Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Ihre Papieren, gefallen!

Another reply to SR.

Did I get into this in your comments last time? I forget- I know I tried, and think I gave up. My intent isn't to be disagreeable, except with the jerk in this case.

This is not a good test case:
  • First, he sounds like a real prick. Nothing illegal about that, but I'm just sayin'.
  • Second, the fifth amendment says nothing about right to silence. The closest thing to that it says is "nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself". Since there's nothing illegal about existing (swarthyness notwithstanding), being forced to identify oneself puts the person in no criminal jeopardy and thus isn't a problem for the fifth amendment.
  • Third, the fourth amendment. "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" There was a legitimate police call made by a concerned citizen about an alleged crime and describing the participants. These two jokers fit the description, along with the location, and were questioned about the situation and by all accounts WERE the people who the report was made about. Sounds reasonable to me.
  • This specific case doesn't offend me in any way. Certainly not like the perfectly legal concept of roadside "safety inspections". These, which only seem to be increasing in popularity thanks to the tea totalers, seem to be a far more effective and efficient tool of discrimination and oppression than any variety of the stop-and-frisk. In the case at hand, it's one man arguing with another. In the "safety check", it's you against an entire roadblock of officers, their vehicles and weapons, emcamped with the sole purpose of investigating you with no probable cause except your choice to take a certain street.

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