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police officer

So if you get pulled over for a traffic matter, would it ever occur to you that you have a constitutional right not to identify yourself?  Yeah, me either. But this lady? Whoa. You’re not going to believe this. As reported by The Carroll County Times:

Close to a dozen members of a local advocacy group against what they consider to be the misapplication of federal and state law waited outside the Carroll County Detention Center to greet a woman released Tuesday morning who had been arrested after failing to identify herself after a routine traffic stop in June.

During her time at the detention center, the woman continued to refuse to identify herself, claiming it was her Fifth Amendment right.

Bob Kurland, a member of the Westminster-based Save-A-Patriot Fellowship — a group claiming it is intent on ensuring that law is accurately interpreted and appropriately enforced — questioned the court’s refusal to release the woman, who became known as Jane Doe, sooner because of her choice to invoke the Constitution.

“Do you believe she is John Dillinger, public enemy No. 1?” said Kurland, who along with other members of the group refused to identify Doe. “How can you be held for exercising your Fifth Amendment rights?”

However, police, prosecutors and a law professor considered to be an expert on the Fifth Amendment contend that refusing to identify yourself to law enforcement isn’t protected by the Constitution.

“If that were the case, no one would ever have to provide information, and we would have burglars and robbers and people running all over the place not knowing who they were,” Carroll County State’s Attorney Brian DeLeonardo said Tuesday.

Essentially, the Fifth Amendment “protects criminal defendants from having to testify if they might incriminate themselves through the testimony,” according to the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University.

Doe, who continues to refuse to identify herself even after being released from jail, was arrested June 27 after she failed to stop for a Carroll County Sheriff’s Office deputy for a tail light that was out.

Doe, who spoke with the Times on Tuesday afternoon after her release but continued to refuse identifying herself, said she saw lights close behind her but “didn’t know what it was,” so she proceeded at a steady pace. When the trooper made contact with her at a traffic light, she refused to identify herself and had to be forceably removed from her vehicle, according to court documents. She was charged with failure to obey a lawful command, resisting arrest and obstructing an investigation, according to electronic court documents.

Because of her continued refusal to identify herself, neither the Sheriff’s Office nor the State’s Attorney’s Office believed it was prudent to immediately release her, according to Sheriff Jim DeWees.

Arrest and booking photos are provided by law enforcement officials. Arrest does not imply guilt, and criminal charges are merely accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty and convicted.

The Sheriff’s Office was eventually able to obtain her fingerprints and, after submitting them to the FBI, felt it was no longer necessary to detain her, DeWees said. Her fingerprints were not flagged for any warrants, and they had no connection to any criminal investigations, he said.

“At the end of the day, we felt comfortable through the other outlets she was not a wanted person and felt fairly comfortable she served the appropriate amount of time,” DeWees said.

She was released Tuesday after 67 days at the detention center.

The State’s Attorney’s Office chose not to pursue the charges against Doe, officially dropping the case Aug. 28.

“When we are preparing a case, our overriding concern is always what is just in that situation,” DeLeonardo said. “Ultimately, we knew she wasn’t dangerous, so she served far in excess what she would have if she had cooperated. So essentially, it is an abatement by time served.”

Doe’s stay at the detention center cost the county about $4,500, DeWees said.

“If she had cooperated and displayed a driver’s license, she would’ve gotten a simple repair order and been on her way,” he said. “The lesson is, when the police stop you, you are required to submit a driver’s license. She wanted to play hardball and, in the process, she wasted an awful lot of taxpayer money by doing it her way.”

Doe said the Fifth Amendment is reiterated in the Maryland Constitution’s Declaration of Rights, “That no man ought to be compelled to give evidence against himself in a criminal case.”

“The constitution is the law, and no man ought to be compelled,” Doe said in a phone interview from a number associated with the Save-A-Patriot Fellowship. “Evidence is everything and anything, starting with my name, where I live, my mug shot, and my fingerprints.”

James Duane, a graduate of Harvard Law School and a professor at Regent Law School in Virginia who is considered a Fifth Amendment expert, said the Fifth Amendment does not give someone the right to refuse providing identifying information.

“The Constitutional right to remain silent is vast, and it gives you a right to refuse to answer any request for information that carries a reasonable probability that it could be used to convict you, but the right is limited,” Duane wrote in an email.

“[Eleven] years ago, the Supreme Court of the United States specifically ruled that a request from the police for a suspect to identify himself, assuming that the request was otherwise proper under state law, would not be a violation of the Fifth Amendment, because there is so little chance that such information, by itself, would pose any reasonable probability that it could lead to a conviction of that person.”

Doe said she is aware of the court’s opinion on the matter.

“Courts have ruled on this, and I’m not interested in what the courts say,” she said. “Even a name can be a link in the chain of evidence used to convict you. The last thing [government] wants people to know is that you can refuse to give a name or take a mug shot.”

Another member of the Save-A-Patriot Fellowship, George Otto, said Doe’s actions will help people understand what the country’s Founding Fathers meant when they wrote the U.S. Constitution.

“That’s what Jane Doe does; she helps people understand the law,” Otto said. “One thing we learned, if a law is not written clearly, it should be void.”

