Friday, April 3, 2015

Repec Mah Autoriteh!

Damned if you do, damned if ya don't.

It's not like there have never been any incidences of people pretending to be cops....especially at night. And it isn't like there is an easy way to determine (especially at night) that the vehicle behind you is really a cop or just a car with flashing lights on top.

And it isn't like the suggested procedure if you aren't sure is to turn on your emergency flashers and proceed to a lighted (and public) area in order that you can more easily identify the person as a uniformed officer with a badge and proper Police Department issued photo ID. ......

Unless, of course, you are in northern Porter County Indiana. Then, yer screwed unless you immediately pull over and wait to see what happens next.

It is bad enough that this happened. Worse, that Porter County has officers that behave like this (Sadly, nearly every police force has them (and knows it), and fails to weed them out) but worse, the Sheriff and his staff are "supporting our officer's decision in this matter" .

This isn't some lowlife with a record, where there (might) be a question regarding the decision not to pull over. Rather, this is a nurse, with absolutely zero record of criminal behavior.  Yet the officer, Porter County Sheriff's Department Patrolman William Marshallescalated the incident into an arrest. Further, the police department and the County Prosecuting Attorney are pursuing this as a felony: resisting arrest. 

The decisions made in this case bring into question the suitability of the officer to continue to exercise police powers. Further, the fact that his superiors, up to and including the Sheriff,support his actions bring into question the judgement of the entire department's administration. 

And now, they won't back down. Nothing like doubling down on stupid. 

This is Bad Policing. Period. 

If they won't come to their senses soon, she'll end up with a felony charge which will later be overturned, but which will cause her difficulties finding employment as a nurse....which will end up in court....which will end in a multi-million dollar settlement that the County taxpayers will have to pay. All because some asshole didn't get his authoiteh ticket punched that night.

And I will remember this next election. Both the Sheriff AND the Prosecuting Attorney that pursues this. 

HT: Opie


Murphy's Law said...

I'd like to hear the deputy's version of what really went on. So far, all we have is her version, which she seems to have shopped to every media outlet in the free world. Bottom line: when the police put the lights on, it's because that's where they want you to stop. Period. There's no caveat to the law that says that if you're a female, you can just keep driving until you find someplace that you like better. For all the deputy knew, the driver was concealing/destroying contraband or on the phone arranging for others to show up and attack the officer. Delays in suspects pulling over once the lights come on are never to an officer's benefit.

That aside, if there was enough active resistance on her part to justify a felony charge in the eyes of the prosecutors' office, than it's pretty much a certainty that there is more to this story than Good has told everyone. I suspect that the whole truth will eventually come out, and many of those people now rushing to condemn the deputy are going to feel kind of silly.

Midwest Chick said...

I usually don't jump into these, but here's the deal. I websearched women's safety stuff for a couple of hours last night. Everything I read said that if you are a woman driving alone at night and police lights come on behind you, you slow down, put on your flashers, indicate that you saw the lights, and drive slowly to a well lit/public area. Which there is no doubt she did.

Where she was is wicked dark at night. You can't see the side markings on a car that's behind you--only the lights. There have also been a couple of cases of police impersonators in the area in the last couple of years.

I don't know about what happened between the two--I wasn't there. But if he was pissed because she followed what is pretty much established safety protocols and went off on her and she reacted in kind, then bad on both.

But not a flight/resisting arrest felony charge-worthy thing due to a pissing match or two folks who were tired and lost their tempers.

In that area, at that time of night, I would have done the same thing.

Murphy's Law said...

The woman admitted that she knew that it was a police car behind her. She just didn't feel like stopping where the police officer wanted her to stop. And the claim about possible police impersonators is pretty weak. There is a huge difference from the single red/blue light that police impersonators typically use and the unglodly LED lightstorm generated by an actual marked police cruiser these days.

That aside, the facts as she describes them would not support a felony resisting arrest.

As such. I doubt that the deputy's supervisor would sign off on such charges and I really doubt that the prosecutor's office would go forward with such charges if that's all she did. Nobody wants to put their careers on the line by pushing clearly bogus charges just because some officer tries to file them--it just doesn't happen. In this case, there were multiple levels of oversight here and everyone who heard what the officer had to say agreed that the felony charges were warranted. So I'm sticking with my "there's more to this story" opinion. And the woman's attitude sure isn't helping her case any, IMHO.

Midwest Chick said...

She said she "assumed" it was a police officer. The below article is from 2013, but this is the same area.

From the article:
"This was the only incident reported, said Sgt. Keith Hughes, and the woman used good judgment by not stopping for the man. Hughes said anyone believing they are being pulled over by a police impersonator should call 911 and let the police dispatcher make contact with the officer. If unable to contact 911, acknowledge the officer by waving at them and then drive to a well-lit public location before stopping and tell the officer about your concerns."

Midwest Chick said...

Just to add: I do have a particular dog in this hunt. Being about the same age as the woman in the article and driving in much the same area (and definitely the same county), when the only reason given for a felony arrest is because someone seemed "defiant" and not "afraid" that worries me somewhat.

If someone, police officer or not, came at me all pissed off, I'd probably seem defiant too, especially if I thought I was in the right by following what my local police said was the right procedure.

B said...

