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Another Question For Law Enforcement People

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by landsmasher, Oct 22, 2002.

  1. landsmasher

    landsmasher 1/2 ton status

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    Saw a searchlight pointed in my window and thought it was a cop that I knew just fooling around like he has in the past. Went out to say hi and heard the sound of a rifle bolt sliding. Then I knew it wasn't the cop I knew. I was hidden by my van and yelled out to him and asked if he had a loaded weapon pointed in my direction. He said yes and to come out with my hands up. This scared me and I was glad I kept the dog inside. Once confronted with the cop I noticed that he had an AR15 223 pointed at me. He told me to turn around so that my back was to him. This scared me also. I told him I had no weapon and asked what this was all about. He said he was reponding to a "Shots Fired" call. I asked him, "All by yourself in the dark with no backup?". Then I told him again that I have no weapon and would appreciate it if he put his away. He told me to turn around and face him. Once he took the spotlight out of my eyes I recognised him from an earlier call to our property about a theft in progress and told him I knew him and asked again if he would take the sights off me. He finally lowered the weapon and explained that he was taking no chances at night with no backup.

    My question is this. Did he break the law and is this normal policy for an officer to respond to a shots fired call? Please keep in mind that neither myself or anyone else in the area had heard anything that even sounded like a shot all evening. Also keep in mind that this is not the first time that we have been "harrassed" by the police here. The city is trying to throw us off the property that we have been renting since long before this was an incorporated city. I beleive they want the land for open space because of all the construction that is going on around us.

    So was this legal? Do they have the right to just point loaded guns at anyone they please and for any reason?
    /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif
     
  2. chevyracing

    chevyracing 1/2 ton status

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    He was probably the first responder and was possibly waiting for backup. If he was just investgationg the scene and due to the nature of the call your appearance could be perceived as a possible threat. Until you have identity and compliance the threat still exists and the officer is looking at the worst case scenario.
    Since I live in Colorado and you live in California the laws could be different. Law enforcement agencies use what is called a "Force Continueum". A force continueum defines what level of resistance the possible threat is at and allows the officer to enter at one level above the level of resistance to gain control of a situation. A force continueum is separated into two parts. The first part is level of resistance, the second part is level of control. A dispatch to a possible shots fired call puts the officer a high level in the force continuem therefore the amount of control or control technique needs to be at or above the level of the possible threat.
    Something else according to your side of the story is you were trying to talk to the officer and give him orders, although politely as it was, bad idea.
    Remember what I said about the force continueum, the officer needs to be in control. The best thing to do when you are in the position of "resistor" is to keep the continueum at the lowest level possible and he will keep the level of control at the lowest level that the current situation permits. When you exited the vehicle you posed a threat to the officer. Threat had to be neutralized, on a call that could be a lethal encounter, had a subject that was in the proximaty of the call, exited a van where he/she was unaware of the contents or subjects in the van, subject was hidden by the van, in my opinion the officer was in the guidlines of the color of the law and was in the guidelines of the force continueum.

    There are some details that were left out of your story. Did the officer identify him/herself. By your admission you knew it was a law enforcement officer that had the light shinning on you. You also said you were hidden by your van. Points to ponder............
    John
     
  3. NEOMASTINO2U

    NEOMASTINO2U 1/2 ton status

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    well sorry to say he didn't break the law he was just being overly cautious. sorry you had to go through that, that must of just been enough to scare the crap out of you! /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif sorry to say there are cops out there that get a little carried away and then there are some that put a badge on and think they are god and can do anything they please. since he was on a call for shots fired he was alone and decided not to take any chances with his life so he armed himself unfortunatley after you identified yourself he should have lowered the gun. again he could of just been a little scared especially being out there alone, he didn't know if you were going to shoot him or maybe you had someone in the bushes that was going to shoot him. but if he had probable cause to be on your property than he didn't break the law, say someone called like a neighbor and said there were gunshots coming from your place well then that gives him probable cause to be on your property, it would take alot to prove that they are harrassing you, start taking notes when and where you get harrassed by them so that way you have a record of it make sure you date it to, then you will have something as sort of proof of what they are doing. again sorry that happened to you /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif and i hope this helped.
    kelly
     
  4. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    Officer safety. Now since I don't know where you live I won't go too far into questioning the officer's actions with no backup. Was this a rural area? Around here, the deputies seem to be having a rougher time with the citizens with Fresno County losing two deputies in a year's time and the local SO getting deputies injured with all the crap they are putting up with. Fresno PD is having a time with all the shootings they have been involved in lately.

