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We-the-People

Reader Maltwit writes:

Last Monday I was headed to a Manchester, New Hampshire firing range when I was pulled over by a member of our town’s police. After he informed me that he had clocked me at 45 in a 40, and I handed over my driver’s license and registration, he asked me what was in the bag I had placed on the floor of the front passenger side. (It is a small, old beat up, piece of carryon luggage which I use for my range bag.) After a hesitation of a second or two while thinking, I said as politely as I could, “With all due respect, I decline to answer.” Of course he countered with, “Do you have something to hide?” . . .

As well as I can remember (I was just a little nervous), I answered something like, “No sir, but if I was speeding, whatever is in the bag shouldn’t matter. Do you suspect I’m doing anything illegal?”

He didn’t answer but went back to his patrol car. I’m sure he was checking for outstanding warrants, but he seemed to be taking a lot more time than “normal”. I started thinking he was checking with the feds, talking to the Chief on how to handle me, or maybe calling for a canine unit to sniff the car. (It would have taken a while since our town is too dinky to have one, so we have to rent one from another town.)

After a few anxious minutes, he gave me back my papers and simply issued a warning for me to obey the speed limits with a “have a nice day” thrown in at the end.

I don’t know what made me stand up to him – maybe it was all of the recent news about the government treading on our 1st, 2nd and 4th Amendment rights – but, after this traffic stop, I was pumped! Still shaking a little, but pumped. (I did not do particularly well at the range after that.

I was thinking about this encounter for the next few days, so I came up with a business sized card (above) that I can hand out the next time I get stopped. The idea of the text came from a guy who likes to video police who are interacting with people, so I can’t take full credit for it. If you’d like to print your own, click here to download a .pdf version.

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321 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve never given police consent to search any of my belongings, and never will. It’s none of their business whats in my car, bag, or whatever the case may be. In my county we have way too many police and almost no (actual) crime, so they like to hassle teenagers like me. I say if you’re gonna give me a hard time I’ll damn sure give you a hard time right back.

      • So your sheepish response is to be subservient to a pig by staying respectful? You’re an embarrassment to freedom. Using the power of the mi d against the local low IQ waffen SS to make him look stupid is the goal. If you’re respectful to a pig who is violating his oath and your rights, you’re part of the problem. War is war, no mercy.

        • Look, Jo. I’m respectful to everyone I meet. It’s a lifestyle. I prefer to treat others as I would like to be treated. I don’t treat all lawyers like they are second class people. Just as I wouldn’t treat one politician poorly just because most of them suck. I’m not part of the problem because I don’t treat mistreat cops just doing their jobs.

          Forgive me for assuming that you are racist as well as bigoted. I’m sure you don’t mind lumping all black people or brown people in with the stereotypes just as you do with police.

          Jo, you are hurting the cause of furthering gun rights if this is how you post. Smarten up lest you unwittingly become the poster child for why we need disarmament.

    • When I was in high school, on my way home at 1am after stealing a few street signs (hey I was a kid, young and with too much time), I was pulled over. I was dressed in black, etc. The cop wanted to search the car and the trunk (signs were in there with tools). I said heck no. He called a supervisor, and the two were pressuring me for maybe 30 minutes. I would not fold. I just kept saying No, and you don’t have the right and I don’t give permission.

      After the 45 minutes total, I was on my way. Do not ever allow something, they are not your friends, they are not looking for a beign reason. They are looking for something they can get you on.

      • In order for me to feel sympathy for someone being searched without just cause, it helps to actually be innocent. Theft of public property at the expense of your fellow citizens doesn’t fall into this category.

        • Sure, but the problem with defending liberty is that it often puts one in the position of having to defend undesirable characters. He was wrong to steal those signs but it would have been a worse offense for the police to violate his rights, as that would give them precedent to violate an innocent person’s rights.

        • Funny, but I didn’t notice your sympathy being requested. Save your self-righteousness for something more useful, Mmmmm?

      • You sir, were committing a crime. You were the one they were looking for, and were being paid to look for.
        You were not a law abiding citizen, so you can not claim to be inocent. Using your age as an excuse in non-exucsable.
        I have a few skunks in my closet too, but I don’t claim to be the perfect citizen or inocent either. You were a case of: the constitution protected the guilty.

        • “You were a case of: the constitution protected the guilty.”

          I’m not that guy, but my inalienable rights are a lot more important than a few street signs.

        • Thomas, you said:

          “I’m not that guy, but my inalienable rights are a lot more important than a few street signs.”

          Would you still feel that way after your son or daughter was killed in a car wreck after somebody stole a stop sign and a car came through, t-boning your son or daughter and killing them?

          I didn’t , and don’t advocate the giving up of, or the changing of any of our Constitution. I only pointed out the fact that, sometimes our constitutional protections also protect the bad guy.

      • I lived in an apartment in Tucson for a while some 20 years ago. A young child was kidnapped off the streets a few blocks away. Description by neighbors: large black guy in a white panel van. The police were going door to door in the neighborhood. At my place, they asked if I knew anything about it and I replied I didn’t. They asked which car was mine and I pointed out a dark blue mini-van. Then they asked to search my apartment. I told them no. They were dumb founded. I told them that if they had cause and came back with a search warrant, I’d have no problem but otherwise no and shut the door. After all, I’m not black and I don’t drive a white van – there was no reason to even ask to search my apartment. I half expected them to come back on general principle but they didn’t.

      • Would they not invoke “probable Cause”? They did on my stepson. When he asked for the warrent, they said “We can get one but its going to be much harder on you if we do!” He relented and presto, they came up with enough weed to put him in jail.

        • That’s why EVERYONE needs to record anyone in the Nazi state employment with a camera. As for the Tucson Pig Dept, they are trained to try intimidating, so capture on a few hidden cams and make them speak to you only in eye and earshot of those cams. You then upload to Bambuser or any other cloud service and wait for the ghetto lottery win. Then use your newly won resources against them even more. TPD has a high IQ limit for hires, use that info against them.

      • DD isn’t asking for your sympathy, just relating his experience. Hell, he was blatantly honest about what he was carrying in his car. That is the sign of a well brought up and overall good guy.

        You on the other hand must be the only one in the world that will “cast the first stone…” since you’re apparently perfect and without, or never sinned. “You look, but don’t see; you hear, but don’t listen.”

    • Meh… I receive cards like those on a regular basis, it’s no big deal. Typically the driver goes one step further and refuses to ID themselves or something. At that point I get them out of the car, put them in mine, and perform a legal search of the area around the drivers seat. I work in a state with a lot of MJ use, so I typically find something incriminating and now I have access to the entire car.

      Another good one is when a truther, free stater, etc. refuses to sign a cite. Now I take them into custody so they have to pay a bond on the ticket, and again, I have access to the entire vehicle before I tow it. That means locked containers, everything. You guys don’t seem to understand…the laws are so nebulous and complex that if the police want to stop you, they have a ton of reasons to do so, and if they want to search your car, the bar for PC is set ridiculously low (and in some types of searches, you don’t even need PC).

      After all this time, I have never had a search thrown out on 4th grounds. All my major arrests have come from car stops (at least those I made on patrol).

      I read someone else say that their rights are more important than whether or not I go home. He may hold that opinion, but in practice he is completely wrong. The entire SOP is designed to increase the odds I survive, even if it inconveniences you.

      Edited to add: those cards are not a magical talisman. It is assumed you don’t consent when we first make contact. We have usually decided how the stop is going to go on our initial approach, and you decide if it changes. If we need to get into your car, there are so many ways to do it that a business card isn’t going to change it.

      • Your contempt for “truthers” and patriots is as cute as your disregard for the spirit of the law.

        Please drive carefully and speak softly. You’re already carrying a big stick.

        • The funny thing about “patriots” is that everyone thinks that word describes them – left, right, and center. No matter what fringe belief they hold, they think they have true patriotism cornered and everyone else is wrong.

          I work a violent locality. Rape, murder, and torture are regular occurrences, particularly with the gangs that operate in my state. If I think getting in to your car will score me a rape kit that you were going to use on a teenage girl, or get me some meth, I am going to find a way in to your car. On the other hand, if I see you doing 45 in a 40…well, where I work, if you get stopped for that, we are just using it for PC.

          I stopped a guy with one of those cards one night, got a strange feeling about him, found a way in to his car, a found child porn in the trunk. Another time, same type of card, got in to the car, and found a k of meth. Not representative of everyone I have seen with the cards, but it certainly changed the way I see them. I even let a guy hold on to his card so he could recite it to the deputies at booking – they got a kick out of it.

          Yeah, maybe I’m cute, but that card is so sweet it is going to give me cavities.

      • Thanks for the heads-up. Your remarks just confirm the disgust so many Americans have for law enforcement these days. You bost you can do about anything you want to a citizen. The people need to take charge of this country and change most of the laws. I wouldn’t throw a rope to a cop that has fallen through the ice of a frozen lake. Have a great day.

        • Completely agree with you, Mountainman. Let the arrogant cop sink. A cop with his attitude is exactly why there are so many Americans who don’t respect or like LEOs anymore. He’s just a bully with a badge, and we all know what eventually happens to all bullies: they get the ass-kicking they deserve and they run away crying. This cop will too.

