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The TerryReport

What is The TerryReport?

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Doug Terry

Obama Not in France

Police Strike

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Obamas Statement

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(Some) 2014 posts

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What is The TerryReport?

The TerryReport

CLICK HERE to go to recent posts, nearly 300 pages of news and comments filed during the first nine months of 2013 and during the critical election year of 2012.

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In the absence of evidence or indication of a crime, citizens are not required to give their cooperation to police. Cooperation, in most cases, is voluntary and must be requested by the officer, not demanded. Further, again in most cases, citizens may not be detained or prevented from going about their normal business without being arrested. Further, there is no requirement for citizens to be polite in their dealings, nor to refrain from calling names. If a citizen wants to greet an officer in a hostile manner, he may do so under the law, although being polite in all of ones dealings with everyone encountered, including police officers, is a good general rule in life (at least as a starting point). Not much is to be gained by setting up an encounter with an officer in a hostile way.

The idea that a peaceful citizen involved in his daily life must stop and agree to speak to an officer is false. Cooperation is voluntary.

Citizens are NOT required to show me some ID, nor or they required to state their business, where they have been or where they are going. These demands belong in a police state environment, not in a peaceful society. (Matters are different when driving, since a license and registration are basic requirements at all times.) Police may inquire about your activities, but you are not required to give answers; they, in turn, normally treat the absence of answers as being an indication of the person having been involved in a crime or has something to hide. It is this fulcrum point of potential conflict where potentially violent confrontations and arrest follow. At the same time, most people realize that young black men are treated with a higher degree of suspicion than middle age white suburban people.

Police may give orders to citizens designed to protect them from harm or to prevent them from interfering in vital police work. Generally, citizens are required to follow those orders, but there is no blanket, unquestioned authority for the police to do anything and everything without challenge.

These are basic facts. Someone with a complete education in the law could give a broader, more comprehensive review of police powers and interaction with citizens, but, in the main, we are, indeed, a free people. We are not subjects of the government, nor of the police. They do not and may not rule our lives.

To present the idea that one could be shot for being hostile and uncooperative is to offer a concept that is exactly what the people of Ferguson, Missouri, are protesting: the idea that anyone can be shot at any time simply because an officer decides to assert authority. Police have the authority to conduct police business and citizens have the right to go about their business unmolested and without being threatened. The officer who wrote the op-ed in the Washington Post obviously does not agree with the rights of American citizens as contained in the Constitution and in our long traditions. He seems to have an exaggerated view of the role of police and his ability to command citizens.

Amy Davidson, writing in the New Yorker:

That is not how its supposed to work, in this country, anyway. We respect the police as professionals because their job is so hard, and so important; it can involve chaotic nights and yelling crowds, or opening the door to an apartment where anything might be happening. Police officers dont get to wave a gun whenever they think it might make everything easierwhen they think it will just make people behave. That is not the sort of authority, in any sense of that word, that will calm the streets of Ferguson, or any city.

 

Link to the full article in The New Yorker

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to go to recent posts, nearly 300 pages of news and comments filed during the first nine months of 2013 and during the critical election year of 2012.

CLICK HERE

to go back to prior years (500+ pages) of The TerryReport

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