By whatrights - 12/07/2009 08:59 - United States

Today, I learned that "Officer, I do not consent to any searches" means "Officer, please handcuff me, I am trying to be difficult" in cop speak. FML
I agree, your life sucks 51 368
You deserved it 23 742

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That's total abuse of power.

So you clicked either the 'YES' or the 'NO' button on this one? Really? When is your guest spot on Oprah? Can I send you a self-addressed stamped envelope so I can get your autograph? I'm going to frame that shit and take down my autographed cigar from Bill Clinton and put your's in it's place...


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So you clicked either the 'YES' or the 'NO' button on this one? Really? When is your guest spot on Oprah? Can I send you a self-addressed stamped envelope so I can get your autograph? I'm going to frame that shit and take down my autographed cigar from Bill Clinton and put your's in it's place...

YDI for not co-operating. I hope the cop used police brutality. And if you are a nigger he had to his normal proceedure. Police brutality ftw.

Wow, no one gives a damn.

wow, you moderated this one and you were the first one to comment? "someone" needs to spend a little time away from fml

YDI, why in god's name wouldn't you let him search your car unless you had something to hide? Typical liberals fight the police then get angry when they are arrested

#207, 4th amendment, your eyes? Maybe they should meet. Typical liberals don't fight the police. There was no fighting. Why should this person consent to a search? If the cop wants to get a drug dog, let him. Then if the dog doesn't hit, the cop should fuck off. Just because some of us don't feel like giving our liberties away doesn't mean we're criminals. And just because you're willing to get on your knees for authority doesn't make you a good citizen. /rant.

Wow...just because he didn't consent to a search doesn't mean he has something to hide. It's called right to privacy. Typical liberals? How about normal person who's aware of their rights. That's like saying 'oh, typical liberal, not letting cops search his house without a warrant and then being surprised when he the cop sends for a SWAT team and tear gasses his family'. This is America, not Soviet Russia, and everyone can refuse consent to a search, and no cop can do anything about it unless they have plausible reason to believe you ARE hiding something. And no, the fact that you refuse a search does not provide reasonable suspicion. Bringing politics into this is moronic, as being aware of your rights and insisting upon them does not indicate any kind of political sway. And if you're definition of 'conservative' is blind, unswerving loyalty to any person in a position of authority, then you dont have any clue what a conservative is. You, sir, are a partisan, divisive asshole, and you embody everything wrong with this country.

Typical ignorant leftist. You NO NOT have a right to drive an automobile. You can attain however, the PRIVILEGE to possess a valid driver's license which, prior to receiving, you sign that you give your consent to certain legal actions.

Typical troll. Bringing irrelevant facts to the table. What's your point? Are you implying we sign away our 4th amendment right? Cite it please.

I can tell you (#207) exactly why a lot of people don't want to consent to a search. A friend of mine and his friend were pulled over for no apparent reason other than being very obviously in college, and since he had nothing to hide, he let the cop search his car. The officer pretty much tore everything out looking for weed, took a cane that my friend's grandfather had given him, said "this looks perfect for smuggling" and broke it in half. Then he basically said "oh, guess not" and threw the pieces away with no apology or reimbursement. So.. yeah, I wouldn't want to consent to any searches either if the cop was an asshole like the one in this FML obviously was.

People should never consent to unnecessary searches. I've had friends who consented to searches because they thought the cops would realize they weren't hiding anything. Instead, the cops ripped the lining out of their cars, tore every seam possible, and completely trashed it looking for shit that wasn't there.

All I hear is typical conservatism crying. If you don't like it you can git out, as far as I'm concerned everyone who disagrees with what transpired is anti-american and should be treated as such.

#163 stfu you liberal democratic nigger loving hippie piece of shit

Where did all these conservative trolls come from?

#220 your an idiot, you don't know what the situation was. and having a drug dog "SEARCH" the premises is a search tard.

WOW 207, are you really that stupid? that does NOT constitute 'fighting' the police. normally, i decline a search because they tear through and garbage that i had just cleaned up and put into grocery bags and am goign to throw out when i get my car parked and find a nearby trash can. they'll just rip that shit open and make another 20 minutes of cleaning for me. so no. when a cop asks me if he can search my car, i always say no. i don't have illegal things on me ever anywas, but i don't want the pain in the ass. leave it to a CONSERVATIVE who has WAY TO MUCH FRIGGIN faith in the system to say some stupid shit like 'oh leave it to a liberal to fight the cops' are you really THAT retarded or do you just act like it to get attention?

#312 "Bla bla bla whaa whaa whaa I'm too cool for school lol I'ma take my frustration out on the people who protect me from criminals" Seriously that's what you sound like. Show some damn respect these people risk their lives to protect your sorry ass each day

I don't understand why liberals are suddenly the ones who fight cops. When I think of anti-government/anti-police activists, many different types of people come to mind, most specifically militia groups. They are about as conservative as they come, and they clearly take the law into their own hands and make no qualms about hating the police and government.

#305 you're the idiot. Bringing the drug dog isn't a search. It's a way to get probable cause to search. Dumbass. And I know the situation because the OP explained in the comments. Careful, your ignorance is showing.

For all you guys you say cops put there life on the line and they just doing there job are right, and the bull shit they go threw can make a person on edge. but no reason to be a asshole, so stop with all this your wrong for not letting him search the car and all that crap. i had a cop pull me over for no reason ask me for my license and reg walk back to the car, and come back and tell me he giving me a ticket for sound viloation becasue my music was to loud until i smiled and pointed to my dash were there was no stereo because some one had stolen it. he then turned red riped up the ticket and got into is car and speed of so fast that if i was a cop i would of gave him a ticket for wreckless driving. so dont always cops are here for you and right some cops are assholes. just like normal people are that they pull over. but quit saying all cops are wonderful and great people and doing there jobs. if you do i hope you get that one asshole cop who stops you and gives you a ticket for your car lights being to bright or somthing stupid they make up at time.

#321 You're wrong.

321, that's a vast generalization. Not every cop is a dick, only some are. It just seems that no one here is saying anything good about cops and it's painting a negative picture.