      • …you are the reason why so many people hate the police..and mistrust them so…dependably….it is a shame that someone with such a low IQ and self-esteem….it is a shame that people like you are targeted and hired by the leadership of our governments…they know they will get an un-thinking thug who will do anything they are directed to do…while under “orders”….it is no wonder that people hope you get hit by a car while enforcing your traffic laws and authority….your parents must be ashamed of you…..I hope they are already dead…so as to not be aware of what an idiot you turned out to be…

        Regards,

        RJ O’Guillory
        Author-
        Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family

          • Ha!…..Well, let me explain….first of all…I prefer polite behavior….seems more reasonable to me…and it is disarming..to a degree….but most of all….after I retired from DoD after two decades as a Federally Protected Whistle-Blower…they sent the FBI out after me…because they did not like the tone or content of what I had written…soI am very careful…and…. I have a seizure disorder that rips my brain apart every six weeks or so..and so try to I concentrate on being as polite as possible…(and legal)..and I always finish off my comments with “Regards” and the name of my memoir (Webster Groves)…..all that helps to keep me calm…ha!
            …but just for you….

            eff’ off…!

            Ha!

            Just kidding….

            Regards,

            RJ O’Guillory
            Author-
            Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family

        • This is exactly the kind of psychopath the government wants to impose its will on the people.

      • Dude, seriously…you’re PROUD of the fact that you think you’re immune to the law, and the rights (not privileges, RIGHTS) of others, you included, are less important to you than your SOP?

        I would absolutely love to see what your thoughts might be if the shoe were on the other foot, if it was your rights being stomped on by some one with such a low regard for the Constitution.

        You’re a disgrace to whatever badge you’re wearing, and a poster boy for all that is wrong and contemptible in modern law enforcement.

        I pity you, and the future you seem so hell-bent on creating.

        • I’m not proud of being “immune to the law”, because I am simply not immune. If I violate the Fourth during a search, the results of the search will be thrown out. The thing is, I have never had a search thrown out – and I have had a lot of my searches challenged in court because a good defense attorney will go for that immediately. They consider it the low-hanging fruit of a case. I don’t knock them for it, they wouldn’t be doing their jobs if they didn’t.

          And yeah, where SOP is concerned, if I think it will get me home safely it will take precedence and the rest will get sorted out later. I have seen the whole “rather be tried by twelve than carried by six” thing on this site several times – did you think that only goes one way? The same criminals that you are concerned about concern me too – the difference is that I often have to confront them rather than look the other way, and my frequent experience with them means that I am more familiar with the threat they pose. So, yeah, if you make the hair on the back of my neck stand up, I am going to treat you differently and you will probably get your feelings hurt. Again, my actions have been tested in court and have survived, so your argument is with the Fourth Amendment decisions handed down by the Supreme Court, not with me. After all, if you have access to a better tool, wouldn’t you use it?

          I know you don’t think I have any regard for the Constitution, but I do. You would be surprised by some of my opinions (constitutional carry, etc.) – I just don’t believe in sacred cows, and know that the Constitution isn’t what some of you seem to think it is. It was written by a bunch of rich guys (the 18th centuries 1%ers…) that were susceptible to the same shortcomings that you and I are. This “magical” constitutional republic that some of you believe in never existed. If you doubt that, go read about the Alien and Sedition Acts. I would have had a lot more leeway during the centuries and decades before now. Check out some of the stuff law enforcement did during our country’s westward expansion and ask yourself if you would rather live then than now.

          Please don’t pity me – I have access to loads of free donuts.

          • Your statement – “Typically the driver goes one step further and refuses to ID themselves or something. At that point I get them out of the car, put them in mine, and perform a legal search of the area around the drivers seat. I work in a state with a lot of MJ use, so I typically find something incriminating and now I have access to the entire car. ”

            The 4th Amendment – “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

            If you don’t see the contradiction (and your words show that you most likely do), then there’s a real serious problem here. You’ve basically admitted that you know it’s wrong, that what you’re doing is in violation of the 4th, but you do it anyway, because you know you’ll get away with it. How is this NOT thinking that you’re immune to the law? The Constitution is the highest Law we have, and when those entrusted with enforcing the law show such flagrant disregard, and the attitude of “So what if it’s wrong? I’m getting away with it”…I get very disappointed.

            If you know it’s wrong, but you do it anyway, what separates you from those you call criminals, breaking the law because they thought they could? A piece of metal on your shirt? And what makes your violation of the law right, and them wrong? That same piece of metal?

        • Whether you are truly who you claim you are or not, this is some masterful trolling, sir. To push so many buttons at once in such a cool-headed, polite way!

      • “At that point I get them out of the car, put them in mine, and perform a legal search of the area around the drivers seat.”

        What’s your basis for searching the area around the driver’s seat when the vehicle is unoccupied? It can’t be for your safety, since they driver is already in your cruiser. Shouldn’t your search be limited to plain view?

        I’ve heard police say they have the legal power to do this, but I’m unfamiliar with what Supreme Court precedent has found that this kind of unwarranted search is reasonable under the fourth amendment. (IANAL, perhaps obviously.)

        • he probably plants dope .what you do is when you get out of your car lock the door behind yourself.

      • “Bystander” – you sound like a real low IQ POS. A bully with a badge. The kind of cop nobody would grieve over if you were killed in the line of duty. I’m confident of one thing: sooner or later you will get what you deserve.

        • Drew, please don’t ever wish anyone even a rogue cop with a badge fetish killed. I know this guy is disgusting and should by all rights be in prison for clearly violating peoples Constitutional rights, but we should never stoop to the low low level of this criminal with a badge. We should look into finding out who this thug is and report him to his state police. I respect most LEO’s and many do serve and protect with honor.

      • @bystander:
        Wow man. Judging by the comments below, You’ve sure pissed a lot of people off.
        May I offer that, maybe, just maybe, you came across wrong.
        For all you others, the facts, as stated by bystander are correct. He must be working for a different state than I, because I would have to place a person under arrest before I could search their vehicle without a warrant. (search incident to arrest)
        But what I’d like you all to stop and think about is this; What do you pay us (police) to do? Pretty much, to catch the bad guys and to make our communities safer… ? Is that about right? We, in Law enforcement, like to say that our job is “to enforce the law”.
        When we stop a vehicle for a traffic violation, we are stopping that vehicle because it, in some way, broke the law. When we make the stop, we have no idea who is inside. Once, I stopped a guy for tailgaiting (he was doing 55mph on radar, in a 55mph zone, and was about 15′ behind another vehicle). I think you can all agree that this was a good stop. Upon investigation, I found that he had no DL, and had never had one. (he admitted it). I arrested him, and took him to jail. At the jail, they fingerprinted him, then came back to me and informed me that he had an outstanding murder warrant out of S. Carolina.
        So, again, I was just enforcing traffic law, but landed a murderous criminal. I was doing exactly what I get paid to do.
        When we make these traffic stops, we have no idea who is siting in that car. We have to treat everyone with suspicion until our susicions can be degraded. Please forgive us for that, but we do want to go home to our own families.
        Now, my Chief came to us one day at roll call, and instructed us all…. when we go in to any home, and they have guns present, to record the serial numbers and get that back to our investigative division. I have never followed that order. And, as far as I know, no one has. We do know the constitution, we do know the difference between lawful orders and unlawful orders, and we try to do what is right, and to remember what we are being paid for and what our responsibilities are to the citizens who hire us.
        Back to the original post. What bystander said, about all the things we can do, is true. But remember, we don’t use it against law abiding citizens. We use it against the bad guys. Sometimes, when we first make a traffic stop, we don’t know who we’re dealing with. Please bear with us, until we figure out who you are.

        • Thanks for the heads up. The problem with many of the dissenters is that they think the world should work the way they want it to, and it simply doesn’t and never will. Many of the people that complain about us abusing authority will later complain when we don’t go far enough. There is no fine line here – it is one way or the other with a smattering of gray. The gray is where we are when we stop someone and let them go with a warning, but in my experience, no stopping with a little questioning will result in a lot of criminals walking away.

          I’m in a detail now that virtually ensures every contact I make will be with real scum, and after a number of close calls, fights with people that are trying to kill me, and finding the sort of evidence that make people stay awake all night thinking, I came to one conclusion: they all started somewhere. A lot of these guys would have been off the streets if someone had just been nosy during a traffic stop. And yeah, a number of them have tried to hide behind these “Fourth Amendment” cards. The Fourth is the real deal, no doubt about it, but the commenters on this site don’t get to decide what it means, the Supreme Court does. And as long as I can stay within their limits, I intend to.

          They may not like me, and they like to pump up their cred by talking about what a bully I am, but the fact of the matter is I’m going to keep doing what I do because it simply works.

        • Not all police obey the rules. I had one incident many years ago in Houston. I was pulled over because I had long hair, a beard and was driving a Maverick Grabber. The car was sporty looking. The officer accused me of running a red light. This was false, the light had just turned yellow while I was in the intersection. I could tell by his attitude that if I argued too much, he would have yanked me out of the car and put me in jail. (After having me slip on the proverbial soap bar a few times.) He gave me a ticket for running the green light that he insisted was red. Then for traffic court he showed up an hour late and the judge was almost two hours late. The judge listened to the officer but found the ceiling too interesting to listen to me. No sooner had I finished than the judge said that I was guilty and for me to pay the fine. Before I had gotten my receipt there were three more behind me in the line, all from the same officer. I got the feeling that the judge just wanted to get the court docket cleared so he could go back home and to bed or whatever. He did not seem to care much about seeing justice done that night.

