • I would submit that it not only can, but does foster the resentment you cited. It’s a tough call: does the bad outweigh the good? I think
                • it helps to get all perspectives to answer that question, including LE’s.

                Comment


                • careerchange#2
                  careerchange#2 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Slight disagreement,
                  LE is the first group of folks to criticize or tear apart other LE if their actions are **** poor and bad. The difference is, we are the only group where the actions of one are automatically viewed as all of us. Don't believe me?
                  - a doctor took inappropriate photos of a patient. Where was the outraging and rioting at minute clinics all across America? Patients lives matter movement? Nope, just him investigated and charged.
                  - a firefighter is popped for arson. Calls for disbandment of fire departments? Assaults on fire fighters? Nope, just posts of "well theres always ONE."

                  Now, flip that around. 30 seconds of video taken at a 10-20 minute scene and whatever that cop does is wrong because people get rich off that ****. Lawyers flock and offer to sue, celebrities in their walled mansions denounce police to get viewers, politicians speak out to pander for votes, the public cries to suspend due process and immediately convict the cop because all cops are the same and hide each other.

                  No one hates a bad cop more than a good cop. In fact, my money is that if you took all professions, looked at SUSTAINED allegations of wrong doing, you'd find a higher per capita amount of dirty folks in professions other than law enforcement.

                  Oh, and I can't tell you the number of times we were wrong (according to the public) because we didn't do things like Live PD, Cops, Blue Bloods, etc.

              • #12
                Jumpkutz,

                The problem with the outlook of "good outweigh the bad" is that it isn't as simple as that. To understand where we are today with community/police relations, you need to go back and look at how policing has changed since the civil rights movement, the rise of gangster rap and glamourizing of crime and criminals and villainizing of police.

                All of this is predicated on the viewers background. For example.....I've been stopped several times throughout my life. I've never been anything but respectful of law enforcement and was issued the documents I deserved. When I told my parents this, their response was "well you deserved it."

                Flip this around to an environment where you're told from an early age that anything that happens to you is because of your skin color, sex, age, background, place you live, etc. Not internal factors, but external. You listen to music and see these billionaire celebrities encouraging violence and flashing guns/drugs/money. It's intoxicating. For many, it's their answer to get out of their environment, or so they think. Anytime you get caught breaking the law, people rally to you, blaming racism, the police, the president, whoever. Never once do those you trust and respect hold you accountable for your actions.

                If the days of "halt police" still worked you wouldn't have any of these videos, but today anything, and I mean ANYTHING that goes against what some of these folks believe/have been taught is immediately viewed as disrespect and the response is usually violent.

                Why do you think so many crimes go unreported or unsolved? The life of "snitches get stitches." Hell I watched an interview once with a mother after her son (an adult) was killed after an armed robbery and was shooting at police. Her response was that he was "just trying to get paid" that he was "owed" something and that police shouldn't have shot him because he was an aspiring rapper. How do we, a lot of us as suburban folk, even begin to connect to a community with that mindset??

                To be blunt, this has really turned into what the military calls "winning of hearts and minds." You have to be proactive in the beginning to get folks on board with why you do what you do. You can't, as a police chief, have the face of the agency by McGruff or Fluffy McHugAThug and then turn loose the dogs of war to rip everything moving. Agencies need to get out ahead of things, especially post shooting. Chiefs need to explain constitutional law so folks understand how the fleeing felon law works.

                The worst phrase ever is "he/she feared for his life." No Chief McVoteForMe, I didn't fear for my life, I "...recognized that the suspect posed an imminent and clear threat to my life and the life of the other officers and, more importantly, the innocent public in the immediate area. The suspects actions met all departmental and constitutional use of force guidelines and as such, absent any other immediately effective solution, I fired with the intent to end the suspects felonious and harmful actions...."

                The media is the worst with this. The number of times I've seen tattooed gang members represented but a 10 year old school photo on the news is sickening. The guys social media page is filled with photos of guns, drugs, him dropping phrases like '**** da po-leece" and "hoes" this and "N word" that but none of that is reported. No, just the photo from when he was 8 and wearing his elementary school graduation cap and of course it tugs at peoples heart strings that it could have been their kid.

                Want more evidence" Check out some headlines...….

                "Police officer allegedly shot by man after he allegedly robbed a store"
                "Man gunned down by police after failing to stop"

                Which one is fair and impartial? We are fighting a losing propaganda war against the media. Take a look at my earlier post about ordering folks out of their vehicles and you'll see what I mean.