No, they're pretty much all dicks. I don't trust them as far as I can pick them up and throw them and I don't say shit without a lawyer present. Always refuse the search. Never give them anything. The less you give them, the less they have to use against you. Make them get a warrant signed by a judge. If they try to put the cuffs on you, let them. If you don't they'll just kick your ass. Remember a cop is a cop because they couldn't become a lawyer or detective and have no other skills other than "Asshole meat bag". They are thugs paid by the state to harass and arrest people, most of which aren't hurting anyone. If they weren't a cop, they'd be mopping floors or working at Subway. Every loser in high school with below average intel wanted to become a cop, if I remember correctly. Just my opinion based on my personal experience with them.

Your personal experience should not include global statements. Unless, *gasp* you've met every single cop in the entire world? If so I'll bow to your superior experience and understanding. :P Also be aware that attitude etc changes from station to station, city to city, and state to state. Here, the bigger city cops aren't that bad, but the small town cops have attitudes (probably from dealing with tourists >> ). Though, I will say, my one time being pulled over I had a very pleasant officer who reduced my ticket (from 30 over the speed limit to 20 over), which saved me quite a lot of money. Just sayin. :P

@312 Protecting me from people that would do harm to me, and doing harm to me is not the same thing. How is ripping a persons car apart protecting them from criminals? It's vandalism, a criminal act. I believe that the right to privacy should extend to anything that a person owns. Especially vehicles.

yeah and typical republicans vote for anti gay rights legislation and get blow jobs from dudes in bathrooms. come down, or probably up to nyc and ill give you the thorough nyc cop treatment... by that i mean i'll beat the shit out of you cause i've had a bad day knowing id probably get off with nothing if i shot you anyway, and of course you being being black would help. oh and btw asking for our constitutional rights to be protected in the case of search and seizure seems to me at least as fair as republicans asking for their constitutional rights to carry concealed handguns in schools and churches to be protected... hypocrite jerk off

I've got a 4.0 GPA, never had a detention in my life, 139 IQ, a member of Amnesty International, and I'm looking at a career in law enforcement. Your personal experience probably related more to the fact that you're an asshole who broke laws. It's funny, all cops are dicks and stupid asshole thugs until you need 'em, right?

Isn't this interesting. It appears that someone has been living in Chicago their whole life. You really aren't that smart, are you? First: because you obviously can't see things outside your own limited view, I'll let you know that cops everywhere aren't corrupt or assholes. Where as there are certainly many out there, it's no different than with anything else. Lets imagine no cops or related forms of pubilic safety, and see that with no enforcement of law there really would be no stopping people from doing whatever they wanted. Does a narrow mind like yours comprehend that? I could kill you kill anyone of your friends or family, and there would be no sure consequence. Now, do you see how much you drag down society by becoming one more idiot that has to be taken care of? You probably shouldn't comment on things you don't understand.

do you understand what a "necessary evil" is? basically, many cops are assholes and make people's lives worse than they need be, but we need cops, we need the populace to know that wrongdoings will be punished harshly, to be safe really, it's more the idea of dealing with merciless cops that keep people from acting out more than the cops themselves

Not sure exactly what your point is, but if I'm not mistaken, you're trying to say that he has no right to not being searched. If that's the case then you're wrong. If you tell the officer that he cannot look in your car then there is nothing he can do about it except get a search warrant.

I'm a conservitive and I would never consent to a search.

You sir, have just made my day.

legally u dont have to. sue the bastard

@222 Yes actually you do have the right to drive an automobile. The constitution and the Supreme Court both say so. Several states ave citizens who have fought the case and won.

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That's total abuse of power.

Definitely! I hope you reported him... that is a violation of your rights! Unless he could SEE something illegal or had definite reason to suspect something, you are able to refuse consent and force him to get a warrant. These sorts of rights are what separate us from police states, it's not a joke.

You can refuse consent no matter what. It's just that the officer doesn't NEED your consent if the circumstances justify the search without it. In no case is your refusal wrong, it's just not always effective.

could their possibly be other circumstances? could the OP have been difficult prior to being asked to be searched? just wondering

Without having more information if he actually searched without cause or warrant, it's hard to call it abuse. Refusing to let an officer search is actually cop speak for, "I have something to hide, arrest me!"

True that 181 that is what i was going to say. If you say no i dont consent then they don't have to search they take you into custody and get a warrant depending on the circumstances... AND FYI people he could have smelt something like marijuana or something which they can lock you up for so dont judge the Police Officer

Nope. Warrants or reasonable cause are necessary for any search, from a pat down to a car search to a residential search. You absolutely have the right to refuse a search. The cop can call in a drug dog to sniff the car, but they have no right to cuff you for refusing a search. They have no right to cuff you even if the drug dog does imply that there might be drugs. A drug dog could give them the probably cause to search, but unless they find something cuffing a person is completely out of line. I hope the OP files suit against the PD and the cop gets some sort of reprimand.

we didn't get the whole story so the OP could have been arrested for prior behavior. He could have been arrested for that and the OP could be using refusing the search as a reason he got arrested

In order to conduct a search or make an arrest, a LEO must have RAS (Reasonable, Articulable , Suspicion) They must be able to vocalize a reasonable suspicion of illegal activity. Anything done without such is an illegal search, and a violation of a citizen's 4th Amendment protection from illegal search and seizure. No citizen should consent to a search. If they think you've done something wrong, they will be able to support a charge. Any content given "to show you're not hiding anything" may very well end in a search that leaves you with destroyed property and only yourself to foot the bill. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions"

181- have you considered that they may be hiding, not an illegal thing, but an embarrassing thing?

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Bullshit. An illegal search is an illegal search, even if they had a "good reason."

No, they are not well within their rights. The only time a officer has the ability to search anything is if there is a warrant or probable cause i.e. see or smell drugs or alcohol or find something in plain view that could be easily used as a weapon. The OP was well with in his rights as backed by the constitution to deny his search. @ OP unless he had a specific reason to pull you over I would file a complaint, when people constantly refuse to exercise their rights against such abuses of the law the people that are supposed to enforce law run unchecked. Another thing that people often forget is just because an officer says or does something does not make it legal. Many times because people do not know the laws or are afraid to enforce their rights just allow them to do what ever they want no matter how illegal and once you do some reading on law you will be astounded by what some get away with.