        • I am very concerned about “doing it because the supreme court says so…”

          Today, they approved DNA swabs on any arrest. If this was just to be used against bad guys, I wouldn’t care. But with our “out of control” federal government, who knows what it will be used for. And remember, it was a 5-4 vote. And who voted for it? The Obama supporters. Why? I can only assume that they had their directions from above. Why would Obama want this decision? I think we all know.

          I will only follow the supreme court decisions, as long as they don’t violate the constitution. I have, and will continue to study the Federalist Papers. They show the original intent and meaning of the wording in the Constitution. The Supreme court can not overwrite these papers. They can try. They can assert that they can. But We the People know better.

          I’m sure that there is a point in the near future, when I will have to resign. Already, my chief has given unlawful orders and I got away with not complying. He has not yet given his take on supporting the 2A. I fear that my time with this department is shortly coming to an end.

          • Mark,
            Kudos for recognizing that your integrity is worth more than your benefits and retirement. Is there no way for an honest cop to remain on the force and confront superiors who are actually lawbreakers? This is what you are referencing when you talk about unlawful orders. Bad guys is bad guys- suits and/or badges are irrelevant. Seems to me that a large part of our current mess is fostered by those who are charged with enforcing the law not applying the same standard when it concerns insiders, so to speak. Ideally, anyone wearing a badge should be an example for the rest, and not allowed to skate, especially with regard to the Rights of those whom they ostensibly serve. Note that I did not say that the recommended course would be easy. Still, if we are to have a snowball’s chance in Hell of avoiding another Civil War/Revolution, this is exactly what must be done. If it helps, I and many others have your six.
            Be Well…

            • Thanks for watching my six.

              Unfortunaly, another poster had it right; we (I) don’t stand up to the boss, because we are scared of loosing our jobs. I have bills to pay. I too, am a slave to the system. We all need to break out of the debt problem so that we are free to move about freely. I will stand up to the authorities after I turn in my resignation. In the meantime, I will not follow any unlawful orders. And I will remember who pays my paycheck. (the citizens who pay property taxes).
              I stop and talk to them a lot. One of their biggest concerns has been the illegal drivers (no DL) and those who don’t have insurance. When my consensual stops, with the good citizens give me a new direction, I will turn that way. Until then, I will continue hunting for illegal drivers, and those without insurance.

        • Mark, you sound like a good officer, but bystander has talked about the people he stops as idiots or fools, he said he lets people hold onto those cards just to ridicule them. That is not the actions of a good officer, if in Bystanders mind, he can think of us as lower than himself, it makes him able to justify abusing his power. I wanted to be an officer but had cancer years ago before laws protected people against discrimination, so I respect the men in blue, I however am tired of hearing of rogue officers going to extremes by beating people and getting away with it or even getting to the point of killing people that are cuffed and cannot give resistance. If he admits he has no problem of circumventing the law to try and enforce the law, it may only be a matter of time before his heart becomes so hardened that he becomes capable of doing someone great harm. Carrying that gun and having that power that comes with the badge, means officers have to do everything above board even more than lunch pail Joe.

      • You’re one of the tyrants we’ve been looking for. Just one sec’; there’s this tree we need watered.

        • I belive that tree takes its nutrients from two seperate sources. Careful what you wish for.

      • “Bystander” – You sound like the cop that stopped my son because the cop said he was thinking about running the red light (which he stopped at) – no, not kidding. My son has driven a big truck 48 states for some 30 years but this was a first. He came to a stop at the light (no problem, was going slow) and after starting up when it turned green, the cop (that had been following him for quite a ways) pulled him over. The cop demanded (in typical KGB language) his license, etc. My son asked why he was pulled over. The cop again demanded (in loud KGB language) and my son again asked. Finally, the cop said, “Because you were thinking about running the red light.” In light of the fact that ‘thought crimes’ aren’t on the books (yet), my son demanded that the supervisor be sent for, that he would have nothing else to say to this cop.

        Finally that happened. After the supervisor spoke with the cop, he came up to my son at his truck and asked his version. After he was told, he said the cop told him that my son had been speeding, ran the red light and was refusing the ticket. My son asked him to go look at the dash cam. After the supervisor did so, he apologized to my son and said that there would be disciplinary action taken, and sent him on his way. We figure it would just be a talking to but maybe it’d make the cop think twice before deciding he was the ‘thought’ police in the future.

        • I’ve never engaged in any “thought” policing, mostly because I am not a mind reader. That’s why I have to ask questions and search when I can.

      • What do you do if the driver refuses you to search the car, refuses to get out of the vehicle, and refuses to open the door or roll down the window? Someone like you seem to be would probably smash out the window and drag the person through all the broken glass.

        • I have never had a problem like that, but I am pretty good with words, so I seem to get my way.

          I will say, however, that refusing a lawful order will typically result in your being arrested. Once you are going to be arrested, I can use the amount of force necessary to overcome your resistance. I should point out that the term “lawful order” means what the statutes say, not what you would prefer it to mean. If the law is wrong, on the side of the road is not the place to discuss it – that is for the court room.

        • I noticed that officer Bystander has a lot to say in response to remarks but offer no opportunity to respond directly to him.
          We had a rogue patrolman here in Houston who thought himself to be the law. He didn’t like motorcycles, said they were too noisy and offended his sensitive ears. He stepped over the line several times too often and is now unhappily retired as I hear it. I think you too officer Bystander will one day become unhappily retired after you have stepped over the line once too often. You Gestapo types just can’t help yourselves. Too bad too, as y’all have the best job in the world! “To Protect and Serve”, to bad y’all lose sight of that too often.

      • If you really are a cop, you’re a disgusting POS and confirm the negative stereotype many law-abiding people have of cops. Good job.

        • Well, its pretty clear that most people still like us. I can’t remember the last time a voter approved bond failed in my state when that bond would pay for more cops.

        • Yup, still voting to approve those bonds. Hope springs eternal that one day we’ll get a whole class of GOOD cops!
          Ya got the Cajones to let someone respond directly officer Bystander?

      • what do you do if they lock their door after you take them out of the vehicle?

        With that attitude, I believe you would get laughed out of my locality. Public humiliation and insults will be standard, as they should be.

        regardless of what you may think, your job is to serve the public and uphold the constitution, even if the constitution makes your job more dangerous. Is the 4th amendment too inconvenient? become a f^cking lawyer.

        • Well, typically we control the door when we ask you to get out of the car and leave it propped open when we move you. Failing that, we ask you to leave the keys in the car. And failing that, we get the keys during a Terry search.

          In a perfect situation, you would refuse to get out, meaning you resisted a lawful order, meaning a search incident to arrest.

        • Excellent and I think I misinterpreted what you previously said (at 0253 im not very high speed mentally 😀

          I think it can be established that:

          1.) Privacy in a registered vehicle on a public road? sure /rolls eyes

          2.) Police officers are NOT supposed to be “cool” and “friendly”. They enforce the law period. Even stupid laws the officer is vehemently opposed to.

          3.) The 4th realistically isn’t as powerful as people think it is, especially on the road. As long as you are within supreme court rulings, then you are good to go. This reality bites, and the erosion of 4th amendment rights continues…

        • WLCE –

          1. Pretty much…Court decisions have essentially abrogated the Fourth as it applies to vehicles on a public road. That is, the Fourth applies, but there are so many exceptions that it is Swiss cheese. Now in your home it is very strong, and it really is your castle. It takes a lot to get us in there or any area of the home where the expectation of privacy is high (like a fenced off backyard).

          2a. Cool or not is subjective. There have been times when I thought I was helping someone out only to find I was making things harder on them. I let a kid go on a warning and got yelled at by their parent for not “teaching them responsibility.”

          2b. Enforcing the law…well, there is the spirit of the law and the letter of the law. I prefer the spirit because it gives me more latitude while keeping me within the guidelines established by legislature. There are laws passed to specifically fight gang activity- if I see you violate it, it could result in a warning – if I see a known gang affiliate violate, it will end with an arrest. You should approach every situation assuming the cop follows the strictest interpretation of the law. 9 times out of 10 you will find that he/she doesn’t and is more interested in real criminals.

          3. Like in #1, the Fourth is alive and well, just not so much in the car. When it comes to homes, some of the case law will leave your head spinning.

      • Yeah, all this crap with sovereign citizens and the people who for some reason think President Obama hands down orders directly to local LEO is garbage. When is the last time you walked up to a total strangers car at 2:00 am because they are suspect in a murder or whatever legal reason you have to stop them. When you do you can start to complain then

      • Wow, you are arrogant, you have made yourself clear that you find the Constitution and Bill of Rights are just a bother. I am a veteran and served my country to secure our freedoms, and before you say you are a vet, I can smell that one coming, you make a mockery of your country.

        So if I come into your town and I do not feel I should let you search my car, you will think I am a fool and you will circumvent the Constitution to your own end. You are no better than the thugs in D.C.

        Fortunately there are some police that take the oath serious unlike you do, finding us that still believe in individual freedom apparently from your point of view fools and should bow to the state.

        You are nothing but a bully with a badge and I pray and hope you loose that badge that you have tarnished with your contempt of your fellow man. PATHETIC.

      • You’re a dispicable sorry excuse for an American, which your words and past actions have demonstrated, you’re an enemy of the state and should be treated as such when combat operation commence and you’re hiding like the coward you are.
        This Combat Controller is waiting for pigs like you. The fact you’ve revealed your anazi tactics is evident you’re not too bright but then again you’re a drone pig cop.

