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Student lands in legal trouble for photographing police cars

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  • Summer Rain
    Guest replied
    quote:
    Originally posted by Niteshift:
    "I actually work/live in the same county as this officer's department."

    Is their lot fenced in? Was there a sign back when the offense happened? (I'm sure there is one now)

    No their lot is not fenced, I can't say whether or not there was a no trespassing sign back there though.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sig220Man
    replied
    There's a lot we don't know about the circumstances of the arrest, simply from lack of information. We don't have any information about whether or not the parking lot is fenced (and someone just left a gate open), or signed, or whether or not the public is allowed to park there.

    The way I see it, if the DA's office is willing to file charges, and more importantly, the arrestee's own attorney is willing to do a plea bargain, then the charges are pretty solid.

    Maybe we should just agree to disagree on this one?

    Leave a comment:


  • Niteshift
    replied
    Well, here is what makes me curious: He was told not to return unless he was "on official township business".

    If this is a "restricted area", what "official business" should he have in there? If it is a location that any average citizen can get into and be around, then how "restricted" is it?

    I have trouble reconcilling the two ideas. If you can go park there while you pick up a copy of a crash report, it's not a "restricted area", it's public access.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sig220Man
    replied
    quote:
    Originally posted by Niteshift:
    Let me ask you this Sig; If there is no sign or anything else indicating that it is a "restricted area", do you still support the charge?

    Yes.

    In my state, there are numerous Penal Code sections dealing with just the issue of trespassing. Some of the sections require the posting of signs and/or fencing.

    But there's one (602 [n]) that does not. It does require that the person, prior to being charged with trespassing, already have prior notice to leave and not return.

    Had this incident occurred in my state, this would be the section that would have been used. In those incidents were persons have been charged (and convicted) of trespassing in my own station's parking lot, this was the section we used.

    Leave a comment:


  • Niteshift
    replied
    "I actually work/live in the same county as this officer's department."

    Is their lot fenced in? Was there a sign back when the offense happened? (I'm sure there is one now)

    Leave a comment:


  • Underdog
    replied
    In Los Angeles, all of the police station parking lots are surrounded by fences or walls. There are signs posted outside the parking lots indicating that the parking lots are open only to authorized vehicles.

    I've been injured and off work for the past few months so I can't comment on the FBI warning. However, it wouldn't surprise me as we have received similar warnings any number of times.

    We have also received many warnings that some crazy has threatened (usually during the course of an arrest) to kill police officers. I have been present when some of those same crazy people have been caught in the enclosed parking lot photographing the private cars of police officers. Based on the walls, sings, etc., the suspects have been arrested and prosecuted for trespassing on public property not open to the public. The suspects' cameras have generally been seized as evidence.

    I don't know anything about the parking lot in question but, since this particular guy was stopped and warned previously, it doesn't seem to me that this suspect could have had any real belief that the parking lot was open to the general public. Hence, I don't have any problem with the trespass arrest.

    Leave a comment:


  • Summer Rain
    Guest replied
    I actually work/live in the same county as this officer's department. If my recolection serves me correctly, we received a county-wide warning that was initiated by the FBI concerning this type of activity just days before this incident. I'm sure that's what made this officer so super-sensitive to the activity of this young man. However, you have to be careful of how you just charge someone with every possible charge that could fit the circumstance. I've heard of several occasions where charges had been thrown out on the basis that they were "frivolous charges." I don't really have an opinion on what the officer charged him with. But I hope that we are all (LEO's in particular) mindful that this type of behavior can be a fine line between legitimate and racist.

    Leave a comment:


  • Niteshift
    replied
    "It's not specifically stated, but part of the elements of trespass is that you must be in an area that you do not have an inherent right to be"

    I'd agree. But I haven't seen anything mentioning fences or signs. Only that a cop made him erase the pics and told him not to come back. I get the feel that meeting the elements weren't as much the cause for arrest as was that they were ****ed that he didn't listen.

    Let me ask you this Sig; If there is no sign or anything else indicating that it is a "restricted area", do you still support the charge?

    Leave a comment:


  • FLLawdog
    replied
    An aggravating circumstance is usually added to a misdemeanor to make it a felony. For instance, if you slap someone across the face, it's a battery, but if that person is pregnant (and the suspect knows or should know) or is over the age of 65, it's an aggravated battery (felony).

    As far as the terroristic threats angle, that should be a charge unto itself.

    HOWEVER...should he have actually entered the building and committed another act therein,(besides trespassing), it would have been a burglary. For the most part, the crimes "therein" are usually theft or criminal mischief (vandalism), but I've done people for battery and false imprisonment PLUS the burglary as well. So, with that said, say he was inside the building without authorization and placed an expolsive device inside, he could have been charged with burglary PLUS any other applicable crimes involving bombs.

    As far as the restricted area angle goes, since the charges were made, I only assumed that was the case. Plus his ever changing stories, coming back after being told to leave and not being able to recall the website didn't exactly help bolster his claims.

    Leave a comment:


  • jessiejordan
    replied
    question : I have heard of something called "aggravating circumstance" - at least I think thats what its called. if someone is engaging in a crime { like this scenario : trespassing } for the eventual purpose of committing a terrorist act is that an aggravating {sp?} circumstance ? I know that in some states like with a hate crime it tacks on another charge to where its treated more severely than if there was not that situation present. is it the same with commiting a crime with the intent to cause terrorism ?

    Leave a comment:


  • Sig220Man
    replied
    quote:
    Originally posted by MadMax:
    Where did you guy's come up with "restricted area"? I could not find that in the article.

    It's not specifically stated, but part of the elements of trespass is that you must be in an area that you do not have an inherent right to be (for example, you cannot "trespass" in your own home), and that you do not have permission to be there.

    Fencing, signs, guards at the entrances, etc are ways for property owners to show outsiders that they need permission to be there. In some states, items such as these may be necessary for a trespass arrest.

    But in my state, these are helpful but not necessary, as long as the person has had prior verbal and/or written notice that they are not welcome. This also appears to be the case in the state where this incident occurred.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr.Orange
    replied
    Jail time for trespassing ? You got to be kidding, probation at the most.

    Though I do agree he shouldn't have been back on the property after being told to stay away. I'm not sure I would have arrested him unless he was in a restricted area. Though haw much factual information are we getting from the newspaper article.

    Leave a comment:


  • Niteshift
    replied
    I couldn't either, which is why I reponded the way I did.

    Leave a comment:


  • MadMax
    replied
    Where did you guy's come up with "restricted area"? I could not find that in the article.

    Leave a comment:


  • InSane1
    replied
    I can see tresspassing definately.

    I think that once he couldn't name the website then that would greatly raise my suspicion. it makes the rest of his "I like to photgraph popo cars" complete Bull****. I wouldn't beleive a word of what he said. Perhaps Im being a paranoid conspiracy theorist but terrorsits train their people for these types of situations. They give them stories that would explain their behavior. I actually think it was a good call on the officer and the department to take action. I doubt they let him go on the probation. I wouldnt. Tresspassing is a MIsdemeanor and a misdemeanor is punishable in MN up to a $1000.00 fine (they just changed it from $700.00) and/or 90 days in jail. Bet he gets the jail time and fine.

    Leave a comment:

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