Who said it was illegal? For all you know he was smuggling drugs or was a terrorist with sarin gas to release in a public place. If the police have a good reason to want to search someone, and that person doesn't consent, do you think they're just going to say "Oh well... OK then" and let them walk off? At any rate, refusing a search does entitle the police to arrest you. Darkon - He didn't say he was driving or pulled over. You have no idea what the circumstances were.

I'm sorry...I thought "probable cause" meant that he HAD a good reason, and therefore the search was LEGAL. Unless you have something to hide, just let the cop search your car. Remember, it's for his protection, and the public's.

Authorities can get away with far too many things, even with such exposure that these abuses get. It just goes to show that the idea of "innocent until proven guilty" has been thrown out the window. CLEARLY, the perp is always the one to antagonize the cop. The cop is just doing his job, protecting the people and upholding the law... right? Though, I will say this: I don't think most cops HAVE bad intentions when they overstep their boundaries, they do have a lot of dangers to look out for, and even the best of men make judgmental mistakes. However, that's certainly no excuse for the erosion of our rights, as citizens. As far as I'm concerned, my rights should be of a higher concern to him than his own. He made the choice to protect and serve the people, not himself/herself.

@#17, I'm sure you support the Patriot Act too, eh? It's for a good cause, who cares if it promotes tyranny and negatively affects the checks and balances in place, right? "Those who would exchange freedom for security deserve neither."

cheesesoda - searching someone the police are suspicious of IS part of protecting the public. What would have been illegal is if he conducted the search anyway. He didn't. He arrested him instead which is the correct procedure and entirely legal.

If this happened when being pulled over, the officer was well within his rights. Cops don't need consent to search your vehicle.

I apologize for the car reference but non the less it applies to any situation. @16 For all you know it was an illegal search of an officer using his gun/baton as an extension of his manhood. "You have no idea what the circumstances were" works well here. Actually to the whole "do you think they're just going to say "Oh well... OK then" and let them walk off?" actually yes, but what normally happens is that the officer will use bully tactics to get you scared and to consent to a search. Please be a good little German in your particular place of residence and allow everyone else to exercise their rights entitled by the document that the police themselves use to empower themselves, it is called the Constitution read it! @17 Refusing a search is not an admission of guilt and just allowing him to search your vehicle or yourself "because you have nothing to hide" is extremely wrong!

"Suspicion" is far too flimsy of a reason to restrain someone. Granted, the OP has only given one side of the story, but if we're to take the OP's words as truth, the cop overstepped his boundaries and impeded on our 4th amendment rights. Besides, just because it may be legal *cough* Patriot Act *cough* doesn't make it Constitutional.

Holy shit balls batman. Yank you seriously believe that crap. That is pretty damn close to, "I don't care if they wiretap my phones because I have nothing to hide." That kind of mentality will lead to an erosion of our rights. Didn't you read up on the warrantless wiretapping and hear how many times the government jsut "vacuum sucked" information up with no real regulations in place, no probable cause for what they were doing, and also the amount of people affected that shouldn't have been. It's called privacy for a reason. If you want the police to be able to illegally search you start a petition to get the 4th Amendment taken away (right to be free from illegal search and seizure). My god I feel sick to my stomach that people like you live in this country. To quote Benjamin Franklin, "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." what 27? Following correct procedure when someone does not consent to a search? My god you're right, it's practically martial law these days...

@#26 - What are you smoking? Yes, you can deny them from searching your vehicle. However, once he has probable cause, then you can't prevent him. He can't just pull you over and decide you have weed (or whatever else it may be) if there are no signs of it.

@26 actually if they don't have probable cause yes they do need permission. Please educate yourself with law before commenting on such things.

@26 They need probably cause and even at that they need you to sign that you consent and if you don't consent a search warrant from a judge. They can't just search your vehicle unless they can visibly see something illegal in your car from outside the car. They can't think you look like a gangbanger and search your vehicle for guns if you give them no reason. It's called profiling and it's illegal.

29 - Now you're just making stuff up that the OP didn't even hint at. If that had happened, I'm pretty sure it would've been included in his story. Look up your own laws. If a suspect refuses search, it is procedure to arrest them. 30 - The OP didn't even give his side of the story. You have no idea what he was doing at all. And no, it's not too much of a flimsy reason to restrain someone. 31 - His rights were protected. He wasn't searched. The officer acted according to law. He arrested someone who was suspicious for whatever reason, and who then refused a search. I'm not American (thank god), and even I seem to know your laws better than most of you from my one visit there. Truly scary how ignorant the majority of your country is.

The law is that they can only search the parts of the car that are visible from the outside if you do not consent to a search, unless they have probable cause to search the car or you give consent. That means they can't go searching under the seats, in the glove compartment or in the trunk unless they have a warrant or said probable cause. That said, probable cause is flimsy and if you call the cop out on it he'll probably claim he smelled weed or some bullshit. Cops are corrupt. Let this be a lesson for you. FYL for having to learn this lesson the hard way.

@40 Perhaps you can't read English properly. The FML says the OP refused consent to search, and THEN the officer cuffed him. If the officer already had him in cuffs, I'd be more inclined to agree with you, but the fact is that his refusal is what led to him being cuffed, if we're to believe this story. THAT, even if it is "legal", is complete bullshit.

49 - My reading comprehension is just fine thank you, and I didn't imply anything else had happened. Perhaps you have misread. Refusing to consent to a search is grounds to arrest someone, if the officer had reason to request the search in the first place. This prevents anyone innocent who will consent to searches being arrested on suspicion, and still allows people who may pose some harm to the public to be arrested, protecting public safety and respecting their privacy. What alternative do you suggest to their regulations and guidelines? Allowing people they are suspicious of to go on their way, or making searches mandatory?

Shut up, all of you.

You seem to be ignoring the fact that I have the RIGHT to my privacy against unwarranted searches. My refusal isn't grounds to be restrained. I can't see how one could suggest that by exercising my rights, I'm a suspect. It's fucking ludicrous to suggest such a thing. You're assuming the cop already has probable cause when he's asking to search the person/vehicle/property. Suspicion is not enough. Cops can be wrong, even the best and most honest of them. For the reason that man is fallible, I have the RIGHT to deny a search and NOT be restrained without probable cause/warrant.