      • Agreed

        That said, i disagree with the author. You could’ve had a time bomb in your bag. That would’ve made you speed and would have mattered :-p lol

        No, seriously…well done. Be respectful, but hassle the crap out of them with knowledge of your Rights. ESPECIALLY if he’s giving you crap during a speeding ticket…ridonc

        • Please !

          I keep hearing: “but hassle the crap out of them”

          Please don’t hassle the crap out of the cop. He is trying to catch the bad guy.
          Help him, to help you to get back on your way quickly and with little hassle as possible.
          That gives him more time to get back on the road and to commence looking for the bad guy.

    • Another test of the RINO Chris Christie. I suspect he will appoint someone to the now open US Senate seat who is a far left looney that will further damage our 2A rights.

      • That is what everyone is waiting for. Who will Cristy appoint? I’m sure he will be an Obama supporter and a Rino at best!

      • Christie is so in love with Obama, he’s probably already asked who Obama wants him to appoint.

    • Hallelujah. The old bastard is finally dead. I hope he’s roasting in hell right now. Now if the Lord God would just call Feinstein, Reid and Pelosi to account the world will be a much better place.

    • After he rots a bit in the dirt someone should extract the saltpeter from it and make some black powder.

      • The only good liberal is a …….. You fill in the rest. I already know what I would put there and let’s just say I now consider Frank Lautenberg a good liberal.

  2. [q]I’ve never given police consent to search any of my belongings,[/q]

    I have, when I was young, stupid, nervous and terrified of the big bad gun.

    I’ve grown up a bit.

  3. Being both a cop and a human being, I sympathize. With BOTH of you! You were just doing your thing (albeit outside of the rules; you WERE exceeding the posted limit) and, as such had little reason to be concerned about search and seizure issues.

    The cop was also just doing his thing; enforcing the law. Unfortunately, you were prolly the fifth person to give him shit that day; honestly, the only thing MOST cops want to do every day is 1) get an incredibly media-sexy bust SOME day, 2) NOT be called an asshole, NAZI, thug, etc. for just doing their job, and 3) go home to be with their family and TRY to forget that day of being hated.

    All that said, you were WELL within your right to NOT incriminate yourself. I’d do the same! I’m just glad you did it civilly and with (at least simulated) respect. And apparently the cop responded likewise.

    • “TRY to forget that day of being hated.”

      The best cure for that is to not pull someone over for doing 45 in a 40 zone.

      • 5 over is nothing to pull someone over for. That’s what I love about Nashua cops. Ten over on any road but Main St and they’ll pass you without batting an eye. You pull someone over for 5 ofer you can expect some attitude. And I’m notoriously friendy to cops on this blog.

      • 1 over is illegal. You don’t know what guidance the officers have received. Too many complaints about speeding in the neighborhood that reach the ears of the police/citizens review board, a local bicyclist who was hit by a speeding car, speeding on the edges of the school zones, etc….

        Patrols are routinely assigned zones and limits to enforce. In the military, it was not uncommon to be ORDERED to cite everyone 2 miles over in a school zone.

        The officer above gave a warning. Believe it or not, he could have just as easily written a ticket.

        • That’s easy. Cop pulls you over and explains why he is stopping you, i.e. extra enforcement in this area because of recent accidents, he asks for your help in making the zone safer, and he lets you go with a warning. That way you are now invested in solving the problem and the cop was helpful and cool, putting you in his debt. Most people will respect this and give the extra effort.

        • Don’t hate the cop until the cop show hate towards you. The first time you say no to him should get the hate started!

    • “go home to be with their family and TRY to forget that day of being hated.”

      They could be more vocal about not supporting shitty laws… and also not enforcing them.

      • An LEO’s duty is to enforce the laws, shitty or otherwise. To act as arbiter of a law’s righteousness is not his or her job. That is your job as a voter and constituent — to contact your representatives and tell them you want the law repealed.

        • “To act as arbiter of a law’s righteousness is not his or her job”

          – which is acutally called using your discretion. You can can and do have the ability to use it in most cases. You mean to tell me you enforce all the laws all the time? Going 45 in a 40 is not using discretion very wisely. When I ran traffic as a cop, I wouldn’t have dreamed of pulling someone for 5 over.

        • The original Brad. The officer did use discretion. He issued a courtesy warning for the speeding.

        • Yeah, that is EXACTLY the defense the guards of the German concentration camps made during the Nuremberg trials.

        • I’ve written one speeding ticket in four years on, and that was for fifteen over, and I tried for about five minutes to give the guy a warning. He argued his way into the ticket- if the warning doesn’t convince you that you need to change your ways, then that’s the only option I have left.

        • What a bunch of nonsense… Besides, why don’t cops give cops speeding tickets?

          Cops break the law ALL the time, ALL the time. Cognitive dissonance ???

        • And that is the problem when this country shifted from having “Peace Officers” to having “Law Enforcement Officers”. The LEOs are not there to help ensure peace in the community, they are there to enforce myriads of laws against ordinances, regulations, and other “mala prohibita” laws (literal translation: “wrong [as or because] prohibited”). This is a Latin phrase used in Law to refer to conduct that constitutes an unlawful act only by virtue of statute, as opposed to conduct evil in and of itself, or “malum in se”.

          We are now in the same position as Nazi Germany in the 1930s: Everything that is not forbidden is mandatory.

        • “To act as arbiter of a law’s righteousness is not his or her job.”
          Um, if the law is in excess or in contradiction of the Constitution, it is indeed your job. Remember your Oath? Interestingly, the Constitution prohibits creating any “privileged” class. Can we say “driving privilege”? Legally, “driving” is operating a vehicle for hire. You using your car to go about your private affairs is “traveling”, and not subject to legal oversight or regulation. There are many local, state, and federal court rulings to this effect. The same applies to any licensed or permitted activity. Period. Ignorance can be very expensive, folks…

        • That’s the problem. You feel you must obey anything the politicians tell you to do. That’s the same principle that made the holocaust possible.

          P.S. to anyone thinking Godwin’s law, you just may be a fascist sympathizer.

    • You weren’t present to determine how fast the vehicle was going. While I respect the police for the job that they do, I also maintain a suspicion of anyone who can make declarations about me without my being able to verify or challenge what the person said. And don’t tell me that going to court is an effective challenge unless you believe that the judge will ask the cop to prove that I was, in fact, speeding.

    • In my old age I have found that it’s just easier to do the limit and come to complete stops. I have had two tickets in the last 6 years or so. The last was about 3 or 4 years ago. When the officer came to the car I was polite and asked him why I was stopped. I was speeding. The moral of the story guys is to be polite and apologize for breaking the law because that’s exactly what I had done. He caught me fair and square. Truth be told I simply wasn’t paying attention to my driving. I was zoned out somewhere else and was on autopilot. Very dangerous. Afterwards he thanked me for the courtesy that I had shown him. So I totally sympathize with Officer M. Thanks for your service to your community.

    • Government employees do not deserve respect. They owe respect to the tax paying citizens who employ them.

      You going home to your family is less important than the rights of citizens.

      • And that attitude will land your ass in jail young man. I call the TSA Obama’s Gestapo but I respect God’s children who work for it. We are all worthy of respect if for no other reas\on than that.

        • Hi csmallo,
          at this point I don´t get the americans or at least some of them. You´re all are very respectfull to the millitary personell and firefighters, but when it comes to police officers that respect is gone.
          Police officers and millitary ones do both perform their jobs to protect the normal people. Not everyone wants to have a gun to shoot his way free if he has to. I can, with my different point of few, understand both side of this discussion.
          But when its comming to respect for the people who serve for their state/county/federal goverment I can´t understand the disrespect. Okay when i was younger I also didn´t have enough respect for the policemans over here. I called them “Scheiß Bullen” and Bullenschwein(bastard cops may eqal this words) this was the politest words i had. Now I grew a little bit older and can understand now that they are putting there lifes in danger for my safety and freedom. I may disagree with the poltical callings for them, but that has nothing to do with the policeman or soldiers they have to do their job. If i want to change the political callings i have to vote for another party or i have to go in the political business to change things in the direction i want. If they are brutal or don´t behave them self i can go to a district attorney and make a display, so that they have to deal with the consequences, if the district attorney won´t do his or hers job i can go to the media and they make a story and mostly than a actions is going to happen. This was for example 3 years ago when in Stuttgart the police didn´t play by the rules. There where a width range of all political parties and medias which let at the end to the dishonorably discharge of the chief of police there.
          Okay back to topic:
          My enetial question is still:
          Why do so most americans respect and love there troops but not the police? They deserve the same respect.
          P.S.: Sorry for the long post.

        • Mike,

          Many people lack respect for law enforcement officers because many law enforcement officers abuse their authority, many make inexcusable “mistakes”, and many violate laws themselves. There are countless examples of raids where the police raid the wrong home … at best causing serious damage to that wrong home and at worst injuring or killing the occupants of that wrong home. And look at the recent events in Los Angeles where police shot multiple times into two different trucks that did not even match the description of a vehicle that a suspect was driving. And somehow the police officers that do these things are almost never prosecuted or even disciplined at their job.

          Most citizens fail to realize that any government agent can really mess up their lives. Even more citizens fail to realize that government agents who misbehave are rarely, if ever, prosecuted. These two facts do not promote “good will” toward government agents.

        • Germanguy, there are many reasons people don’t like police, and the ones listed by uncommon sense are certainly valid. Many people also dislike police because we are the ones who enforce things like traffic laws- when I was younger, I got several speeding tickets and was angry about it until I became mature enough to understand I was driving like an idiot. Firefighters don’t give tickets, and military doesn’t operate inside the US, so they don’t do anything that directly causes resentment.

