Improper Police Conduct?

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  #1  
Old 03-25-08, 04:04 PM
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Improper Police Conduct?

I was driving in my home state - CT - on a street with 3 lanes and I approached an intersection which had a dedicated left turn lane and light. I could not get into the left lane soon enough and the cars in that lane did not let me enter. So I stopped at the light (green) to try and get
into the lane. I was signaled left. The car behind me started honking me and swung around to my right and the driver glared at me. I made a dismissal gesture to him. He was a cop and swung his car in front of me and ordered me to pull over. I turned left to pull over (thus making a an illegal left hand turn, although the approach was improper) He was very angry and asked for my license. He took it and ordered me to go to the police station because he did not have a ticket book. In effect, he ransomed my license. Was this legal?
 
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  #2  
Old 03-25-08, 05:03 PM
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generally, yes. You committed a violation and he was just so committed he wanted to be sure you recieved the ticket that goes along with it.

you were impeding traffic as well as attempting (and apparently eventually actually) to make an improper left hand turn.

I would hope you do not have road rage laws in your state. Those are a bit over the top, in my opinion, and can be quite expensive.
 
  #3  
Old 03-25-08, 05:36 PM
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Exclamation A Little Courtesy goes a long way!

As a trucker, I see this kind of thing all the time. It's rush hr. type traffic and there is a long line to either exit a free way or make some sort of turn. There are always people who know there is a line and what it is for, but choose to travel up to the front of the line so not to have to wait like everyone else. Most of the time some one lets them in but a majority of the people who have waited won't have none of it! So the line cutter must set there and wait for Mr. or Mrs. courtesy to let them in while selfishly they are impeding another lane. Maybe it would have been more proper for the officer to call one of his buddies to the traffic stop, but In my opinion you had it coming. Next time remember you are not the only one on the road. Be a courteous driver. Wait your turn like everyone else or try going straight and making a U-turn when you screw up.
 
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Old 03-25-08, 06:09 PM
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I would bet that an apologetic gesture to the officer when he honked would have avoided the whole problem.
 
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Old 03-25-08, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mitch17 View Post
I would bet that an apologetic gesture to the officer when he honked would have avoided the whole problem.
Oh, that isn't what OP meant with this?

I made a dismissal gesture to him.
 
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Old 03-25-08, 06:52 PM
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I am not questioning the issue or fact of the violation. I am questioning the police officer's conduct. He confiscated my license to coerce my appearance at the police station.

If you are not an attorney, please don't opine.
 
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Old 03-25-08, 07:26 PM
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If you want an attorneys opinion, I would suggest getting out the checkbook and heading into town. Here, you get advice from those willing to take the time to offer it.

Yes, what he did was legit. I would have rather have seen him call an on duty officer but maybe he had reason not to at the time. He may not have been in a position to take the time to call an officer and since he did not have his ticket book, or in some states, he would have had to be on duty to write the ticket, this assures him you will get the ticket you deserved.

If you believe he did something wrong, register a complaint with his precinct and raise it as a defense in court to defend the charges.

I don;t think either will get you anywhere but it may make you feel better.
 
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Old 03-25-08, 07:35 PM
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Practice waving with your whole hand and make the world a better place. Yes, the officer generally has the right to hold your license until he can verify that it - and you are legitimate and complete his paperwork or citation.

Check your state law, driving is a privilege, not a right. Few realize that.
 
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Old 03-25-08, 07:55 PM
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ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

 
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Old 03-25-08, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by goldstar View Post

Check your state law, driving is a privilege, not a right. Few realize that.
There are no laws that define driving as a privilege

I am sure the the car companies, auto dealers, oil companies, gas retailers, higway contractors, advertiser, in effect , the particpants in a 1.5 trillion dollar segment of our economy believe that driving is an essential element of the American way of life and not a privilege. It's a requirement to function in contemporary society, .
Gold star. Right.
 

Last edited by mattison; 03-26-08 at 04:33 AM. Reason: Uncalled for comment removed.
  #11  
Old 03-26-08, 02:27 AM
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dgabriel-

Man, I don't know whether to publicly agree with some of that or just disagree with the whole of it.


What I am is someone who has been knocked around license-wise in my state AND with respect to my pilot's license.

I don't drive anymore because I don't want to subject myself to unreasonable searches, questionining, and so on.

I disagree with your statement about driving being a "requirement to function in contemporary society". I thought things were bad in this town.

Perhaps you need to read a book on police procedures?
 

Last edited by mattison; 03-26-08 at 04:34 AM. Reason: Remark from OP removed.
  #12  
Old 03-26-08, 07:28 AM
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Perhaps the cop ought to read the book on procedure. His behavior was a classic example of road rage. He freaked out. My gesture, was not the finger, but a wave of the whole hand. He was off duty, not in uniform.
 
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Old 03-26-08, 11:36 AM
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Since we only get to see the OP's point of view, it's difficult to form a proper opinion. Maybe the cop had a bad day or it was the 17th instance of like driving he'd seen that day OR he misunderstood the hand gesture; one man's apologetic wave is another man's k.m.a.

Sorry, but like Cave Man I get to see driving as described every day of the week. Was the cop within his rights procedurally? Probably, but even if the i's weren't dotted and t's weren't crossed you were clearly in the wrong. Pay the $2 (that's an expression; I know it's more than that).
 
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Old 03-26-08, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by dgabriel View Post
hand turn, although the approach was improper) He was very angry and asked for my license. He took it and ordered me to go to the police station because he did not have a ticket book. In effect, he ransomed my license. Was this legal?
Well, your driving was certainly illegal.

That aside, here's my take:

AFAIK, it's illegal to drive without a license on your person. He took your license, then told you to drive, in effect, telling you to commit another violation. I may have responded that I needed my license back so that he doesn't then write a ticket for driving without it!

Personally, I probably would have ignored him. I don't stop for angry people waving me to pull over, neither should you! A flash of tin in a window don't mean squat.
 
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Old 03-26-08, 05:50 PM
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haven't checked Conn but many states list this as a correctable ticket (driving without license on person).

as well, an officer can provide a reciept for the license and it will be accepted in lieu of the license if stopped.

OP did not state whether a reciept was provided.
 
  #16  
Old 03-26-08, 05:53 PM
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In your fourth post on this subject you mention that the officer was dressed in civilian garb. Was he driving a marked cruiser?

I can tell you that, in Ohio, any traffic stop must be made by a marked car and the officer must be in an identifiable uniform.

If he had an unmarked car and / or was not in uniform, the case would be thrown out of court and the officer would at least be reprimanded by his chief.

You need to find out what the laws are in Conn. and base any actions on them.

Driving is a privilege and said privilege can be taken away if abused.

You do have the right to remain silent.
 
  #17  
Old 04-01-08, 11:17 AM
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I used to be an LEO. If this fellow really did pull his car in front of yours, he needs some refresher training in traffic stop procedures. And if it was an unmarked car and he was not in uniform, he had no business trying to stop you at all. You could have legitimately ignored him and driven off. Of course, he could have shown up at your home later in uniform and written you up then if he was hard core.
 
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