Yes 61... you do have that right. As does the OP. And as such, the OPs right was respected. However, if the cop had reason to ask for a search, and the search was refused, he has the obligation to arrest that person. There is not one single reason for you to suspect the cop was acting out of line. His actions were what any single American would expect him to take if the suspect was carrying a bomb. If he hadn't, he would probably be fired. Refusing to consent to a search is grounds to arrest someone, if the officer had reason to request the search in the first place. This prevents anyone innocent who will consent to searches being arrested on suspicion, and still allows people who may pose some harm to the public to be arrested, protecting public safety and respecting their privacy. What alternative do you suggest to their regulations and guidelines? Allowing people they are suspicious of to go on their way, or making searches mandatory? Cops do their job correctly a hell of a lot more often than they abuse their power, so there's no reason for you to think he wasn't in this case. Unless you can come up with one single reason why you think the cop was acting out of line besides "it happens", shut the hell up.

Didn't you just reply to me a few minutes ago and say that majority doesn't mean anything? If I have no reason to believe the OP was in his car, you have no reason to believe the cop actually was upholding the OP's rights. Yes, if the cop has probable cause. A suspicion and a simple inquiry to search one's person or property is not probable cause. Cops don't need probable cause to request a search. As such, a person refusing a search should not be assumed suspicious on the refusal alone. It's clear, from the very vague story posted here, we're picturing very different scenarios.

Refusing a search does NOT give the police the right to arrest you. That just ruins the whole Fourth Amendment purpose. Here's the problem: If you say No, you may not search my car, then they decide your secrecy is suspicious enough and is "probable cause" to search. Which sucks pretty bad and completely undermines that whole "freedom from unreasonable search and seizure" stuff. Also, if he has drugs--since the authorities refuse to respect his right to privacy, which is fundamental law in the USA, but somehow statutes criminalizing drugs have passed (and they are absolutely illegal, by the way)--sometimes you gotta protect your own interests and follow the real law. It's immoral to detain a person because of things they do to themselves that do not directly hurt others.

73 -Your comment about the majority of situations not mattering would be true if I had then gone on to claim that the OP certainly wasn't in his car, despite the majority of police interactions taking place with drivers(according to your bullshit statistic). I didn't. I simply said, you don't know that it did. Also, the majority of police doing their job correctly is far, far higher than the (supposed) majority of police interactions with drivers, so why would you presume the lower majority statistic and not the larger majority statistic?? You're assuming the situation happened as happens slightly more often than other police interactions. I'm presuming no abuse of power happened, which is less than in 1% of cases. Be honest with yourself. Which makes more sense? You're picturing a story completely made up by your own wish to feel victimized by your authorities. I'm saying the cop, regardless of situation, was acting legally, and unless something out of the ordinary happened, morally correctly as well. I also see you choose to not answer what alternative the law could be changed to. If you can't back up your opinion, shut up.

I didn't feel the need to argue every point, but I have absolutely no problem with telling you what the law should be... as it is under the original intent of the founding fathers when the Constitution and subsequent amendments were written. Unless there's a warrant, no search should be performed without the consent of the individual. It's as simple as that. Sure, some criminals will get by, but the greater good is protecting the rights of the majority. As Thomas Jefferson said, and as I'm too lazy to search for the quote I shall paraphrase, I'd much rather deal with the problems of too much liberty than the problems from too little liberty.

I'm no fan of the Patriot Act, but I also know that if an officer has probable cause to search you or your car, then he/she is going to do it. If I'm pulled over and the officer, for instance, smells weed, then of course the officer is going to want to search my car. That is when the officer will ask me to step out of the car and ask for my consent. If I say no, I'm not sure what the procedure for that is, but I hope it's appropriate. Putting the OP in cuffs is not always an arrest and the officer will typically state that to you. You're being arrested when your rights are read. The officer may have placed the OP in cuffs in order for his/her safety, etc. I'll be optimistic and hope that this was all justified.

"Regardless of situation"? Clearly, you don't understand the "Bill of Rights" amended to my country's constitution. In my scenario, the action taken by the cop is illegal. That tends to throw out the whole "regardless of situation" idea. A cop requesting a search doesn't mean anything other than that... the cop would request a search (and the story doesn't even tell us that... just that the OP said he doesn't consent to searches, he could have just been an idiot and blurted it out without any act on the officer's part). A cop can ask numerous questions without merit and be perfectly legal. It's still legal if the questioned individual answers the cop's questions. It is, however, illegal for the cop to detain an individual for the refusing to answer a question. Again, just because a cop may ask to search does not necessarily mean he has probable cause.

@90, that's why I tried to use "restrain" or "detain" instead of "arrest" because simply cuffing someone does not place them under arrest as you said. If the cop has probable cause (ie. the smell of weed in your car), then he is more than legal to search your car and detain you. If you refuse when the cop cannot detect the smell of weed or cannot see the presence of any weed, he cannot detain you for that refusal alone. He needs probable cause/warrant/consent to perform any search.

93 - No, even in your scenario, it's legal. Perhaps you should look up the definition of legal before continuing to post your confused and idiotic ramblings. I get the feeling Americans who have no idea of their own laws, when caught out being so absolutely clueless, start spouting "bill of rights" and "patriot act" without ever having actually read them. Again, you have no reason to assume there's no probable cause. Unless you can come up with a reason why you're assuming this besides "it happens"(very rarely) shut the hell up/

"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." Probable cause is required. Refusal of a search is not probable cause, it's not even cause for suspicion. Though, perhaps my wording is a bit clumsy. I'm using "legal" and "Constitutional" interchangeably, as if I think my government creates laws that follow the Constitution. My mistake. Do you want my reason for why I think the cop acted illegally? Because the story plainly says the OP refused the search and the cop detained him. There's nothing else in the story that would make you say, "clearly, the cop had probable cause." No, it said he refused the search, and as a result the cop detained him.