          I think that most of the people who post here have had few bad personal experiences with police, because they are more intelligent and more law abiding than the people I deal with on the street.

          Another reason people dislike police is that the actual danger measured by on the job death rate is lower than many other jobs that do not seem to request special respect for the level of danger, like logging, or Alaskan fishing. There is some difference in that when a logger or fisherman dies at work, it is almost always an accident, but when a police officer dies at work, it is often a deliberate attack by another person. The problem is that some police and some media sources seem to demand respect for the risk that is out of proportion to the actual risk.

          It is actually more dangerous measured by violent death rate to be a civilian in some parts of the US than to be a soldier in Afghanistan, but few people call for any special respect to the civilians. We’re strange people sometimes.

        • Hasdrubal, that americans can be strange from my point of few i noticed. But i try to understand the differences. I like you never the less I can´t agree with you´re political decisions at every time. But i try to understand and that´s often not that easy as it appears.
          But i guess this thing are vice versa for you if it comes to germans.

        • The difference between the police and the military is that our military exists to protect the people. The police exist to control the people.

          It’s not always that way, but in our day that’s how it is.

        • Skyler here in germany it is different. The respect for the police is much bigger than for the military.
          Since our troops are in afghanistan, they have to deal with much more disrespect, but also before that this wasn´t as big as in the states.
          For example: We had a huge discussion if it is right to go to Afghanistan. When we finally got there, many people abused the troops for being there. Politics cut even more the money and won´t get the troops the best support to have. I also disagree to sending them there, but i think after sending them anywhere we have to support them with the best things we have. If this things aren´t as good as we thought, we have to find better ones to help them. We all want that our fighting boys and girls come home safe. But it seems to be that this oppionen isn´t widespread along the public. Most germans think that our soldiers shouldn´t be there at first and that they are going for money reasons to this call. Infact soldiers get more money if they are abroad. But i think for the most of them that isn´t an issue at the first place, maybe for some but not for the mayority.

        • +1, my last monthly counseling described me as “gregarious” and my NCOER characterizes me as “polite and corteous without fail in any interactions [he] is involved in.”

          My attitude and how I interact with you when neither of use want to see each other are what determine whether or not I deserve your respect, not my employment.

        • Germanguy: ‘Once upon a time’ peace officers were enforcers of crimes against people and property. Crimes against society were added and became a big revenue producer so more and more are added all the time. As the numbers of laws climb, disrespect for them grows as does disrespect for the enforcers who are “just following orders”, many, way too gladly. Have you ever met anyone who voted for the 55 mph speed limit? Many vote against it with their right foot.
          Cops and firefighters get lumped together as government employees so firefighters are often extended the same “professional courtesy” as cops extend to each other – ‘I won’t give you a speeding ticket’ or ‘I won’t arrest you for beating your wife’ but that’s where the similarity ends. I am familiar with a lot of both and most of the firefighters are physically fit and the cops are physically phatt. These cops earn their own disrespect.
          Though the two do get lumped together, a general consideration is that firefighters are heroes and cops are zeroes

        • Ray,here in germany we don´t have speed limits at the autobahn (equals you´re highways). Every few years we have a polotician that will take us the right to drive as fast as we can at the autobahn. Than everytime the same procedure is going on: The media make a story about it, point the reasons of that politician and the people, the lobby for vehicel owners and drivers and the public roast this politician for the next few days or weeks. Than after this time, the party from this politician will have fallen in polls. After this the idea gets into the trash can and everyone is happy.
          So i thought america is a democraty, if really all americans want to change the speeding limits, why don´t they vote for the politicians that will do that? Here in Germany it works just fine and we learnd it from you.
          Now to you´re example how cops deal with each others. I think this is very wrong and i guess this incidents also happen her. Exactly we had some a while ago which were made public. after this these cops had to deal with consequences, but i dn´t remeber anymore what they where. I think it´s always going on, some kind of this “brotherhood” i can underst<and, because they deal sometimes with very dangerous situtaions and have to deal with each other on a way normal people can´t think of. But this doesn´t mean that i think in this situations you pointed out is it right to deal so. If an officer firefighter or whatever commits a crime, he or she shut be put under investigation. If he/she gets cleard from an independent(!!) board of aproval it is alright and fine, if not they should like all other people deal with the consequences.

      • Nice attitude. Everybody deserves to be respected intially. What you do afterwards either confrims it or akes it away. Just because someone works for a government, be it state, local or federal, does not make them a bad person. Their actions can determine that.

        • Nailed it. According to Paul McCain I’m a tattooed up punk who doesn’t deserve a job. Yet I’ve never once given attitude to a cop who treated me fairly and respectfully. Someone wants to piss on a cops boots for their choice of profession will incur their wrath… Just sayin. Csmallo you are just like matt. Good luck

      • csmallo; I have to take exception. To me, going home to my family is #1. Thtoughout my shift, I try very hard to follow the law and to NOT violate anyone’s constitutional rights. Some of the calls I go on are very complex. Please bear with me while I weed through the lies and the decievings while trying to get to the truth. Just because you, the tax paying citizen, pays my paycheck, does not mean that I automatically bow to you. You may be the criminal I am looking for. If you are not the criminal, rather the victim, or even the inocent bystander, then I thank you for your patience while I try to find the real bad guy.

    • I fail to see where he gave the officer “shit.” Assuming Dan has given a reasonably accurate account both he and the officer seemed respectful to each other.

      • Newsflash, cops giving out chicken sh!t tickets happens everyday. You guys are super efficient when it comes to taking our money, too bad you’re not as eager to help when you’re supposed to be doing your job. It’s really great that all these tough-guy wannabe thug cops who peaked in high school are given so much power over other people. Oh I’m sorry, I forgot to call you “sir” every 30 seconds, please don’t arrest me mister!

        • Woah. I got passed on the way home by an LA Sheriff, riding my SV1000S “crotch rocket” whilst doing 74-75 in a 65 zone. I’ve also griped my 33 mph is a 25 zone stop – not exactly a heinous violation. No tickets on those capers, and this guy didn’t get one either. I wouldn’t have stopped him in the first place unless I got a call from undercover units saying that he was dirty.

          But if you are upset with me so be it. I’m not a fan of chicks sh!t stops either. If you are stopped unfairly, file a complaint with the agency that stopped you.

        • Nothing against you per se, but please, don’t make me laugh with the “file a complaint” line. We both know those go straight to the nearest recycle bin. And I’m not even complaining (much) about getting pulled over, it’s every other interaction with the cops that proves they’re there for their own benefit and nothing more. Speaking from experience, it’s nothing but pleading and begging with them to actually do their job. They seem to get upset if you don’t bow down and kiss the ring each time you need something from them.

    • If you don’t want to be hated, quit your job and get an honest one.

      You are tax collectors with guns. People don’t like tax collectors.

    • Sorry but “invoking your rights” and “giving someone shit” are not synonymous. Likewise “invoking your rights” and “calling someone an asshole”. It’s an amazingly biased position you folks come from. The entitlement complex is not strongest with people on public assistance, it is strongest with politicians and law enforcement. All three of the things you listed are things that have nothing to do with the stop in question. You want to get a big bust fine, you don’t get that by searching every single receptacle you come across with the same level of expectation that you are about to “win” you get it by finding things more suspicious than the five mph above limit everyone does.

      InB4 “COPHATER” nonsense that proves my point.

    • ) NOT be called an asshole, NAZI, thug, etc. for just doing their job

      Call me crazy, but getting a job where your job title isn’t “armed thug” would be a good place to start there. You don’t get to run around with a gun screaming “FOLLOW MY ARBITRARY RULES OR I WILL MURDER YOU!” and not expect to be called an asshole or worse.

  4. Sounds reasonable to me. Though the card may unecessarily associate you with groups that are (fairly or not) on the government’s “list”. It shouldn’t be hard to remember that you don’t need to answer questions, and the officer can ask to look in your car, but you can politely decline.

    Also keep in mind that officers are human beings. They are/can be subject to performance metrics that incentivize fishing expeditions, or might have just watched too much CSI, etc. and are thinking that if they can sweet-talk you into opening your trunk there just might be drugs or a body in there. Stand up for yourself. It’s okay.

    • Yeah, I think it would be less trouble to just decline permission for a search, and decline to answer questions when asked. Whipping out a pre-printed card that says all that is something that most cops are going to interpret as “troublemaker”.

  5. Maltwit, good for you. It was probably better you were not honest and told him the truth, you probably would have been put through a lot of problems.

  6. I don’t think you should give the officer a card like that. Just don’t answer any questions beyond identifying yourself. Don’t say where you were or where you are going. Anything you say can be used against you, so don’t say anything.

    If he thinks you were drinking, he will use boilerplate phrases in his report about slurred speech. If you say nothing, he won’t be able to say that. If you have on sun glasses then he won’t be able to talk about glassy or bloodshot eyes.

    The cop will likely have a camera and microphone recording the encounter so don’t say anything, if you can avoid it. Mutely hand him your paperwork.

    What kind of jerk stops you for doing 45 in a 40 zone? He’s not your friend, no need to chit chat. He was on a fishing expedition. The problem is that the plethora of laws gives them the ability to use any excuse to stop you, or they can just make something up.

    • I am not sure where you are, but MANY towns in CT will stop you for 45 in a 40 and do this every year when school starts to slow people down around school areas where we have a lot of kids who walk home from school. It is always just a warning and not a ticket. After school is out for summer, the speed traps go too.

