Probable cause but wrong becomes illegal search, which becomes just plain stupid.

Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:49 am

Probable cause but wrong becomes illegal search, which becomes just plain stupid.

Post by wordwaymike »

Not that long ago in Cape Coral, Florida, around 9:30 p.m. at night a lady friend of ours was driving over to my friend's house. She was coming over to pick up her Persian cat that had spent the day in the air conditioned comfort at our place that wasn't available at her home. As said long haired cat had been very lethargic from the heat and humidity yesterday.

The street that we are on is undergoing the sewer line upgrade construction work, and as a result, one side of the two lanes that flow in opposite directions had been converted into a one lane in each direction access and egress road. The other two lanes that supported traffic flow to Santa Barbara St. were tore up and covered with sand.

She was heading towards Santa Barbara St. and about a block and a half from our place when a Cape Coral Police patrol car turned off a side street and fell into position right behind her. When she was parallel to our drive way she right turned across the median, at a place that had been cleared of grass before EACH drive way on the other side of the road so that people could enter, and exit their driveways.


At which point, the Cape Coral Police Officer turned on his bubble-light display, and turned in our driveway directly behind her. I'm inside the house, in the living room, when I notice the unmistakable shimmer of red, white and blue lights coming through the front window, and dancing all over the roof and walls of the living room.

My friend had gone to the store about 30 minutes previous so my first thought upon seeing that dazzling array of colors specific to this country's visible display of governmental authority at work was to think that my friend was stopped for some traffic violation right in front of his home. But when I opened the door, I saw that it was our friend, coming to get her cat.

So, I asked; "Is everything OK?"

And both police officer, and our friend responded that it was. I then told our friend that when she was done, "just come on in." And then I went back inside.

I did this because;

(A.) If there ISN'T a problem, then I don't want my presence being interjected into

THEIR discussion to be the catalyst for the situation morphing into one.

(B.) It was still hot and humid outside, and comfortably cool inside.

I learned after the whole incident was over from our friend what the officer told her was his reason for stopping her. And I believe her. Because it makes sense to a point. After checking her license, verifying her insurance, and running her for wants and warrants. (This girl is so effing clean, I can't even believe that I know her!) this is what the officer told her was HIS REASON for stopping her;

"When I turn off of a street, and in less than a block, or two after doing so, the vehicle in front of me pulls into a house's driveway, I immediately suspect that I have made that person so nervous, that they have pulled into the driveway of someone that; THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW to get me off of their tail.

Going on to say that this suspicion, based upon his training and experience as an officer of the law, gives him "PROBABLE CAUSE" to suspect that some sort of criminal activity MIGHT be attached to the person(s) is said vehicle.

Her response was; "As you can see, (By my coming outside and telling her to just "come on in when you are done") I DO know the people that live here. And that I was coming here specifically to pick up my cat."


Right here, the officer should say something to the effect of; "Sorry for the delay and inconvenience. Just trying to do my job. You have a nice night."

But this guy doesn't like it when he is wrong. And it seems that he blames the people that he was wrong about for the fact that HE WAS WRONG.

I base this belief upon the following; Instead of apologizing for the inconvenience that she had suffered due to his being wrong, his next gambit is this; "You know, it's illegal to cross the meridian. I could write you a ticket."

Her response was; "Not when it is the ONLY WAY that you can access your driveway or someone you knows driveway, and you cross it at those points that have been cleared by the construction crews for people to do so."

First swing at this girl, and the guy had some initial probable cause. But it's a "swing, and a miss!" Because his probable cause was; PROVEN TO BE WRONG.

His second swing is at a pitch so far off the plate he has no chance of hitting it. And just like he didn't like it when someone wasn't the criminal that he wanted them to be, he really didn't like it when they couldn't be buffaloed into exhibiting fear at the sound of some specious bullshit he was uttering.

I base this on what he does next.

He is now devoid of probable cause. He is now stating that she is in violation of statutes that she is CLEARLY NOT IN VIOLATION OF. And when she calmly, (This girl is always so calm it is spooky) points this out, he plants his feet firmly and takes another swing. By saying;

"I want to search your car for drugs. Is that all right with you?"