Wow! Great debate everyone. I don't live in America, though so I have absolutely no idea about what is and isn't legal in this situation. I was about to say something about different states having different laws, but of course the Constitution is universal throughout every state. Still, in my opinion, these laws don't actually give more freedom. I'll imagine I lived in America. The chances of my getting stopped by an officer for a search are extremely unlikely to begin with, as I'm fairly law-abiding. In the unlikely event I did, I could consent to a search no problem. The officer would search my car, find nothing, and leave. It would be a hassle yes, but my freedom wouldn't have suffered as a result. So, really, all this preaching about freedom is just because people want to avoid a possible hassle like this. Urgh. I hate the "liberty vs. security" quotes that have been posted here (remember, just because something is a famous quote doesn't make it right). You don't have to compromise that much liberty to offer a lot more security. Honestly, some people are so damned obsessed with freedom that they don't realise they have plenty of it. Seriously guys, if you live in America, you have barrel loads of freedom. Being concerned about your freedom just doesn't make any sense. Anyway, that's just my opinion. Don't bother replying to this comment to prattle on about your freedom.

105 - Your quotes irrelevant. He WASN'T searched. What do you not get about that. His rights were respected. When a person refuses a search, it is legal to arrest them. This prevents destruction of evidence and harm to public. You are assuming there was no reason to question him which, as I pointed out, is based on nothing and would be very unusual. While the OP quite obviously didn't say there was a reason to be suspicious, he also, at no point even implied he was innocent. Basing the your assumption the cop acted immorally on the fact the OP didn't admit guilt, while not ever bothering to claim innocence either, is ridiculous.

115 - My opinions about it being morally and legally correct aside, I agree with you. It's good to take a step back sometimes at look at what the situation in reality is.

#115 - In a lot of ways, I agree with your statement. I see nothing wrong with being willing to consent to a search, it makes things quicker, and if you don't mind making your privacy public, then so be it. The issue isn't really that, though. The issue is the attitude of "if you have nothing to hide, why hide it?" If that attitude becomes widespread, then we are more willing to give up our rights to where we don't have the ability to choose whether or not you CAN consent. In most cases, I would probably let the officer search. If I had time to burn and he has absolutely no basis for his request, I would certainly uphold my rights.

Hmm... still don't know who is correct in this debate, but I really HOPE it's mobius8! Seriously, there's something fucked up about a system that let's you go without anything if you refuse a search. It just lets all the criminals run free on the roads so that the law-abiding people won't moan about their rights. I could drive through America with a car full of drugs if I wanted, and keep out of jail by refusing searches, because I have rights!! (I'm seriously thinking about it now) ((Please, let mobius8 be right tho))

How is the fourth amendment irrelevant? He was detained by refusing to consent to a search. That isn't respecting his rights. You can't detain someone if they're not a threat to the officer or public. An officer cannot arrest someone without a warrant/probable cause. What's so hard to understand about that?

Yes, an officer can detain someone if they refuse to consent to a search... if the officer has probable cause. Again and again and again, suspicion is not probable cause. Refusal to consent is not probable cause. Therefore, the officer cannot detain an individual for simply refusing to consent to a search. There needs to be a warrant. How did you not get that from the Fourth Amendment that I quoted?

@cheesesoda: Thanks very much for a decent, well-articulated reply. There aren't a lot of those around thesedays. I do understand your point, but I'm not convinced that will happen. It's just that your rights about not being searched will rarely affect law-abiding citizens. People who are somehow involved in a crime will be the ones getting searched most of the time. and stuff like the Fourth Amendment makes it harder for criminals to get caught without actually giving people that much more freedom. To say it simply: Fourth Amendment =/= more freedom Don't mean to be rude about America, but the Fourth Amendment is the most stupid thing I've ever heard.

115 - your comment about having "plenty of freedom" is like saying our liberties are "good enough." but how often is "good enough" ACTUALLY good enough? and even if it is, wouldn't it be BETTER if it was "great" or "perfect"? "good enough" generally means there is something left to be desired, and personally i don't think it's possible to have too much freedom. there are certain choices one can make that forfeits certain freedoms, but refusing a search as per our constitutional rights is not one of them.

@133: You don't need any more freedom if you live in a country like America (or the UK, which is where I live). The goal of freedom is to get to the most balanced level of freedom you can, and we're pretty close to that. Having more freedom at this stage will inevitably be a bad thing Maximum freedom is just anarchy, which although would be fun for about a week, is an awful and destructive system. So, a good level of freedom does NOT mean there is more to be desired. You have enough freedom, and you can't have any more without compromising other things.

128 - It's respecting his right to refuse a search, which is the right your quote was talking about, and it was respected entirely. The officer can legally arrest someone who's refused a search. That's a fact. In that case, it's not moral, but it is still legal. He wouldn't be held though. The point is, you're assuming there's no probable cause. The OP isn't even claiming there was no cause, so why would you assume there wasn't??

#132 - It is put in place to prevent a tyrannical government. Just because NOW authorities don't abuse the power in a majority of time doesn't mean that it can't be abused in emergency situations. For a great example... the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It was practically martial law. The officers (and military) routinely ignored Constitutional rights. If this happened WITH these protections in our Constitution, what would happen if these protections didn't exist?

133- What freedom are you losing in reality? The freedom to not have a police officer search you and arrest you if you're doing something illegal? Nothing is being made public, and it is not a common occurrence, and the alternative is that any criminal can refuse a search and get away with it.

142 - "It's respecting his right to refuse a search, which is the right your quote was talking about, and it was respected entirely." The fourth amendment also talks about seizure of property AND person. It's right there at the end. "The officer can legally arrest someone who's refused a search. That's a fact. In that case, it's not moral, but it is still legal. He wouldn't be held though." Legally, perhaps. Constitutionally, no. It's still the Unconstitutional seizure of the OP. "The point is, you're assuming there's no probable cause. The OP isn't even claiming there was no cause, so why would you assume there wasn't??" There's nothing in the story to say that there WAS probable cause. I'm not going to doubt he left out plenty of the story, and cop most likely DID have probable cause, but there's nothing in the story to confirm this. This is why I'm making the assumption there wasn't.

No. Why should you help the cops? If you did nothing wrong then they have no reason to search you to begin with. Besides once you give your consent they can use anything they find against you. Without your consent or a warrant nothing they find can be used as evidence.

#145 - The criminal can only get away if there's no probable cause. I'm not suggesting that simply because you refuse to consent that you must be released. Clearly, that's easily abused by criminals. If government decides that it doesn't need probable cause, a warrant, OR consent, then it's taking away liberty. I don't care if it's "common" or not, it's not an essential liberty to give up.