Doe also took issue with her length of detainment. The only reason the Sheriff’s Office and State’s Attorney’s Office gave to keep her in jail was the possibility of her being a criminal, she said.

“That’s not enough,” Doe said. “They have to have probable cause — a reason. That’s important to understand. I was told I could literally be a sex offender. ‘Might be’ is not probable cause. It’s their job to be proving things, and it is no man’s job to give evidence against themselves.”

DeLeonardo said there is no issue of this being an inappropriate detention as she was initially detained because of the crime she committed.

“The court refused to release her until she provided the information because they need that information to process her through the system,” DeLeonardo said. “Otherwise you’d have thousands of Jane Does.”

By refusing to identify herself, he said, all Doe was successful at doing was causing additional burden on herself, the county and its taxpayers.

“Essentially, if people think it’s a good route to go and want to spend an enormous amount of time in jail more than they would, they can do that.”

No thanks. I’ll take the ticket, and either pay it or fight it (and win!). Here’s the source.

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fist

Sometimes looks can deceive. This is one of those times! As reported at mmafighting.com:

Strawweight fighter Monique Bastos was on the way for her jiu-jitsu training with two friends in Acailandia, Brazil, on Tuesday night, when two men attacked her. They wanted their phones, but they had no idea Bastos was an MMA fighter.

“I was going to my jiu-jitsu training when they arrived on a motorcycle and said they wanted our phones,” Bastos told MMAFighting.com. “I tried to hold my phone, and I realized they were not armed. When they tried to escape, I lifted the rear wheel of the bike and they fell on the ground. The guy who took my phone ran away, but I was able to get the other one.”

Bastos, who has six professional MMA fights on her record and a few jiu-jitsu matches and muay thai bouts, got him into a rear-naked choke and took him to the sidewalk, where she locked a triangle choke and waited for the police.

Wesley Sousa de Araujo was arrested 15 minutes later, and that was not the first time Bastos had to stop a robbery.

“I’ve been through this a few times before, and it’s the second time I fought back,” she said. “There were two guys, and they were using knives, but I was able to use my jiu-jitsu and get my phone back. It’s a huge risk, but I did it to defend myself and my friends, so I used what I learned.”

Here’s the source, including a video.

 

 

 

 

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beach sand

There are a lot of silly laws on the books. Take this one, for example from the Municipal Code of the City of Manhattan Beach, California:

12.08.300 – Throwing missiles.

No person shall throw, or otherwise propel, any missile, or mud or sand anywhere on the beach.

First of all, what kind of missiles are contemplated here? Second, mud is a missile? Third, sand is a missile? And finally, you’re seriously criminalizing throwing sand on the beach? Bet lots of citations have been written for that one. Here’s the source.  (You’ll have to scroll down to 12.08.300.)

 

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submarine sandwich

In the wake of all the negative publicity Subway has garnered thanks to Jared, perhaps this could be seen as good publicity? I mean, these kids must really like Subway sandwiches, or they wouldn’t have done this. After all, they could have gone after a lot of other food. Here’s the story, as posted by wtvr.com (Richmond, Virginia):

Police are looking for a trio of teens seen in surveillance video, who robbed a VCU student of his sandwich at gun point.

Surveillance video shows the three teens, in a Subway sandwich shop, not ordering anything, until one asked for a cup of water.

Police said they then followed a man outside the shop on Semmes Avenue just after he got his sandwich, and stole his meal.

The boldness lay in the timing of the crime and how the suspects seemed not to care that they were caught on camera.  “It’s pretty shocking because it was over a sandwich, and we live here,” said Moore. “I’m not going to come out alone at night.”

People living in the neighborhood said apartment managers have warned them of petty crimes like loose change being swiped from cars, but nothing as serious as an armed robbery.

“I saw three kids walking down the block,” said one resident, who believes the three young people he saw, are the same ones seen in surveillance photos as they walked down 12th Street before heading into the sub shop.

Detectives ask anyone with any information about the suspects to call First Precinct Detective Brian Taylor at (804) 646-0689 or call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.

Here’s the source.

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salt

Yes, you’re right. It wasn’t just any old salt. It was Epsom salt! As reported by The Fraser Coast Chronicle:

A Maryborough man charged with “ice” possession spent four months in prison waiting for forensic analysis of the substance – but was later released when testing determined it was not methylamphetamine.

Four months while the guy languished in prison?

The revelation comes after Maryborough Magistrate John Smith recently criticised the state’s Forensic and Scientific Services, after a matter had to be adjourned to wait for scientific analysis of the suspected drug material.

But Queensland Health, which runs the service also known as the John Tonge Centre, claims there are no delays in forensic testing.

Really? Tell that to the guy with the salt.

Suthers Lawyers solicitor Travis George said he recently had a client who was charged after police found a substance they believed to be methylamphetamine in his car during a routine check.

Mr George said due to his client’s previous criminal history, he spent about four months in prison while waiting for the forensic results which determined the substance was not ice but Epsom Salts.

“The charges were then withdrawn by police,” Mr George said.

Mr George said delays in waiting for forensic analysis were not a new issue.