As calmly as Nolan Ryan at the top of his game she rockets a sizzler across his plate that not even the mighty Casey could have connected with. By saying;

"You can search to your hearts content. I've never used drugs. I never will. So if you find any, YOU PUT THEM THERE."

Oh yeah she did!

This is where I walk back outside the second time. Because 12 to 15 minutes have elapsed, and the whole neighborhood is still bathed in the winking blinking, flashing strobes of; "You in a heap of trouble boy!" colors.

Our friend at this point states to me; "He asked if he could search my vehicle for drugs. Do you believe that? I told him look all you want."

At which point, I laugh.

The officer looks at me when I do, and I say; "Good luck. She won't even drink caffeinated coffee."

After several minutes of digging around in her existence, he pulls his head out of her vehicle, and sticks it up his ass one more time.

With the mighty luminescence of his official Ranger Rick tactical illuminator he starts doing a grid search of the ground around where she has been standing for over twenty minutes now. Moving out from the designated perimeter of her feet. About 4 to 5 feet away from her he spies an object that has the look of something suspiciously sinister.

Could it be! Does he have her? Are his suspicious suspicions of this suspected suspect sustained by actual, factual findings that would hold up in a court of law?

Vindicating this man from being labeled vindictive?

"Well, well. What's this?" He asks as he leans back to take one last mighty swing at this here woman who has let him already take his share of swings at her, and someone else's share as well.

"What's what?" Is her reply.

Exactly the kind of reply that he had been expecting from this femme fatal of guise and deception.

"This right here. " He says. As he moves his light in closer to illuminate more fully...

Something round, paperish white, twisted at one end, and stubbed out burnt at the other.

He's sure as he swings with all the force, and abandon of one who was destined to hear the roar of the crowd's approval at every shabby criminal that he has skewered on the sword of his insightful righteous "instincts" at work. Oh, they might dance there little criminal dance this way, and that way, for a while.

But in the end, as you shine your light upon the reality of their sin, from there own mouths you will hear them utter those acknowledging words that you long to hear, when you ask; "What's that?" and they are forced to say;

"It's... it's... Oh! It's one of Mikey's hand rolled Bugler cigarette butts!"

He couldn't believe it! He had her in his sights from the time he flipped on the lights until right now!

He swung and missed! Swung and missed! Again, and again, and again! And with this final swing I think he tore a mental muscle when this one didn't have anything to connect with. Because even though he could see brown tobacco sticking out of one end of it, he kept saying to her; "You know what that is! Don't give me that!"

She had to tear this home rolled cigarette open in front of this guy! She hates even touching cigarettes, but she hated the idea of going to jail for something that wasn't marijuana even more.

It was at this point that this officer got into his vehicle, turned off his lights, and backed out of our driveway. To speed off into the night. Looking for easier prey.

No apology. No parting words. Just a sullen, quiet, quick departure from the scene of HIS CRIME. Some where in Cape Coral, not too much later than his departure, I suspect that some one was stopped by this officer. For some thing.

God! I'm glad it wasn't me!

NOTE: Believe me on this one. This girl doesn't smoke, drink, or speak smart-mouth or sarcastic to anyone. And is always running me and my buddy out onto the lanai where we can smoke our cigarettes in peace with out our having to re-hear her whole; "Your body is a temple" spiel.

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Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 7:05 am

Probable cause but wrong becomes illegal search, which becomes just plain stupid.

Post by Snooz »

How lovely that he had so much spare time to dedicate to the harassment of your friend. Everyone knows there's no crime in Florida that he could have been investigating.
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:49 am

Probable cause but wrong becomes illegal search, which becomes just plain stupid.

Post by wordwaymike »

There is plenty of crime in Florida. Just not where this officer was engaging in a fishing expedition to justify his unjustified action. This was a localized, small potato's example of what many of the governmental authorities at city, county, state, as well as federal levels all across this nation now consider their due. The right to disregard the Bill of Rights protections that are your shield against the vast powers that we entrust some among us with.

Those that have chosen to make a career of law enforcement have a right to go home to their loved ones at the end of the day. We the people have a right to be left alone unless their is something specific that the officer has seen or heard that is indicative of "possible" criminal activity. When your civil liberties protections are eroded over time it breeds a disrespect for both the servants of the law, and the law itself. Not a good thing at all.

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