                Comment


                • #13
                  Originally posted by jumpkutz View Post
                  Check out this article from Courier Journal:

                  LMPD handcuffed a black teen for a wide turn, then told him to 'quit with the attitude'

                  https://www.courier-journal.com/stor...rn/3210229002/

                  What are the pros and cons of this method?
                  Originally posted by jumpkutz View Post
                  A point of clarification, if you will allow me. The statement before the link to the article is not mine. It is from the newspaper's website version of the story. Probably not even written by the author of the actual article. So it isn't my statement that's inflamatory and accusatory, it's theirs. My interest is in what LEO's from other jurisdictions besides the one's cited in the article think about the article and the videos. The kid's attitude seemed OK until the officer opened his door and removed him from the vehicle. As a lay person, I'm wondering about the procedural and/or legal reason for that. Can you enlighten me? Thanks.
                  Bull sh*t.

                  That's the line your post led with and that's one of the first thing you asked us to respond to. It was then followed by a biased story that grossly misrepresented ther facts. You made no effort to disclaim the information as not parroting your own sentiment. The response you got was measured and appropriate under the circumstances

                  You have just learned your first lesson about the world cops live in. Words mean things. Choose them carefully and don't get butt hurt when you come into someone else's house, use the wrong words, offend folks and don't like the response you get.
                  Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                  Comment


                  • jumpkutz
                    jumpkutz commented
                    Editing a comment
                    All due respect sir, the line that leads my post is "Check out this article from the Courier-Journal." The first thing I asked everyone to respond to was the pros and cons of the method in the original post, not the story. I made no effort to claim or disclaim the information in the story, unless you consider merely posting it here infers complicity. In my third post, I asked people to read the article, watch the videos and tell me what you think. I would like to think I've learned more than a few lessons about the real world cops live in after 39 years as a TV news photojournalist. Words do mean things. Headline writing has been a field of land mines for every journalism student and news editor since print reporting began. The deadline pressure to create a concise, accurate summary of a complicated story that captures the reader's attention is full of risks.
                    And many of the news web producers who write them for digital platforms like websites, social media and mobile devices have no journalism training. That's not an excuse, that's just the way it is. Despite great effort and attention to detail to write fair, accurate and unbiased headlines, a few miss the mark, some terribly. If you think this one is inflamatory, and unfair, try to imagine one that goes something like this:
                    " Racist cops stop black teen motorist, detain and cuff him for extremely minor traffic violation." No way does this make it into a reputable newspaper, broadcast or online news agency's cover, newscast, home page or other digital platforms. But it will still end up on the internet on something that looks like a legitimate journalism entity, but isn't. And people will think it's legit and lump everybody into the "liberal, drive by, mainstream, fake news, enemy of the people news media." (Sound familiar?) Because nobody is policing the wide open, anything goes world wide web. And if you're on it, your "house" is wide *** open to anybody who wants to come in.. But, if you allow civilians into your house by means of a forum such as this, that's tantamount to an invitation to come in, is it not? And if your invited guest offends you in some way, isn't it customary in this country to allow them some grace?
                    But let's forget all of that and assume all of your assertions here are absolutely, 100% correct and true.
                    How do they help this dialogue? How do they elevate our thinking? How do they help, period?
                    I'm not here to pick fights. I'm here because I genuinely and truly want to learn and understand this, and get as many sides of the topic as possible.

                • #14
                  Bazinga!!!
                  Now go home and get your shine box!

                  Comment


                  • #15
                    Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
                    OP,

                    Why should we bother trying to explain things to “the media”, when ALL you do is misquote, lie, or make things up..?

                    For someone who is supposed to only report The Facts, YOU people live in the realm of fantasy. I have nothing but contempt for 99.9% of you. Try telling The Truth.
                    Yo CCCSD, more flies with honey than vinegar, okay? But you have a very legit point. Media are dirt diggers, sensationalism. If they read off a redacted arrest report on the 6 o'clock, dry as dust, the viewers are going to change the channels. Facts are facts, Average Joe lives in a media fantasy land. Many or most media blitzes are tossing out drama. The viewers rarely want reality. When a cop does a pull over every situation has differences. None are exactly the same. Even two cops doing the same exact pull over won't be thinking on the same exact lines. All about thinking on your feet while going by the briefings, the watch fors, and you own personal past knowledge. Then along comes the media and paints a black picture bottling every similar incident into a media drama worthy news bite.

                    Comment

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