    You seem to be a law-abiding citizen, but don't be offended by the officer's actions. I've had the whole shift sit out behind my vehicle ready to throw rounds down range (long story) and I didn't question their motives cause putting myself in their shoes, I would of reacted the same way. That's what I ask you to do, put yourself in that officer's shoes in the same situation and decide how you would react.
     
  5. landsmasher

    landsmasher 1/2 ton status

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    OK...
    To answer some questions first of all this is not really a rural area anymore. It used to be till they built all these tracts around us. I wasn't in my van, I was behind it after coming out of my trailer. I was on my way out to greet the cop I thought it was till I heard the bolt action. Then I knew it wasn't him and asked from behind my van if that was gun being loaded that I heard. He responded YES and told me to show my hands first and come out. HE NEVER IDENTIFIED HIMSELF! I couldn't see him but figured it was a cop. But how did I know for sure? I showed my hands first from behind the van and told him very clearly that I wasn't armed and I was coming out.

    Because I live on 68 acres of open land in the middle of all these tracts I guess he could have been worried that I might be armed and maybe drunk or on who knows what...

    Anyway, the whole force in this "low crime rate area" know of our existance and they have all been here at one time or another. On Christmas Eve they came out in FORCE, handcuffed my manager and put him in the back of a HOT squad car with the windows rolled up and the heater blazing while they searched his trailer for two hours. Then they released him and said they were there because of a report of a burglery. They said the purp was described as a blonde haired white male driving a green pickup. So they drove right to our place and handcuffed my manager? There are close to 50,000 residents here now. Go figure?

    Well enough rant... Thanks for your opinions and advice. Next time I'll just shut up and do what they ask. but there will be a tape recorder hanging around my neck. /forums/images/graemlins/pimp1.gif
     
  6. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I think the first thing you should have done was call 911 when you seen the search light. If the 911 operator told you it was a cop on your propertie, turn on any and all outside lights. Maybe it's time to install some motion dectector lights in a few spots around your house. If the 911 operator told you that thier was no officer in the area, have them send someone out too check out whats going on. I'd file a complaint about that officer's actions on that night. If the dept. won't do anything about it, get the media involved !!!
     
  7. chevyracing

    chevyracing 1/2 ton status

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    but there will be a tape recorder hanging around my neck.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Inadmissable unless both parties know of the recording.

    John
     
  8. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    I'd file a complaint about that officer's actions on that night. If the dept. won't do anything about it, get the media involved !!

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Why? From the info Landsmasher provided, the officer was doing nothing more that practicing good officer safety. Yes, Landsmasher may be offended by his actions, but what would your actions be if you were in the officer's shoes? I can guaran-damn-tee that with the info provided, I would do the same thing. If the offended person wants to file a complaint, that's their right. If the dept. did not back my decisions at the time, then I will find a dept. that will, and yes, there's depts. out here that will back those types of actions if the officer was in the right. There are dept. heads that state to their cops they do not want their people hurt doing their job, and if that means some a**hole gets their a** kicked by the cops for not complying, then the a**hole is in the wrong.
     
  9. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    The tape recorder idea is good. Now there are some comments about the idea and they are right, but I know several depts. that don't follow the "rules" and would love to welcome a tape recording of one of their officers screwing up.
     
  10. Dirty Dave

    Dirty Dave 1/2 ton status

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    NEOMASTINO2U....What the hell is overly cautious? As a medically retired state trooper that limps in the rain and does not have complete range of motion in the left shoulder due to a couple of 40cal slugs I find that statement absurd. So absurd in fact I deleted the rest of my rant.