“It has always been a concern for our clients about delay due to awaiting analysis where it is forensic,” he said.

Mr George’s comments come after Maryborough Magistrate John Smith spoke about the John Tonge Centre when he was forced to adjourn a case for a further two months in order for forensic analysis to be completed.

“For the last 14 years nothing has been done (about the delays),” Mr Smith said.

“Once again the government needs to have a look at what they are doing in relation to this.”

Mr Smith said both the LNP and Labor state governments had “made a song and dance” about improving Forensic and Scientific Services.

But despite this, a Queensland Health spokeswoman denied there was a backlog for Forensic and Scientific Services.

“Urgent cases are completed within the timeframe required by the police and the courts,” she said.

The spokeswoman said the centre was continually assessing evidence testing processes to improve turnaround times.

“All forensic testing performed at FSS is prioritised daily with police and the courts,” she said.

“The time taken to bring a drug case to court is dependent on many factors.”

The centre deals with about 5000 samples in relation to criminal cases each month, with workloads increasing during the past five years. The Queensland Police Service declined to comment saying it was a matter for Queensland Health.

No backlog? No backlog? Here’s the source!

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easter bunny

Forget about “I only had 2 drinks …” or “I was looking for the Easter Bunny…” Wait, that’s what this dude said he was doing. As reported by The Union Leader:

John Fowler, 50 … claimed a man had come to his house with information about the location of the Easter Bunny, and Fowler said he attempted to follow him.

What, like you wouldn’t do exactly the same thing?

When he lost the Easter Bunny informant, he tried to return home but crashed his car, Fowler reportedly told police.

Fowler did not sustain any injuries in the minor crash in the area of 105 Main St. around 1:30 a.m., but faces numerous charges, including driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, driving after suspension and misuse or failure to display plates. He was also arrested on two outstanding warrants from the court, police said.

Fowler was released on personal recognizance bail and is scheduled to appear in Candia District Court on Dec. 13 for arraignment.

Personal recognizance for a guy busted for drunk driving, on a suspended license, with two outstanding warrants? The Juice is not so trusting.

 

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texting

Anybody with half a brain knows how stupid it is to text and drive. It’s also illegal in many states. Still, people continue to do it alarmingly often. As reported by www.news965.com:

A 23-year-old driver in Fort Myers, Fla., admits he was texting while driving when he was caught on video rolling his car after hitting a power pole and a tree.

Driver Michael Woody climbed out of the car safely following the crash and told responding officers that his only impairment was his cell phone … he was texting while driving, something that is now illegal in Florida.

You can see the dashboard video by clicking here.

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911 emergency call phone telephone

One would think that, somewhere along the way, this kid learned that 911 is for emergencies only. If not, he should definitely know now. Per The Wisconsin Rapids Tribune police log:

• At 10:49 a.m. Monday, an 11-year-old boy called 911 because his friend used the “F” word at the caller.

Guess what happened next? Nothing, of course!

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shit

Even those among you who think that words like “shit”are “bad” words should concede that they are okay to use when they are integral to the story.  Somehow “contents of the septic tank” just doesn’t get the point across like “shit” does. Anyway, as reported by The Times and Democrat (Orangeburg, South Carolina):

Stanley Lee Dixon, 52, of 5153 Carolina Highway, Denmark, pleaded guilty on Monday to littering over 500 pounds.

Circuit Judge Maite Murphy sentenced Dixon to one year of incarceration at the S.C. Department of Corrections, but reduced it to six months of probation.

Dixon emptied the contents of a septic tank on private property in Orangeburg County on May 31, 2014.

Although he asked the property owner for permission before emptying the septic tank there, the property owner told him not to and he ultimately did it anyway.

Can you imagine the clean up? Here’s the source.

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red traffic light signal

Wait – so you’re saying if I post videos on Facebook, other people can see them? Why didn’t anyone tell me this? As reported by pix11.com:

Stephen Ruth of Centereach, Long Island apparently got tired of getting tickets after trying to beat red lights at intersections with cameras affixed to them.

So police said Ruth, 42, did something about it — and then bragged about it on Facebook.

Ruth was in custody at the 6th Precinct in Selden Tuesday night, accused of four counts of criminal tampering, after police discovered his Facebook videos that were going viral on the web.

On the videos, Ruth is seen using a selfie stick to record himself, armed with a painter’s pole to push the red light camera’s face upwards to the sky.

“All it took was a pair of balls and a painter’s pole,” Ruth notes, as he tampers with the camera.

Police sources told PIX11 Investigates Ruth tampered with four cameras in Suffolk County, most near the Long  Island Expressway Service Roads at Hawkins Avenue and another near Ocean Avenue.

PIX11 found videos posted on August 21 and August 23.

The August 23 video had more than 201,000 views as of Tuesday night.

Ruth — in a shirt and tie — tells the camera “I’m going to show you how easy it is to take the power back.”

After he defaces the camera, he noted that he saved taxpayers $10,000 for that particular day.

A police source told PIX11 News that Ruth was expected to be bailed out Tuesday night from the 6th Precinct and will appear in court in the morning.

Click here for the source, which includes the video.

 

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