148 - "Unreasonable" seizures of person. It wasn't unreasonable. It was legal. And most probably, entirely warranted and appropriate. I'm not going to convince you it's constitutional(it is) as well as legal, but you can't argue with the fact that not being able to arrest someone for refusing a search would be ridiculous, and there's not really any alternative. You just admitted the cop most likely had a probable cause, but you're going to assume the very unlikely situation of the cop not having probable cause regardless? That's... incredibly stupid and senseless. There are many reasons the OP would leave the fact there was probably cause out of his story and none that I can think of that would explain him not including his complete innocence.

yes they do need consent to search your vehicle unless they have probable cause. which means they SEE something. if they dont SEE anything, they dont have probable cause; and if you dont consent, they can't search.

168 - They'd fit the character limit. It's one of the shorter FMLs and it only takes a few words to state the fact you were innocent, and it's pretty vital to the story, as is obvious from the comments. You're the one leaping to the completely unfounded conclusion that the OP was innocent, despite the fact even they don't claim to be, that the police officer had no probable cause, despite that not being mentioned either and that the police officer was doing their job wrong, despite the fact that that's a very uncommon occurrence. All based on nothing the OP has said.. A cop can arrest you for refusing a search. That doesn't mean they will. Just that they can. And if they do, there is almost always going to be a probable cause. To assume there wasn't in this case is completely illogical and retarded.

@mobius8 and you are leaping that he was guilty, you are doing exactly what you are telling everyone else not to do. A cop can not arrest you for refusing search, he can detain (place in handcuffs) you which is legal as to protect himself and others while he tries to figure out how he can legally get what he wants or to use it as a bully tactic to scare the person to consent. You yourself say that you are not an American how can you think you know the law better than an American? I have lived in this country my entire life, I have read as many laws as I can find about matters of this sort. Please read the our laws a little more before acting as an authority on them.

"You're the one leaping to the completely unfounded conclusion that the OP was innocent, despite the fact even they don't claim to be, that the police officer had no probable cause, despite that not being mentioned either and that the police officer was doing their job wrong, despite the fact that that's a very uncommon occurrence. All based on nothing the OP has said.." The story says the OP stated he does not consent to searches. The OP was then detained. That's all it says, so all we can gather was that he was detained because he refused. There's no mention of innocence, but there's no mention of guilt, either. "A cop can arrest you for refusing a search. That doesn't mean they will. Just that they can. And if they do, there is almost always going to be a probable cause. To assume there wasn't in this case is completely illogical and retarded." He can only detain you if he tries to obtain a warrant. However, he can't obtain a warrant without probable cause. You're making the assumption that any abuse of this is statistically insignificant, but you fail to realize most people don't report the abuse because they aren't aware that there IS any abuse. This doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Hell, before I started to become interested in preserving my liberties, I was aware of very few of my liberties. I would have been incapable of reporting the abuse because I was ignorant of it.

@140 Please keep your ignorance about freedom to yourself! There is no such thing as enough freedom! Just because you are satisfied with how your government acts doesn't mean everyone else is. Governments around the world are the way that they are because their people allow it. Should we just decide that our government isn't the worst out there and let them do whatever they want? No of course not that is how these governments that end up mass murdering their own people just because they can are born. Each time you leave a freedom unprotected it will get taken away and for each freedom taken it is easier to take the next. It is easy to forget that not all of the people that we trust with out interests and safety have our best interests in mind and very often act in a self serving fashion.

177 - Yes, both are technically assumptions, seeing as the OP doesn't state one way or the other. One is a logical assumption because a - If the OP was innocent, it's the sort of thing they'd mention b - It's the most likely c - Cops are actually responsible for their actions. If they arrest someone for no reason, they do face consequences. There's no reason for a cop to waste their time and risk being reprimanded for arresting someone who politely refused to be searched The other is the baseless assumption. You're going to a lot of effort to prove a baseless and unlikely assumption is indicative of your countries apparent lack of freedom. A cop does NOT need a warrant to arrest you. If they're looking in someones car, and can see what looks like it is probably a weapon or drugs and you refuse a search, they can absolutely arrest you without going back and obtaining a warrant.

187 - That's called PROBABLE CAUSE. Refusing a search AFTER that can legally result in a detention, but not without that probable cause.


And why do you think there was? Because a cop was involved? You assuming there was probable cause you are making just as much as an assumption as every one else.

Seriously? Don't generalize the entire population of a country based off a few people on a popular website. Now that is ignorant.

192- I'm sorry, but assuming the cop was doing his job when the OP didn't even say they weren't doing anything to give probable cause isn't really an assumption. It's the logical conclusion. Assuming the cop is arresting someone for no reason, a thing he would get in trouble for, even though the OP didn't say he was innocent is just plain stupidity.

It's not an assumption to to believe the cop had reason to arrest someone. You do realise that reasons for arrest are actually checked up on? The fact he refused a search gives at very least, reasonable suspicion, which is enough to detain someone for a while, and if he was acting suspiciously, or it was in a bad area, that's enough for probable cause. It's the logical conclusion that the OP, who isn't claiming innocence, had done something to warrant the officer asking to search, and that the officer wasn't looking for a good way to lose his job when he arrested him.

I completely agree with cheesesoda and darkon. Mobius8 I can see where your coming from on the topic.But its naive to believe that all cops follow the law themselves!I've read all your comments and you continuously write like the OP had something to hide. WE DON'T KNOW THAT. You all are fighting for two different views,for the cop,for the OP. I wish you wouldn't talk about how selfish us Americans are because,what ?... There are some of us who want to KEEP our rights. The truth is, the more you let the government control the more they want to. NONE of the other comments EVER said we were ungrateful for the freedom we have, But some of us like to keep it that way,You can look at that two different ways as well, "Well why shouldnt i let the cop search me I have nothing to hide"-That would be a waste of our past generations time,that they spent fighting for these rights!You have that right and just like that give it up. OR "I am not just going to let some cop rummage through my things on the off chance that he might find something"-That would be using MY right, that I am grateful for having. Two different two kinds of people. I can say that people that just let the law and enforcers of it,walk all over them, HAVE NEVER CHANGED THE WORLD FOR ANY GOOD!