    As far as police harassment goes I wont say it does not exsist. However all I have ever witnessed has been at street level...ie you get smart with me or keep my friends daughter out late we will make it a point to say "Hi" when we see you, every time we se you. I have never witnessed or even heard of an officer being told from higher to harrass a home owner ....not saying it cant just never heard of it.

    IMHO the only thing the officer did wrong in your account, was not properly ID'ing himself and not having you follow through with his original instructions.
     
  11. NEOMASTINO2U

    NEOMASTINO2U 1/2 ton status

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    well dirty dave i was a cop to and i am sorry if you read my post the wrong way, i meant overly caustious as being extra careful! and i am sorry you got shot, all i meant was an officer can never know what kind of situation he or she is going into it never goes by the book and anything can go wrong even on a normal traffic stop! especially now, these days cops do have to be extra careful with there own lives they don't know who is going to pull out a gun and shoot them! i was on duty one night when a close friend and officer was shot in the neck doing a routine traffic stop! he thought it was just going to be a reagular speeding ticket! no instead he almost died! so yes the officer may have been a little more cautious/or careful if you will, and that may have been why he didn't lower his gun right away i dont know i wasn't there that night and it was just my opinion, and in my opinion you can never be careful enough these days! you never know who is going to try and kill you! if you thought i was against the officers actions i was not was just trying to give a possible explanation on his actions, i defend alot of cops and i do care when an officer gets killed and i don't mind a cop being careful and maybe thinking about having to protect his own life if he feels threatened. so again i am sorry you got shot and i am sorry for apparently offending you with my opinion.

    kelly
     
  12. ChevyHuny

    ChevyHuny 1/2 ton status

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    Kelly I understood what you said and its obvious you were not bad mouthing cops. Sometimes they need to be "jerks" to people in order to protect themselves. It may come off as he is being an jerk to some people when it is just something he has to do for his protection. However there are those cops who are just jerks even when they do not need to be. Not all of them are the same. He could have been trying to protect himself, or was just being a jerk. Not all cops are the same.
     
  13. landsmasher

    landsmasher 1/2 ton status

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    The rest of the story...

    Since about a year ago our rights and our property have been under attack by the city of Murrieta. They want our land for open space so they can continue building more tracts around us. This used to be an airport with a 3000 foot runway. In the last 3 months the city has revoked our conditional use permit which was deemed irrevocable by the county who originally issued it long before this place became a city, revoked our permit to opperate an airport which was issued by Caltrans and the federal govt., and downgraded our zoning from commercial to open land which is illegal to do without the property owner's permission. Code enforcement has been here countless times with no paperwork to tell us that we have to move off the property. We get no response to our calls for tresspassing and we have just started to install new fences and gates around the property at a great expense. We are fighting the decisions by the planning commision and the city council to revoke our CUP and the downzoning also at great expense. We fought this once before and won. But we are being "Nuisance Sued" to death.

    During construction of the exisiting tracts our fences were torn down, large quantities of construction debris was dumped on our property, and an 8 foot storm drain tunnel was built that runs out right across our driveway. A bridge was built across the end of our runway, homes were built within a thousand feet of the runway and a large water storage tank was built within a thousand feet of the runway all without our permission or permission from the FAA. Then they closed our runway because of the homes. All done illegaly... I know... We should just fight it. Well that could cost millions in lawyers fees.

    Now the police come here with these "Made Up" calls on a weekly basis. Shots fired. Burglery Suspects. Illegal 4wheeling (on our own property) Code Enforcement, ie; gray water releases, bushes too high, illegal buildings, illegal quarters on the property, dogs running loose, ect.

    This place has been here for over 60 years and never a problem till they built the tracts. Now it's like living in a goldfish bowl. It's not easy being us...