      Then, there is the other side where cops are profiling or looking for someone and they use the speed limit as a way to stop you. I have a friend who is Hispanic and drives a Honda beater to work and has been stopped more times than I care to listen, and HE IS a LEO. He was simply being profiled. That, is just wrong.

      • All of you, who talk like you are scared of being profiled, try this;
        Stop several of your local PD. Ask them, “… if you were to profile the ‘BAD GUY’, what would he look like?”. See how they describe the bad guy. Now, go out and buy the opposite. Buy the opposite type car. Wear the opposite type clothes. Do the opposite type things. Hang around the opposite type neighborhood and friends…. Get the picture?
        The Po Po are not looking for you, if you are the good law abiding citizen. They are looking for the bad guy. Stop looking like the bad guy !!!!

    • And this may be the best explanation of why so many of us are suspicious and concerned when we must interact with police – any even innocent comment or admission or permission may give the police an opportunity to embroil you in a complicated and protracted interaction with the justice system that law-abiding and generally honest citizens who have day to day jobs to attend to really cannot afford to deal with. Better to just be quiet and let the officer deal strictly with the purpose of the original reason he detained you than to inadvertently give him something else to confront you with.

      I may not flash this card as a first response, but if the officer is persistent I will definitely produce it rather than argue with him/her.

  7. Growing up, I knew pretty much all of the LEOs in my hometown – my dad was a former cop, the county sheriff’s wife was my 5th grade teacher, and the city PD chief was married to my elementary school principal. During my younger, more stupid days, I did have a run-in or two with the law, but we were all consistently friendly and polite to each other in every encounter, and they always ended with both of us going about our business with no fuss.

    I tried that approach the first time I got stopped in my current residence, and it was a night and day difference. I was treated like a felon and searched under the flimsiest excuse for probable cause I had ever heard. I only submitted to it because of my past experience conditioning me to expect interaction with police to be mutually respectful, but that won’t be happening again.

    I don’t know if it’s just a geographical difference or a sign of the times, but I know I won’t be dealing with the local cops the same way I used to. It’s a shame – I have a lot of police in my family, and I genuinely WANT to be respectful and cooperative, but that is earned, and the local LEOs have consistently failed to do so.

  8. Good for you. Just remember guys you can be respectful and non-conforming at the same time.

    Respect does not always mean doing exactly what is asked of you.

      • smallo, respect for all isn’t that hard to do and government employees are citizens also.

    • Projecting polite confidence is a key element to any encounter with a LEO.

      If you are able to keep your wits about you and politely interact as Maltwit did; if you are doing nothing wrong, there should be no issue. Most LEOs expect people to volunteer answers to their questions because that is the normal outcome with most contacts, even with bad actors, except that the bad actors always lie – they just can’t help it. So when the LEO receives push back from what s/he considers a routine question (at least in my day), they are immediately extra alert and suspicious whether justified or not. Because of this, the LEO will take time to thoroughly evaluate and confirm the best course of action.

      Both you and the patrolman learned something that day. Good for you Mr. Maltwit!

  9. Here is one of my favorites:

    Officer: “Do you have any weapons in your vehicle?”

    Me: “There are no illegal weapons in my vehicle.”

    The look on their faces for a split second is worth it. Its like they short circuit for a moment trying to decipher what I just said. Catches em off guard on rare occasion it has been used.

    • Come to CT, if you are driving a car registered to you and you are a gun owner you can expect that question at every stop regardless of how minor the situation.

  10. Do you have a CCP? In most states having a gun inside a bag that is not clearly identifiable from the outside as a gun storage bag renders it concealed, even if it is not carried directly on your person. So if no CCP you may have gotten in trouble if he pressed the issue.

    I say this because a lot of people who do not have CCPs do not really understand the law regarding transporting weapons without a CCP and wind up running afoul of the law by ignorance.

    I always recomend people whom I help find and purchase the right first gun for them that they get a CCP as soon as possible even if they never plan to carry. Having a CCP protects you from accidentaly beaking many gun laws when it comes to transporting guns.

    If you can not get a CCP (slave stater) or do not want a CCP for some reason, then be sure you absolutely know the laws for transporting your guns, especially if you are a slave stater as they tend to have harsher transport laws as well. For example in may states having in an unmarked bag is a no-no as is having it within reach of the driver.

    • I am sure what you are saying is true, but that changes from state to state as to what is or is not the proper way to transport.

      • Actually, I was being more vague than necessary. It is federal law that if you are transporting a weapon it be unloaded and locked in either the trunk or a suitable container which is then placed outside the reach of the driver and if possible any passengers. The glove box does not count, even if it is lockable (because it is not outside the reach of the driver).

        It is ossible there is a state that gets around that, and since I did not wish to get into a shouting match over it I was more vague than I should have been. After seeing youpost I relieze this may lead to some dismissing my advice, which is a really bad ideal, and so i am now clarifying.

        Many states (Most I know of anyhow) further require that if it is not in the trunk it must be visible from a window and the containor it is in must be clearly marked, like say the case most handguns come in these days. Some states dictate that the ammo must be stored seperate from the gun and must not be in magazines.

        Of course in most states that allow CC a CCP protects you from all of this as you can have a gun on your hip and another under the seat and not be afoul of the law.

        Bottom line, know your states laws regarding transportation, there is a great webesite for this, here is a link:

        http://www.handgunlaw.us/

        • Sorry that i asked, but what is a slave stater? I can´t find it i a dictionary. 🙂

        • germanguy,

          There are about 10 states with harsh gun control laws. People who promote gun rights refer to those 10 states as “slave states”. The idea is that the people in those 10 states are “slaves” because there are so many laws that make you a criminal for simply owning or carrying firearms. The people in the other 40 states are not slaves — they are free to have and carry (keep and bear) firearms with minimal laws.

          So a “slave stater” is a person who lives in a “slave state”.

        • Even with a CC or CCP, you are subject to state law. In CT, for instance, if you are carrying it, it has to be under your control. Meaning, keeping it under the seat is a no. I am sure that in other states you can keep it however way you want, and other do allow in the console or glove box.

          All I am saying is it depends and you cannot make generalized statements on anything dealing with gun laws.

    • Very true all above.

      Each jurisdiction may have slightly different restrictions. CA for example requires all non-CCW handguns be transported unloaded in a locked container seperate from any ammunition. As long as they are in a locked container or locked trunk (NOT the glove box or center console) you are good. It is best to transport in a trunk or rear portion of the passenger compartment. Out of sight, out of view, out of reach in this state is best to secure a firearm and avoid any issues.

      Then, if you are prone to being pulled over, if asked, you can answer with conficence “I have no illegal weapons in my vehicle”, or confidently cross inquire with “What makes you think I have weapons on board? Why did you say you were stopping me?” Just be polite and modest in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or challenging. And don’t volunteer any information other than required licensing and insurance docs. You never know…

      • Similar rules also apply to AR’s in CA; common rifles and shotguns currently differ only in that they don’t have to be in a locked container.

    • I agree. While I always carry now, the original reason I got my HCP (handgun carry permit) was to avoid any problems with transport in my home state.

      • It’s a sad commentary on how far WE have allowed our original Rights to be diminished. Hundreds of anti-carry laws that “infringe” on our personal rights.
        I have seen a .22 pistol taken from a Navy Vet in 1966 by the newly formed ATF.
        Legally registered since 1958. Found 2 years later in a cache’ of guns the Black Panthers had in CA.
        Tyranny started before Obama, he has just expedited the end of America.

  11. I’m probably going to get flamed for this, but here goes.
    I’m a retired cop.
    I’m a left coaster. When I read about crooked cops, it just makes my skin crawl.
    It makes me really angry. And when folks lump all cops into that category, it pisses me off even more. That bigotry raising it’s ugly head is the same as being racist, homophobic, hoplophobic, or what ever kind of phobic you can dream up.
    All that to say, I completely agree with this article.
    I had huge amounts of respect with folks I pulled over who would state things like this.

    • While I agree that bigotry against cops is bigotry, it isn’t the same as bigotry against blacks, and it isn’t the same as bigotry against gays (which are not the same, either).

      I admire ‘good’ cops, and I’ve been guilty of that type of bigotry before, and I probably will again, but there’s really only one group of people that can arrest me, violate my civil rights, take away my freedom and destroy my life, the lie and get away with it. In my experience many cops won’t hesitate to do just that. Part of it is the structure of our legal system, the things we choose to define as crime and our willingness to let unions take over, but part of it does lie with every single cop, even the good ones, who allow the blue code of silence to stand.

      My 2 cents. Nothing personal against you… I’m sure you’re a good guy.

      • I couldn’t have said it better. No, really. I couldn’t.

        It’s not that we hate cops. It’s just that we have no reason to trust them.

        • “It’s not that we hate cops. It’s just that we have no reason to trust them.

          As a general rule, that is a good perspective to keep in mind. From one who was in the club.

        • Guys, I really appreciate what you said.
          I took heat within my probationary period when I reported a senior guy for backhanding a prisoner in cuffs.
          I guess I’m an anomaly. I knew/know what is right and what is wrong.
          To me, the thin blue line means good versus evil, not cops versus citizens.