Leaving your knee-Jerk pro-police inclinations aside, understand that this is a county I am familiar with (and you aren't), which is becoming ever more militant in it's policing, with ever more pushy cops. They used to be polite and professional, now, not so much. They are very much acting like jackbooted thugs insisting on immediate compliance. "If yer not in control, yer under control" .

And despite the Sheriff claiming "We support our officers actions" there is a current internal affairs investigation going...which leaves some doubt.

I'm not sure why you always stick up for the police, rather than have an open mind when it comes to police interactions with those that they serve. Most cops are good ones, others have issues. Sometimes they have bad days or simply make bad assumptions (likely in this case). Sometimes the cops are in the right.

Either way, again, one has to look at the fact that this woman is, by all accounts, a model citizen. She isn't a lowlife, she has no record, She was speeding and her only crime was not immediately being compliant to the officer.

Go HERE: and look at the second picture down on the right. This didn't used to be there. I've been in the room. The fact that it is there now says a lot to me.

This incident is a mistake, and the fact that the upper echelons supported this at first will reflect badly on the Sheriff. He nearly lost last time, and this might well make him lose his job come this upcoming election.

Moe said...

Another thug with a badge and gun. And, another example of piss poor police work.


Murphy's Law said...

Sure there's an investigation going on. That's only standard practice when there's an allegation of wrongdoing. But most investigations of complaints against police officers following an arrest of the complainant turn out to be complete BS because it's usually--not always but usually--the complainant trying to get the case dismissed or get revenge.

Again, going back to Midwest Chick here for a minute, mere "defiance" or nad atitude won't support FELONY charges. Misdemeanor charges perhaps, depending on the statutes available, but not felony charges. The severity here tells me that she did or said a lot more than she is admitting, especially seeing as how the prosecutor's office--which is NOT an arm of the police department--looked over the evidence and decided that the felony charge was appropriate.

I don't pretend to know what did or did not happen, but I am suggesting that we don't know the whole story. And yes, I may have a pro-police bias, but surely Mr. B, you cannot deny having an eqaul anti-police bias. It appears from your posts and comments on the topic of law enforcement that if one party in a conflict has a badge, that they are automatically the bad guy. I just don't see it that way in the absence of actual evidence proving it...and an angry arrestee's unsupported claims to the newspaper isn't proof.

And I know that we discussed the reason for MY bias at the last NRA con. If it's fuzzy, ask me again in Nashville. ;-)

B said...

I assume everyone is innocent until proven guilty. I assume that the police lie as much as the (supposed) perpetrators. Police are humans, and they are imperfect.

Sometimes, policemen get power complexes. Sometimes they are right just doing their job.

If the cop stopped the woman, there is dashcam video of this (or should be). I'd like to see it so we can find out who is telling the truth. Strangely, Porter County hasn't released any of it yet.

Old 1811 said...

If the woman is telling the truth, I doubt if this will hold up.
Indiana has (or at least had) a state law against unmarked cars making traffic stops or initiating pursuits, because of a string of red-light rapists in the 70s, so they're aware of the problems that go with making stops in dark, unpopulated areas.
If this was a full-blown marked car, she doesn't have a lot to stand on. But if it was a slick-top (a marked car with no light bar, which a lot of departments use for traffic enforcement because they can't be easily identified from the front), using grille lights to make the stop, she's on firmer ground. In any case, it's very hard to tell a real marked car at night, from the front, in a mirror. (Until it lights up.)
Again, shockingly, the news story is poorly written and incomplete, so we don't know what really happened.
As far as felony resisting, I don't see it in any case. Fleeing and eluding, maybe. We'll see.
Of course, we're only getting one side of the story.

B said...

Kinda hard to tell what (besides a set of lights) is behind you in the dark. Bright flashing "rollers" on top and alternating headlights. Can't see the sides of the car in the brightness. In fact, can't see much at all what with the intensity of the current LED lights.

I know the area and it is totally unlighted until you get to the place where she (finally) pulled over.

I would like to see the dashcam of the actual stop.

B said...

Moe: Not saying the cop is a "THUG". Dude had a legitimate reason to pull her over. She was speeding. No question. She admitted it. She was also (allegedly) concerned for her safety. She did what police departments tell you to do if you are on a dark road and have concerns. I really think this came down to a cop not happy because she didn't comply immediately and wanted to teach her a lesson. For all I know he is a decent guy who overreacted because he didn't understand her concerns. Or maybe he is an asshole. There is a militancy in Porter County cops lately, but that may not be relevant here. I assume this was an overreaction.

Again, I doubt that the cop was a "Thug". I will say that, while Porter County has some very pushy and militant deputies, they are not thugs like some other jurisdictions.

We shall see.

The Freeholder said...

If the lady can afford a good lawyer, especially one from outside the county, she will be able to feed the deputy and the SO this one.

And you folks who live in that county and vote? You really need a new sheriff.

AndyN said...

Nobody wants to put their careers on the line by pushing clearly bogus charges just because some officer tries to file them--it just doesn't happen.

Nobody? I'm curious if you'd like to qualify that statement at all, Murphy.

I try to keep an open mind about cases like this, none of us were there and hopefully all the facts will come out in due time and justice will be served. That said, even in the context of everything you wrote up there, this statement is laughably untrue.