"When a person refuses a search, it is legal to arrest them." not without a warrent. ^so false

@Mobius Please don't waste any more of our time. Anyway, I agree completely with the posters who say this is an invasion of our freedoms. Police can get away with anything in our society, and need to learn the LIMITS of their role. Most cops aren't the "noble" stereotype we all grew up with anymore - they're people who like having power, and it just takes a nudge to turn them into oppressive bullies. Think about it. When was the last time a cop helped you? Some people out there are thankful, but all I've ever gotten are speeding tickets.

Wrong. They do not need consent if there is probable cause. If there is nothing in plain sight, earshot, or within range of the officers' nostrils, you can say no. If they try to tell you that means you have something to hide, you just stick to your guns. If you truly have nothing to hide and can hold you own in an argument you'll be back on your way in minutes and the officer will have wasted his faggot time.

@Mobius: Although I appreciate your well-worded arguments, you are incorrect. A police officer cannot lawfully arrest an individual SOLELY based on the fact that he or she refused to consent to a search. If the police officer had reasonable suspicion (i.e. smelling weed from the car/house, something clearly visble and dangerous inside the car or premises or on the body of the person) to search the car, house, body, etc. then they wouldn't need consent in the first place. It works like this: Probable cause => They get to search without consent Suspicion or a "funny feeling" => To have to obtain consent If the person says no, they have to respect that answer and move on. They CANNOT arrest you for refusing to consent to a search. You may think that is crazy, but the fourth amendment is one of many that are made to protect the "defendant," so to speak. If the officer could arrest a person for refusing to consent to a search, why would we need a fourth amendment? It would be obsolete. In that case, your choices would be, a) allow a police officer to search your property/body even though they don't have enough probable cause to do so without your consent, or b) go to jail. In that case, you'd be FORCED to let them to engage in a search that the would otherwise not be legally allowed to or otherwise go to jail. The law does not work like that, thank goodness. I don't understand why anyone would want it to work that way. We (personifying our Constitution) believe in innocent until proven guilty; whether or not you believe in it is irrelevant. Bottom line: if they don't have enough probable cause to conduct a search without requiring your consent, then they cannot arrest you for refusing consent.

No, no it doesn't. Read the 4th amendment. You have every right to refuse a search, and they can't search you without either a warrant or "probable cause" ie. a drug dog indicates drugs. If the cop didn't have that he has no right to search the vehicle.

Mobius- You are incorrect, on all counts. I'm a cop, and also have a Master's in Criminal Justice Admin. If a citizen does NOT consent to a search of privately owned property ( a home, boat, motor home, trailer, business, or VEHICLE), the police officer may bring in a trained Canine Officer (that would be the drug sniffing dog) to smell the OUTSIDE perimeter of the property. IF, and only IF, the Canine alerts that there is the presence of contraband in the property (or that there was recently contraband in property) does the officer have probable cause to search the property, because he NOW has the prerequisite "probable cause." If the owner of the property still refuses the search of his property, then said property can be guarded, impounded, or seized until a Search Warrant signed by a judge is issued. If, and ONLY if, the subject resists the search once the search warrant is legally obtained, he can be detained by police for obstruction of justice. The US Constitution states in the 5th Amendment that no person shall be called to testify against themselves. This gives every person in the United States the right to say "No, you cannot search my property without probable cause" and "I want an attorney present." Nowhere in Federal, State, County or Municipal penal code or ordinance does it state that a private citizen can be arrested for refusing to give permission to a police officer to search their private property. If such a law or code did exist, rest assured the ACLU would be ALL over it. And By the way, Americans do NOT sign away their rights to privacy in their vehicles when they get their Driver's License... This should be self-evident, as the police are required to ASK the owner/driver of vehicle's permission to search the vehicle before actually searching it. You're a Dumbass.

Just thought it would be relevant to actually have the amendment somewhere in this long-ass discussion: "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." There is also a right specified in the 5th amendment that says one cannot be "deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law". This also applied to be detained by a police officer without probably cause. So no, you cannot be arrested just for refusing a search (unless probable cause already existed, in which case it has to be articulated at the hearing, and can be argued back). This would render the two amendments moot, as once you are arrested a cop is allowed to search anything in proximity to you at the time of arrest.

(I am not a lawyer.) Mobius -- I've been searched multiple times while driving. I've been on both the correct side of the law and on the wrong side of the law. In the latter case, I was detained (not arrested) while my car was searched after I gave consent. In the former case, I refused consent and was told that my car smelled like marijuana, so the search was performed anyway. When the searching officer found nothing in the car, he proceeded to search the engine of my vehicle, causing several hundred dollars in damages. Nothing was found because there was nothing to find. I just fit the profile of a probable criminal. That said, it is well within one's right to refuse consent to a search. Under the 4th Amendment, you cannot be searched without a warrant or probable cause. Giving consent means that you are giving up that right and giving permission to the state to be searched. If employing that right meant that you would be arrested (meaning you would be charged with a crime), then that right would be worthless. Now, refusing consent to a search is different than refusing to comply with an officer who is performing a lawful searched based on probable cause or a warrant. That is, if an officer says, "it smells like weed in here, I am searching your car" and you refuse to let him search ("screw you, budday! I'm outta here!"), then he has every right to cuff you while he performs the search (for his own safety), and possibly arrest you for refusing a lawful order. If you say, "I refuse to consent to a search but will comply with any lawful order or action", you're probably in the clear (again, not a lawyer). What is confusing to me about the OP is that he was cuffed after refusing consent. An officer will not ask for your consent to search if he doesn't need it. If he asked, it suggests he didn't have probable cause to search. What the OP leaves out is whether he was arrested (charged with a crime) or merely cuffed while being detained during a search.

40, before you claim to know our laws better than we do, try ACTUALLY BEING CORRECT ABOUT WHAT THE LAW STATES. Novel concept, I know. Try to restrain your hubris. For the record: it is NOT procedure to arrest people who refuse searches, or who "are suspicious." It is not even legal to do so. What a law-abiding police officer would do is get a search warrant, and arrest them if and only if something illegal is found, or if the suspect becomes belligerent in their interactions with the officer and breaks a law. As several other people have pointed out, however, people do not know their rights, which enables the police to use scare tactics to carry out illegal searches without repercussions. So, to those of you who clearly do not know anything about our laws regarding illegal searches: unless the OP broke some law that was not referenced in this post, the officer was completely out of line and the arrest was completely illegal. OP, I hope you report him. Standing up for your rights is, if anything, patriotic...please don't try to tell me it is more patriotic to enable those who break the laws to continue doing so by not standing up for them, than to stand up for the Bill of Rights. I promise you, our Founding Fathers would not agree with you.