        • Hi, may I ask you a question:
          Why don´t you trust the cops?
          Here in germany we also have unpolite and stupid cops. We have not the best police in the world, but most of the time you can trust them. If you need help you will get it. For example you as a tourist from america can go to a cop here and ask where is this building or thing. They will answer you in english and are very polite. Okay the english depends on the age of the cop. A younger one would probably speak a better english than an older one. But they will always try. If you´re pulled over they have to proof to you that you where speeding or that they have a real good other reason.In this case they will show you a video or a photo where you and you´re car can be identified. If a lamp is broken they will show it to you. Okay now here comes the big difference i was told: You have to pay the penance directly to the cop. I have heard that isn´t the case in the us
          Okay i think i have enough explained.

        • germanguy,

          The main difference is between U.S. and German culture. For the most part, German people follow all rules at all times. It sounds like German police do the same. Many people in the U.S., however, do not like to follow rules and that includes many police officers.

          There is a little bit more to the explanation, but that is a good start.

        • uncommon_sense,
          may you´re impression from germany isn´t this good as you think. We also don´t give much abput some rules. This kind of crimes aare.., hm may you would call it in english gentleman crimes. These are things where the public think which arenßt so bad at all. Also some police members will not get you for these kin of stuff, some will.
          Also german police officers don´t follow the rules and make big mistakes. We are all just humans and not some kind of robots who are always perfekt (Sorry for the german fraise maybe you get it. If not asked.)
          We had in the last years some very big incidents, where the police get way to far of the reservation. But we have a for this kind of things a very good media, they are allways watching close. Maybe this comes from our history, i don´t know but i´m happy that we have them watching. Also the german public is sensitive if it comes to the topic where the police or the so called Verfasungsschutz,puh how to explain this word, is going out of there boundings. Okay here the explanation for Verfassungsschutz: This is an organisation for protecting the constitution. They have to watch extremists of all kinds from Nazis to Islamic groups. Most of the time they aren´t allowed to share theire knowledge with the police, because we have a law that puts a big line between police and intelligence. Only in very striked boundarys they are allowd to share things. Let me put it this way: You´re FBI is police and intelegince in one institution. Here in germany we have a split between the BKA ( our federal police) and the Verfassungsschutz (intelligence for domestic things). In the last years we had some incidents where this lines where washed out by them. The german public and media protested against it.

        • Germanguy – My sister spend a semester abroad in Amsterdam, and my other sister joined her for a week to tour some of Europe. When they were in Germany they got pulled over. The police, who were indeed very polite, explained that things in Germany are different than they are in America; most notably they informed her that they pulled her over solely because the car had been rented in Amsterdam. Furthermore, they asked if she (the one who was studying abroad) had brought and marijuana from Amsterdam (apparently there’s some kind of trafficking problem). She hadn’t, but they still proceeded to search the car, and then brought her into the nearest police station, with my other sister following in the car, for some kind of on the spot drug test. She passed and was released.

          To me, this is terrifying. Like I said, she told me the cops were very polite throughout, but my sisters are very straight laced and they were both horrified by the ordeal. I understand the need to respect other cultures, and I truly believe in “when in Rome”, but I truly hope nothing even remotely close to that is ever acceptable in America. Particularly given our government’s history of abuses of power. In fact, I think you guys may have some of that in your past as well.

          There’s nothing wrong with respect for cops, but I think unquestioning reverence for authority is one of the most dangerous things on Earth.

        • BlinkyPete,
          okay what haoppened to you´re sister is very strange. Thats also for me a first timer.
          Yes, there is a big trafficking problem. Because in the Netherlands it is legal to poses and use marijuana, in Germany not. ( okay when you have a few grams they don´t put charges, depends on the state how much exactly) Yes the police can ask you if you have something illegal in you´re car but they aren´t allowed to search, if they don´t have a good reason to do so. Only the custom agency (Zoll) is allowed (at the borders and a few kilimoters from them) to search you´re car with out any reason. The police is only allowed so, if you are suspect under an ongoing investigation.A suspect is defind by german law as following: A suspect is anybody suspected that he or she has concret committed a crime.That means there are enough evidence, that this person has comitted a specific crime. In the example with you´re sister: That she is actual a drug smuggler.
          Only the custom angency is allowed to search the car without this reason.
          Now let us come to the sample you´re sister had to give. In this case it is very easy: She could have denyed it. She don´t have to give one. In germany you don´t have to do anything that can convict you for a crime. Okay the police might line that they way that you´re now more suspicuss, but i gues in the us it isn´t different. Normaly they perform these kinds of tests direct at the Autobahn or street you´re driving. By women there will be always performing a woman the test, or watch it in case of a urin sample. By men a men will do this job. Only if you´re driving strange, in curve lines or so, they are allowed to do some tests, but for more then on the spot sweat, urin or breath test, they need a court order and the performance have to be done by a medical doctor a so called Amtsarzt (medical officer if google translator is right) with a special license.
          Though normaly this things you described shouldn´t have happened.
          May you can ask you´re sister for the exact circumstances. If the circumstances are strange, may she should go to you´re embassy and ask them for advice. More i can´t they because i´m not a lawyer, i´m studying computer science, but law is too high for me.

        • While there may be specific laws protecting people from unwarranted search or detention, it’s ultimately up to the police to obey those limitations. It isn’t reasonable to expect to early twenties girls to understand the nuances of German law, and when a cop specifically says “we have the right to do this” it’s reasonable that a foreigner wouldn’t argue.

          That’s not unique to Germany… there are abuses of power everywhere. There are also people that unquestioningly respect authority everywhere. These comments also don’t likely accurately reflect the sentiments among many Americans. Most rank and file Republicans are generally very pro-cop (and most of the cops I know are rank and file republicans). These forums seem to have a disproportionate number of Libertarian leaning folks, from moderate ones to the looney wingbats, far-righters, purple democrats and everything in between. In short, folks that don’t generally trust authority.

        • BlinkyPete, you´re right that you´re sister can´t know. I also didn´t know till i looked for it yesterday, but i don´t have a car so i didn´t care. Maybe you´re sister drove suspuicios maye not, we both don´t know. Also the officer can nearly say to every driving typ that is suspicios for him/her.
          But that doesn´t mean that this officers had expanded the law and this isn´t right.
          But my hole point here was, if you deal with respect to another human you should get this respect back. Here in germany we have a saying: “Wie es in den Wald hinein schallt, so schallt es heraus.” That means that you should talk and behave to anybody as like as you would like to get treated. Mostly we all would like to get treated with respect and politness. So we should treat other people just like this. In most of the times you will get it back the same way.
          Yes this forum has a lot of opinions here and that´s why i like it reading here. So i can get a really wide impression of many ( not all) americans. I also read in more leftwinged blogs and forums, only to get the whole picture and to get my own opinion. We have also a very good blog that explains america. This blog is writen by an american, who is married to “the most beautiful german woman” as he calls his wife. He originaly comes from Arizona ( exactly the county with the sherif that puts his criminals in pink underwear when they are in jail) He trys to explain lot of things from a neutral point of few. Mostly this works and than the reader can go out in the internet and read further things if he wants to. I guess this is a good thing to get a better understanding for each other.
          Ok gun control and other 2nd amendment he doesn´t has disscussed yet. But he explained alot of law making and other stuff and that helped me alot to get a better inside.

      • Bigotry is bigotry my fellow granite stater. Regardless of one’s reasoning or thought process they are still lumping everyone in a certain group together. Just like what is happening to gun owners.

        • That’s completely fair, but I’d still maintain that skin color is unique. It isn’t a uniform that can be taken off, it isn’t a decision that can be made or changed (except for Michael Jackson), and in this country it carries a great deal of historical and cultural baggage (and that’s not just black people I’m talking about). It’s bigotry, but it still isn’t the same. Still, I completely understand why it would piss the OP off. It must feel like a Michael Moore trying to make all gun owners look like paranoid, racist hicks.

    • I think it is important understand the difference between bigotry and prejudice. A bigot hates without other consideration EVERY member of a class or group, and cannot be dissuaded from that view. Prejudice only means that based on observable data one makes an initial judgment as to probable characteristics or responses. When you see a really big cat on the street with orange and black stripes you can be forgiven your prejudice that this guy might eat you if you do not take precautions. That’s prejudice. If you simply shoot at every cat you see, regardless of size or color, etc., that’s bigotry.

      Police officers tend to be recognizable by their uniforms. Some police officers can and will eat you alive and destroy your life for something you might have considered innocuous or even legal. (I reference here the man who was leaving – moving out of – New Jersey and was still arrested for transporting his weapons illegally.) For that reason it is only wise to be prejudiced until the officer leaves without biting your head off or otherwise showing dangerous intent.

  12. I support what you told the officer, but am a little less enthusiastic about the card. Have to think about it for a while. As a retired LEO, the card combined with the bag out in the open, could sound like you were daring him. It may work out in the end, but is the loss of a good part of your day worth it ? Not to me. Low profile is always better.

    Here’s a suggestion, though – put you range bag in the truck. Plain view can be an exception to the need for a search warrant. Some states require that for transport, and not giving any officer an obvious reason to ask further questions cuts that off at the pass.

    • So if I fill my NRA logo bag with dirty underwear gym socks I can put that on the passenger seat and watch the officer have a go at it? Awesome.

      • Any cop that has searched homeless person is not going to be impressed by dirty underwear and gym socks. You’ll have to do better than that.

        • bystander, no shit LOL

          especially since homeless people will soil themselves if they resist.

          Its a law as fundamental as gravity. The homeless will soil themselves when they are non-compliant. Its a given.

