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Law and Order  

All 2 posts   Subject: POLICE BRUTALITY for what... ???   Please login to post   Down

10-26-04 18:50
No 537947
      POLICE BRUTALITY for what... ???     

As many new users, I find myself introducing myself amidst a strange legal situation that swim dreamed of recently. Swim was vistiting a strange city with a friend and partaking in the normal: beer mixed with pot. At the end of the night, while swim was walking back to his temporary home, two police cars sped by very fast. Swim's friend immediately yelled something to the extent of "what's the rush" while throwing his arm in the air. The police cars immediately slammed on their brakes (barely missing one another) before speeding back in reverse. Swim continued walking toward the approaching cars, in a state of smiling, before asking if the erradic officers were drunk. At that point, swim's friend remembers seeing little else, because he was pepper-sprayed. Swim's friend remembers being on the ground and feeling impacts all over his body and that is all. At this point, swim walked up close to the scene and observed the actions in progress. Which was: 3-4 uniformed police officers situated around swim's friend kneeing him all over and pushing his face into the pavement. Swim tried to maintain composure, using "sir", "officer", as he requested clarification as to what the fuck was going on. Officers assured swim that the situation was under control, and to leave immediately. Swim watched from aside while his friend was hauled away. In the heat of frusteration that followed for a relatively innocent remark and gesture, swim discarded a tin of marijuana, before yelling something to the extent of "you call this justice?". Immediately, cruisers which had been parked 100yds away pulled up, and arrested swim for disorderly conduct. Upon search, they found <0.1g marijuana, which was forgotten to be in a pocket. Swim then proceeded to the police station where he passed out from the combination of marijuana/alcohol, and woke up in country jail because he had "refused to be processed" at the city dept. Swim spent 30+hrs at the county jail, in lockup, before proceeding to the courthouse in full shackles and cuffed to his waist.

I have researched disorderly conduct, and it seems that you must be on public property for this to stick. I believe that i was on a grassy section next to the sidewalk, which in my opinion is private property.

Is this something that a lawyer would be able to assist with in a big way, such as in the case that swim's behavior was a direct result of the crime with was previously committed to his friend, and the anguish caused by police inability to handle the responsibility of the job they CHOSE?

Swim's friend has a cocktail of bruises over his entire body, which make walking painful, along with black eyes, and scrapes over his face. He also is facing disorderly conduct, possession of marijuana, alchol (under 21), resisting arrest, and perhaps one other bullshit charge.

I hope that a few bees here who have some information which might prove valuable to swim.

Does it make you feel good after all those years of being picked last at recess?
(Of Counsel)
10-26-04 21:51
No 537972
      Go talk to a local attorney     

You do not need advice from anyone at this board. You need advice from a local attorney, and you should seek it quickly. By all means talk to a local attorney first, and have the lawyer go over the timetable that has to be followed defending the case. The entry of a plea to the disorderly conduct case may preclude you from damages in an action for violation of your civil rights.

I do not know the jurisdiction in which this happened, or whether your belief that disorderly conduct can only be committed on public property is correct. I suspect that disorderly conduct in public is a violation of statute. Any place accessible by the general public falls in this category. I doubt there is any problem applying the statute to someone walking along a public roadway, regardless of whether he was technically in the roadway easement held by the government.
You will likely find the police give a different version of what happened in their reports than the facts you describe. They likely will describe you as being intoxicated, belligerent, uncooperative, and disorderly; you were in a place where the public has a right to be, and they did what cops do... they busted you. 

My advice? The next time you find yourself walking down the highway drunk with pot in your pocket, do not make loud noises toward people in cars with funny lights, badges and guns. Such people have poor senses of humor as a rule, and they have little patience with people yelling at them at any time. Whether you might be guilty of disorderly conduct is an open question. I would think you have demonstrated you were guilty of aggravated stupidity at the time.

I've been there. Stupid can be found everywhere, I think. It just happens to show up more often than not where drunks happen to be.  

Being intoxicated puts you at a distinct disadvantage at any trial arising out of the incident. There will be two distinct versions of what actually happened... yours, and the cops'. Which one of the two is the more likely to have perceived the events incorrectly or inaccurately? I suspect the jury would think the guy who was drunk... rather than the cop.

mostly harmless

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