I have been told by quiet a few attorneys in the past that if the police pull you over and tell you to get out of the car then you should ask them if you are under arrest. If not then you don’t have to. The same thing happened to Henry Gates. He was told to leave his house and didn’t. This was before he was under arrest. I think that could be an interesting argument in court for illegal search and seizure.
Another part I find very interesting is that Gates asked the cop for identification. True this was after the cop asked Gates for the same and Gates was probably just being a hard ass in return, but there are tons of safety courses out there that tell you to ask cops for identification and they must provide it. Perhaps that’s another question to be asked of the arresting officer.
President Obama getting into this debate last night was an excellent move. Back during the primaries I wanted to see the candidates asked about a rash of police violence during the debates. On an almost daily basis we see stories of police deploying tasers on suspects who don’t need them. We also see things like gay couples being arrested for – well being gay.
I would love to see Congress take up this issue and impose strict laws upon law enforcement. If a cop violates the law they shouldn’t be given a reduce sentence because of their “past record of upholding the law”. Instead they should be given the maximum penalty. They not only violated the law, but also violated their oath of office and the public trust.
Its time for our nation to tell the police that we appreciate what you do to keep us safe, but we will not tolerate anymore ego trips. You are not above anyone else because of the uniform. On the contrary – you should be a better example for all to follow.