    Just a note about me and cops. I have many good friends that are cops. I skydive with cops all the time. I also hang glide with a cop. One of the cops on this force in Murrieta is a pilot and I have flown with him for years. He is a sergent and has been told by his chief to stay away from here and have no further contact with us or he will lose his job. A journalist from a local paper who has been doing a story on our situation has been threatened with his job by the city and his paper. Of course they told us that if it goes to court they will deny it.

    It's the Dukes Of Hazard in real life here... I could go on and on but you're prolly getting tired of reading this. Thanks again for your advice and opinions. I think I need to go smash some land now.
    /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif
     
  14. NEOMASTINO2U

    NEOMASTINO2U 1/2 ton status

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    wow sounds like you definatly have your hands full! /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif sorry all of that is going on, it just isn't fair that they can get away with that, isn't there any lawyer you can call maybe one that can do it on a contingency so if you win you can get lawyers fees paid by them, and then he would get paid, or maybe call a news station to do a story on it? or have you thought of maybe contacting the governors office or even a senator? just trying to throw ideas out there to help you figure this mess out, maybe try someone out side of your city maybe someone in a neighboring city can help you fight this. good luck with all of it and if you need to vent anytime day or night just pm or email me okay i will listen to ya! /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif


    kelly
     
  15. 87Blazerlady

    87Blazerlady 1/2 ton status

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    landmasher------don't give up-----do what ever you have to do. Like NEO said. Go Higher. Outside of your city. There must be some kind of News Hotline. This just isn't right. /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif What, is that town being run by someone that everyone, even the local government people of the town, is afraid of? Sounds like a movie I saw one time. Don't ask me what it was, now. Slept since then. That is downright harassment and they are ruining your property.
    When stuff like this goes on, I don't see why a law abiding citizen has to pay to make it go away and in the first place it shouldn't even be happening. I don't know how those people can sleep. /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif
    And if you can't get help, then that just reinforces some of feelings I have about our government. (I'm almost afraid to say that.) Well, here I am ranting and I live across from a seven mile long lake that when it was made many many farmers and landowners had no choice but to give up what they worked so hard for. Not to mention the ecosystem around here..Well, I put my .02 cents in. Don't give up until you have to. Keep us posted, and the best of luck to you.
     
  16. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    Bad deal. Have you heard about the Pacific Legal Foundation or something along that lines? They may be able to give you a hand.

    I'm sure you don't need any advice on what to do, fight or sell out. Me personally, I love the righteous fight and if even you do lose out, stick it to the fawkers!!!!!!
     
  17. landsmasher

    landsmasher 1/2 ton status

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    At this point in time we are contacting the state. Or trying to anyways. Remember that this is California. Our state officials just tell us that it is a civil matter and reccomend that we try to contact the ACLU. They also say that it is hard to beleive and that we might be exagerating just a bit. There is far more that I haven't told you due to lack of time and space. But you at least get the general idea.

    Let me just throw this one at you.

    The property has been up for sale since the building of tracts around us started. It has been in and out of escrow over a dozen times. Every time it goes into escrow the buyer comes back saying that he went to the city with plans that would have been accepted by any city in the state but that their plans were rejected and they were told not to even try again because the city would allow NOTHING to be built here. Not even a stable or a golf course. (this land is 90% flood plain) Only 15 acres of the 68 is above flood plain. We are asking $750k for it (cheap here). The city does not want to buy it. They want to steal it. I also just found out they plan to run a gas line right down the middle of it for the new tract behind us and they say they are going to take the right of way due to eminent domain. That's how they built the bridge across our runway.

    I have looked into a few lawyers to handle it under contingency and they all declined. My biggest worry is our dogs. I can handle being thrown off the property but about the only thing they haven't pulled on us terrorist wise yet is messing with our dogs. I'm still installing fences and gates (locked) and hopefully that will be completed before they think of it. Can you imagine fencing in 68 acres just to keep the cops out? Oh and you remember that 8 foot storm drain I told you about? Just found out our well has been contaminated and this is the first time in 60 years.

    Will let you know how the court thing goes with the revocation of our CUP and the downzoning of the property. In the meantime it's very hard for me to leave for any length of time not knowing what I'll come home to....
     

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