I created this account just because I want everyone to know that Mobius is an idiot who apparently has no life and spends the ENTIRE Sunday on FML (Christ on a pogostick), looking for an argument. Look idiot, a cop illegally searches my car and my lawyer will have anything 'illegal' that is found thrown so far out of court your mother wouldn't be able to find it. Detain me illegally and my lawyer will see that I end up owning that pig's house, car, and garnish their wages for the next century. HA HA!!

Mobius, you are an idiot.

Will you just piss the hell off? The man's trying to make people laugh, you come up with your own, I'm sure you could with your sad pathetic life. You don't even need to make shit up! P.S If you reply to this I'll probably start a potition counting how many people hate you. :) Have a terrible day!

My last comment was to Mobius.

@ mobius8sucksdick: I think you're the real loser here for creating an account just to slag off another user. If you think you have a social life, you're fooling yourself. Yeah, alright, mobius8 was wrong about what the law actually is. I am annoyed that he argued for so long about laws he had no clue about, but unlike most of the people here, I am not going to gang up on him because I have moved on from pre-school. That argument was such a waste of time. On another subject, I used to want to live in America, until I found all the shit that's in the constitution. I mean, the right to not be searched is really an essential part of our freedom isn't it? Let's all moan about a right we don't really need (because there's no such thing as "enough freedom") and make it much way harder for the cops to catch criminals. And of course, all households need a gun to defend the country if it gets invaded? Forget nuclear weapons- millions of US farmers with shotguns are the real deterrent. Forget about all the violence and deaths it causes- gun ownership is the solution to everything -_- Well, it's not like my opinion matters- I just like to rant. A lot.

@tennis21: What are you, 8? A petition to see how many people hate someone? Grow up (it's a petition, not a potition- learn to proofread dumbass)

You're wrong. Cops need consent to search anything unless they have probable cause.

How do you know he wasn't searched? Since when does not consenting give an officer the right to arrest you. In America you have to be charged with a crime or at least demonstrate an immediate threat to be arrested by the police. Refusing a search is not a crime and for at least two good reasons. One reason is that there are in fact many legitimate reasons for a person who has nothing to hide to want to refuse a search. The second is that we don't want our police to have too much power. I don't know what "American" laws you've been reading/dreaming up, but you obviously have no clue what you're talking about.

Oh you are so right divineinstrument, I have no social life. Actually I have a great social life, make a very nice living and absolutely HATE stupid liberal losers like mobius8 who think that they can spit on the US Constitution and Bill of Rights with impunity. While having no life, I did a little digging on public domain records. The problem with people like mobius8 is that they are so simple and narrow minded they use the same moniker for everything. From what I have found using simple public searches mobius8, aka John La****, wannabe musician who uses some stupid device called a 'Hydra" to produce his so called "music". Has an IMBD profile with only one lousy song published in 1996. John has a myspace page, a facebook page, resides in Van Nuys, CA has a lame ass youtube account with some really crappy videos, etc. (and that's only in 24 hours on the internet without paying for ANY public record searches) So yes, I am a loser with no social life, but an IQ of 190 and one hell of a temper when pissed off.

Yes, but it's still the 4th amendment. Just because the cop may have thought those things, it doesn't give him probable cause. What would happen if that were said every time someone was pulled over? "Oh, he could be a drug smuggler, I'd better search the car!" Nuh-uh. If you're not doing anything wrong (other than speeding, it whatever it took to get you pulled over), then the cop has NO right to search, whatsoever. That being said, we don't have all the information here, so we can't form our own opinions on it. But if it's a routine traffic stop, then I'll get arrested before I ever let a cop infringe on my constitutional rights.

I generally just let them do what they want, they don't find anything, THEN I give them shit about it.

I wouldn't want my shit torn up by the cops and he just walks away like nothing happened Just sayin

The problem is if they ask to search you and you say no. When they arrest you and bring you into the station they HAVE to search you to make surr you are carrying some sort of weapon, the premise to this search is fine but they can use it to get past you saying no to the search based on security of the other people inside the the building. So even if the cop didnt search the car, searching the person is just as wrong.

I totally agree. For OP not to want to get searched, there was probably something that OP was hiding. And even if there wasn't, why wouldn't you consent to a search? Cops aren't all bad, people. Stop making every cop seem like a bad guy.

People like you who don't know shit need to die

#54, please stop. You've already admitted you're not from the states. They DO NOT have the right to search your person, vehicle, or home without a court order or your consent. Period.

You're really stupid. if they can smell Marijuana or alcohol or they can see other stuff they may lead them to prosicute a search is allowed as its obvious. what op may have left out is that the cop got a search warrant if nothing illegal was showing or out in the open for the cop to notice

This is blatantly not true. They cannot arrest you for not consenting to a search, it doesn't matter why they want to search you. It matters if they have probably cause or a warrant, and if they have either you don't have to consent to it. Not consenting and resisting are 2 different things, not consenting means that if the search is deemed illegal any evidence produced is unapplicable. You should NEVER consent to a search.

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Oh God I know what you mean, the police are really touchy, they can be right bastards, I've found myself handcuffed before for 'trying something' when I hadn't done anything, they had to let me go in the end because they had no good enough reason to arrest me. Fuckers.

I would sit back and ask for a warrant. If he handcuffs me, I'll ask for his badge number and sue his ass. Police are meant to protect. Sadly, some of them are the dumbass bully from highschool, just with a gun and the ability to Tase you..

Yea man that sucks! I guess he assumed that b/c you were giving him a hard time, you were hiding something. lol..he just didnt like that u didnt bow to his command

since when is politely refusing a search "giving him a hard time"?

I've noticed being a policeman seems to attract people that like to abuse their powers. Kinda ironic actually.

So did he find the weed in your car after he cuffed you?

So, what were you trying to hide? Was it blood spatter, semen, an unregistered firearm, a small car-based meth lab, improperly disposed of heroin needles...c'mon, nobody on FML will judge you? Did the cop try anything with you after the cuffs were on? A little taffy pull, a quick throwdown in the back of the cop car, was there any leather involved, did you resist?