  13. Malwit – what town? I’m in Merrimack (and relatively new to NH), and the cops here seem alright. Just curious.

    • I’ve traveled a lot in NH and have a NH license. The Merrimack cops seem okay. The Keene cops are not. YMMV.

      • Small town cops around here are assholes. I grew up in Hollis. I got stopped for doing 23 over(fair enough)’but they searched me because my car smelled like cigarette smoke(not fair enough) the cop asked me if I smoke weed. I said no but I had tried it. He retorted with “well ya? I don’t think you ever stopped.” I shrugged my shoulders and didn’t answer him. Small town cops are bored. Merrimack is not such a small town so they are likely better. Nashua cops are great, same with Manchester. Maltwit I’m curious as well about which town.

        • That’s almost always the rule of thumb, that small town cops are assholes. I grew up in a tiny, rural, middle upper class town with roughly zero crime – we had 20 cops. How could they not get bored?

        • Simple enough Blinky,

          20 cops, corrupt town officials (including judge): makes for a great speed trap to fund everybody’s paychecks.

          There have been a few Oklahoma small towns that have been barred from patrolling interstates (and some even highways) just because writing tickets were the bread and butter of the city. (as in better than 1/2 the revenue.)

        • I don’t remember the name of the town, but I do remember reading a series of articles in Car and Driver (I believe from John Phillips) about one of those towns. The cops and judge were all related. It was a racket, and eventually the state shut them down.

          I recently beat a ticket in MA in appellate court, and one of my arguments was based on this. I don’t recall the specific Supreme Court case, but municipalities cannot set speed limits solely to derive revenue, nor can they be set without a traffic engineering study (the latter only applies to municipalities that have accepted federal funding for road construction). Food for thought.

      • You must be familiar with Free Keene, right Ralph? They pop up on NES from time to time and I feel like I remember you being there occasionally. I have a few sympathetic friends over there and they don’t care for the police in that town at all. That said, their activities seem to be intended to instigate police responses at times.

        • I must be thinking of someone else then… there are a few lawyers there. Haven’t been on in a long while.

    • Londonderry.

      I moved from Boston almost 40 years ago. The police up here tend to be polite and respectful. Ordinarily the biggest problem in Londonderry are the skateboard miscreants and run away farm animals.

      To be fair, I was stopped in a “school zone” (technically), but the school is about 500 feet on a road that runs perpendicular to the street I was driving on. Since it was about 10 a.m., I figured the kids should have been in class. But, obviously the cop didn’t feel the same as I did.

      I don’t blame the policeman, he was doing his job.

      In retrospect, when he called in my license and registration, he may have spoken to the Chief who issued my CCW. It might have been that the patrolman had figured it out that my beater luggage contained my pistol and since I had passed the NICS and I was respectful of him that I was probably one of the good guys.

      FWIW: I was in Merrimack this afternoon checking out the Merrimack Firearms store. Small shop but friendly people.

  14. In Ohio, if we have our CCW…by law we have to tell the police if we’re carrying during any interaction…such as being pulled over. A gun in a bag within reach is considered carrying…

        • I’m not sure I understand that. The 1st Amendment also protects your right to not speak. If you volunteer the information, you may be incriminating yourself in something you don’t even know about. You should go to YouTube and watch “Never talk to the police”.

        • Robin, that would be the Fifth amendment. Also, there’s no such thing as an absolute right, and only one Supreme Court Justice that I’m aware of has ever taken a literalistic view of the Constitution, and that was Hugo Black and even he flip flopped on some issues pertaining to “Congress shall make no law”.

    • Not true in Fla. Not required to tell.
      However, some cops don’t seem to know that part of the law. I have heard them yell at people for not “letting them know”. But I have never seen it go beyond yelling unless the person was actually breaking the law. Then an arrest would certainly follow.
      That being said, I totally disagree with yelling at a law abiding citizen. It makes them feel like sh*t, for no good reason. All I can say is that some cops are scared of getting shot. But that is no reason to violate anyones rights. If they are that scared of guns, they are in the wrong profession.

  15. The first two times I got pulled over, the cops wanted to search my car for drugs. Strangely enough, I had long hair both times.

    The first time, I was just nervous since I’d never been pulled before. Expired tags. I’d reregistered them but had forgotten to put the sticker on. Gave consent to the search because I didn’t know better. Ended up spending a half an hour sitting around in front of my college while she went through my car. Really irritating since I was going to be on time for my first class for once until the lights flashes.

    Second time, was on my way to visit a friend at another college a few hours away. Passed by some couple sheriffs deputies who’d pulled someone over. Moved over in my line, but didn’t actually switch lanes, which you need to do by law here. Second deputy in a K9 car came and pulled me. Legit, I just. However, when he gave me the usual “illegal drugs or weapons” shpiel, I looked up and to the right for a second since I had my regular (prescribed) medication with me. Courtesy of some bogus training some jackass in the 80s and 90s hocked around to LEOs convincing them they are walking lie detectors (which was proven to give them no improvement over a regular Joe, but made them super absurdly confident in their result), he immediately started bombarding me with questions and asked if his dog could sniff the car. Oh, the college town also had a major rep for pot. Anyway, being young and stupid, I consented. Doggie sniff sniff, finds nothing. Dude still keeps me there for another half an hour, question after question (maybe a friend borrowed the car and left a bud, it was just one time, blah blah blah). Finally getting tired of standing on the side of a highway as the sun went down, I told him that I was screwed up enough as it is (see medication) and I didn’t need any help from dope. He finally let me go after giving a bunch of BS warning tickets (“cracked windshield” when the crack was nowhere near my sight line, etc. etc.).

    Since then, I’ve gotten stopped twice with no requests for searches. I also cut my hair. No connection, I’m sure. Anyway, moral of the story: be polite, but firmly say no.

  16. I have been reading through these comments and some of them just couldnt go un answered. The one that really got me very pissed off was someone saying that they are government employees owe respect to the civilian not the other way around. While I hope that this was just poor word choice that is a good way to make yourself sound like an a**hole. Simple fact is people should respect each other. It doesnt matter what position anyone is in or what side of the law you are on. Secondly cops catch shit all day and a lot of times for no reason. Yes there are bad cops out there. There are also bad everything else in every job on the planet. So that cop who pulled you over for doing 45 in a 40 was within his right to do so. Plain and simple you were breaking the law. You knew it was a 40 and went 45. I too speed honestly a lot of times more and faster than I should. But I take responsibility for my actions. I broke the law and now I own it when the time comes. As for the gun in the car I am very pro 2A. But with this caviat cops job inherently makes them hated and puts there life in danger. He might have had suspicions that you had been breaking the law further than the speeding and decided to do a “routine” stop and see who this is an what they are doing. You have a right to deny giving any information but if you werent doing anything illegal then what was the issue in answering the questions of someone doing their job. I will say this I would try and read the cops demeanor and attempt to maybe judge what their reaction to me having a firearm would be and go from there. Final thoughts that I am glad things ended respectfully but I think next time if everyone just goes about things with respect for everyone else and simple as that and try to remember that youre not doing anything wrong and hes just doing his job. You might find more cops are smarter and nicer than you think.

    • Respect is earned, not freely given.

      I immediately suspect the motives of anyone in a position of power singling me out for scrutiny. They don’t deserve verbal answers to their questions and anything you say to them can be twisted and used against you. So I don’t talk to them.

      They will get everything required by law from me (license and registration), but nothing else unless I personally know them.

      • There’s a reason the Miranda warning says:

        “Anything you say or do can be used against you in a court or law”

        In NJ, even if you are doing everything you can to stay within the law when transporting firearms, there are so many vague definitions (purposely or unintentional) that there is ALWAYS something that they can get you for.

        Best to stay silent, accept the speeding ticket (or whatever offense initiated the stop) and if they want to dig deeper they have to work for it, like the law states.

      • Michael B. –

        BS. That is all.

        I could go all day on this but the bottom line is that respect should be exactly freely given. If the person recieving your respect isn’t deserving of it then you’ll find out quickly enough at which point you can spout that kind of pedantry.

        Think about this, if this fictitious officer of THE LAW (noun, TM, Etc.) were to treat you respectfully and politely would you be justified in acting churlish and rude?

        On the flip side of this you expect us to accept – and our fictitious officer to condone – your gruff, unpleasant treatment of him with kindness and polite words; even to let you off with nothing more than a considerate verbal warning?

        The word of the day is Manners kids, learn them, know them, live them.

        • “Manners kids.” Unfortunately that seems pretty fair to say to my generation. Respect and work ethics are hard to come by in my demographic.

      • Michael B.: If I pull you over on a traffic stop, I have not singled you out for scrutiny. YOU singled yourself out by violating traffic law. I will respect you, in as much as you respect me.
        If you treated me, like you indicated above, you probably would get that ticket that you deserve. Not because I am the A**hole, but simply because I return what I am given (within the bounds of the law). Remember, If I stop you for speeding, I already have the right/responsiblilty to write you the citation. However, with most citations, the officer has the discretion to give the citation, a written warning, or a verbal warning. Which one you get, often depends on the way you treat the officer.
        Like I’ve said in other posts, I’m looking for the bad guy (the drug user/distributor, warrants, ect). If you aren’t them, unless you did a flagrantly bad violation, I probably don’t have time to waste with you. A simple warning and you’ll be on your way. But if you treat me like you indicated above, Then I suspect that you have something to hide and I will be digging as deep as the law allows me to look.
        Remember, if you are the law abiding citizen, I am trying to serve you. I am trying to find and catch the bad guy.